Thursday, December 12, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday


The book that I found when doing this activity was My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Piccoult. This is a must read if you like a tear jerker. It is a veryinspirational story with a suspenseful plot twist!!! Spoiler: the end is incredibly ironic! This novel was even made into a movie with Cameron Diaz and Abigail Breslin. It's a good movie, but I personally like the book better (books are always better than movies).  This book is often publicized as a YA book, but it's really an adult book due to the themes: cancer, family relationships, and love. This book has changed my life! READ IT! You won't be sorry.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday!!


Q: Tell us at least one new or unusual thing you’ve done in 2013.

1. Started my first book! Anyone out there willing to look at it and critique it??

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

IWSG: My First Book!


I am writing my first book at the ripe old age of 17. It's a book about my experience with cancer. I had three surgeries in 2012. All is well now.

In terms of my book, I really have no idea what I'm doing. I'm trying to make the book good, yet use my own voice in it. Everyone here is such an incredible writer, and I feel like I need to live up to that. I know the subject of my book is sensitive, but I want to get my story out there so that people can know my story and be inspired by it. When I was featured in the "Overcoming Adversity" book in February 2013, I received a lot of positive feedback. I'm hoping to do the same with this book!

Right now, I am looking for someone to help me with the writing process, specifically critiquing it. I want to make sure that my writing is as good as it can be. Please comment below if you'd be interested in helping me with this.

Ps- What on earth is 'querying'??

Friday, November 29, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday


Q: What’s your favorite Thanksgiving Day food? If you’re not American or Canadian, what is your favorite holiday food?


Hmm...tough question!!! It's a tie between stuffing and cranberries. Fun fact: I'm not a turkey person. It's too dry. I am Jewish, and Hanukkah and Thanksgiving coincided this year! We also had potato pancakes with applesauce last night. All of it was delicious. 

Friday, November 8, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday


Q: Vlog Feature: Tell us why you would be the best feature ever in a vlog. The best two will get picked for next week’s feature. If you do not want to participate, just tell us why you can’t be caught on video.

I cannot be caught on video because I am not photogenic, nor am I good on camera. I studder a lot and have bad stage fright. I always manage to make a fool of myself on stage. I also cannot stand to hear myself on camera. I always sound so different than I how I imagine myself to sound. 

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

IWSG: Fear

In my English class, we were challenged to write a piece that personified emotion. Here it is!! This fits in perfectly with IWSG Day!!

Fear is staring at me in the face. Her stare is so intense that I cannot look away. Fear is a four year old girl who never takes no for an answer. She creeps up on me every now and then using a sneaky walk to trick me into thinking she isn't there. Fear resides in my back pocket. Sometimes I forget --that she is there, but she nudges me every so often, preventing me from forgetting about her. I tell her to leave me alone. She does, but she always ends up coming back sooner or later. When I am at school, I force Fear to hide so that nobody but me is aware of her presence. 

Friday, October 25, 2013

October Write..Edit...Publish

I am participating in WEP for October. We have to write a piece in the theme of scariness. The best and most eye opening piece will receive an award, which is a gift card. I really hope my piece wins! Everything you see here is 100% true.


