What I’ve Been Up To Lately #4!

Hey folks! If you’ve been wondering, Hey, what has Sunny been up to lately?, well, wonder no longer! I am back with another life update (hehe, don’t I sound like a newscaster?!)!

Anyway, here we go…

Reading-My sister and I had to read Tom Sawyer for school this quarter, and last week we finally finished it! I didn’t care for it very much, there was pretty much no real plot and it didn’t start getting good until close to the end. So I’m glad to be finished with it….but now I have to write some essay questions about it, so….yay. πŸ˜›

Writing-I am SUPER excited right now because I started a new story last night and am really liking how it’s turning out so far. I think it just might be my best story yet, if I do say so myself. πŸ˜‰ It doesn’t actually have a title yet…(I am really bad at coming up with titles)…but hopefully it will soon! It’s another Avalon/Cousins Next Door story: Cherie is really feeling down because no one is paying any attention to her accomplishments. I’m hoping to post it on here once I get it done! (And no, I haven’t forgotten about posting the next chapter of Dare To Be Different…I just have to find the written copy (in that bottomless pit that is also known as my room πŸ˜‰ ) and then type up the next chapter. It will be soon, promise!)

Listening To-Recently I have gotten hooked on Phil Joel, who is a Christian singer from New Zealand. He used to be in the Newsboys as the bass player, then went solo, and now has his own band called Zealand Worship. I’m listening to one of his solo albums on Spotify as I type this….I really like his voice and music style! I am especially in love with his song God Is Watching Over You….the words are so simple but it has really helped me when I’m feeling scared or sad or just whatever! XD

Watching-I try to watch The Waltons as much as I can, which is hard because it’s on at kind of a bad time, and it seems like every time I do get to watch it, it’s a boring or war-related one. πŸ˜› But last week I watched a few episodes, and they were so cute! (They were also episodes from the second season, so that explains why. πŸ™‚ ) The episodes are soooo much better when John-Boy is in them. I ❀ John-Boy. πŸ™‚

I also watched an episode of Little House the other day….it was the one where Laura had just gotten engaged to Almanzo and they were trying to figure out where to build their house once they were married. πŸ˜‰ And also Eliza Jane, Almanzo's sister (who's kind of an "old maid"), fell in love for the first time….but the guy who she liked was sort of uncomfortable around women (but still talked to her), and preferred to joke around and tell funny stories with Almanzo. I felt bad for her. She had never had a "beau" (as she called it πŸ˜‰ ) before, and she was pretty old….can you imagine? πŸ˜‰ Anyway, the episode was sooo good, and even though I kind of had a good idea about what was going to happen, I wanted to see the end. But…my family had to go somewhere so I missed the last ten minutes. I was like, "Nooo! I have to see the end of this episode!". LOL!  To make matters worse, it was a two-parter and I knew I was going to be busy at the time it was on the next day. So I have no idea what happened! Grrr! XD

Other Stuff-This weekend has been kinda chilly, but it hasn’t been too bad. Next week it’s supposed to be REALLY warm where I live, which I’m looking forward to! I’m going to be spending so much time outside the next few days (not tomorrow though….it’s going to be frigid…bleh. πŸ˜› )

My mom started using this new laundry detergent…and wow, I just love the smell of it! It’s kind of like a mixture of flowers and men’s cologne. Weird, I know, but it smells so good.

I have discovered a new love for sriracha sauce (it’s like hot sauce). My family went out to breakfast the other day, and there was a bottle of sriracha nearby, so I poured it on my scrambled eggs, and wow…it was so good! I also poured it on my (dry!) Cheerios (in honor of Phil Joel, I heard he likes sriracha and Cheerios, and ever since I’ve been wanting to try it to see if I would like it too) and well…it wasn’t all that bad. πŸ˜‰ It was pretty good. I don’t know if I would have it again though. πŸ™‚

Alright, so that’s what’s been going on in my life! By the way….if you’ve written a comment on my blog anytime between now and November(!) and noticed it never got published, don’t worry. I just found a whole bunch of unpublished comments in my “WordPress Admin” that I have never seen before and am going to work on approving and replying to them in the coming days. πŸ˜‰

Ta-ta, lovelies! πŸ˜‰ (Where did that come from? XD)

*Sunny

Dare To Be Different: Chapter 3

It’s here! πŸ™‚ To read the last two chapters, click HERE.

