Trip to Washington DC – Part One

I went to Washington, D.C. last week for the Associated College Press National College Media Convention.

Throughout the week I’ll be posting about each of the five days that I was there along with a video of my trip.

I hope you enjoy!

Day 1

I arrived in Washington, D.C. on October 19, 2016 at about 9:30 p.m. EST. It wasn’t a terribly long flight, but the 3 hour time change and the extreme humidity threw me off.

We took an airport shuttle to the Grand Hyatt hotel in downtown Washington, where we checked into our rooms after sorting out some booking issues. From there we had a late night dinner in the Chinatown district and stayed up until 3 a.m.

A few things about D.C. immediately came to my attention. It definitely had that House of Cards vibe, and people who walk the streets at night are scary. Also, people drive terribly there.

STRESS

It’s been a stressful week, and that stress will continue until college breaks for summer on the 16th. I’ve got essays to write, finals to study for, and I have to wrap up things at the newspaper this week.

On a side-note, it’s hard to believe that I’ve almost finished my freshman year of college.

To take a break from the stress, I did make this simple, peaceful timelapse video on the Freak Shack channel.

I’m back (ish)

Over the next month I’ll be posting some of my daily journal exercises and short stories from my college creative writing class this past quarter.

This is my first blog post (on here anyway) since January.

College and work has kept my busy, but I’ll be coming back…kind of. By coming back I mean that I won’t have a month and a half between each post anymore. It will be much shorter than that.

Tomorrow is my last day of my creative writing class and I would love to share some of what I was working on with you guys.

So, over the next month I’ll be posting some of my daily journal exercises and short stories.

I’m also going to maybe do Camp NaNoWriMo in April, so I’ll need to prepare for that.

Just one more week of winter quarter and then finals and I’ll have some free time. Then it’s back to school in April for another quarter of college classes.

Until my next post,

Chase

Winning NaNoWriMo, Again

10 minutes before midnight on November 28, 2015 I validated my novel to finish my third consecutive quest for 50,000 words in a month.

This year was my most stressful National Novel Writing Month yet. I had to balance my first quarter of college, my first job, and writing a high fantasy novel in one month. It makes me never want to do it again (jk).

I clocked in at 50,055 words but I’ll probably keep adding more throughout December. I made the mistake of quitting on this day last year when I won NaNoWriMo and not going back to the novel until July. Whoops. I need to keep writing while the plot is fresh in my mind.

Not having NaNoWriMo hanging over me means that I can gradually return to blogging! Yay for free time.

Congrats to all of the other winners.

Story A Day Challenge – Sept 4

Wow, its been a long time since I’ve posted any fiction on here. Actually, its been a while since I’ve successfully written anything at all. It’s hard to get back into the mood of writing when you’ve been away for so long, as I was shown when I tried to restart on one of my novels.

In an effort to cure whatever is looming over me and to earn my visitors back (no one looks at my blog anymore…whoops) I have decided to take part in the Story A Day Challenge. Writing is hard for me, I’ll admit it. I seem to be able to write during NaNoWriMo season just fine, but the rest of the year is a lull when it comes to fiction. My biggest problem is that I’m scared to publish my writing until I feel it is perfect. That’s why I have never really shared anything long or overly complex. I got scared at how people will react to it and I worry constantly that I’m not a good enough writer. That’s why I’m excited about this new challenge, even if I’m joining in a few days late. The program promotes writing daily no matter the quality or the quantity.

I am starting on Day Four, but I do plan to go back and write the first three prompts for you guys.

Flight

The Prompt:

A person wakes up, not quite remembering what happened the night before, and is surprised and upset by what they see outside the window.

Colton woke clutching his head, nails puncturing the skin like it was a tomato. The pain throbbed up and down his skull, from ear to ear and mouth to scalp, then it was gone, almost like a lingering nightmare that had forgotten to let go. He sat up quicker than expected, his back aching and his arms numb.

His mind raced, and it wasn’t winning. What happened? How did I get home? At least, he assumed it was his home. Everything looked the same in the dark. He let his feet swing to the floor and gradually pulled himself into a standing position, grasping the desk beside him. Ah, so I am home, he realized, relief spreading through him.

The clock on the desk was out and Colton groaned. Did the power go out?

He stumbled across the room and found the light-switch, flicking it on and squinting from the immediate rays of blinding light. I guess the power isn’t out, then. He grabbed the alarm clock and pulled it from the plug. It wasn’t the first time he’d had a clock stop working. He set it down by the door so that he would remember to buy a new one, then looked up at his reflection in the mirror.

His normally slicked-back hair was messier than ever, twigs and leaves buried beneath the brown locks. He was still wearing his black Motley Crue T-shirt and a pair of grass-stained blue jeans. I don’t own a pair of stained jeans. “What happened,” he asked aloud.

His mind picked up the pace. He remembered going out to the school with his friend Gabe with a few video cameras. “Cameras,” he sighed. “Why would I bring cameras to the school…with Gabe?” I don’t usually talk to myself either.

The thought flew in his brain as though he had served it and his body continued to swing the racket, only for the game to keep going on and on. Flew. Flew. Fly. I was flying.