“You have cancer”. When I heard that on November 15,2011, I was devastated, terrified,  and shocked. 
   It all started on October 4th, 2011. I went to the dermatologist due to dandruff, and I also wanted to show her a weird bump on my scalp. It’d been there for five years (at least), and three pediatricians had identified it has a cyst, and there’d never been any cause for concern. However, I thought I might as well show the doctor. I was there, and I wanted it to be looked at. 
  When the doctor looked at it, she was concerned because it was red. “I’ll give you two choices”, she said. “ We can either take it off, or I can see you back in a few months to look at it again”. I thought for a second. I knew that if I were to get it taken off, it’d be really painful. On the other hand, I didn’t want to wait. What if it was something bad? In the end, I decided to get it taken off. 
We made the appointment for November 14th, 2011. During that entire month, all I could do was wait and hope for the best. I have to admit that I was freaked out about the whole thing. I hate needles, and I knew that there’d be at least one going into my head, if not more. I only thought about that one aspect, not about the results. I automatically assumed that the results would show that the bump was just a harmless cyst. But I’d soon be proven wrong!
   Before I knew it, November 14th came. My stomach felt like there were butterflies in it.  Unfortunately, that anxiety didn’t get resolved right away. We had to wait an hour for the doctor to come. All I wanted to do was get the procedure over with and go home so that I could study for my science test. My mom asked me, “ Do you want me to see if she has another appointment open?”. I said no. All I wanted to do was get it over with!
   It seemed as though hours passed before the doctor came in. When she finally did, I was terrified but relieved. This meant that the procedure was that much closer to being over! The biopsy was awful. Absolutely awful.I had to get shots of local anesthetic, which was the worst part. The doctor was terrible at giving injections. It was the worst pain I’d ever been in. However, after about fifteen minutes, it was over. I can honestly say that those 15 minutes were the worst part of this entire ordeal. 
   The next day, around 6:00, we got the phone call. My heart was racing- I had a feeling we’d get bad news. Why else would he have stayed on the phone for a half hour? Unfortunately, my suspicion of it being horrible news turned out to be correct. My dad said, “ It’s cancer. You’re going to have to have it removed again”. I started bawling uncontrollably. 
  There was, however, a good part to this story. I have been keeping in touch with my middle school english teacher for several years now. We’ve grown to have a special connection over the past few years. I finally made the decision to tell her about this whole surgery thing. I was reluctant to at first, but it ended up being the best decision I’d ever made. Part of the benefit having a friendship like this is that you have someone to go to for support. I sent the initial email telling her about it. I got a response the next day, and I was scared to open it at first. I guess I was worried about how she’d react. It isn’t everyday that someone tells you that they’re going to have surgery! However, when I did end up opening it, she did not overreact. She ended up helping me through this whole experience. I would have been worse off if I didn’t tell. You really don’t know until you try!
  Anyway, more on that later. Getting back to me, the next few weeks were spent going to doctor after doctor. I suddenly realized that there was a very good chance that I’d 1. have to have multiple surgeries and 2. that there was a very good chance that I’d be put to sleep for at least one. I was terrified at the thought of being put to sleep. I’d never done it before, and my mom has had several bad reactions to it. 
   A few weeks later, I found out that I’d have to have an MRI of my brain to see how big the tumor was. The dermatologist wasn’t sure if she’d be comfortable doing the surgery because she thought that the tumor might be bigger than she thought. 
  The day before the MRI, I was an emotional wreck. I had never had this type of test before, and from what I’d heard from other people, it’s not pleasant!! 
The day before the test, I went and saw my former teacher that I mentioned before. It turned out that that was the best thing. I told her about the MRI, and she said that,” I’ll be thinking of you all day tomorrow!”. That made me feel better. 
  So, the MRI was horrible. It took nearly two hours, and it was so loud that it sounded like a saw was going in my ear. I also had to have an injection of contrast, which is a dye to help the MRI pictures be easier to look at. That was the worst part. I was screaming the entire time.
  Eventually, we decided to go to Northwestern Memorial Hospital for the surgery. They have doctors who specialize in this sort of thing. My main surgeon was really nice. He knew what he was doing, but he also had an awesome bedside manner. I should mention here that right before the surgery, I was tearing up. My plastic surgeon (more about him later) just stood there looking at me, but my main surgeon was patting me on the shoulder, trying to make me feel better, which it did. That just goes to show how much difference a small gesture can make! I’ll get back to that day in a bit. 
   I also had to have an initial surgery to remove the cancer itself. It hurt a lot, but I had a nice Dr. doing it. In total, the surgery took about 5 hours. I was awake for it, and the local anesthesia didn’t even hurt. I got used to it pretty quick. I was relieved when it was over, though. Being awake for a procedure is not fun!
   For the next surgery, I would be asleep, and the doctors would close up the huge wound from the last surgery. Originally, the surgeons said that they were going to shave half my head for the surgery. However, after I broke down in tears at this news, they did a skin graft instead. It was very painful. Anyway, the plastic surgeon was pretty insensitive. He didn’t have a very good bedside manner. Oh well...
  The day of surgery was very overwhelming. We did a lot of waiting that day, and the worst part was the i.v line. However, everyone was really nice. I remember going into the operating room, but that’s it.  I wasn’t at all nauseous when I woke up, and I felt like a princess, with everyone there waiting on me!
  The recovery has been awful. Initially, I missed five days of school, and couldn’t wash my hair for five days. It’s been 14 months now, and the skin graft still itches- a normal part of healing. I have ultrasounds every six months, and so far I’m cancer free! 
  I have learned a ton about friendship in these past several months. Some of my friends were not supportive, while others were. I was hesitant to tell people at first, as I was not sure how they’d react. But the one main lesson I’ve learned through all this is that, “ You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take”. In other words, if you don’t reach out for help, you’ll never get it. When you’re a teenage cancer patient, you need all the help you can get!
  After this experience, I am doing everything I can to give back. I volunteer at Advocate Lutheran General Children’s Hospital every summer, and I am going to participate in American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life this summer. I know that even the smallest things make a big difference. 



Thursday, October 17, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday



Q: What are some of your favorite magazines?

I really love 'Family Circle' and 'American Girl'. I've never been a huge magazine person.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday


Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Q: What book (or TV show or movie) have you not read that seemingly everyone else has?

Books: Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Book Thief, Divergent
Movies: The Hangover, The Notebook, The Proposal

I should mention here that I am very picky about books and movies. I often don't finish books that I start.

