Saturday, January 25, 2014

Magazine Interviews

Have you ever been interviewed by someone before?

I remember years ago when I had my own "newspaper," and I would interview people (my friends) on all sorts of different topics. (Though, they usually revolved around Nancy Drew and American Girl.) I had never taken part in a real, professional interview. I had seen them go on before. About four years ago, we went on a field trip to a TV station. We got to sit in a very small studio and watch the show's host interview several guests. I remember thinking how calm and laid back the one being interviewed was. Something told me that if I was the one in that spot, that I would stumble over my words and make a fool of myself. 

Last November, I had the opportunity to participate in my very first real interview. This one was over the radio. It was a promotion for my book, and I had a few minutes to talk about what it was about, and answer some really easy questions. The thing that made this a little intimidating was the fact that it was being done live. That meant that if I messed up, there was no going back to fix it. Let's say that I was a little nervous. But, I did get through it. It wasn't the smoothest talking I had ever done. (Seeing that big red "on air" light can be a little nerve wracking) but I think I did okay. I mean, how much can you really mess up in five minutes? (Okay, probably a lot if you tried.)

Like I said, that was in November. But just the other day, (yesterday, to be exact) I participated in another kind of interview. This one was a lot different than the previous one.  

I was interviewed for a magazine.

So, the reporter came over. It helped that she was very friendly, and that she was a woman. (The DJ that interviewed me for the radio was in his sixties, and had this really long beard and hair. Not necessarily something you see everyday.)

The woman had a recorder that she sat down on the table, and then she started asking me questions about my book. The questions started out like, "How did you get into writing?" and "How did you hear about NaNoWriMo?" These were pretty basic questions that were easy to answer. Occasionally she would write something down in her notebook, or ask me to spell something, but really, it just seemed like a conversation between the two of us.

The interview went on for about 45 minutes. Although the interview was mainly about my book, she asked other questions about my piano playing, my school, my plans for the future, etc. Some of the questions took a little time answering  because I really wasn't expecting them, and weren't sure about my answer. But I think it all went okay.

I don't know if I'll ever be asked to be interviewed again. It surprised me that I was interviewed by a magazine before the local newspaper, but you know, I find that kind of cool. If having an article about myself in a magazine was ever on my bucket list (which I don't think it was) I could scratch that off now. I don't know what issue of the magazine I'm going to be featured in, but I will make sure to share the interview on here once I receive a copy of it. 

So, that was the highlight of my week. 

~Sam

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Resolutions and a New Year

At the end of each year, I come up with the ridiculous resolution that I want to keep for the new year. I will always pick something very hard, and way over the top, expecting to do it, but dramatically failing in the second week.

This year, the same thing might happen, and just like every year, I am going to try my hardest. But unlike every year, I am not going to give up when it gets too hard. I have made the wise decision to not give things up as much as I have tried in the past. About five years ago, I decided to give up soda. I've never been much of a soda drinker, so it really wasn't that hard. I haven't had an soda since. It isn't even a temptation to me anymore, so I know that I need to add something to give me something to actually work for.

Instead of picking something to give up for the whole year, I am choosing things to give up for a month at a time. I guess you could all it "mini resolutions." Each month I will either add to whatever I have been giving up, or pick something different, depending on how hard of a challenge it is for me.

I debated a few different things to give up, but I think I finally have a good idea, at least for the first few months of the year.

January-No Sweets, and nothing to drink but water. I know that I have a hard time with both of these, but especially the second one. Since I don't drink soda, I always grab the juice. And although fruit juice isn't bad, it is filled with sugar. For one month, I am going to drink nothing but water. My mom was a little concerned when I told her this, because she says that I need milk. And I will still have milk if it is in the food I'm eating, but just for drinking when I'm thirsty, I will only drink water. And as for sweets, I have done this for lent for the past few years. It is a challenge during Valentines Day and my birthday, (which are both during lent) but since I am only doing this for January, it shouldn't be that big of a problem.

I have an idea for February and March, but I am going to wait and see how I do with January before I decide for sure.

Another thing that I want to do this year, is the 365 challenge. I have seen several people on my facebook do this, and I want to give it a try. What you do, is take one picture every day, and then at the end of that week, I will post all seven pictures here on my blog and give a little information about each picture. Since I am always carrying my iPod or camera around and taking pictures anyway, this shouldn't be that hard of a challenge...at least, I hope not. We'll see though, I guess.

