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Book Publisher's Network

Sending Young Falcon to Book Publisher's Network today! Whoo! Hope it goes well; they seem like a really awesome group. They even represent Christian books! :D  Pray that they like my book and that if they do, everything goes well. If not, then I'll know God's got someone even better in mind for Young Falcon.
      Happy Easter, everyone! Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour, is alive and well!

Review of PLAGUE

Okay, so as you might know, my friends and I like the GONE books, by Michael Grant. If you didn't know this, this is what I have to say to you: ............
    So! The Woods' library got PLAGUE today, and I read it. Yeah, in one day. And I have exactly one. single. word. to sum up the entire book. Are you ready? You sure? You don't sound ready. No, really, you don't! C'mon, one more time: are you ready???
     Ok, that's better. Here's the one single word:
     GROSS.
     Not what you were expecting, was it?
     And you say, Why was PLAGUE gross, Skandar?
     Because -
     (and the levels of wrongness (morally, most importantly, and in disturbingness, secondly) are not in this particular order, but I just wrote these as I remembered them)
     A) there are these giant, metallic bugs that are terrorising everyone and eating people from the inside out. Yeah. Not creepy at all. Or disgusting.
   Warning: spoilers ahead.
    B) Brittney and Drake are still sharing a body. That's just wrong on so many levels.
    C) Caine and Diana....need I say more? I do? Ok, well, you may or may not know (and if you didn't, now you do) that Diana is pregnant by the end of PLAGUE. Now do I need to say more? Didn't think so.
    D) kids are hacking up lungs (literally), shooting each others' faces off (again, literally), smoking (Lana, the 'Healer'), drinking (Orc....), and doing all other kinds of wrongs (*coughCAINEANDDIANAcough*) such as - trying to kill one's little brother (ASTRID) and just being retarded. (Ooh, I think that'd be Caine again...)
    And the whole thing just seemed kinda....pointless. Nothing was accomplished other than Little Pete no longer has a body, Sam is now an uncle, and Caine becomes 'king' of Perdido Beach. 500-something pages just to get that accomplished...? Eh.
    Out of 5 stars, I give it...maybe a 3 and 1/2. If that. Maybe just a 2....
    SO NOT WORTH THE WAIT. :(
    From a Christian standard, these books, especially this one, are a hugely, gargantuanly massive FAIL. Just reading PLAGUE made me feel sick cause it was so morally and physically disgusting. I just might be done reading these books; they don't even make you come away feeling like everything might turn out okay! If anyone does want to read some good Christian lit., check out The Mark of the Lion series by Francince Rivers! AMAZING, wonderful books! 
     My advice? Don't bother with PLAGUE. It's name sums it up well.

Little Bit of Both

....I had a really bad day yesterday. I also had a really good day yesterday. 
      The bad part - M.M. didn't even ASK her brother about the photoshoot and then lied about it several times to me during the day, so the photoshoot didn't - and won't - happen. You just can't count on people anymore, it seems :/
      The good part - G.C. and I went cliff climbing on Inception Cliff (a cliff where everything is tilted to the side, even the trees, when you're standing upright on the cliff. We brainstormed on a fan-fiction story that includes characters from Pirates of the Caribbean, GONE, The Chronicles of Narnia, and the Real World (our world). I'll be writing the prologue (which I already finished) and I'll post that here in a second. G.C.'s gonna write the 1st chapter and then we're gonna start switching off. It's a really stupid but awesome story! :D
     Have an awesome weekend, guys!

Gone

So a few days ago, my friend M.M. told me about these books and the first one was called GONE, by Michael Grant. Here's the summary: 
    In the small town of Perdido Beach, California, everyone fifteen and over mysteriously disappears in the blink of an eye. In school, no one knows what to do and there is mass chaos and confusion among the remaining population. A boy named Sam Temple steps forward to help control the masses, along with his friends Astrid and Edilio, and are tested to their limits when some kids from the posh Coates Academy set up camp in town, rallying everyone under the leadership of smooth-talking Caine Soren and his sadistic rule-enforcer Drake. Battles ensue, kids are confused and unsure about who to follow, and even stranger things begin happening when the kids of Perdido Beach discover that something is happening to them and many of the animals within the endless barrier that now surrounds them. Some kids get 'the Power' and animals begin mutating. But there's something even worse lurking under the soil of the beach city....


                                                   
There are to be six books in the series, entitled: Gone, Hunger, Lies, Plague, Fear, and Light respectively.
       While the books certainly don't lack in action and excitement, they do in emotion. Sam and Astrid's relationship is extremely bland, as is almost everyone else's, and the author spends almost no time in the relationship area. Caine and Sam are twin brothers, but they're hardly ever even in the same room as each other and all they ever do is threaten each other. To me, it would be extremely interesting if, say, Zil (the leader of the Human Crew) managed to capture both of them and lock them up in the same room for a few weeks. Now that would be exciting!
     These books are pretty good, I guess (that was a kind of unenthusiastic 'I guess', by the way) but I would really like them a lot more if they had more Sam/Astrid material (not in an inappropriate way, of course; after all, they're only 14!) and more Sam/Caine confrontations and material. 
        I give these books 3 and a half stars :)

Costumes!