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

IWSG: Criticism








In my English class, we've been assigned to write a paper about our experiences with writing. I thought I'd share it with my readers!


           As I walked into my seventh grade English class, my heart skipped a beat.  On the board, written in big, black letters, were the words "Book Reports Back Today".  My stomach lurched out of fear of getting a bad grade. I had been working on this report tirelessly, and was sincerely hoping for at least one of two  things: a good grade and/or positive feedback. Unfortunately, my hopes were immediately shattered. As my teacher walked to each desk with a stack of graded papers, the class's anxiety was obvious. My teacher, Ms. Smith, lurked like a rattlesnake waiting to strike as she walked up and down the aisles of desks. I was terrified for my turn to receive back my report. Ms. Smith stopped at my desk, looked at me with disgust, and said, "This is a pretty bad paper, Morgan. I know you can do better than this." I felt as if she had just punched me in the stomach. After reading that comment over and over again, I was tempted to rip up this paper and burn it in my fireplace. Accepting negative comments has always been the hardest part of writing for me. I have also been extremely conscious of what other people think about my writing. If I receive negative feedback, I automatically jump to the conclusion that I am the worst writer ever.
After this incident, I learned that it is really important to ensure that the teacher can sense that you gave a substantial amount of effort on an assignment. However, effort is not enough to get you the grade you hope for. An incident similar to the above one occurred during Junior Theme. I had been working on my paper in the same manner that I had back in seventh grade. When Junior Theme first started, I had written my first draft. A few days later, I received it back, but with several corrections that I needed to make. I was a bit disappointed, but knew that it could have been worse- and that was shortly a reality. I tried my best to make the corrections that my teacher, Mrs. Brown, asked, but that did not work out as well as I had hoped it would. I received my second draft back, and it had even more corrections on it! On the bottom of the draft, I read the words See Me for a Conference.
When conference time finally came, Ms. Brown and I had a long talk. One of the most memorable things she said to me was, " While Junior Theme is not going the way you planned, it does not define you as a writer." I was absolutely shocked, in a positive way, when she said that. I was expecting her to tell me how horrible of a writer I was. Even though I did end up receiving a C on that paper, it was still a valuable experience. Just because a teacher calls you in for a conference, it does not necessarily mean that her feedback is automatically horrible.
After these incidents, I stopped jumping to the conclusion that I am a horrible writer whenever someone gives me negative feedback about my writing. This is merely one person's opinion. Writing is subjective, which means that everyone has their own opinion about any given piece. Also, because writing is subjective, there is not one right answer; rather, there can be infinite ways to respond to a writing prompt. It is not uncommon for people to have different opinions on the same piece of writing.  Even if I receive a low grade on a paper, I know that I am still a good writer who writes from the bottom of my heart.


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Writer's Autobiography



In my English class, we've been assigned to write a paper about our experiences with writing. I thought I'd share it with my readers!


           As I walked into my seventh grade English class, my heart skipped a beat.  On the board, written in big, black letters, were the words "Book Reports Back Today".  My stomach lurched out of fear of getting a bad grade. I had been working on this report tirelessly, and was sincerely hoping for at least one of two  things: a good grade and/or positive feedback. Unfortunately, my hopes were immediately shattered. As my teacher walked to each desk with a stack of graded papers, the class's anxiety was obvious. My teacher, Ms. Smith, lurked like a rattlesnake waiting to strike as she walked up and down the aisles of desks. I was terrified for my turn to receive back my report. Ms. Smith stopped at my desk, looked at me with disgust, and said, "This is a pretty bad paper, Morgan. I know you can do better than this." I felt as if she had just punched me in the stomach. After reading that comment over and over again, I was tempted to rip up this paper and burn it in my fireplace. Accepting negative comments has always been the hardest part of writing for me. I have also been extremely conscious of what other people think about my writing. If I receive negative feedback, I automatically jump to the conclusion that I am the worst writer ever.
After this incident, I learned that it is really important to ensure that the teacher can sense that you gave a substantial amount of effort on an assignment. However, effort is not enough to get you the grade you hope for. An incident similar to the above one occurred during Junior Theme. I had been working on my paper in the same manner that I had back in seventh grade. When Junior Theme first started, I had written my first draft. A few days later, I received it back, but with several corrections that I needed to make. I was a bit disappointed, but knew that it could have been worse- and that was shortly a reality. I tried my best to make the corrections that my teacher, Mrs. Brown, asked, but that did not work out as well as I had hoped it would. I received my second draft back, and it had even more corrections on it! On the bottom of the draft, I read the words See Me for a Conference.
When conference time finally came, Ms. Brown and I had a long talk. One of the most memorable things she said to me was, " While Junior Theme is not going the way you planned, it does not define you as a writer." I was absolutely shocked, in a positive way, when she said that. I was expecting her to tell me how horrible of a writer I was. Even though I did end up receiving a C on that paper, it was still a valuable experience. Just because a teacher calls you in for a conference, it does not necessarily mean that her feedback is automatically horrible.
After these incidents, I stopped jumping to the conclusion that I am a horrible writer whenever someone gives me negative feedback about my writing. This is merely one person's opinion. Writing is subjective, which means that everyone has their own opinion about any given piece. Also, because writing is subjective, there is not one right answer; rather, there can be infinite ways to respond to a writing prompt. It is not uncommon for people to have different opinions on the same piece of writing.  Even if I receive a low grade on a paper, I know that I am still a good writer who writes from the bottom of my heart.