The next day at recess, Chrissy hurried up to Rebecca and grabbed her hand. “Come on, Rebecca!” she exclaimed. “Let’s play some soccer!”
Rebecca smiled at her friend’s enthusiasm. “I don’t know, Chrissy. I mean…I’m not that good at soccer.” In all honesty, Rebecca didn’t really like to play sports, and she didn’t think she was very good at them either. Her friends often played soccer in the park, and Rebecca would join them sometimes just to be nice, but it really wasn’t her thing.
“Sure you are,” said Chrissy. “And it’s fun. Come on, please?”
Rebecca looked at her friend’s pleading face. “Oh, all right. I’ll try it.”
“Great! Let’s go!” Chrissy exclaimed. She pulled Rebecca over to the soccer field, where a game was just beginning to get started.
First, the large group of kids chose captains for the two teams. Both of the kids were ones Rebecca didn’t know at all. Next, the captains chose the people that would be on each team. Rebecca was one of the last people chosen for her team, but she tried not to dwell on that fact. She didn’t think she was chosen almost last because of her weak soccer skills—she assumed it was because she didn’t know the captains, and they didn’t know her.
When the game began, Rebecca tried to look like she knew what she was doing. She got the ball away from her brother Luke (who was on the other team) and ran it down the field…towards the goal! Rebecca kicked the ball as hard as she could and closed her eyes. She heard loud cheering from behind her a few seconds later, so she opened her eyes and spun around. I did it, she thought. I really did it!
Just then, Susannah, who happened to be on Rebecca’s team, walked over to Rebecca with a smirk on her face. “Nice going,” she told Rebecca. “You just scored a point…for the other team!”
“Wait, what?” Rebecca replied, shocked. Then what Susannah had just said began to sink in. “Oh…I….I didn’t realize. I’m sorry.”
Some of the kids nearby started giggling. Rebecca’s feelings were hurt, but she tried not to show it. She just shrugged and said, “Well then, I’ll just keep trying.”
“I’d hope so,” laughed Susannah.

Later that day, Rebecca stood at her locker, packing up to go home. Susannah and her friends stood around chattering nearby. As Rebecca pulled on her plaid jacket with the fur-lined hood, the girls began to giggle and make fun of it.
“You need a leather jacket like mine, Rebecca,” Susannah said, walking over to the girl. She pulled off her sleek black coat and held it up for Rebecca to see.
“I’ll see what I can do,” Rebecca muttered, turning back to grab some textbooks from her locker. Then she zipped up her backpack and hurried out the door to the front of the school, where her brothers were waiting for her.
On the way home from school, Rebecca thought about what had just happened with Susannah. She wondered why Susannah didn’t make fun of the other girls in the class.
Suddenly, it came to her. Susannah didn’t tease the other girls because they were usually dressed in trendy, stylish outfits and had perfect hair. All of the girls were great at sports too. Rebecca was the exact opposite of the other girls in her class—she just wore what was comfortable and didn’t care if it was stylish or not, plus her hair was super curly and occasionally out of control. And she sure wasn’t great at sports. She flashed back on the soccer incident, growing red when she thought about her embarrassing mistake.
Just then, Rebecca got an idea: maybe she could start acting like the other girls in her class. If she did that, maybe Susannah and her group of friends would finally stop picking on her.
Rebecca walked faster, even though her brothers now had to sprint to catch up with her. Since today was Friday, she had the whole weekend to plan the new-and-improved Rebecca.

I’m actually sad that we have to stop here!! 😦 Part 4 will be coming soon! πŸ˜€

*Sunny

Dare To Be Different: Chapter 2

Whoa. I can’t believe it’s been two months since I posted Chapter 1—really sorry about that! To refresh your memory on what’s happened so far, click here.

Anyway, moving right along to Chapter 2!!

Chapter 2

That day at school wasn’t a great one for Rebecca. In math class, she accidentally said that 20 times 10 was two thousand instead of two hundred. Then, in science class, the experiment she was working on decided to explode all over the work table, and she’d had a huge mess to clean up. Finally, Rebecca dropped her English book as she tried to put it away in her desk at the end of class. After each event had happened, Rebecca would hear quiet snickers coming from the corner of the room where Susannah and her friends sat. Rebecca tried hard to ignore this laughter, and the teacher, Miss Brown, kept giving Susannah the evil eye, but none of this seemed to be working.

