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. 😛

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. 😉 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 😉 ) 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. 😛 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. 🙂 ) The episodes are soooo much better when John-Boy is in them. I ❤ John-Boy. 🙂

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. 😉 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 😉 ) before, and she was pretty old….can you imagine? 😉 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. 😛 )

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. 😉 It was pretty good. I don’t know if I would have it again though. 🙂

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. 😉

Ta-ta, lovelies! 😉 (Where did that come from? XD)

*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. 😉 Chapter 3 will be coming soon! 😀

Have a great night, all!

*Sunny

Talent Battle: Chapter 5

Well, this is certainly long overdue, isn’t it? In case you’ve forgotten what’s happened, or if you’re new to the story, here are the links to Chapter 1 , Chapter 2, Chapter 3, and Chapter 4. Enjoy!!

Chapter 5

An enormous amount of food greeted us when we stepped outside. On the gigantic picnic table in the middle of the yard, there were platters of hamburgers, hot dogs, chicken, and veggie burgers for the vegetarians in the family. There were bowls filled with potato salad, macaroni salad, coleslaw, and shrimp. There were also big bottles of soda and little bottles of ketchup, mustard, relish and barbeque sauce. With all the food to choose from, I didn’t know where to start!

Lauren reached for a veggie burger and several pieces of shrimp, and took a heaping amount of macaroni salad, since she’s a vegetarian. I, on the other hand, grabbed a hot dog and two pieces of fried chicken, as well as some macaroni salad. Then I took a cup and poured myself some root beer. After this, Lauren went to sit down in some of the lawn chairs spread out under Uncle Tom and Aunt Katrina’s huge chestnut tree. Before we ate, we, of course, said grace, since our family is Catholic and that’s what we do before every meal. Then I bit into my hot dog, which was drenched in mustard. Mmmm!

Soon, Lesli and Shannon came over to join us. They were both laughing their heads off.
“Lesli challenged me to see which one of us could put the most barbeque sauce on their burger,” Shannon explained to Lauren and I, still giggling. “I didn’t know that meant my burger would turn into barbeque soup!”
Lesli cracked up. “My burger looks flooded!” She took a big bite of hamburger, getting barbeque sauce on her nose in the process.
Lauren and I laughed along with the other girls. When we finally calmed down, Lesli asked us, “So, do you guys know what you’re going to sing for the contest? Shannon told me all about it, and I can’t wait to see it!”
We told Lesli and Shannon what we were planning to sing.
“Sounds great!” exclaimed Shannon.
“Yeah,” Lesli agreed. “Especially yours, Lauren. I can’t wait to hear River of Dreams! It sounds amazing.”
It bugged me a little that Lesli was raving about Lauren’s song and didn’t even mention mine. It just proved my theory that Lauren was a better musician than me. I tried not to think about it, though…that is, until Grandma Rosedale hobbled over to us on her cane.
“Did I hear my Laurie and Amy are going to be performing in a sing-off later today?” she asked us.
“Yup, that’s right, Grandma!” I exclaimed.
Grandma Rosedale laughed. “My, it will do my ears good to hear some happy music.” She turned to Lauren. “You know, I still remember at your kindergarten graduation, that song you sang…”
“Oh, right,” giggled Lauren, then sang in a clear voice, “Time to move on and spread your wings, so that you can do some amazing things…
Grandma nodded. “And I could hear your voice in that group of kids, loud and clear. You sounded just like an angel. I’m sure
you’ll bring down the house tonight! I always knew that you would go far, Lauren.”
Grandma Rosedale’s compliments to Lauren made me turn green with envy. I didn’t even remember my kindergarten graduation! I don’t think we even sang anything! And why didn’t Grandma Rosedale say to me, “Amy, you’ll bring down the house”, and tell me that I sounded like an angel? Didn’t she think I was a good singer, too? After she’d told Lauren about that, Grandma had said, “Good luck to you, too, Amy! You’ll do just fine.” Then she left.
I blinked away angry tears, and didn’t say much after that. I was determined to show my family that I could sing and perform just as well as Lauren could! I was going to practice for as long as possible, even if I had to miss spending time with my cousins. I gobbled down my food as fast as I could, not even caring if I didn’t chew anything right. Then I jumped up, threw away my trash, and dashed into the house.
It was time for me to start practicing.

I hope you all enjoyed!! Chapter 6 will be coming soon!

*Sunny

Talent Battle: Chapter 4

Hey folks! Here’s Chapter 4 of Talent Battle! I bet you weren’t expecting two chapters today, were you? (Click on the links to read Chapter 1, Chapter 2, and Chapter 3.)