Thursday, September 19, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday!!


Q: What were some of your favorite picture books as a kid? If you have kids, what are your favorites to read to them?

First, I am WAY too young to have kids. I am 17, and I want to be a mommy some day, but not right now. As a kid, I used to love Arthur books, Clifford, Berenstain Bears, Spot, and the No David! Books.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday


First, let me apologize for not posting for such a long time. I've been really busy- homework and such. It's really taken a toll on my blogging time!


Q: It is up to you to do a Kickstarter campaign for your favorite book!!! Who are you casting for the main characters?

To be honest, I have no answer to this question. Books are always better than movies. But if I had to pick, I would say Elsewhere by Gabrielle Zevin. It's a story that you can be creative with, and it's never been made into a movie before. 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

IWSG: Writer's Block



I thought I should probably explain the reasoning behind the title of this blog, as it goes perfectly with IWSG.

The title of this blog, as you know, is Writer's Block. I have always struggled with this, especially when writing fiction pieces. I can never come up with the perfect plot line- everything I come up with sucks. On those rare occasions when I do form an original plot line, it's always terribly dull and painfully predictable. How about you all? How do you create a solid plot line to lure your readers in?

Saturday, August 31, 2013

In Your Pants Blogfest


What are you posting?
The current book title you are reading and then add 'in my pants' afterwards.

That's it. Simple, fast, and will be super easy to read everyone elses too. Feel free to add links or picture to the books so others can find them. 

When is it happening?
September 2nd 2013.
  

Divergent In Your Pants!!!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday!


Q: If you could only have ONE – one book – for the rest of your life. Don’t cheat…what would it be?


Tuesdays with Morrie! It teaches so many life lessons and is so powerful. If I ever needed some life advice, or some mere cheering up, I'd read it. I would see what Morrie told Mitch, then apply that to my own life.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Ten Years Later.... Blogfest

      For this blogfest. I've decided to write my post based on the very popular YA book My Sister's Keeper.  For those of you who haven't read this novel, it tells the story of a girl named Anna who was genetically conceived to be an organ donor for her sister Kate, who has leukemia. Eventually, Anna has had enough of this, and decides to sue her parents for making her be a donor to Kate. Ironically enough, Anna is the one who dies (spoiler alert!), and Kate ultimately survives.

For my ten years later entry, I've decided to write a diary entry from Kate's point of view.


                                                                                                                   June 1, 2014
Dear Diary,
Today marks the 10 year anniversary of Anna's death. I also am graduating high school today. As much as graduating brings joy to me, I cannot help but think about what should have been.

The doctors said that I was lucky that I made it to age five. Yet here I am,13 years later, graduating high school and moving into a dorm on the campus of DePaul University. I dream of becoming a pediatric oncologist.

Jesse is currently in rehab for his drug addiction to marajuana. He started smoking when Anna died. I guess it's his way of coping with this. It's been hard for all of us, especially my mom. She goes into her bed at night and cries at night when she thinks nobody can hear her. It's heart breaking. I'm off to go comfort her!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Write...Edit....Publish

I'm participating in the W.E.P blog fest today! As many of you know, I'm applying to college in a couple of months. As such, I have decided to post my essay on the blog as my entry for this blog fest. It has been edited by an english teacher, and this is my final draft. Enjoy!


