Thursday, November 24, 2011


Okay, so I thought about the ways I could celebrate Thanksgiving web-style. I could go the traditional way and list the things I'm thankful for, but that would take hours. I could try listing things I'm not thankful for, but there really aren't that many of those things. One thing I've learned is that even when life sucks through a straw, it doesn't mean you have anything to be unthankful for. Anyway, I thought and thought about this, and finally decided to use my writing skills and write the dialogue of the first encounter between the Pilgrims and the Indians:

Pilgrim: Hello.
Indian: How.
Pilgrim: How what now?
Indian: What about now?

On a more serious note, thank you God for all you have done for me and my family and friends.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Operation Christmas Child

I don't know how many people give to charities at Christmas time, but my favorite one to donate to is Samaritan's Purse. The program they have going right now is called Operation Christmas Child. To support it, you pack stuff that kids need and may not be able to get into a shoebox and they'll ship it somewhere it's needed. Stuff you can pack in includes soap, washcloths, toothpaste, toothbrushes, and socks - so in short, basic things you need in everyday life. One idea a friend of mine had is to include a pillowcase, which can help sanitation.

One of these simple shoeboxes can change a child's life.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011


Okay, I've had a lot of people ask me when Pasadagavra, the book following Darkwoods, is coming out, and the answer is simple: I don't know when, because I have to sell enough of Darkwoods to pay for the publishing of Pasadagavra. So if you want to read Pasadagavra, tell your friends to buy Darkwoods.

While on the subject, I was just at the Emerald Downs Gift Show over the weekend, and I sold 25 copies of Darkwoods. Hurray!

Today I got to go speak to the 6th-8th graders at Holy Trinity Lutheran School, which shares a campus with my high school, about the importance of writing. That was way cool, and I sold three books to them. Thanks for buying, you guys.

Thanksgiving is coming up. I know a lot of people hate it when other people play Christmas music before Thanksgiving. I don't hate it, myself, though partly because I practice Christmas dances in September and thus am surrounded by Christmas music. To all the people who hate the Christmas music before Thanksgiving, I say this: WRITE some Thanksgiving music, so people will play that instead of Christmas carols! Just an idea.

I will be at a craft show in Bothel this weekend. I'll post the location when I get a hold of it.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Toast to our Veterans

Here's to the brave men and women who have fought to preserve the freedom of our great nation. Here's to the people who have sacrificed time with their loved ones to fight for the freedom of people they don't know. Here's to the people who have endured long nights, hard days, and raging battles in a foreign land. Here's to the ones that understand,

Freedom Don't Come Free.

Here's to our veterans.
Thank you.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lakewood Book Signing

I had an amazing day on Saturday!
I sold seventeen books in three and a half hours, and I got invited back. How great is that?

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Fright Fest

I don't know how many people who live in the Seattle area go to Fright Fest at Wild Waves; all I can say is that I went there last night, and I had a blast. I spent most of the time hanging out with my friend Selah, and she even persuaded me to go on the infernal Ring of Fire (though my eyes were closed most of the time.) Then there was a dance party in the dried-out wave pool, which was way cool! The food was crazily expensive, but hey, that's life. I even sold a book! Two awesome people who were at my book signing in the Federal Way Barnes & Noble bought a book last night.

Today has been awesome so far, too. The Seahawks actually beat the New York Giants! How in the world did that happen? No one ever accused the Seahawks of being too good. There were something like nineteen turnovers by the Giants, too. Go Seahawks!

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Joys of Life... am I being too optimistic?

Okay, joys of life:
1. I sold a ton of books at the bookfest I was at last weekend. Thanks to all who bought one.
2. In chapel this week, we've sung four out of my favorite five hymns.
3. I got way better grades on my Progress Report than I was expecting.
4. We're studying interesting stuff in school (for the most part.)
5. The song for our winter dance is BEAUTIFUL!
6. The chapel today was led by Mr. Trebesch, the new teacher. He wrote a "Letter from God" which summarized the many ways God says, "I love you," to us. It was one of those chapels that leaves you in tears but lets you know that you are safe and always loved. It ended by saying, "I am looking forward to your coming home. Your room is almost ready."