At the end of the day, Rebecca walked out into the school hallway, which was now nearly empty. She placed her backpack on the ground, reached into it, and pulled out her stuffed alligator named Alfie. Ever since she’d started going to school, Rebecca had kept Alfie at the bottom of her backpack as a reminder of home. He was her little stuffed friend. Now that she was in high school, Rebecca thought that bringing a stuffed animal to school was sort of babyish, but whenever she’d had a bad day, just looking at his cute little alligator face made her feel much better. Rebecca gave Alfie a quick kiss on the head and was about to put him back in her bag when she heard a voice behind her.
“You still bring stuffed animals to school, Rebecca? Really?”
Rebecca didn’t have to turn around to know who was behind her, but she did anyway. There stood Susannah, hands on her hips and a mean smirk on her face.
Rebecca decided to act as though Susannah’s teasing wasn’t bothering her. “Alfie’s my little friend,” she said, with a smile on her face. She pulled him back out of her backpack. “Here, I’ll formally introduce you to him. Alfie, this is Susannah.” She held up one of Alfie’s little alligator hands for Susannah to shake.
Susannah put up her hand. “Don’t bother,” she interrupted, laughing a little. “Me shaking hands with a little stuffed animal? Come on, Rebecca, that is so four years old!” Laughing harder, she continued, “Are you sure you belong in high school? Cause if it were up to me, I’d say you belong down in kindergarten.”
Rebecca bit her lip, trying hard not to show Susannah that she was on the verge of tears. “Stop,” she managed to say around the lump forming in her throat.
“I can’t wait to tell my friends about this one!” Susannah exclaimed, as Rebecca turned away and headed out of the school.
Rebecca stomped home, holding Alfie in her arms the entire way. No matter what Rebecca did, Susannah just would not stop making fun of her. She had no idea how to fix this problem.

Well, that’s it for chapter number two!! This one was actually really fun for me to write. πŸ˜‰ Chapter 3 will be coming soon! πŸ˜€

Have a great night, all!

*Sunny

Dare to Be Different: Chapter 1

Yes, it is FINALLY here!! This is the story that won the “which story would you like to see” poll I created….back in July. Yeah, so it took a while (I decided to wait till September to post this b/c of the blogging challenge) but thanks, you guys, for being patient..cause now it’s here. πŸ™‚ Enjoy chapter 1!

Chapter 1

It was a very windy morning at Songville School in the small town of Songville. Rebecca St. James and her brothers, Joel and Luke, had just arrived at school. The siblings walked into the schoolyard, Joel and Luke racing ahead of their sister while Rebecca took her time, smoothing down her very curly brown hair. The wind always made it whip around like mad!
As Rebecca was doing this, she glanced around the schoolyard and saw her good friend, blond-haired Chrissy, standing over by the soccer field.
Rebecca waved to Chrissy and started to head in her direction when a girl named Susannah and her group of friends planted themselves in Rebecca’s path.
Rebecca’s tried not to frown. Susannah was a girl in Rebecca’s class who was kind of a bully. When Rebecca had first moved to town at the beginning of the school year, Susannah and some other kids had laughed at Rebecca’s Australian accent. Even though Susannah was sometimes nice to Rebecca (which wasn’t often), Rebecca tried to steer clear of her whenever possible. Right now, though, it didn’t look like one of those times. Rebecca’s was practically surrounded by the group of girls.
Susannah turned to the girl standing next to her and began to talk about Rebecca, as if she wasn’t there. “Look at Rebecca’s hair! It’s such a big, curly mess!”
Susannah laughed loudly, and her friends laughed along with her.
Rebecca frowned. Was her hair really that bad? Sure, it was curly, but it was never really a mess. Even today, with the wind and all, she had tried to tame it.
Rebecca decided to give these girls a piece of her mind. “It is not a mess,” she told them firmly. “Stop saying that.”
Still laughing, Susannah flipped her long, perfectly straight, light brown hair over her shoulder. “It is a mess, Rebecca. I’m the best dressed, most stylish and most popular girl in school, and I think I know ‘messy’ when I see it.”
“Yeah, sure,” Rebecca said in a bored tone. She was hoping that if she acted bored, the girls would stop picking on her.
But no luck. Susannah then pointed to Rebecca’s plaid jacket, with the fur-lined hood. “Seriously? This is your idea of fashion? Come on, Rebecca-you can do better than that! If you want to look stylish like me, you need a black leather jacket…like the one I’m wearing.” Susannah smoothed the front of her sleek-looking coat.
“Whatever,” Rebecca replied, still acting bored on the outside, but on the inside, her mind was racing. Up until now, she’d thought her taste in clothes was pretty good. But now these girls were telling her that it was really the exact opposite. Rebecca didn’t know whether to believe them or not.
Just at that moment, the school bell rang and everyone headed inside the building. Rebecca breathed a sigh of relief. The teasing was over for now.
But was it over for good?

So, that’s chapter 1 for you! What did you think? Are you excited for more?

Oh, and by the way, I’m SO sorry that I haven’t posted in a week….I’ve been very busy lately. Last week was my first week back at school so I’m still getting used to the routine. πŸ˜‰

Well, I’ve got to get to bed now. Have a great night, everyone! πŸ™‚

*Sunny

Which Story Would You Like To See?