The Truth About Cancer


         All of us, including me, have a story that defines who we are as human beings.  As songwriter Delta Goodrem once said, “I feel like I lost my innocence to cancer”. I too have lost my innocence to cancer.I was diagnosed with a rare type of sarcoma on my scalp in November of 2011. My treatment involved two major surgeries, the second of which involved general anesthesia, a skin graft, and a seemingly infinite recovery period. Thankfully, I am now cancer free.
Since I have had cancer, I have learned the true meaning of friendship. I had so much support from friends and family. I learned that true friends are people who are there for you even in the most difficult of times. My biggest support resource was my blog that I put together to document this whole experience. As of right now, my blog has been viewed 1,227 times by the general public. People have showed me more compassion that I would have ever thought possible! This blog has been cathartic for me because it acts as an outlet for me when I am stressed about any aspect of this experience.
         Being a cancer survivor has helped me be thankful for my health, and to have a new outlook on life. I appreciate my health so much more now that I know that there are people out there who die of cancer every day. Before the cancer was diagnosed, I used to think that only elderly adults were cancer patients, and that this would never happen to me! Now I know that cancer does not discriminate, and teenagers are just as likely to be diagnosed as older people are. I am also more careful about my health now that I know how fragile it is. I am always careful to use sunscreen, to get regular checkups, and to get as much sleep as possible.
I have learned to be more independent since I was diagnosed. I learned how to advocate for myself, not just with doctors and hospitals, but with my teachers as well. I missed a week of school second semester sophomore year, which explains why my grades went down that semester; however, I learned an equally valuable lesson- how to advocate for myself, which is a lifelong skill. During my absence, I worked on being assertive by emailing my teachers about missed work and then going in to see them when I returned to school. Being assertive and advocating for yourself is the only way to accomplish things in life. Being able to advocate for myself in college is a valuable skill that I possess.
Last but not least, cancer made me a stronger person. Presently, I do not become devastated when I hear bad news; rather, I think to myself, Ok, what’s the worst that could happen? I will just deal with it- I have no other choice. Before this diagnosis, I used to become hysterical in the face of bad news. I used to panic and become incredibly distraught. Now, when life gives me lemons, I am able to make lemonade!

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday



Q: Share something you’ve learned about book blogging or just blogging in general in the last month.

Hmm... that's a hard one! 
1. It takes a lot of patience!
2. You meet a lot of different types of people through blog hops.
3. There are annoying people who are anonymous commenters. They harass your blog, don't leave their names, and then leave a completely unproductive, irrelevant, and often annoying comment on a post. I've had this happen, and I have had no choice but to turn off anonymous commenting. Beware!

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Back-to-School Jitters

All good things must come to an end, and summer is no exception. I'm excited, but nervous at the same time. I'm always nervous to meet my teachers, particularly this year. My gym teacher is on maternity leave. I don't know when she'll be back. It's always nerve wracking to walk into a classroom where there's a strange, new adult staring at you.

On the other hand, I am excited to be a senior at last. However, I cannot help feeling a bit nostalgic. All these years have gone by so fast! I remember when high school was a scary concept, yet soon it will just be a vague memory. In the words of Dr. Seuss, "Don't cry because it's over- smile because it happened!"

In terms of English this year, I am taking a writing class. Senior English gives students a ton of options to choose from, and I was in the mood to improve my writing! We'll see how it goes!

See you for Feature and Follow Friday on Thursday!

Thursday, August 8, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday!


Alison Can Read Feature & Follow















Q: Back to school. Create a reading list for the imaginary English Lit class you’ll be teaching this semester.

1. Elsewhere- Gabrielle Zevin
2. A Time for Dancing- Davida Wills Hurwin
3. Tuesdays with Morrie- Mitch Albom
4. My Sister's Keeper- Jodi Piccoult
5. A Child called "It"-Dave Pelzer
6. Catcher in the Rye- J.D Salinger
7. Stargirl- Jerry Spinelli


Monday, August 5, 2013

IWSG: First Drafts

First Wed of Every Month

This is my first ever IWSG post. I never thought I'd find a use for this group- after all, I am a reader, not a writer. However, I started writing my college application essay recently, and I thought it might be a good idea to join this group. I am incredibly insecure about first drafts, especially this particular one.

Before I start my rant about the reasons why I am so insecure, I'll take a minute to introduce myself. My name is Morgan. I'm 17, and I am an insecure writer.

Yes, that introduction was short and sweet, because I want time to rant. The reason I am so insecure about this essay is because I suck at writing, and because this essay is extremely personal and I only want certain people to read it. I have always thought I was a decent writer, but that train of thought changed this past school year. I had worked incredibly hard on a huge research paper for english. I showed it to my teacher, and she ripped- excuse me, RIPPED- me apart. I was devastated, and convinced myself that I sucked at writing. I dug myself into a hole that I am slowly trying to get myself out of. Anyone else ever have this experience?

Getting on to the second point, my essay is extremely personal- I had a rare type of cancer when I was 15. Because I'm writing the essay on it, I don't want just anyone to look at it. I have an irrational fear of people freaking out, when really there is no need to. Freaking out just makes the other person feel very uncomfortable and vulnerable. Trust me- I've learned the hard way. I'm almost scared to ask strangers to edit it because of that irrational fear.

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday


Q: How do you handle a book you don’t like? Do you DNF or do you power through?


I usually DNF, especially if I have backup books. Usually, I take out multiple books when I go to the library so that I always have a backup. 

On the other hand, I am forced to finish a book for school. I always have to force myself to read a book in that case. Reading is never fun when you're forced to read a book you abhor!!

Friday, July 26, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday!


Q: What do you do with your books after you are done reading them?


It really depends on where the book is from. If I own the book, I usually keep it for a number of years, then donate it to the library. If it's from the library, I obviously have no choice but to return it. 


