28 May 2015

Nature Park

Lately we've been taking walks at the nature park near our house. We bring along a camera, of course.

26 May 2015

Happy birthday, Patrick!

We have yet another May birthday! (This is the last one, though.) Patrick is 28 today! Happy birthday, I hope you have an awesome day, big brother! (Don't be a lounge banana--go celebrate! And I would recommend some 'chiaroscuro shading' with whatever you do.)
His amazing photo from when he was in Antarctica.

The time he wrote 'breakfast' with bacon for his friend.

The time he made the 'perfect caesar salad.'

In Chicago with Claudia and Isabel.

At the SDSU Dairy Bar with me and Dad.

Making Isabel (and probably everyone else) laugh at Christmas.

At Oakwood Lakes State Park in September.

Having a dance party in Morocco!

25 May 2015

One year later

A year ago today I received the Sacrament of Confirmation. It's been an amazing year, with weekly Eucharistic Adoration and frequent daily Mass thanks to our proximity to church.

My Confirmation Godmother gave me a lovely gift for the anniversary. 

Come, Holy Spirit, fill the hearts of Thy faithful, and enkindle in them the fire of Thy Love. Send forth Thy Spirit, and they shall be created, and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth. Let us pray: O God, Who hast instructed the hearts of the faithful by the Light of the Holy Spirit, grant that by the gift of the same Spirit we may be truly wise, and ever rejoice in His consolation. Through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 

24 May 2015

My story...

...Is progressing nicely. I'm just wading into the romantic part--oh what fun! (Though very hard to write, don't get me wrong.) I'm working on a few minor plot things, and mostly solidifying characters. Things are slowly beginning to take shape. It's exhilarating!

23 May 2015

AP Latin test

Well, Latin ended yesterday. I took the AP test. It really went better than I expected, so that's nice. I also got a pretty cool award:

The National Latin Exam Committee sent it to me as a prize for getting a gold medal on the National Latin Exam four years in a row. Apparently I'm the first in the state--not very surprising, since few people take the National Latin Exam four years in a row. But cool all the same. It's a very heavy book.

I can wave good-bye to the *ahem* lovely writings of Caesar and Vergil. For now, at least.

20 May 2015

Piano Recital

Also on Sunday was my piano recital.

I played a suite of three duets called "The Northern Prairie" with another student.
For my solos, I did La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin by Debussy and Bagatelle No. 1 by Tcherepnin.

Mrs. Gerdes and Nicole came up, which was really nice. We stayed up very late at the house afterwards.

19 May 2015

Voice Recital

On Sunday was our voice recital!

I sang "Pur dicesti, O bocca bella" by Antonio Lotti. 

Tessie sang "Beyond the Sea" by Charles Trenet and Albert Lasry--I accompanied her. 

Together we sang a duet called "What the Lord Has Done in Me." Mom's camera ran out of battery a little way through. 

Also, I got into concert choir at the high school! So yay!

13 May 2015

Dad's birthday!

Needless to day, May is a birthday-filled time in our house. Happy 55th birthday, Dad! Thanks for being my poetry teacher, essay-writing mentor, fellow-Bach-lover, world traveler, and an awesome dad!
In Morocco last summer. 

In Santa Fe giving a lecture.

When he was little. c:

With Mom about 25 years ago. 

With Patrick in Prague last year. 

With Ceal and Finn during poetry!

10 May 2015

...And another birthday!

Happy 20th birthday Isa! Another picture-post!
A long time ago with a baby Pepino

Last summer at McCrory Gardens

The end of last school year with an injured toe

With Dad in her junior year (I think)

I don't know when this was taken...

Last summer doing portraits with Claudia

Sometime this school year with Tessie

During the World Cup with Mom

In Chicago with Patrick and some Zs.

Also...it's Mother's Day! Happy Mother's Day to the very best mother I could ever imagine! I don't know why God decided to make me the lucky one. <3

The delight of a writers' group

On Friday we had our first quasi-official Skype meeting. It was an amazing success! I'm overly-amazingly excited for the rest of this summer, spending Friday evenings with such awesome people who share my passion for writing! And from all over the country--on the first day we had inhabitants of Delaware, New Jersey, Georgia, Nebraska, and South Dakota. And we were missing two or three!
We began by quickly introducing ourselves and our stories. Then we went through a list of archetypes (like the ones I blogged about) and told about our characters that fit that role. We also did a little sketch of our protagonists' reactions to being shut in a dark room for interrogation. 
Once we all have our books, we will start going through that. I expect we will send each other snippets of writing, to garner constructive criticism. We'll help each other with messy spots, plot obstacles, character development, and especially encouragement. It will be nice to have the accountability so I actually get writing done over the summer. It's a delight to hear about other peoples' stories, and realize how many other teenagers are writing novels! It's also a great opportunity to apply what the lovely Professor Conroy has taught us. The hour-and-a-half flew by. (Especially with delicious homemade zucchini-carrot quiche for dinner.) 
I'll probably post updates on our group sometimes...right now I'm looking into getting a name for us. St. Francis de Sales is the patron saint of writers, so maybe after him.

09 May 2015

Someone's 26!

Have an awesome day, Claud! I guess the day's half over for you, but I hope it was awesome!

With Alli

In Morocco with Emma and Alyssa

A loooong time ago with Patrick, Gus, and baby Thomas

In a windy drawing with Othman

With Patrick...fascinated by a pencil?

In Morocco with her perfect sisterlies. 

Forever ago with Volamino

At her wedding with Dad. 

06 May 2015

Writing Update

Things have been busy lately as the semester is winding down. Writing has languished, unfortunately, mainly due to the nice weather, but I hope to get back on track now that a few classes are ending.
However, there have been developments related to writing, if not in my story. Our weekly Skype sessions are growing--we have three new members joining us and a prospective fourth. Over the summer we are going to be reading some books (starting with Description and Setting by Ron Rozelle) in order to work on the things we've learned in class. We will be doing exercises, helping each other, and write-write-writing. The whole thing will be immensely helpful for actually getting something done over the summer. (You know summer, that time of year when you have time to do everything, but motivation to do nothing but read murder mysteries and lie in the sun.)
In regards to my story...things are moving along at a slow pace. I'm working on the scene that will lead up to the climax and the scene that will lead up to that scene. (Confusing, I know.) Next on the agenda is hopefully the climax, then either going back to work on characters or going forward to write the resolution. There is still a gap in the middle--once I've got the Approach and Ordeal worked out I'll go back and fill it in. Things are starting to take shape...finally. If I stay on track, a rough draft is within sight by the end of the summer!