WE FOUND COSTUMES FOR M.M. AND HER BROTHER! yay!!! :D So we went to A.S.'s mum's room during lunch and poked around in her giant costume closet. At first, it seemed like we wouldn't find anything, but then A.S.'s mum showed us this other rack of fancy prom-like dresses. We looked at those and didn't find much, but then I noticed a burgundy sleeve and pulled out the dress attached to that sleeve; it was a plain but pretty little dress, with no frills or jewels, just some thin netty stuff on the front and a burgundy sash. M.M. and I instantly knew that we couldn't do much better than that (it would've been better in black, but hey, I ain't complainin'), so we put it over on the couch. We searched through the guys' shirts next, but sadly, most of them were Oxford button-down polos. Yeah, not exactly something Lliam would go about in! Haha! We searched for a while and didn't find anything until G.C., R.R., A.S., and H.K. showed up. R.R. accidentally bumped against one of the racks in the closet and M.M. saw something that had been hidden before - a burgundy sleeve! She pulled it out and we saw this absolutely perfect red shirt that was EXACTLY like what I had envisioned. Score! 
     So then we asked A.S.'s mum (we're just call her Ms. Drama for short) about what we could do for a backdrop. She suggested hanging a large piece of black fabric up in the gym (where all our plays are held) and that worked better than anything, so that's what we'll be doing! G.C. and her fancy-schmancy camera will be staying to help us on Friday, too, since my camera's quality isn't top-rate and I want this picture to have the best quality it can.
      Can't wait for Friday!!! :D

And....GO!

Ok, the book cover shoot is officially ON! M.M. agreed to pose as Lliam, so now we just have to find costumes...A.S.'s mom is the drama teacher, so she's gonna let M.M. and me look at the costumes tomorrow during lunch. Too bad we probably won't be able to find anything quite what I'm looking for, but, hey, who knows?
      Wish us luck! :)

R.R.

My best friend M.M. now has a boyfriend! :D She's been wanting this guy to ask her out for a long time and he finally did yesterday! Yay!! He's a really nice Christian guy, too, which makes it even better. R.R. and M.M. are now going out, whoo-hoo!!! :D

Fake Cover

So, I'm trying to design a mock-cover for my book, because I'm gonna send it to Book Publishers Network to kinda show them what I want as a cover. I asked my friend M.M. to pose as Elysia on the cover, 'cause ever though she doesn't have dark red hair or really look anything like Elysia, I think she'll work for what I'm wanting. I had some trouble thinking of a guy to be Lliam, and I asked M.M. who she thought might work, and she suggested her older brother, M.M. I guess he'll work. He's blonde, and Lliam's got black hair, though....Wig, anyone? :) She forgot to ask him about it yesterday, though, so hopefully she'll remember today! 
     I tried drawing what I envisioned for the cover, but it failed miserably, but whilst I was on Google, I happened across this image of Jacob Black and Edward Cullen that shows kinda what I'm looking for: Lliam will be turned around, looking back over his shoulder and Elysia, who will be facing forwards, looking kinda to the side in his general direction, like she's kinda afraid to look at him.
    Here's the picture:
So just mentally replace Jacob with Lliam and Edward with Elysia, and there ya go! Ahahah fun stuff :)

