Monday, May 31, 2010

Getting ready to go up to the House floor- I'm the dias!

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Page Turner.

Just a little bit of a heads up; the next week I'll be REALLY busy... There's a homeschool conference I'll be attending Thu-Sat, and then Mon-Thu, I'll be paging in the NC House of Representatives! I'm not entirely sure what my duties will be,(definitely not my regular paging job, I'll wager) but I'm SUPER excited. I'm bringing my computer with me, but I don't know how much time I'll have to write a post. I'll probably send a few mobile updates and maybe some pictures, but don't expect any real recap updates until late next week.

I WILL promise, that by (next) Friday, I'll have a review of Ally Carter's Heist Society, and some exciting news about a new MINI BLOG!
Remember, May 31st, I'll pick ONE winner of my iBeta contest, and then keep the competition open until June 15th. Enter now, tell you friends, tell everyone! Keep reading!

EDIT: I will ALSO be posting a review of Mira Grant's Feed, which her lovely agent Diana Fox sent to me. :) That's all!

Monday, May 24, 2010

Diary of a Homeschooler.

For those of you who don't know, I am a homeschooler.* I've been homeschooled for nine years now, so I've heard every question in the book. Therefore, below is a list of the top ten questions I've been asked (in no particular order), and one student's answer. :)

1. What about socialization/friends? I have friends- don't worry. :) When is homeschooling is done properly, (the vast majority of the time) a parent will make their child's education a priority. This means that they WILL get out, and be around other people. There are homeschool support groups popping up all the time, all over the country, which have resources for families, and often provide classes. Homeschooling is a quickly growing educational trend, with (it seems) no signs of slowing down, meaning more homeschoolers and more socialization.

2. Do you go to school in your pajamas? I have classes outside of the house four days a week, so I could do my school work in my pajamas, but most days I just get dressed and get to work.

3. What about prom/sports/clubs? Do you feel like you're missing out?
In short, no. This is partially due to the fact that I have a lot of opportunity already around me, and partially because I'm not a real party person. Because I'm at the community college for two classes,(helping with the whole socialization "issue") I have access to clubs and organizations. Then again many public schools allow homeschooled students to participate in plays, sports, etc. There's also a thriving homeschool support group for high school students in my area- they have dances, proms, sports teams, and even graduation ceremonies.

4. What about college? I plan on going to a four-year. Some people prefer to go to a community college for awhile and transition out, but I'd like to get the whole experience. :)

5. Why/How long have you homeschooled/Did you ever go to public school?
My mom is a teacher by heart and nature. My birthday was also two days before the cut-off date, so my parents held me back an extra year in pre-school. I then attended a charter school for Kindergarten, 1st, and 2nd grades. Starting my 3rd year, my parents (and a best friend of mine's parents) decided to homeschool. I wasn't being adequately challenged for my age in my grade level, but my parents didn't want me to be bumped up a grade and fall to the bottom of the class, just for the challenge. I just finished 11th grade this past semester, and will be a senior next year- once I've graduated, I will have homeschooled for ten years. :)

6. What do you like about homeschooling?
The flexibility! I can take most of my school with me anywhere, and do it on a schedule that fits my family-great for those bitten by the travel bug! I have an incredibly wide variety of class options, as I'm able to search around and focus on what I love, or what I'm interested in.

7. What do you dislike about homeschooling?
Homeschooling requires intentional effort. I don't think that public school students are lazy by any means, but while public high schools have clubs and guidance counselors built in, homeschoolers have to go out and find those opportunities for themselves. It's not as convenient. I have to make intentional efforts to hang out with friends, as opposed to seeing them on a daily basis. Homeschoolers are also watched very closely- when we make spealling oer grammmar errers or give a bad impression, it tends to reflect homeschoolers as a group, because someone is "obviously not doing something correctly."

8. Don't you get sick of your mom?
No, of course not. I am a perfected being, and rise far and above trivial things, like disliking my mother. She and I never get on each others nerves, and most certainly never argue or disagree. ;)

In truth, past the obvious answer- YES, we do want to kill each other on occasion, my mom and I are close. A lot of that comes from the sheer amount of time we do spend together, and another part is a lot of our shared interests. Personality-wise, we're pretty much polar opposites, but give us a free afternoon in a bookshop or library, and we'll both be in heaven.

9. Can your mom just give you the grades that you want?
Technically, yes. But that does no one any favors... My mom refuses to give me anything other than what I absolutely deserve, and out of the 200+ homeschooling families I know, none of them gloss over grades either.

10. Is homeschooling even legal?
Yes, homeschooling is legal in all 50 states. Each state has their own requirements for homeschoolers, and it varies greatly depending on where you live, but it IS legal. North Carolina requires attendance records, (180 days; in NC, home schools are categorized as private schools) and a yearly standardized test. There is an organization called HSLDA, which stands for Home School Legal Defense Association; it has an extensive website which can answer any legal question much better than I can!

So that's it! If you have any more questions, fire away either on Twitter, or in the comments below!

*There is "debate" over whether the proper term is 'home school(er/ers/ing/ed)' or 'homeschool.' I choose to squish my words together. They look prettier, and save a character on Twitter. ;)

Monday, May 17, 2010


I have 200 followers on Twitter. This might not seem like a bunch, but I'm an unpublished, student writer. Now look at those 200 followers. That's a lot of people. (Yes, I realize some might be bots, probably a lot of them are, but stick with me here.) So in honor of little old me having a decent and growing following, I've decided that I want to hold some kind of contest. I'm not a published author, so I don't have ARC's to give out, and I'm also not rich, (by any means whatsoever) so a book or package giveaway is also out. The conclusion I've come to, is that I want to hold a manuscript beta contest!

Now, you still might be thinking, "But you're not a professional, what can YOU do for ME?" I believe I have a very good answer for that. I'm a writer, I'm a reader, and I'm a teenager. Most writers have have a target audience/reader in mind, and I find myself fitting in a lot of those target ranges.(Teen, girl, avid reader, HAS read Twilight, likes Jane Austen AND John Green, etc.) I also believe that my writing helps with this- I write because I love it, and I I have an underlying desire to help other writers succeed.

As a beta, I would give you my overall impression on how the novel flows, work with the characters, even the culture. Note this is not as full as a critique, but instead helps with the work as a whole. This means that your novel does NOT have to be complete, although that is certainly encouraged.

So, here is my contest. Beginning TODAY (May 17th) I will open the comment section on this post. Post your BEST query/pitch in the comment section of this page. I will choose ONE winner out of the comments on May 31st, and ONE MORE winner on June 15th. Winners will be chosen partially by their pitch strength, (so don't worry if yours really sucks) and partially by the novel plot. Be sure to include your email so that I can contact you if you're a winner. Good luck! (and tell a friend!)

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My novel in pictures

I've seen this on a couple of other blogs, namely Abby Stevens's, and have decided to follow suit. Therefore, bits of my novel, in photographic form. Enjoy, and tell me what you think! (LONG, detailed post with some exciting news to come in the next few days!)