Applying for a major scholarship

As the Editor-in-Chief of my high school newsmagazine, I am eligible for a $2000 scholarship presented by the Washington Journalism Education Association.

I am going to apply, but the process for this particular scholarship is tough. For most scholarships, you fill out a small form and write a 2-3 page essay. For this scholarship, I have to:

  • Fill out a form
  • Include 3 letters of recommendation
  • Write up a 2 page reflection on journalism
  • Attach a well-designed online portfolio of my work as a journalist that meets the 11 criteria presented on the JEA website

It is going to take a lot of work, but I think that I can do it. I’m going to use class time during 5th period, time at home, and time during Advisory/JAG to work on the portfolio. I am confident that I can do this because someone from my school has won it before, back in 2010, and I am a lot like her in terms of what I have accomplished. Plus, a guy hasn’t won since 2007. Its probably about time for someone like me to take the prize.

Wish me luck.

The Mission (flash fiction)

Recently I have been interested in breaking the rules of structured writing and what publishers or critics want you to do. I am interested in doing it with the newspaper, and also with this blog. Just as a start, I am going to continue my series of story fragments about the father and son, Gunnar and Sean, living during a future world-war.

Instead of writing a traditional short story, I am only going to present fragments of letters, transmissions, dialog, etc. to tell the story and to give the reader a glimpse into this world.

Please read “Serenity” and “This Isn’t America” first.

Serenity (part one): https://wordpress.com/post/61124841/470/

This isn’t America (part two): https://wordpress.com/post/61124841/474



Sean,

I can’t begin to explain how sorry I am. You will never read this, perhaps no one will, but writing this letter is just as important to me as if you had. I made a big mistake, many years ago, and now the world is paying the price, even if they don’t see it that way.

You told me once that I was wrong for siding with the United States, for fighting against the Empire. You said that I followed my superiors blindly. I didn’t. I was involved in the decision making, I knew what I was getting myself into. 

Its showering outside, just like all of those days when I would take you into the woods to go fishing or hiking. I have been looking out towards those mountains every day since you left, hoping and praying to the unknown that you were right. I hoped and prayed that the government would never find you, because I wouldn’t be able to let myself live if they tortured you. 

I realized that you were right six days ago. I received orders from the high command of the United States of America, wanting me to lead an assault on the Empire’s mainland. They said that it would be the strike that ends this bloody war and returns the world to a state of peace not seen in decades. No more American lives would have to be taken by this conflict. I followed my orders, and delivered the devices to the mainland. I ordered the strikes against the capital and the coastal cities just like I was told, without even thinking about what it was that I was doing. 

They are estimating millions of civilian deaths. The Empire surrendered all right, they wouldn’t be able to stand another hit. Is this what victory feels like? No. This is what it feels like to be the modern Hitler. This wasn’t another Hiroshima or Nagasaki, this was cold blooded and unnecessary murder. What has the U.S. become? What have I become?

They will say that my mission saved the world. They will call me a hero, a savior, and a saint. I am none of these things. My mission toppled the last free nation of the world. Now who can stand against the might of the great American superpower? 

I can. I wish that I could join you in the Empire, living alongside the free. I am about to do something that there is no coming back from. I’m going to get revenge for everything that has occurred in this broken world. 

I love you, son,

Gunnar. 

Back in business

My laptop is operational again after updating it all night long and most of this morning. Now I don’t have to blog with my iPhone!

If you missed my previous post, I had to use Windows Recovery to redo my HP Envy m6 on Saturday. It had some pretty serious errors, such as Windows Update failing to update for four months straight and not being able to update any of the apps on the Windows 8 metro start screen.

Now the laptop is able to update and I was finally able to download Windows 8.1, which is a big improvement from Windows 8. I also switched anti-virus software and I am reorganizing my documents this time around.

I feel refreshed now, since my laptop is like a clean slate. Hopefully this can transfer into my writing somehow.

Computer troubles

I had every intention of getting some writing and blogging done this weekend, but I had to reformat my computer because of some serious
errors with my Windows 8 on Saturday. Really, the problems started in 2013 but they never really got in the way until now.

It’s still trying to update everything, so it may be out of commission for a few days.

So, here I am blogging from my iPhone, which is rather difficult. If my laptop isn’t fixed after all of this, I’m going to download Windows 7, which is a much more stable and user friendly OS than Windows 8.

My blogging categories

I built this blog to share my love for writing and to help create an audience of the future. Over the year that I’ve had this blog, I’ve introduced more posts about myself and about my other interests.

Even though it started with fiction writing as its only intention, it has become a place for me to share what I want to say. That being said, my most popular category by post views is not writing. It is music.

It is a trend that I’ve noticed since December. People are, on average, paying more attention to what I have to say about music than anything else, and not by a slim margin. This isn’t influencing me to write more music posts, but to keep at the pace I have already set.

I will try to continue my frequent postings into this next month, plus I hope to finally release some of the short stories I have been trying to write.

