January 19, 2015

Fictional World Writing Contest

Hello lovely people of the internet! I was thinking the other day about what to bring back on my blog that I haven't done in a while, and thought why not have another writing contest!? It's been nearly two years since I've done one (oh wow, how the time flies!), so a contest way overdue.

"Tell us the juicy details!" you say? Sure thing.
The prompt of this contest will be to create a story snippet about yourself set in your favorite fictional world, from either books, movies, other media, or even your own imagination. Since the word count is so small (200-350 words), your goal is to write something that will leave us wanting to read more, and show off your fictional world.
What do you say? Please give it a try!

There are a few rules that your entry must comply too... They are the following
- One entry only please
- You must be following me to enter
- It must be between 200 and 350 words, give or take some
- Must be about the given topic
- Must be edited to your ability (please don't submit your piece without looking over it first for basic editing)
- Please keep it age appropriate and clean! Preferably no cursing either

*Note* If I feel that your entry isn't appropriate for this contest, I will not except it, sorry!

Submission process and due date:

- Send your entry to my email (julya.emmance@gmail.com
- In your email, please include your name, blog link (or other link), and entry
- I will send you an email confirming that I received it within 48 hours
- I will collect the entries and as soon as I get four submissions, I will post a due date for all other entries. The reason I am doing it that was is because I don't want to set a due date right away and get only one or two entries. Please enter! It would make my day :)

Judging Info:
I will not be judging this contest! When the time comes, I will post each piece with credit to the author (and a link to the author's blog for free promo) on my blog and readers will comment which one they want to vote for. I am not planning to publish the voting comments so the result will be a complete surprise at the end. More info will be released about voting when the time comes :)

I'm not sure about this yet guys... I always struggle to decide on a good award that people would actually want. I was thinking a guest post on my blog and/or a voice chat with me on Google Hangouts. Suggestions would be much appreciated!

More details?
I will be updating details about this contest, such as when entries are due, when voting opens, when voting closes, and who the grand winner is periodically throughout the course of the contest. You can find those details by clicking HERE or by finding the "Contests" link under my blog title on the right. 

It would really mean a lot to me if y'all would enter my contest, and please know that if you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask. Either email me, or comment down below on this post :)
Good luck and may the odds be ever in your favor!
Mischief Managed,

January 16, 2015

8 2015 Books That I Plan On Reading

Hi guys! I've been in the process of putting this post together for a while now, and I've just now finished it. You see, I was planning to post it this past week, but we had exams and my life was probably the most stressful it's ever been because of studying, studying, sleeping, and then some more studying. It was crazy. Trust me. I was even so freaked out about my chemistry exam that I moved it to today instead of Wednesday, giving me a two extra days to prepare, which definitely payed off because I got a 95% on the exam, letting me pass the class with a 98%. So yay! I think I got all A's in all my classes, but not all of the exam grades have been put in yet. Ok, enough rambling now. Sorry, it's late, and my brain has been overloaded all week. 

Anyway, I thought I'd concoct a post about a whole bunch of books that come out this year that I want to read! I basically looked through a Goodreads list with tons and tons of books and picked out the ones that sounded most interesting to me, so if you want to check that list out, click HERE.  

And, sorry that the first three are about death.... They just sounded interesting.....  
And with that brief announcement, let's get started!

1. All the Bright Places by Jennifer Niven
Theodore Finch is fascinated by death, and he constantly thinks of ways he might kill himself. But each time, something good, no matter how small, stops him.
Violet Markey lives for the future, counting the days until graduation, when she can escape her Indiana town and her aching grief in the wake of her sister’s recent death.
When Finch and Violet meet on the ledge of the bell tower at school, it’s unclear who saves whom. And when they pair up on a project to discover the “natural wonders” of their state, both Finch and Violet make more important discoveries: It’s only with Violet that Finch can be himself—a weird, funny, live-out-loud guy who’s not such a freak after all. And it’s only with Finch that Violet can forget to count away the days and start living them. But as Violet’s world grows, Finch’s begins to shrink.