Hi everyone! You might remember that in this post, I said I was thinking about posting another Songville story on my blog (or just some other story). Well, I looked through some of them recently, and picked out a few that I thought you all would like. But now…the final decision is up to YOU!

Below I’m going to list a few story summaries, and then at the end of the post, you’ll be able to vote on which story you’d like me to post first. And don’t worry, if you don’t really like how any of the stories sound, and if you’d rather me post another story besides a Songville one, there will be an option for that in the poll too. πŸ™‚

OK, so here are the summaries:

-The Stray Story-Rebecca and her friends find a stray dog at the park, and Rebecca decides to take it home. Her family soon grows very attached to the new member of the family…which turns out to not be such a good thing when they unexpectedly become acquainted with the dog’s former owner.

Dare to Be Different-Some girls at school are making fun of Rebecca for lots of different reasons: her clothing style, her curly hair, and her unique interests. The teasing causes Rebecca to make some changes in herself that her friends aren’t happy with. Will Rebecca ever decide to be her true self again?

Brandon’s Business-Brandon’s mother’s birthday is coming up, but there’s just one problem: Brandon doesn’t have enough money to buy her a fantastic gift. He decides to try to earn money by going into business…but running his own business sure isn’t as easy as Brandon thought it would be!
(*note*: This story focuses on Brandon from Jump5-he wasn’t featured in the last story. πŸ˜‰ )

Brittany’s Clever Cupcakes-Brittany (from Jump5) decides to enter a baking competition and comes up with a cupcake idea that she personally thinks is brilliant.Β However, when a baking disaster occurs, Brittany and her friends have to get creative with Brittany’s contest entry.


Which story would you like to read?








So, vote away, folks! I can’t wait to see what story wins. πŸ™‚

This is the last you’ll see of me for a while, because I’m going on vacation. I don’t know if our hotel has free wi-fi or not, which means I probably won’t be moderating many comments until I get back. But don’t worry! I should be back early next week. πŸ˜‰

*Sunny

The Cousins Next Door: Part Four (Finale)

Hurrah! Part four of The Cousins Next Door is finally here! To read parts one, two, and three, click here, here, and here.

Outside, Rebecca looked around the yard, but saw no sign of Cherie. Suddenly, she heard quiet sobbing coming from Janna and Jody’s yard.
Rebecca climbed over the fence and saw Janna and Cherie in the glider swing, with their arms around each other. Cherie was leaning against Janna’s shoulder and crying softly.
Rebecca landed in the yard and hurried over to the girls.
“What’s going on?” Rebecca asked, anxiously. “Cherie, what happened?”
Cherie didn’t answer-she just kept on crying.
“Do you want me to tell her?” Janna asked Cherie gently.
Tell me what? Rebecca wondered.
Cherie shook her head. “I–I’ll tell,” she sniffed.
Rebecca took a seat next to Cherie in the glider, and a few seconds later, Cherie lifted her head from where it lay on Janna’s shoulder. She turned to Rebecca. “You can’t meet my parents,” she hiccupped, “because….because….they’re dead.”
“Both of them?” gasped Rebecca.
Cherie nodded sadly.
“Aw, Cherie, I’m so sorry!” cried Rebecca, hugging her friend. “Have they…have they been gone long?”
Cherie nodded again. “Since I was nine. They died in a car accident. So I’ve lived with Michael and his parents—my aunt and uncle—since then. They’re great, but…it’s just not the same.”
Rebecca nodded sympathetically. Then, suddenly, she thought of something. “Is….is that why you wouldn’t talk to me, or let me come over to your house?” she asked hesitantly.
Cherie gave a nod. “I really wanted to,” she began. “You were so nice. It’s just that…back when we all lived in Melody Valley, once I told my friends about what had happened to my parents, they stopped hanging out with me. I didn’t want that same thing to happen again with you, so…that’s why I didn’t really talk to you much…until now.”
“Cherie, I would never stop being friends with you just because your parents died!” Rebecca exclaimed. “Or for any reason! I really want you—and your cousins—to be my friends. And I know my other friends would like to be pals with you guys, too.”
“Really?” Cherie asked with a smile.
“Yes!” Rebecca cried.
“I’m so glad,” responded Cherie, and Janna agreed. “Living in Songville is going to be fantastic!”

After that day, Rebecca, Janna, and Cherie became best friends. From then on, Cherie didn’t act shy around Rebecca anymore. She was her real, honest, fun-loving self. Rebecca was glad that she had reached out to Cherie, because if she’d stopped trying, she never would have gained her and her cousins for friends…the cousins next door.