January has already been my most successful month on my blog. I’ve published more posts than any other month (18 so far. I only published 50 something total in 2014) and I’ve already had more views than most of the previous months combined (437 views in 2014, 161 views just this month alone so far.)

This gives me great joy and the motivation to continue doing what I am doing. Thank you all for supporting me.

What would you like to see more of on my blog? What posts are your favorites?

I love Washington

I really love Washington. There are always things to hate about where you live, but I think the beauty of the state outweighs the many faults.

These two photos that I took show why I love waking up and seeing the Cascade Mountains everyday. They were both taken from my bonus room window, one at 4:40 p.m. January 20, and one at about 8:30 a.m. January 21.

A photo I took at about 8:30 a.m. Jan. 21.
A photo I took at about 8:30 a.m. Jan. 21.
A photo I took at about 4:40 p.m. Jan. 20.
A photo I took at about 4:40 p.m. Jan. 20.

We are still in…

The Seattle Seahawks won their second NFC Championship in a row in Seattle, and now they will have to face the New England Patriots in Super Bowl 49.

I started watching the game on TV about half an hour in, at the end of the first quarter. I knew that it would be a tough game for the Hawks, but I will admit that I was stunned when I saw that the score was already in favor of the Green Bay Packers.

The Hawks were playing like a rookie team. Russell Wilson couldn’t make a connection with the ball, players were nearly dropping the ball left and right, and interceptions and flags on the field became common.

I was starting to doubt that the Seahawks could pull the victory off, but at halftime my mind was refreshed. I had some lunch and complained about the fact that FOX talked through the entire halftime, and didn’t show any of Alice in Chain’s performance. When the game came back I knew that we would win, although it got scary at times. I felt like puking at the five minute mark, but I had hope. The Seahawks are a second half team, and I knew that they could pull it off.

And they did, beating the Packers 28-22. The end of the game was signaled by everyone in the living room, including myself, jumping up with joy. Fireworks were set off by the houses all around us, and we were all left speechless.

It is a good day to be a 12th man.

Deadline week

It is that time again. It’s time for me to stay after school each and every day this week until the dark evening hours, stuffed into the JagWire room to suffer with my fellow editors. We have until 3 p.m. on Friday to design and finalize issue 15.3 of the national award winning JagWire newsmagazine.

This edition, we are publishing some very interesting topics that should make us a strong contender for the 2015 Best of Show award for Washington state. Our main FOCUS magazine topic is cancer. More specifically, a look at the culture surrounding cancer and taking a stand behind those affected by the disease. Within the four-page FOCUS section, we are featuring three staff members that have cancer and honoring a staff member that passed away from cancer in November.

Throughout the rest of the 16-page issue, we are publishing a few articles about the community and some big changes, and our usual dose of student features.

Because of this, I may not have another post until Friday, unless I find the time to scrape up something to publish real quick. If I don’t post anything this week, I wish you all a good week. If I do, I’ll see you then.

I’m now a cooking show host?: Spanish class project

For unit 7a in my Spanish III class I have to explain how to make an easy food dish. I have to use three steps using a positive command and three steps (or points of caution) using negative commands.

We are given two options. Rehearse the steps and present them in front of the class on Monday with props, or create a short film of ourselves telling someone how to make the dish. I opted for the latter.

I guess that I’m just going to film myself going over the recipe and then add in clips of me cooking the product. I have a pretty nice video editor that came with my computer that should make editing the video a breeze. I might even accept a dare from one of my peers: add in cheesy music and a title scene.

I’ll let you all know how it goes.

It’s game day

Today is the day. NFL playoffs are always a big deal to millions to people in the United States, but today is the only post-season day that I care about so far. It’s the day that the Seattle Seahawks, the defending Super Bowl champs and my home team, will play against the Carolina  Panthers.

I never was a big football fan. I was never really engaged in sports when I was in elementary school or before. I didn’t know how to ride a bike, I couldn’t throw a football, and I couldn’t dribble a basketball.

My parents would take me to go watch the Seattle Mariners play at Safeco Field every now and then, but I never really payed attention. I just enjoyed the garlic fries and the candy. Then the Mariners started to suck again, and we stopped going altogether.

When I was in fourth grade I started watching the Seahawks on TV, because my mom was a huge fan. That was the year of the Seahawk’s first Super Bowl appearance, when they lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers. After that, I would watch the Seahawks sometimes during their regular season.

When Pete Carroll took over from Jim Morra as the head coach, I started watching the Seahawks whenever I was free. That has been true to this day. I don’t think that I missed a game on TV for the past two seasons. This season, I only watched a few games, but I am still a Seahawks fan. I didn’t jump on the bandwagon like everyone else in Washington in the middle of last year, although people at school think I did.

So today I am wearing my Seahawks shirt and waiting for the game to start. Do the hawks have a chance at the Super Bowl again this year? History says no, teams rarely go back to the Super Bowl this quickly. But, with the way the hawks have been playing lately, another Super Bowl appearance seems very possible.

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