Now for the "joys" of life:
1. I have a cold that is keeping me from dance classes, which seems to already be getting over with.
2. Wait, that's all.

Wow, I'm not being too optimistic at all. I can't help but wonder what else I'm not thanking God enough for.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Computers -- Sigh

Microsoft Security full scans usually take about thirteen hours on my tiny computer. The record was - and I am not exagerating - thirty seven hours. However, the one  I ran today had a record time: only five and a half hours. Way to go, Microsoft!

Now if I can just figure out how to make comments on other people's blogs... if anybody out there, especially Elizabeth, can enlighten me as to how I can comment on people's blogs, please, please do so! Computers/technology don't like me. Can anybody relate?

Thursday, August 11, 2011


I had a great day yesterday promoting Darkwoods with my friend Selah. The first private bookstore we went to looked smaller than my bedroom from the outside, but inside it was a labyrinth of bookshelves stacked all the way to the ceiling. Selah's eyes got dreamy and she spent forty-five minutes floating among the books while I talked with the owner. I later apologized that it was so boring, and she said, "Marta, there were books! It wasn't boring at all!"

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Need Help!!!

Friday at 7:30, some friends of ours are coming over and we plan to have a water gun fight. The big problem is, my brother and I only have two water guns that work at all - they have about twenty!!! I need some ideas about how I'm supposed to put up a good fight. Can anybody help?? Anybody got any ideas???

Thursday, July 28, 2011


After a highly eventful week, I'm in for an even more eventful weekend! I'm going camping in North Bend with several friends. I can't wait!
(One of my friends thinks we'll see Bigfoot. I'm fairly sure Bigfoot is an old wives' tale. Whatever.)
The Pacific Northwest is one of the best places in the world to go camping! Soaring trees, very clear air, reasonable temperatures, and best of all, minimal bugs! If you like oceanside camping you can go to the Olympic Peninsula for some of the best beaches in the Northwest. On the other hand, if you love mountains, you can head to the Cascade Mountains for sweeping views, amazing waterfalls, and lots of wildlife. A lot of people say that Washington is losing its nature; they are mistaken. There is still lots of nature in my beautiful, amazing home state.
This weekend I will be camping in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, where there is neither computer nor internet. Therefore, I won't be able to post the CWOWC winner until Sunday. Until then, have a blast of a weekend!

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

What is With This????

In Washington, our summer usually starts on July 5th and goes to about October 10th. But we haven't had much of a summer! It was on average the coldest spring recorded and now we're having rain in summer.


On the upside, the weather appears to be improving for this weekend, if the weathermen/weatherwomen can be trusted. Come on, summer, make your stop in Washington already!

Monday, July 25, 2011


This weeks CWOWC word is "fain" (adv/adj; [feyn]).

Most creative use of "fain" wins a free Darkwoods eBook! Email your entry to by noon on Saturday, July 30th.

Meaning from
...adv: gladly, willingly
sample sentence: She fain would close her eyes.

adj: glad, willing
sample sentence: they were fain to sleep.

Monday, July 18, 2011

**Spoiler Alert**

I just saw the new Harry Potter movie last night. A ten out of ten!

Aside from superb graphics and great acting by a familiar cast, the movie mostly held true to the books. There were moments that swept me up in all the action and moments that moved me to tears. Even the death of Severus Snape (whom I HATE!!) was gut-wrenching and sad. The scene at the end where Harry has the Resurrection Stone and is surrounded by Lupin, Sirius, his father and his mother managed to be both sad and joyful. When Harry asked if the Death Eaters would see the four semi-ghosts, Sirius put his hand over Harry's heart and said, "We are right here," recalling what the living Sirius said to Harry in the third movie. The most exhillerating part had to be when Mrs. Weasley took down Bellatrix Lestrange single-handedly, especially when Bellatrix exploded. That is one psychopath the world will never miss.

So, aside from being depressing that there will be no more Harry Potter, the last movie lived up to the standards of a great story.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Cool Word of the Week Contest for July 17-23, 2011

This weeks CWOWC word is "susurrate" (verb; ˈsjuːsəˌreɪt).

Most creative use of "susurrate" wins a free Darkwoods eBook! Email your entry to by noon on Saturday, July 23rd

Meaning from to make a soft rustling sound; whisper; murmur

sample sentence: "Zuryzel heard the wind susurrate through the trees."