THE END

Wow! I sure can’t believe the story is over! I hope you all enjoyed it as much as I did.

Now, here’s a question for you: would you like to see more Songville stories? (I have quite a few already written.) Or would you like to see something different? Let me know in the comments! πŸ˜€

*Sunny

The Cousins Next Door: Part Three

YAY! Part three is finally here! If you need a refresher on what’s happened so far in the story, click the links to read Part One and Part Two.

At 4:00 the next afternoon, the family’s doorbell rang.
“I’ll get it!” cried Rebecca, and raced to open the door. There was Cherie, with a shy smile on her face.
“Hi,” she said quietly.
“Hi, Cherie,” said Rebecca. “Come on in.”
Cherie stepped into the house, and Rebecca led her to the living room. Cherie sat down on the couch, and Rebecca joined her. She asked her guest how her day had gone so far.
“Fine. Just fine,” Cherie replied shyly.
“Would you like to see my room?” Rebecca asked Cherie after a minute of silence.
“Um, sure,” replied Cherie, who was currently looking at the family pictures displayed on one wall of the living room. The girl seemed to have a look of pain in her eyes as she studied the pictures.
“All right then,” said Rebecca, as she stood up and led Cherie to her bedroom.

Cherie didn’t say much while she looked around Rebecca’s room, but she did seem to be enjoying herself. She gave Honey, who was sitting at the edge of Rebecca’s bed, a few pats on the head.
“Your dog is so cute,” she murmured.
Rebecca was pleased that Cherie was saying more than she had the other day. “Thanks,” she replied. “Honey sure is adorable. Right, Honey?”
Honey just wagged her tail and gave Rebecca a big, doggie grin.
The girls were leaving Rebecca’s room not long after this, and were headed to the kitchen for a snack, when Joel and Luke came heading down the hall towards them.
“Oh, good!” Rebecca exclaimed. “Cherie, you can meet my brothers.”
When the boys came closer, she introduced Cherie to Joel and Luke, then Joel and Luke to Cherie.
Cherie seemed pleased to meet Rebecca’s brothers, and Joel and Luke were happy to meet Cherie, too.
Cherie still seemed a little shy, so Joel and Luke decided to be funny, and spoke in different accents. At first, Cherie just giggled at the impressions, but as the boys’ imitations got more creative, Cherie really started laughing hard.
Rebecca laughed, too, even though she’d heard her brothers speak like this a million other times. She was mostly laughing because she was so relieved that Cherie was having a good time. Little by little, she seemed to be breaking out of her shell.

Once Rebecca and Cherie (and Joel and Luke, who had decided to join them) had finished their snack of graham crackers and milk, they all sat around the kitchen table and talked for a few minutes. They had just started a discussion about cats when Rebecca’s parents walked in.
“Oh!” Rebecca cried, leaping out of her chair to stand behind Cherie’s seat. “Mom, Dad, this is Cherie. Cherie, this is my mom and dad.”
Rebecca’s parents were very happy to meet Cherie, and Cherie seemed to be happy, too, although now she started to act super shy again. Rebecca wondered why that was.
When Rebecca’s parents left the room, Rebecca turned to Cherie and asked, “Aren’t they nice?”
Cherie managed a tiny smile and gave a nod.
“You know, Cherie,” Rebecca went on, “I’m sure your parents are just as nice as mine. Do you think I could meet them sometime?”
Cherie just stared at Rebecca for a minute, a grief-stricken look on her face. Then, sobbing quietly, she leaped out of her chair and hurried out the back door.
Rebecca just stood there for a minute in shock. Then she turned to her brothers. “What did I say?” she gasped.
Both boys shrugged. “Nothing,” responded Luke. “You’d better go check on Cherie, though.”
“Yeah, make sure she’s okay,” Joel agreed.
Rebecca nodded. “I’ll be back,” she promised, and hurried out the kitchen door.

Dun, dun, dun!!!! The suspense!!! You’ll have to wait until part 4 to find out what happens! But…while you’re waiting…why do you think Cherie’s upset? If you have a guess as to why, let me know in the comments. πŸ˜‰

*Sunny

The Cousins Next Door: Part Two

Hey guys! Today I’ll be posting the next part of The Cousins Next Door. If you haven’t read the first part yet, or just want a refresher on what happened, feel free to check it out here.