He knew he had hit the jackpot. Yesterday he had gone to the school at night to show Gabe that he could fly, and it had gone wrong. He flew, but the crash…that’s why his body hurt all over. He chuckled at his returning memory, He could fly! But what did Gabe think? Had he seen it? Did he catch it on camera?

The sound of squeaky brakes outside returned him to reality. He rushed to the window and lifted the shades. The bright yellow school bus was already picking up his peers.

“That stupid clock!” He yelled, throwing on some clean clothes. Then he rushed to the bathroom, splashed some water on his hair to smooth it down, and brushed his teeth in record time. He didn’t want to be late for school again or his parents would find out. And what would I tell them? That I can fly? He smiled at the thought and headed downstairs. He opened the front door and unlocked the car with his remote. If only it were safe enough to fly.

Another scholarship

I’ve done pretty well with scholarships this year, and yesterday I got the news that I had received yet another one. I am so happy that my hard work and various skills are being recognized by these regional and state-wide organizations.

So far this year I have received the:

  • Warren Hunt Elementary Scholarship for my citizenship and success in high school, presented by my former elementary school.
  • Washington State Fair Foundation’s Campbell-Montgomery Endowment Scholarship for my commitment to high school journalism and writing
  • The Greater Tacoma Community Foundation’s Fuchs-Harden Educational Fund #2 based on a nomination by my former high school and GPA.

I now have enough funds to pay for 2/3 of my first year of schooling, which means I don’t need to take out a loan yet.

Prom recap: a night in Seattle

Senior Ball was this past Saturday and boy do I have a lot to share.

I went to prom with my girlfriend, Bryanna, who is the perfect date and just such a great person. If she hadn’t been with me I would have left early, but we will get to that story. I asked Bryanna to prom back in April while I was in Denver with her and a bunch of my fellow journalism nerds for the National High School Journalism Conference. The unsuspecting Bryanna, who actually had a crush on me too apparently, was surprised with a Hallmark card and a stuffed cat, which we named Lucipurr. Not five minutes later we were not only going to prom together, but we were official boyfriend and girlfriend.

So, on Saturday she was dropped off at my house, where we took a few photos with the flowers, and then we loaded into my parent’s Suburban and we headed off to Seattle. Traffic was actually very light and we got there about an hour and a half later and paid for parking right across the street from Lake Union.

We took a few more photos at the South Lake Union parks and then headed off to dinner at an Italian restaurant, Buca di Beppo with our prom group. After a nice meal and a bad service we went to the Seattle Center and entered the magic land of prom 2k15 at the Pacific Science Center.

Bryanna and I in Seattle for the 2015 Senior Ball.
Bryanna and I in Seattle for the 2015 Senior Ball.

Did I say magic? Yeah, there wasn’t any of that. But there were butterflies and snakes and naked mole-rats.

Prom itself was extremely boring and not worth our time, but we found a way to make it work. Neither of us really wanted to dance, especially with the terrible rap music and modern dance electronica. Instead, we walked around and sat in the planetarium with Pepper, the real cool woman who worked there and told us about constellations and the future and about the Fremont bridge.

We also watched a liquid nitrogen show at 9:15 p.m., which is a story for another time and a bit ridiculous.

We ended the night with a slow dance, watching someone get carried away by ambulance, and holding hands as we walked through Seattle Center with the Space Needle just feet away, twinkling in the night. It seemed romantic at the time, although we did have to steer away from some drunk people. Seattle, what can I say?

Officially a college student

I signed up for classes this week for Fall Quarter, which is pretty exciting. I decided that an arts degree will work better for me than a business degree because it allows for more electives to cover University of Washington prerequisites and computer classes so that my transfer in two years will be much easier.

I am taking the following classes in the fall:

– HIST& 214 (American Honors: Northwest History)

– ENGL& 235 (Technical Writing)

– COLLG 110 (College Success)

– AMH 001 (American Honors Leadership Seminar)

That’s all for now, but PROM is tomorrow (Saturday!)

College planning

I start my first year of college in the fall, and I choose my classes this Thursday. Because I like to have a clear plan I sat down and decided which classes I wanted to take for the next two years that satisfy a business degree and a transfer to a four-year university.

I decided on these classes:

  • ENGL& 101 (which is already covered by my AP test, so it will just be on my transcript)
  • ENGL 103
  • MATH& 142
  • MATH& 141 (I already took this class, so it will just be transferred over)
  • MATH& 146 (I also already took this class)
  • MATH 147
  • MATH& 148
  • ENGL& 236
  • ENGL& 235
  • ECON& 201
  • ECON& 202
  • HIST& 156 (Passed my AP test, so it will be transferred over.)
  • POLS& 202 (If I passed this year’s AP test, this will be covered)
  • ASTR& 100
  • GEOL& 101
  • ACCT& 201
  • ACCT& 202
  • ACCT& 203
  • BUS& 201
  • CIS 121
  • CIS 150

First day back

Spring break is officially over. Thousands of students in my district forced themselves out of bed bright and early this morning to go to school, crying at the red flashing light of their alarm as it read “5:30” or “6:30” or maybe even “7:30.”

It was so nice not having any homework or tests or busywork for nine days, only a blank canvass to begin writing on and lots of time for my eye infection to heal. Now its back to the beat of the senior year drum, pushing all of us towards the end of high school.

April will be a stressful month, but its also the home stretch.