Expected publication date: January 7, 2015

2. I Was Here by Gale Forman
When her best friend Meg drinks a bottle of industrial-strength cleaner alone in a motel room, Cody is understandably shocked and devastated. She and Meg shared everything—so how was there no warning? But when Cody travels to Meg’s college town to pack up the belongings left behind, she discovers that there’s a lot that Meg never told her. About her old roommates, the sort of people Cody never would have met in her dead-end small town in Washington. About Ben McAllister, the boy with a guitar and a sneer, who broke Meg’s heart. And about an encrypted computer file that Cody can’t open—until she does, and suddenly everything Cody thought she knew about her best friend’s death gets thrown into question.
I Was Here is Gayle Forman at her finest, a taut, emotional, and ultimately redemptive story about redefining the meaning of family and finding a way to move forward even in the face of unspeakable loss.

Expected publication date: January 27, 2015

3. My Heart and Other Black Holes by Jasmine Warga
Sixteen-year-old physics nerd Aysel is obsessed with plotting her own death. With a mother who can barely look at her without wincing, classmates who whisper behind her back, and a father whose violent crime rocked her small town, Aysel is ready to turn her potential energy into nothingness.
There’s only one problem: she’s not sure she has the courage to do it alone. But once she discovers a website with a section called Suicide Partners, Aysel’s convinced she’s found her solution: a teen boy with the username FrozenRobot (aka Roman) who’s haunted by a family tragedy is looking for a partner. 
Even though Aysel and Roman have nothing in common, they slowly start to fill in each other’s broken lives. But as their suicide pact becomes more concrete, Aysel begins to question whether she really wants to go through with it. Ultimately, she must choose between wanting to die or trying to convince Roman to live so they can discover the potential of their energy together. Except that Roman may not be so easy to convince.

Expected publication date: February 10, 2015

4. Under a Painted Sky by Stacey Lee
Missouri, 1849: Samantha dreams of moving back to New York to be a professional musician—not an easy thing if you’re a girl, and harder still if you’re Chinese. But a tragic accident dashes any hopes of fulfilling her dream, and instead, leaves her fearing for her life. With the help of a runaway slave named Annamae, Samantha flees town for the unknown frontier. But life on the Oregon Trail is unsafe for two girls, so they disguise themselves as Sammy and Andy, two boys headed for the California gold rush. Sammy and Andy forge a powerful bond as they each search for a link to their past, and struggle to avoid any unwanted attention. But when they cross paths with a band of cowboys, the light-hearted troupe turn out to be unexpected allies. With the law closing in on them and new setbacks coming each day, the girls quickly learn that there are not many places to hide on the open trail. This beautifully written debut is an exciting adventure and heart-wrenching survival tale. But above all else, it’s a story about perseverance and trust that will restore your faith in the power of friendship.
Expected publication date: March 17, 2015

5. Written in the Stars by Aisha Saeed
This heart-wrenching novel explores what it is like to be thrust into an unwanted marriage. Has Naila’s fate been written in the stars? Or can she still make her own destiny?
 Naila’s conservative immigrant parents have always said the same thing: She may choose what to study, how to wear her hair, and what to be when she grows up—but they will choose her husband. Following their cultural tradition, they will plan an arranged marriage for her. And until then, dating—even friendship with a boy—is forbidden. When Naila breaks their rule by falling in love with Saif, her parents are livid. Convinced she has forgotten who she truly is, they travel to Pakistan to visit relatives and explore their roots. But Naila’s vacation turns into a nightmare when she learns that plans have changed—her parents have found her a husband and they want her to marry him, now! Despite her greatest efforts, Naila is aghast to find herself cut off from everything and everyone she once knew. Her only hope of escape is Saif . . . if he can find her before it’s too late.