So, what do you think? Are you planning to start, or give something up for the new year?

~Sam

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Christmas 2013

Happy Day after Christmas!

How was your holiday week? Mine was great! Unlike the past few years, I had absolutely nothing that I had to do Christmas week, beside record for my CD, but that really wasn't that big of a deal. For as long as I can remember, I either had a Christmas concert to rehearse for, a Christmas program that stressed me out, or some other thing that I was obligated to fufill. I never usually minded doing those thing. I had the choice to say no in the first place, but to me, being busy was what made the Christmas season so memorable.

This year however, I spent most of my Christmas time just relaxing. I'd watch Christmas movies, wrap presents, and bacially, just hang out around home. You'd think being much less busy would make the time super slow, but actually, Christmas seemed to creep up on us very quickly.

My day was very enjoyable. We did our annual Christmas morning routine, where we read the Christmas story, (This year, we read the KJV, so we could say it like Linus in a Charlie Brown Christmas.) Then we open our gifts, and finally, finish off with a coffee cake breakfast.

All of that went perfect. But shortly after, (around 10am) I was hit with what I call, "a dizzy spell." I absolutly hate these. What happens, is I all of a sudden start feeling very dizzy. I can't seem to focus on anything. My head feels like it is spinning. The dizzy feeling in my eyes quickly start making my head hurt very badly. The pounding is incredible, and makes it nearly impossible to do anything without having to sit down, being afraid that you're going to fall.

By this time, I am so dizzy that I couldn't even see out of my left eye. It was like a very blurry camera. This causes my stomach to start feeling weak. This happens once ever few weeks. I went to the doctor because of it, and I was given glasses, and they have worked wonders. But even with them on, sometimes it still happens. And out of all the days for it to occur, it had to be on my favorite day of the year.

I thank God that it only lasted a few hours. (The last time this happened in early November, I was sick in bed for two days.) By 2pm, I was feeling almost totally healed, and beside from just a tiny headache, which I am assuming were sinus related, I was all better.

By that time, we had driven to my aunt's in Ohio for Christmas dinner. I was not up for eating, since I was afraid that I wouldn't be able to keep it in. A little after noon, once I was feeling a little better, I ate a few grapes, and that seemed to help a lot. It wasn't until that night when I got my share of a real Christmas dinner, and could actually enjoy it. Mashed potatoes, green bean casserole, corn pudding, macaroni salad, and homemade rolls. (Since it was leftover from lunch, all of the meat was gone, but I didn't mind. Everything that I ate tasted amazing!)

When I woke up this morning, I felt even better, along with the surprise that it had snowed some over night. It looks like we did have a white Christmas after all.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I had a great Christmas under the circumstance. When we got back home, I decided to make a video showing everything that I got for Christmas. I guess it is a good thing I edited it, because it was 19 minutes at first! I'm glad I was able to shorten it to 11.

Anyway, if you decide to watch, I hope you enjoy. You'll notice that I am very strangly white in this video. Not only am I like that all of the time, but it doesn't help that I am sitting next to my open window, (which, like I said, had snow on the other side of it.)

So...I guess that's it for now. I am going to be posting a lot more on this blog as 2014 comes to a start. I will tell you why, and my plans for the new year in the next week.



Have a great last week of 2013 guys!

~Sam

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Chapter from "The Eye of the Storm"

Hi readers!

If you didn't know, I have a facebook page for my book. You can like the page to get updates on my writing. Well, when I first made the page, I said that once I reached 50 likes, I would share a small portion of my second book, "The Eye of the Storm" with my followers. Well, a few weeks ago, I reached 50 likes! Thank you to everyone who was apart of making that happen.I am going to post the excerpt here on my blog. I hope that you enjoy this chapter. It was very fun to write. If you read the first book "The Other Side of Me," then you'll already know the characters Molly and Jacob, two siblings. Molly has always been my favorite character to write about, because she has a lot of spunk for an eleven year old. And I also like writing for Jacob, because he doesn't know the first thing when it comes to girls and their "drama." I thought it would be extra fun to see how clueless Jacob really is. I love this chapter, and I hope that you do too. Like I said previously, this is a small excerpt from book two in "The Other Side of Me" series, "The Eye of the Storm," which will be out sometime in the beginning of 2014. Enjoy!