Thursday, July 4, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday & Celebrate the Small Things


Q: Today’s is the US’ Independence Day. Share your favorite book with a war in it, or an overthrow of the government.

         It may not surprise you to hear that I am not exactly the type of person who likes war. I, like Abe Lincoln and MLK, believe that violence leads to more violence, which doesn't solve the problem. Please ignore that bad grammar! However, the term 'overthrow of the government' does indeed make me think of a book. Hmmm.. which one?  Lord of the Flies, of course!! It's about a group of boys who are stranded on a deserted island and must fend for themselves. They try to make their own government, but they fail miserably. There is utter chaos, and absolutely no government to speak of! 




1. My first draft of the dreaded college essay has been written! It's my new WIP. The first draft of anything is always bad, and this is no exception! Hmm... maybe I should blog about that in IWSG next month? 
2. I am getting a new volunteer position at a hospital! 
1. 
1. 


Sunday, June 30, 2013

Reading Record!!!!

I know I don't usually post on Sundays, but this is so exciting that I just have to share it now: I broke my new record for most books read in 3 weeks. I read 6 books, and my library is now giving me a free paperback book for a reward! How amazing is that???!?!

Thursday, June 27, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday PLUS Cephalopod Coffee House



Q: What is your preferred reading format? Hardcover, eBooks, paperback etc?

That's an easy one. I have and always will prefer paperback. They're lighter than hardcover, which makes them easy to carry. I cannot read online or on a kindle. I love the fact that with a book, I can have something physical to hold, as opposed to an ebook or kindle. Of course, I simply must have a paperback when I read a novel for english excuse me, English (never know what English teacher might be reading this!) class. It makes it easier for me to annotate/highlight. I've tried highlighting/annotating with an ebook on an Ipad, and it was not successful...not in the least! 


This month, I am participating in The Armchair Squid's monthly bloghop- the Cephalopod Coffeehouse. This is a new blog hop for me! Each month, members post about their favorite book they read during that month. My favorite book of the month is................ *drumroll*




This is the story of a girl, around age 17ish, who is so overweight that she decides to undergo gastric bypass surgery. She chronicles her recovery, and also takes us inside her mind and introduces us to 'skinny', a voice in her head that represents bad body image. This was incredibly pertinent to our society!!


Thursday, June 20, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday!


Q: Activity: Favorite Literary Quote
             My Sister's Keeper
“An oncology ward is a battlefield, and there are definite hierarchies of command. The patients, they're the ones doing the tour of duty. The doctors breeze in and out like conquering heroes, but they need to read your child's chart to remember where they've left off from the previous visit. It is the nurses who are the seasoned sergeants -- the ones who are there when your baby is shaking with such a high fever she needs to be bathed in ice, the ones who can teach you how to fluch a central venous catheter, or suggest which patient floor might still have Popsicles left to be stolen, or tell you which dry cleaners know how to remove the stains of blood and chemotherapies from clothing. The nurses know the name of your daughter's stuffed walrus and show her how to make tissue paper flowers to twine around her IV stand. The doctor's may be mapping out the war games, but it is the nurses who make the conflict bearable.” 

“don't say it. don't tell me that nobody's going to stare at me, because they will. don't tell me it doesn't matter, because it does. and don't tell me i look fine because that's a lie.” 

“For the first time in my life I begin to understand how a parent my hit a child--it's because you can look into their eyes and see a reflection of yourself that you wish you hadn't.” 

                                        Tuesdays with Morrie
“So many people walk around with a meaningless life. They seem half-asleep, even when they're busy doing things they think are important. This is because they're chasing the wrong things. The way you get meaning into your life is to devote yourself to loving others, devote yourself to your community around you, and devote yourself to creating something that gives you purpose and meaning.” 

“If you hold back on the emotions--if you don't allow yourself to go all the way through them--you can never get to being detached, you're too busy being afraid. You're afraid of the pain, you're afraid of the grief. You're afraid of the vulnerability that loving entails. But by throwing yourself into these emotions, by allowing yourself to dive in, all the way, over your heard even, you experience them fully and completely.” 

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday!


Q: Activity: Spine Poetry. Create a line of poetry with your book spines (take a picture). Not feeling creative? Tell us about your favorite poem.


Hmm... this is really hard. I have always liked 'Where the Sidewalk Ends" by Shell Silverstein. It's a true classic! I have never truly grasped the meaning of this particular poem, but maybe that's because I am too lazy to fully dissect it? *wink wink*. 

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday


Q: Have you broken up with a series? If so which one and why?

Yes. There are two answers to this question. 

1. I broke up with the Twilight series about 4ish years ago. The books were too long and drawn out, and they did not capture my attention at all. The concept of vampires got old, and I just got bored. Sorry, Stephanie Meyer!