Expected publication date: March 24, 2015

6. Every Last Word by Tamara Ireland Stone
If you could read my mind, you wouldn't be smiling.
Samantha McAllister looks just like the rest of the popular girls in her junior class. But hidden beneath the straightened hair and expertly applied makeup is a secret that her friends would never understand: Sam has Purely-Obsessional OCD and is consumed by a stream of dark thoughts and worries that she can't turn off. 
Second-guessing every move, thought, and word makes daily life a struggle, and it doesn't help that her lifelong friends will turn toxic at the first sign of a wrong outfit, wrong lunch, or wrong crush. Yet Sam knows she'd be truly crazy to leave the protection of the most popular girls in school. So when Sam meets Caroline, she has to keep her new friend with a refreshing sense of humor and no style a secret, right up there with Sam's weekly visits to her psychiatrist.
Caroline introduces Sam to the Poet's Corner, a hidden room and a tight-knit group of misfits who have been ignored by the school at large. Sam is drawn to them immediately, especially a guitar-playing guy with a talent for verse, and starts to discover a whole new side of herself. Slowly, she begins to feel more "normal" than she ever has as part of the popular crowd . . . until she finds a new reason to question her sanity and all she holds dear.

Expected publication date: June 16, 2015

7. Those Above by Daniel Polansky
They enslaved humanity three thousand years ago. Tall, strong, perfect, superhuman and near immortal they rule from their glittering palaces in the eternal city in the centre of the world. They are called Those Above by their subjects. They enforce their will with fire and sword.
Twenty five years ago mankind mustered an army and rose up against them, only to be slaughtered in a terrible battle. Hope died that day, but hatred survived. Whispers of another revolt are beginning to stir in the hearts of the oppressed: a woman, widowed in the war, who has dedicated her life to revenge; the general, the only man to ever defeat one of Those Above in single combat, summoned forth to raise a new legion; and a boy killer who rises from the gutter to lead an uprising in the capital.

Expected publication date: February 26, 2015

8. The Grace of Kings by Ken Liu
Wily, charming Kuni Garu, a bandit, and stern, fearless Mata Zyndu, the son of a deposed duke, seem like polar opposites. Yet, in the uprising against the emperor, the two quickly become the best of friends after a series of adventures fighting against vast conscripted armies, silk-draped airships, soaring battle kites, conspiring goddesses, underwater boats, magical books, as a streetfighter-cum-general who takes her place as the greatest tactitian of the age. Once the emperor has been overthrown, however, they each find themselves the leader of separate factions—two sides with very different ideas about how the world should be run and the meaning of justice.
Expected publication date: April 7, 2015

Let me know if any of these sound interesting to you, and what books you're excited to read in 2015!
Mischief Managed,

January 06, 2015

2014 Highlights and What's Up For 2015

Helllllo! I hope your holiday celebrations were fantastic whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, New Years, or any other holiday that I am forgetting. So, it's 2015 which means I started my blog four years ago, in 2011. That's crazy talk people.
Anyway, 2014 went psychotically fast for me, but it was probably the best year of my life so far. Some highlights included:
*note that all are my photos*

A. Having the best foster dog in the world

B. Winning robotics competitions plus qualifying for worlds

C. Going back to Colorado

D. Seeing One Direction and Five Seconds of Summer in concert

E. Trying out for my school's advanced choral group
F. Playing handbells in front of around 1,200 people.
G. Performing a choir concert on the same stage as Ben Rector (who else can say they've done that?!?!)

H. Going to Chicago and seeing the giant Christmas tree plus all of the Christmas lights

I. Finding out my grandma is taking my whole family to Florida next Christmas
J. Being able to maintain a 4.00 GPA through 1.5 years of high school
K. Getting a job

L. Making tons of international friends and taking my friend from Mexico sledding for the first time

L. Being able to keep on blogging, even though not as often as I used to
M. And so, so, so much more.....

And now for my 2015 New Year's revolutions. Whooo! I think I only have four at the moment.....
1. Buy a car (well, actually my license first.....)
2. Post more good content on this blog
3. Have a bigger part in robotics build season (which has started yay)
4. Keep up doing well in school (yes, lame. I know. But I want to go to a good college)

And that's really it! I'm hoping to actually follow through on all of these this year, and maybe even a few more if I can think of some.
What are some highlights of your 2014, and what are your revolutions for 2015? I want to know. Maybe you'll inspire me this year :)
Anyway, I gotta get back to paying attention in class (heh, oops).
Mischief Managed,