The next day, after her family came home from church, Rebecca scrambled over the fence and into Janna and Jody’s yard, where she found Janna crouched down on the ground, camera in hand, taking a picture of a purple flower growing on a nearby bush. Cherie stood behind her, watching.
“Hi!” Rebecca exclaimed.
Startled, Janna let out a cry and fell backward onto Cherie’s foot.
“Oh, sorry!” gasped Rebecca. “I didn’t mean to scare you.”
“That’s all right, Rebecca,” Janna responded, getting to her feet. Cherie helped to brush some dirt off of the back of Janna’s denim jean jacket.
“So you were taking pictures?” Rebecca asked.
Janna nodded. “Yup. I love photography.” She showed Rebecca the pictures she’d taken on her camera that day. When they came to a picture of a growing plant, Janna said, “That’s a tomato plant Cherie started growing at her old house. She brought it with her when we all moved, and now it’s over in Cherie’s yard.”
“Wow, that is so cool!” cried Rebecca, who had never grown anything in her life. “Was it hard to plant, Cherie?”
“No,” Cherie said quietly, her eyes on the ground.
“Hey, at your old house, did you ever have a garden?” Rebecca wondered. “My friend Chris-you’ll meet him at school next week-he has a garden, and he grows eggplant! Isn’t that cool?” She thought that fact would grab Cherie’s attention.
“Wow, eggplant?” Janna exclaimed, raising her eyebrows. “That’s neat.”
“Mm-hm,” Cherie mumbled, her eyes still fixed on the ground.
“Yeah,” said Rebecca. “He’s in charge of a gardening class that meets in the park once a month. You guys should go.”
“It sounds fun,” Janna replied. Cherie didn’t say anything.
After a minute, Rebecca asked brightly, “Hey, Cherie. Think I could go check out your tomato plant now? I’d love to see how it’s coming along.”
Cherie played with the edges of her flowy, pink sleeveless top. “Um, maybe another time,” she said, very softly. “I…have to go.”
She turned towards her house.
“OK,” Rebecca said, trying not to sound disappointed. “I have to go, too. See you girls later!”
As she climbed back over the fence and into her own yard, Rebecca decided that she’d just have to be patient. She’d keep trying with Cherie, no matter how long it took her.

The days passed, and every day after school, Rebecca would go over to Janna and Jody’s yard and hang out with the cousins. Every day, she’d try to make conversation with Cherie, but she never got too far.
That Wednesday night, Rebecca sat on the couch in the living room, deep in thought. She was trying to figure out how to get through to Cherie. She needed to do something drastic, something to really get Cherie to carry on a real conversation with Rebecca.
Rebecca tried to think of things that Cherie seemed to like. She knew Cherie liked music, but that afternoon, Rebecca had asked Cherie what her favorite songs were, and Cherie had barely said a word.
While Rebecca was thinking, her brother, Joel, walked into the room.
“Hey,” he greeted his sister. “What are you doing just sitting there?”
“I’m thinking,” Rebecca replied. She told Joel about Cherie. “I just don’t know how to get her to really start talking to me,” she finished.
Joel perched himself on one arm of the couch and sat in thought for a minute. “You could tell her a joke,” he suggested. “Maybe if she has something to laugh about, Cherie’ll open up.”
“Yeah, maybe,”said Rebecca doubtfully. “But I don’t know, I’m not too good at telling jokes. I always mess up the punch line or…” Suddenly, she sat up straight. An idea had come to her.”WaitΒ  a minute. I’ve got it!”
“What is it?” Joel asked his sister.
“Well, I just realized. I haven’t introduced Cherie and the others to our family yet. What if I invited them over tomorrow? Maybe you and Luke could try to make them-and Cherie-laugh. You guys are always joking around,” Rebecca explained.
Luke was Rebecca’s other brother.
“OK,” Joel agreed. “I like it. I’m sure Luke will approve of the plan.”
“Great!” cheered Rebecca. “Let me just ask Mom and Dad if it’s alright.”

As it turned out, Rebecca’s parents were all for the idea. So that night, Rebecca called Janna and invited her and the others to come over the next day.
“I’d love to come,” Janna began. “But Jody, Michael, and I are still fixing up our bedrooms and unpacking from the move, and probably will still be doing that for a while.”
“Oh,” sighed Rebecca. So much for her great idea.
“But wait,” Janna continued. “I think Cherie might be free. She got a super head start on the rest of us and started unpacking almost right away!”
“Oh, that’d be great if she could come!” cried Rebecca. If Cherie just came by herself, it would be so much easier for Rebecca to try and get through to her.
“I’ll call her and ask her, and then I’ll call you back and let you know what Cherie says,” Janna told Rebecca.
“Sure,” Rebecca agreed.
Cherie had said yes to the invitation, so Rebecca went to bed that night feeling pretty excited. However, at the time, she could never have prepared herself for what was to come the next day.