   One of those problems happened about a month after the accident. Molly started going back to school, which was good for her. She had a lot of friends her age. The schoolhouse was about three miles away from where we lived. Most mornings I would take her using the wagon and horse. Sometimes though, if the weather was nice, she’d walk. I wasn’t sure how comfortable I was with her walking three miles to school, and another three back, but she said it was very calming to her. I won’t argue. The road between our house and the school was very quiet and peaceful. There was only one other farmhouse along the way, but it was far enough back from the road that the only sound you might here while passing by is a cow’s moo, or a barking dog.
     This day in particular I had driven her to school in the wagon. So when I went to pick her up that afternoon, I was surprised to see her sitting by herself on the front of the schoolhouse’s steps. Usually I’d have to drag her away from playing with her friends. All of her friends were playing hopscotch on the other side of the yard, but Molly sat alone. When she saw me, she quickly got up, and ran towards the wagon.
    “Hey Moll,” I said as she climbed in next to me. She didn’t say anything back, which surprised me. Usually whenever I would pick her up, she wouldn’t stop talking about the great day she had at school. Whether it was about one of her friends, or something she learned in school, she usually wouldn’t stop talking for the entire three mile trip home, which usually took about fifteen minutes.
     I tried to get the conversation started. “So Molly,” I said. “How was school today? Did you pass that spelling test you were studying for?” I wondered if that was why she was quiet. Maybe she didn’t do well, and was upset with herself.

   “I got an A.” She said quickly and quietly. “Oh,” I said, now knowing my theory was incorrect. “Well, that’s great! Good job Molly.” She didn’t say anything else, so I decided to drop the subject. If she didn’t want to talk about it, trying to get her to tell me was just going to make her even more upset.
     “Fine!” She finally said when we could see our farmhouse on the horizon. “What?” I asked, a little startled at her sudden outburst. “What’s wrong?”
     “It’s Meagan and Morgan.” She said now,not as loud as before. “I know they hate me.”
   I am not necessarily the best when it comes to putting names with faces, especially when they are Molly’s little friends, and their names sound so alike like Meagan and Morgan. Honestly, they all look a lot alike to me. So when she told me these names, I knew they had to be girls she went to school with, but I had absolutely no idea which ones.
     “It all started when you dropped me off at school this morning.” Molly said. I went in the schoolhouse, and saw Meagan and Morgan near the front of the room. They were wearing the exact same dress. I mean, the same blue flowered fabric, the same pattern, even the same little buttons up the front. They had their hair the same way also. They each had it in two French braids. And at the ends of the braids, they had ribbons that matched the dress’s fabric.”
   “Alright,” I said, not exactly sure why Molly was upset about this. “What’s the problem?” When I asked this, Molly nearly jumped up out of her seat. “What’s the problem?!” She asked as I quickly grabbed her arm and pulled her back down, afraid she was going to tumble out. “Don’t do that!” I said, catching my breath. Although my sister isn’t the most daring person ever, she rarely thinks before she does anything. Sometimes, she ends up in worse trouble then she started.

   “What do you mean what’s the problem?” She asked me, still as loud, but at least now sitting down. “You can’t see where this is going?”
    We were now pulling down the dirt road to our house. I tried my hardest to think what the problem was. I finally said the only thing that make the least amount of since, but the only thing I could think of. “They are borrowing fabric and patterns from each other?” Molly rolled her eyes. I knew then that I obviously didn’t answer correctly.
   “Jacob,” Molly said annoyed. “Meagan, Morgan and I are supposed to be best friends. And they are being mean to me. Can’t you see it now?”
    “How is that being mean?” I asked, now even more confused than I was before. The way Molly looked at me then made me feel like I was the stupidest person on earth. She took a deep breath, and then continued. “Jacob,” she said. “Best friends don’t leave each other out. They wore matching blue flowered outfits to school today, and I was left out just wearing this red plaid one. You see now? They are trying to leave me out on purpose.”
    I now definitely felt like the stupidest person on earth, because I had absolutely no idea what the big deal was. “Molly,” I said. “That is so dumb.” She looked surprised at first, then mad. “Why is that so dumb?” She asked, looking like she was ready to stand up again. It wasn’t as big of a deal now, because we were near the barn, but I still grabbed her arm to keep her from getting up.
    “I mean, you shouldn’t care that these girls are wearing the same outfit. In fact, I don’t even know why you’d want to wear the same outfits as them. Why on earth would you want to look like someone else? In my opinion, being different is much more respected than being the same as others.”
     I was rather proud of what I said. It sounded good to me, and I thought that maybe it would help Molly understand. She was silent as I stopped the horse, and put the break on the wagon. When I looked back at her, the expression on her face told me something different.
    “You just don’t get it, do you?” She said standing up to get out of the wagon. Once she was on the grassy ground, she picked up her schoolbooks which were sitting on the wagon seat next to me, and walked towards the house.