2. I broke up with the Harry Potter series. I loved the first book, and I own it! After that, the plot got old and boring and confusing (please ignore the bad grammar- it's 10:30 p.m and I am frantically trying to get this post done so I can go to bed). Because of that, I decided to ditch it and find something better.


Tuesday, June 4, 2013

How To Be a Blogger

Since I just finished school, I have a lot of extra time on my hands. I haven't been reading much lately due to finals, but I did manage to find a hilarious article on here. I have put this article down below for your viewing pleasure. I just cited it for copyright purposes.


  • Sunlight is for making raisins, not for bloggers. Your skin should be brighter than your monitor.
  • If your F key falls off, a button will do the trick. In fact, pop off several more keys, and post a picture of your crafty keyboard to Pinterest.
  • If you have 30 minutes to write a post, spend 29 minutes eating a burrito and watching GIFs, and the last minute trying InStyle hairdos. Then, go to your "EMERGENCY POSTS" folder and retrieve "Pez dispensers we would like to see.doc."
  • Be generous with your BAMs.
  • In the blogosphere, Joseph Gordon-Levitt is canonical.
  • Watching T-Swift music videos counts as research.
  • Professional writers aren't afraid of using emoticons. O_o
  • If you aren't suffering for your art, you're not sitting on a Fitball.
  • If you are writing in a library or study room, set your font to green Courier New and your background to black, and read your post aloud as you type, like they do on TV, and as I am doing right now.
  • Never end a post with a "Conclusion." Always end with "and then the corn dog mascot and I bounced around in the jumping castle until we threw up."
  • Blogging about rompers is just like investigating a murder, except most murders only have one victim.
  • When your parents are like "blogging isn't journalism," tell them, "Yeah, and 'CATS ON KEYBOARDS' will never be a newspaper headline!" You both win this round.
  • Bloggers sometimes wear suits. But mostly wear Snuggies.
  • Blogs can lede the way, but newspapers can't LOL.
  • Journalists are all "I'm going to blow this story wide open!" while bloggers are all "I <3 you guyz."
I hope you thoroughly enjoyed this! I have decided to post funny things like this every so often for anyone who needs a good laugh!

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Finals Blogging Break

I am going to be away from the blogosphere for a few days as I prepare for finals. It's over on Wednesday, so I will see you all then! If you want some names of good books, check out my 'Favorite Books' tab! Or, if you're interested in my WIP, please see my previous post. See you all on Wednesday!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Fairy Prince Blogfest and WIP IT GOOD


For this blog fest, we are asked to tell readers who our favorite Disney prince is. For me, this is a simple one- I love the Prince from Snow White! I only wish he had an official name, but he's too mysterious for that. I love him because he is handsome, very personable, and has an AMAZING singing voice! I especially love the very last scene of the movie where he and Snow White ride off together into the sunset. I wish they could make a sequel so we could see what happens to all of the characters- especially the dwarves and the queen! 




I'm not sure if a speech counts as a WIP, but it's all I have. I am in the middle of finals prep right now and things are getting crazy!

WIP Title: Cancer 101

Word Count (projected/actual so far): 471

Genre: Nonfiction

How long have you been working on it?: About 7 Days 

Elevator Pitch (if you came across an agent in an elevator ride, what couple of lines would you use to summarize your book): My encounter with cancer as a teenager

Brief Synopsis (250 words or less): I was diagnosed with a really rare type of cancer when I was 15. I had three surgeries, and this is my story. I am proud to be cancer free! This piece discusses my experiences through my own eyes, including the events leading up to surgery. I focus quite a bit on my emotions during that period of time. 
Are you looking for a Critique Partner?: yes 

Are you looking for a Beta Reader?: What is that???

Feature and Follow- 5/30/2013


Alison Can Read Feature & Follow

Q: What blogger would you most like to meet in real life? Tell us about him or her.

Oh dear... this is a really hard one, especially since I don't want to offend anyone by leaving them out! I'll list as many people as possible here. Everyone on this list has made some awesome comments and has helped me enhance my blogging experience!

1. Hilary @ Positive Letters
2. Trisha @ WORD + STUFF
3. Crystal @ Crystal Collier


Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Get Healthy Bloghop

Today I am participating in the Get Healthy Bloghop! My favorite ways to get healthy are sleep, sleep, and more sleep. Being the high school almost-senior that I am, sleep is always a hard concept. I either have 1) way too much homework or 2) a bad procrastination habit that causes me to do my homework way too late. More often than not, I feel so much better when I get at least 8 hours of sleep.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Speech Writing: Relay for Life 2013 Speech!

Relay for Life is a national event to raise money for the American Cancer Society. As a cancer patient/survivor, I have been asked by my good friend to give a speech at the event. I was hoping that some of you would be willing to give me some feedback on it in the 'comment' section of this blog. Thanks! The speech is below, and it's not done yet-- keep that in mind.