That’s all for now! Stay tuned for part 3 coming soon! πŸ˜€

*Sunny

The Cousins Next Door: Part One

Hey guys! If you read my Beautiful People postΒ from earlier this week, then you probably remember that I said I was thinking about posting the story that revolved around Cherie (whose parents the questions focused on). Well, good news-I’ve decided I’m going to do that! Before I post the first part of the story, (which is called The Cousins Next Door), I’m going to give you all a little background on the characters, what the story is about, etc.

Okay, so this story (which is called The Cousins Next Door) is part of a short story series I write. Basically this series is about a group of friends (who are all Christian singers I’m interested in) that live in a small, little town called (of course) Songville. The stories focus on at least one character and a problem that they are facing, which usually one or more characters helps them to solve. In real life, a lot of the characters are actually adults (aka over 18), but in my series, I think of them all as being around high-school age. They all go to school together, and are all in the same class (although the characters are not all the same ages).

Anyway, in this story, the members of Avalon (Janna, Jody, Cherie, and Michael-who are all cousins in my series) move to town. They move near to where Rebecca St. James and her brothers Joel and Luke (aka for KING & COUNTRY) live. (BTW, click on the links to see pictures of each character. πŸ˜‰ ) Rebecca tries to befriend Cherie, but this turns out to be pretty difficult, as Cherie is very shy. So Rebecca works hard to try and get Cherie to warm up to her. I won’t say anymore, as it’ll spoil the story. πŸ˜‰ So without further ado, here’s part one of The Cousins Next Door!

One sunny Saturday morning in the small town of Songville, Rebecca St. James was outside in her backyard, playing fetch with her dog, Honey. “Go get the stick, Honey!” Rebecca cried, throwing the stick. Honey grabbed the stick and brought it back to Rebecca, her small tail wagging wildly.
“Good girl, Honey!” Rebecca praised the dog, as she gently pried the stick out of her dog’s mouth.
Just then, Rebecca heard shouting and laughing coming from the backyard next door. I wonder what’s going on over there, she thought to herself.
She peeked through the fence and saw two boys and two girls, seemingly all near her age, tossing around a ball. Rebecca decided to go say hello to these kids and see what they were up to. She slipped over the fence and landed in the grassy next-door yard. The four kids stopped playing with the ball and were now staring intently at Rebecca.
Rebecca brushed some grass from the knees of her jeans, then smiled at the four. “Hi,” she greeted them. “I didn’t know anyone lived here.”
She studied the group. One girl had long, straight brown hair and one had long, curly brown hair-like Rebecca, only a little shorter and darker. One of the boys had short, spiky dark hair, while the other had his blond and short.
“We just moved in,” the girl with straight dark hair replied. “I’m Janna.”
The others then introduced themselves to Rebecca. The brown-haired boy was named Jody, the girl with curly brown hair was named Cherie, and the blond-haired boy was named Michael.
Rebecca introduced herself to the group and said, “It’s nice to meet you all.”
“Same,” the others chorused.
“So, are you all brothers and sisters?” Rebecca asked.
“Nope, we’re all cousins,” said Michael. “None of us have any brothers or sisters.”
“But we’re all so close, it seems like we’re siblings sometimes,” Janna added.
“So…you all live in this house?” Rebecca asked, studying the medium-sized, tan-colored house. It didn’t seem big enough for four different families to live in.
“No,” said Jody. “Janna’s family and mine live in this house, and then…Michael and Cherie live in he one next door to ours.”
“Ohh, okay,” Rebecca replied, nodding.
“Rebecca, do you want to play ball with us?” asked Janna.
“OK,” Rebecca agreed, smiling.
The five formed a circle and tossed the ball to each other. Rebecca stood between Jody and Cherie, and that’s when she realized that Cherie hadn’t said a word so far, except to introduce herself.
Rebecca smiled at Cherie, and Cherie gave Rebecca a small smile in return before quickly looking away.
I wonder what’s up with her, Rebecca thought. Maybe she’s just shy.
Just them the ball came flying towards Rebecca. She giggled. “A heads-up next time would be nice!” she laughed to Michael, who had thrown her the ball.
“OK, I’ll remember that,” Michael laughed back.
After the game finally ended, the five hung out in the yard and chatted for a while. Janna, Rebecca, and Michael sat in the red cushioned glider swing in the yard, while Cherie and Jody sat on the paved ground in front of the swing.
“So, are you going to all be attending Songville School?” Rebecca asked the cousins.
Janna nodded. “We’re starting there next week.”
“That’s great!” Rebecca exclaimed. “You’ll love it there. The teachers and students are all really nice.”
“That’s good,” replied Jody. “We all have Miss Brown. Do you have her?”
Rebecca nodded excitedly. “Yes! My brothers and all my friends do. She’s terrific.”
This led to a discussion of what everyone’s favorite school subject was. “I like English,” Rebecca stated. Then she turned and looked down at Cherie. “How about you, Cherie?”
Cherie mumbled something, but Rebecca couldn’t hear what she’d said.Β  “Hmm?” she questioned, leaning in closer.
“I like music,” Cherie said, a little more clearly. Then she turned away and started picking blades of grass out of the lawn.
“Oh…okay,” Rebecca said after a minute, surprised at Cherie’s behavior. “Yeah, music class is fun.”