   I sat in the wagon for several more moments until I heard the house’s door slam shut. “No,” I said to myself. “I suppose I don’t.”  


~Sam

Thursday, November 21, 2013

A Life Changing Night

It's past 11:00pm. I want to go to sleep. I need to go to sleep. I am exhausted, but I can't. Not after all I just went though. The past few hours of my life have changed me, and I'm here to tell you about it.

I just saw Catching Fire.



Yeah, yeah, I know. That probably doesn't count as "life changing," but seriously, I went in excited, and I came out with my jaw dragging on the floor. I expected it to be good, but not that good. I mean, seriously. When Hollywood gets its hand's on a perfectly good book, most of the time, they ruin it. Although the first movie was very good, the book definitely was better. But with this one, I'm not so sure.

First off, I hate when I read a book, and then see the movie, and everything is completely different. For example, The Percy Jackson movies. Sure, those books were great. The two movies were also very good. But the movies (especially the first one) didn't have the magic the book possessed. They took out all of the best parts in the book, and added their own hint of "Hollywood magic." 9 out of 10 times, they fail. But not with this movie. Not at all.

Another thing that I loved about the movie, was that it was like my mind was projected onto the screen. Everything I pictured in the book-the settings, the characters, the arena, all of that, were exactly how the movie screen portrayed it. I mean, it was almost scary how similar they both were!

Recently, I picked up the Catching Fire book again, so it was still fresh in my mind when I went to see it. I noticed pretty quickly that a lot of the quotes used in the book were used in the movie as well. Even the part about Katniss and Peeta's favorite colors. I was for sure they were going to take that out, but they didn't.

I don't want to give anything away if you haven't already seen it. Since I did go to the premier, it technically isn't even suppose to be out until midnight tonight. But I really encourage you to go see this if you are in any way a fan of the books or the first movie. I am pretty positive you won't be disappointed coming out of the theater. I am picky when it comes to what I like on the movie screen, and I am thrilled to say that Catching Fire did this book justice.


Thursday, November 14, 2013

November is a Crazy Month.

November is a crazy month for me. You may already know that if you have read my posts from last November. I am participating in NaNoWriMo again this year. That's National Novel Writing Month.

   If you don't know what that is, it is when you make a pledge to write 50,000 words in 30 days. This is how my book, "The Other Side of Me," was published last year. (You can buy that book by clicking on the book on the right hand side of this page.) This book that I am writing now is the sequel to my first book. This one is going to be a little longer than the first one. Book one was about 53,000 words. This one is going to be close to 80,000, because I started it during the summer camp program where I wrote over 20,000 words.

It is going pretty well right now. I just passed the 50% mark, so I am about a day ahead of schedule. Last year at this time, I was probably 3k behind schedule.

Are you doing NaNoWriMo this year? How are you doing? What are some tips you have on staying on track? I'd love to know!
~Sam

Friday, September 20, 2013

Busy Life

Hey everyone....remember me?

Yeah....

I  apologize for not posting on here much. I know it's a bad excuse, but I really have been busy. I started my senior year at the beginning of September, and with that comes a crazy schedule.

I am now teaching a writing class of 20+ students this year. I am so glad the kids are well behaved. Otherwise, I'd be in a ton of trouble.

Speaking of writing, I am working on my second book, which I am hoping on having out Spring 2014. This one is going to be a little different than the first one in the series. Once I get closer to having it finished, I will be able to share some of it with you.

I am also heavily involved in my 4-H group. I am the club Treasurer this year, which is a few steps down from my position as President last year, but I wanted it that way. I knew that this year was going to be a little crazier, so I didn't want to put so much responsibility on my shoulders.

Aside from that, I am also teaching piano to several students, working on composing some of my own music for an album my teacher is helping me record, and, it's possible that I might be involved in a play this winter.

Yes, my life is a little on the hectic side this time of year. But, I really wouldn't have it any other way.

I will try to write on here more, but you know that I say that all the time, yet always go back on my word.

I'd write more, but I have to leave to go to the Nursing Home for a community service project with my 4-H group now.

~Sam