Relay for Life 2013 Speech

As Anthony Delmonte once said, “Cancer is never a face until it affects you or someone you know”. Cancer became a face to me on November 14, 2011. A day I will never forget. On November 14, 2011, I was diagnosed with a rare type of skin cancer on my scalp. Keep in mind that this was NOT caused by being in the sun for too long. I have never been to a tanning booth, either. The whole thing started on October 5, 2011. I had an appointment with the dermatologist to discuss my dandruff. I had also been noticing a bump on my scalp that had been there, oh, I don’t know, about 5-ish years? 3 pediatricians had told me it was nothing to worry about, and naturally I had believed them. I figured that as long as I was at the dermatologist anyway, I might as well show it to her. During the appointment, she gave me the option of having it biopsied because it looked red, which concerned her. I thought about it for a few minutes and then reluctantly agreed to go ahead with the procedure. 
     Getting the biopsy was terrible. I had to receive shots of local anesthesia in my head. On top of that, I had to deal with the constant worry of it harrowing and shocking test results. 
  The next day, on 11/14/11, we got the phone call from the dermatologist that simply said, “You have cancer. You’re going to need more surgery. I’m sorry”. Naturally, I broke down in tears. I didn’t even know what the true definition of cancer was, but nonetheless, it was staring me in the face. I could run from it, but I couldn’t hide from it. 
  The next few weeks were a huge blur. We must have seen three or four doctors. During that time, I had to get an MRI of my head to see how big the cancer was. Luckily, it was only the size of an eraser. Eventually, we decided on going to experts at Northwestern Memorial Hospital in downtown Chicago. That’s when things started moving really quickly. 
I ended up having two surgeries- one to take out the cancer and a skin graft operation to close the huge wound from the first surgery. The wound would never close by itself due to how big it was, so the doctors took a piece of skin from my leg and put it on my scalp. I’ll get back to that part in just a few moments. In the meantime, I first want to talk about how bad the first surgery was.
   I was awake and numb for the first surgery, which lasted for about 5 hours. During the surgery, the surgeon took a little bit of skin off and checked for cancer 

Friday, May 24, 2013


 This week, I have a lot of things to celebrate, and here they are!

1. I am officially a SENIOR in High School! 
2. I already know where I am applying to college.
3. I know what my college essay topic is.
4. I am seeing the plastic surgeon on 6/11 to begin the oh-so-lovely (sense the sarcasm?) process of scalp reconstruction to get hair growing again. This is actually a really exciting thing that I have been waiting for for the past 6 months! 

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Bloghopsx3: Feature and Follow, Celebrate the Small Things, and Movie Remakes

AHHHH!!!! I'm TRIPLE  booked today! I have the Feature and Follow Hop, Celebrate the Small Things, and the Remake Blogfest. I am going to make this easy and just put it all in one really long post. That way, you can easily read all three entries.


Alison Can Read Feature & Follow
Q: School is out! What is your favorite Summer Reading book?
Hmm... tough question! I could take the easy way out and say, " Anything that I am not forced to read for school!". While that's true, it's not a good enough answer. I really don't have a true favorite, but I love reading in summer in general. One of my favorite series of summer is 'The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants' (maybe because the books take place during summer?). My all time favorite in the series is the first one, and the movie is amazing as well. I try to read as many books as I can in a summer. My record for a summer is 7- we'll see if I can read more this summer! Comment how much you think I can read! We'll see what the trend is!


I have so much to celebrate this week!
1. I scored a home run in kickball in gym! Yes, I am in high school, and I still play that game...
2. My english paper that is huge was supposed to be due tomorrow was pushed back to being due Monday because we're having a substitute teacher tomorrow, and the main english teacher doesn't trust the sub.
3. I will be a senior in high school as of 6/7/13!!





Best: Freaky Friday. The new one is so good at depicting the typical high school student, while the old one was outdated. Gotta love Lindsay Lohan, although not so much anymore since she has drug problems!!

Worst: Annie 1999- Please, DO NOT WATCH this movie. It was so bad that I felt like I was just watching little girls in a preschool play. The 1982 one with Carol Burnett is way better!!

Mean Girls 2- Nothing can measure up to the original movie. Trust me. I watched the second movie, and it's nowhere near as good as the first one. 

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Feature and Follow Friday


Q: Happy Mother's Day! Who is your favorite mom from fiction?


Hmm... This is a very hard question!! I would have to say that my favorite mom is Sara Fitzgerald from My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Piccoult. Sara's life is a balancing act. She has two daughters-Anna and Kate- who are both competing for her attention. Kate has leukemia, and Anna is suing her mother for making her donate her body parts to Kate. Sara is determined to do the right thing for both of her daughters, but does not always know what that is. She is determined to save Kate's life at the expense of Anna's well-being. She is determined not to loose Kate, but has a hard time knowing when to let go.