Chapter 4

Lauren and I decided to practice inside Aunt Katrina and Uncle Tom’s house.
“Wait, what if we miss the food?” I wanted to know.
“Don’t worry, we won’t,” Lauren said as we stepped inside the house.
We said hello to many of our relatives, who were gathered in the living room watching a baseball game. Then, Lauren and I made our way down to the cozy basement.
I’d been in Aunt Katrina and Uncle Tom’s basement plenty of times, and it always looked exactly the same. Same light blue carpet, same leather couch against one wall, same cushioned rocking chair. I liked how the basement never changed.
Lauren walked over to the pool table in the corner of the basement. “Hey, Amy, wanna play?” she asked.
“Nah, not now,” I answered. “We’d better get down to work.”
“I guess you’re right,” Lauren agreed.
I opened my pink and orange tote bag I’d brought with me and pulled out my old, worn, pink songwriting notebook. I flipped through the pages, trying to find just the right song to sing. A Spring Thing? No, it wasn’t spring. Halfway There? No, it didn’t seem to fit the day. The Graduate? No way-graduation season was over!
Apparently Lauren didn’t have the same problem. After a few minutes of going through her songwriting book, she announced, “I know exactly which song I’m going to sing for the contest: River of Dreams!”
“Cool,” I replied, as I flipped past a Christmas song, followed by a song about a mouse, and then a song about a rainy day.
UGH! Why couldn’t I find one-just one-song that didn’t involve a holiday that was over, animals, or weather that wasn’t even happening today?!
Just when I was about to give up, I found the perfect song. It was a song called The Best Season, and it was all about summer. I had started working on it when I’d been sick with the flu last winter, but I’d never gotten around to finishing it. All I needed to write was the rest of the second verse and the bridge, and then I would be all set! So, eagerly, I got to work. Fifteen minutes later, I was done.
Wow, that was pretty easy, I thought to myself.
Just then, Paul raced down the steps of the basement. “Food’s ready, guys,” he announced.
“Oh, awesome, Paul!” Lauren exclaimed as she put her songbook away and leaped up from the couch where she was sitting.
“Oh, you bet it is,” I agreed, getting up from the rocking chair and patting my stomach. “I’m starved!”
“Well, come on, let’s go,” said Paul. “You know, before Lesli and Shannon hog all the barbeque sauce!”
The three of us laughed as we hurried up the basement stairs.

That’s all for Chapter 4! I hope you enjoyed. Because of Easter, and also because I’m going to be really busy next week, I can’t make any promises about when the next chapter will be posted. But I can promise that it will definitely be soon!

Have a great day!

*Sunny

Talent Battle: Chapter 1

Hi everyone! Today I’m going to be posting the first chapter of a story I wrote a long time ago, back in the summer of 2013. The story is called Talent Battle, and it’s about what happens when a girl named Amy and her cousin participate in a “sing-off” at a family Fourth of July party. So without further ado, here is chapter 1 of the story. I hope you enjoy!!!

Chapter 1

It was a hot, sunny, July afternoon-the Fourth of July, to be exact. In our small yellow house, my parents and I were busy getting ready. Getting ready for what, you ask? Well, we were getting ready to head to my Aunt Katrina and Uncle Tom’s house for a Fourth of July barbeque with my entire family. All of my cousins would be there, which made me excited. I was especially excited to see my cousin Lauren. She was seventeen, one year older than me. We were super alike in many ways: we both had blond hair, played guitar, wrote songs, and loved to sing. Lauren, along with her older-by-one-year brother, Dylan, her parents, and Yellow Lab dog Sunburst, lived a little far away from my family’s house, so we didn’t get to see each other all the time.

The more I thought about Lauren, the more excited I became. I could barely concentrate on doing my hair! I had to re-do my bun three times before I finally got it right. Luckily, by then, it was time to go. My mom, dad, and I hopped into our car and began to drive to Aunt Katrina and Uncle Tom’s house.
“Amy,” my mom said, “stop playing with your seatbelt like that. You know better!”
“Sorry, Mom,” I laughed, as I stopped stretching the top of my seatbelt out until it reached the passenger seat of the car. “I’m just so excited about seeing Lauren today.”
“I know you are, sweetie,” my mom replied. “And I know exactly how you feel. It’ll be good to see Aunt Deborah again.” My mom and Aunt Deborah-Lauren’s mom-were sisters.
“And don’t forget-Uncle Nate, Aunt Rachel, Paul, and Shannon are coming to the party from Wisconsin,” my dad added.
“I could never forget, Dad!” I replied. Paul and Shannon, my other cousins, who were eighteen and sixteen, were awesome snowboarders. Since they lived really far away, I didn’t get to see them too often. It was always fun to talk to them about their snowboarding skills. Today, it would be great for all of us cousins to finally get together again.

No doubt about it-this party was going to be awesome!

That’s all for Chapter 1, but stay tuned for the next part (which will hopefully be posted pretty soon)!

*Sunny