When she arrived back home a little while later, Rebecca thought about all the fun she’d had with Cherie, Janna, Jody, and Michael. Then she remembered how Cherie had acted towards Rebecca, both during the game and during their conversation about school. Cherie hadn’t spoken at any other time, and Rebecca thought that it was probably because the girl was shy. Rebecca decided that she was going to try to get Cherie out of her shell. She thought that every time she ran into Cherie, Rebecca would try to start a conversation with her. Eventually Cherie would warm up to Rebecca-Rebecca was sure of that.

Well, that’s all for part one! I really hope you guys enjoyed this story. Part two will be coming soon! πŸ™‚

Have a great night!!

*Sunny

Beautiful People: June Edition

Hello everyone! My pal Lydia from Through The Wardrobe told me about this great monthly questionnaire you can do on your blog. It’s called Beautiful People. Basically, every month, you’re given a set of questions to answer about characters in any story that you’ve written. It looked really, really fun, so I decided to give it a try this month!

June’s theme is all about your character’s parents (or guardians if they are an orphan or something). I just finished a fictional story all about Cherie from Avalon (a Christian band I like, go to this post to learn more about them). Her parents died when she was younger, so I thought it would be cool to have these questions be about Cherie’s parents. Now, let me just say that the answers to these questions are all fictional. For all I know, in real life, Cherie’s mom and dad could still be alive. That’s the fun thing about making up stories-even if they are about real people, you can make up their personalities/backstories.

Anyway, enough rambling. Let’s get on with the questions!

1. Do they know both their biological parents? Why/why not?
Yes, she did at one point. However, both of Cherie’s parents died in a car accident when she was nine. She now lives with her cousin Michael (her bandmate in real life πŸ˜‰ )and his mom and dad.

2. Have they inherited any physical resemblances from their parents?
Uhhh….let’s see…her dark eyes came from her father’s side of the family, and she has her mother’s dark, curly hair. Cherie also has her father’s nose.

3. What’s their parental figure(s) dress style? Add pictures if you like!
Basically, very business-like. For example, her mother might wear a blazer and dress pants or a skirt. Her father would probably wear a polo shirt and jeans most days.

4. Do they share any personality traits with their parental figures? And which do they take after most?
When Cherie’s parents were alive, they both loved to travel and visit new places. It is now a dream of Cherie’s to travel the world one day. Cherie takes after her mother the most, because her mother was shy/sensitive when she was young, and Cherie can be like that sometimes when meeting new people.

5. Do they get on with their parental figure(s) or do they clash?
When Cherie’s parents were alive, the three of them got along very well.

6. If they had to describe their parental figure(s) in one word, what would it be?
Adventurous.

7. How has their parental figure(s) helped them most in their life?
They taught Cherie that adventures can happen even in her own backyard, and that she should never give up on her dreams. Cherie’s parents also tried to show her that they loved her very much, and wanted to spend as much time as possible with her as they could.

8. What was their biggest fight with their parental figure(s)?
I’m going to try to keep this at least a little positive. Since Cherie was nine when her parents died, she never really had too many fights/disagreements with them. She always tried to obey her parents and not talk back when they asked her to do something.

9. Tracing back the family tree, what nationalities are in their ancestry?
Cherie’s family is Italian on her mother’s side (this is actually true, I believe), and German on her father’s.

10. What’s their favourite memory with their parental figure(s)?
Going to the beach together. πŸ™‚Β  Cherie and her parents went there often, and she still has happy memories of taking walks on the shore and playing in the sand with them.

Well, I hope you enjoyed reading my answers to these questions! If you’d like to do these posts, go ahead! Just click the “Beautiful People” link in the first paragraph of this post! (EDIT: Maddie brought to my attention that if you don’t write, you could do this with your toys or AG dolls, too. πŸ˜€ )
I may post this story about Cherie in the near future (don’t worry, it’s not really about her parents-it’s mostly about her being shy), so stay tuned!

*Sunny