Sunday, July 10, 2011


This weeks CWOWC word is "VULPINE" (VUL-pine, noun).

Most creative use of "vulpine" wins a free Darkwoods eBook! Email your entry to by noon on Saturday, July 16th.

Meaning from
1. Of or resembling a fox
3. Cunning or crafty

Monday, July 4, 2011

Independence Day

On this Fourth of July, I would like to send a very special thank you to the soldiers serving overseas in the Middle East. They have risked their lives for our protection and the advancement of freedom. So from all of us still in the Land of the Free,

Thank You!!

Another very large thank you goes to the one who has truly made us free.


Sunday, June 26, 2011

Cool Word Of the Week Contest - June 26-July 2, 2011

This weeks CWOWC word is..... "sirocco" (suh-ROK-oh\ , noun;)

Most creative use of the word "sirocco" wins a free eBook version of Darkwoods from! Email your entry to by noon on Saturday, July 2nd

Meaning from

1. Any hot, oppressive wind, especially one in the warm sector of a cyclone.
2. A hot, dry, dustladen wind blowing from northern Africa and affecting parts of southern Europe.
3. A warm, sultry south or southeast wind accompanied by rain.
Sample sentence:  "The sirocco brought with it an evil omen to the creatures of Darkwoods."
Have some fun, folks!  Winners entry will be posted next week.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

William Safire's Great Rules of Writing

~William Safire, "Great Rules of Writing"
Do not put statements in the negative form.
And don't start sentences with a conjunction.
If you reread your work, you will find on rereading that a
great deal of repetition can be avoided by rereading and editing.
Never use a long word when a diminutive one will do.
Unqualified superlatives are the worst of all.
De-accession euphemisms.
If any word is improper at the end of a sentence, a linking verb is.
Avoid trendy locutions that sound flaky.
Last, but not least, avoid cliches like the plague.

Hey, when you know the rules, You Can Break 'Em!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Cool Word of the Week

Its the Cool Word of the Week Contest!   Win a free eBook copy of "Darkwoods"
Remember, you get extra points if you use elements of Darkwoods in your sentence.
Word for Week of June 19-25 is:     SAPID  (SAP-id) (adjective)
Meaning:  (1) having taste or flavor, (2) agreeable to the taste; palatable, (3)  agreeable, as to the mind; to one's liking.
"I find Darkwoods to be very sapid."
Send me a sentence using "sapid" and whoever has the most creative use of the word wins a free eBook.  Have some fun with it!  Email your sentence to me at , and put CWOWC in the subject line.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

A New Game

One thing that has captured my attention is my teachers' constant complaints that teen literacy is down. I am eager to prove this wrong! As of next Sunday, I'll post a strange word of the day every week. Whoever can use it best in a sentence will win something special - maybe a free copy of Darkwoods on e-book! Extra points if you use Darkwoods characters in your sentence.

So give it a go and help me prove my teachers wrong!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Awesome Day...

I had a great day travelling around Tacoma with my friend Selah Elmquist. We saw all kinds of cool things. Tacoma is a cool city (though not nearly as cool as Seattle!) We were trying to get various stores to carry Darkwoods, and one already had a copy, which was awesome. And thank goodness it didn't rain until I got home!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Last Day of Real School in 11th Grade...

I should be thrilled, because I just got out of my last high school math class ever, and I guess I am thrilled.
But I'm also sad, because one of my most amazing friends is a senior this year - he won't be around next year! :(

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day

Thank you to the brave men and women who have died to preserve this nation of freedom. Without their sacrifice, all the promises of freedom in America would be empty; without them, we would not enjoy freedom of speech, press, and religion. Thank you.
God bless America.

Saturday, May 28, 2011

A Wonderful Saturday...

After an hour and a half of my favorite dance class, the sun came out and we actually opened windows here... such a nice change from all the rain.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Math is not nearly as fun as writing!

Last week of classes -- I'd much rather be writing a story than working through Calculus problems and studying for final.  I wonder if I will remember any of this once I walk out of the door from the final....

Sunday, May 22, 2011


I've never done a blog before -- thought I'd try something new.    What would you like to hear about?