My Views on Life

First, let me just say how much it bothers me about how kids today - even the Christian ones - are so desensitised to all the sex, drug, and general immorality references and condoning that goes on in our wayward world today. Today, I read on my friend's blog that her new favourite book is one that tells the story of a junior in high school who commits suicide, and this book contains a rather graphic sex scene that should be skipped, according to her. Another of my friends, J.R., said he'd like to read it and didn't mind at all about the sex scene; he said '...please please please bring it next time I see you. This book is interesting me very much, it sounds.. well.. amazing....And I have no innocence anymore, so I'm sure that part'll be fine with me. If it's some sex scene, I've already read some books with those...' (but he assures me that that was totally accidental). Another friend, M.D., agreed with him in that she wouldn't mind reading the book.
          Does this not sound completely wrong to you all?? We as Christians should NOT be condoning stuff like this and waving it off, saying that it's ok, that 'it's just the way the world works', that 'I guess I'd better get used to it; after all, it's not going away'! Guys, just because the world says stuff like this is fine and it won't hurt you, does NOT mean it's ok to read about it anyway, even if you're a Christian. Stuff like that, once in your head, NEVER goes out, as much as you may wish it to! I know this from experience; I accidentally read a book back in 7th grade that I shouldn't have and now those things are forever stuck inside my mind, much as I wish them gone. Things like Twilight, Graceling, Harry Potter....Not good stuff. Think about this: if Jesus was a 16-year-old kid that went to school with you, would He be reading Twilight? NO. Would He, even for one second, say 'Oh, it's ok to read that. You might as well get used to it, after all'? NO. Would He go with you to the movie theater to see Harry Potter and the Hunger Games? Say it with me now: NO. 
    How have we gotten so far away from Him, guys? Everything in media, politics, and just everyday life promotes lying, sexual immorality, cheating, cruelty, vanity, selfishness, and plain stupidity. Don't believe me? Take a look at the next Victoria's Secret commercial that comes on.  Listen to the conversations in the high school locker room or lunch table. Read books like Harry Potter, Twilight, Graceling, and 13 Reasons Why.  Scroll through any kid's text messages. Immorality and sinful living is all around us, guys, but we cannot, CANNOT condone it and become a part of it! "Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will." Romans 12:2. Follow this verse to the tee, guys! Challenge yourself to not watch that PG-13 rated comedy that flaunts language, girls in bikinis, lying to family and friends, and getting drunk at all-night parties.  Flip the channel when bad commercials come on. Change the station when bad songs start filling the silence.  Act like Christ, our perfect and beautiful Sacrifice, who gave up His life not so that we could live life as a carefree, free-for-all party, but so that we could come to know our Creator and Perfector and live eternally with Him in paradise! Why in the world would you pass up an eternity of  life's most wonderful gifts - friends, family, peace, harmony, unity in Christ as brothers and sisters, a world free of sin, pain, tragedy, burdens, hatred, amnosity, disease, and a perpetual loneliness - for drugs (a.k.a. cancer, death, disease, psychological damage), sex (a.k.a. AIDS, HIV, unplanned-for children that you're unable to provide for and love, unhappiness and an unfillable feeling of emptiness), and worldly pleasures that will all pass away and will mean nothing at all when you're on your deathbed, such as money, iPods, the newest HDTV, the fancy car, the mansion.....What does it matter, in the end? "And this world is fading away, along with everything that people crave. But anyone who does what pleases God will live forever." 1 John 2:17.
             Guys! Oh, how I wish every single one of you who reads this will one day be in Heaven with our beloved Father! And how much more He wishes it! Don't you think the God who created you and designed every single atom, cell, artery, and iota of your being longs for you to come home to Him, where you can spend eternity with a loving Father who will meet your every need and wipe every tear from your eye?  Why on earth would you not want that?
       I'll tell you why: Satan. The Father of Lies, the Great Deceiver. Oh, he makes it look good, doesn't he? He twists and manipulates and tells you that it'll be ok just this once; no one will ever know. And after all, it'll make you feel good. It'll make you forget; it'll ease the pain. It'll make everything better. Oh, friends. What God makes good, Satan twists into something so hideous it becomes unrecognisable.  What God intends for righteousness and healing, Satan makes immoral and destructive.  He prowls for the weak, looking for those who he can sway, those who he can tempt into slipping, even if 'just this once'. But he knows that if you slip once, there's nothing holding you back to keep you from slipping again. And again. And again. And before you know it, your life is in shambles, everything ashes in the wind, broken and meaningless. Sin is like an itch, guys. Without thinking, you scratch it once. It feels better for a moment, but when that moment has passed, the urge returns to scratch it again. Just one more time can't hurt, right? It's not like it's hurting anybody.  And it feels good again for another fleeting moment. But as you keep scratching, and the urge keeps growing, soon you can't help yourself. That initially small itch turns into a ragged, bleeding wound that just keeps growing and feeding off of your addiction to the temporary relief that scratching it brings. And if it ever heals, it leaves a large scar, cold and pink, to remind you of that itch you never should have scratched.
              This is so preventable, friends. All you have to do is put your trust in God the Father, you Creator, the Lover of your soul, the Author and Perfector of the universe. Just open your heart to Him; tell him - you don't have to speak, even; He understands our needs even when we can't find the words to say them - and just ask Him to forgive you for your trespasses against His righteous and beautiful nature. Confess that you've messed up. Tell Him that you know what you've done is wrong.  Ask Him to forgive you and help you live a better life, according to His good purpose and will. It's that simple! And once you say that quick, easy prayer, how your life will change! You'll begin to see God's beauty and love all around you, in ways you never even noticed before; you'll see His gentle hand in every facet of your life, guiding you, blessing you, loving you, even at your worst!  What an awesome and mighty God we serve, friends!  His name be praised throughout all the world, in every tribe, tongue, and nation! Praise Yahweh, the Lamb of Life!
              Give your life to Him now, before it's too late. Don't delay, for we may not have a tomorrow. Think about this, friends. It's the biggest - and best - desicion you will ever make.
          Good night, and God bless you all. 

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