Starting a Story

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I had completely forgotten that I would not have Wifi for the week of Christmas while I was up at my family’s cottage in Pennsylvania. Therefore, I was sadly not able to blog, but I was writing down ideas through out the week so now it’s time to catch up!

It was weird not having wifi because so much of what I would typically work on, when I finally have time, requires the internet: blogging, twitter, reading articles, researching things, etc. However, it was kind of nice to not have the internet because it forced me to just relax with family since there was no way for me to do that kind of stuff. Plus I got to spend a while reading, which I haven’t really gotten to do in a while!

I love the feeling of finishing a book, especially when you have another already waiting to be read. With it finally being winter break I’ve actually been able to read just for fun for the first time in forever!!!

Back in the summer, which feels like so long ago now, I had started a rather easy book called “Kingdom Keepers” which is about Disney World after hours and these 5 kids that have to battle evil Disney villains. I started the book because it looked interesting since I love Disney so much, and over the summer I had been reading a lot of “thinky” books as I call them because they were those kinds of books that you can only read for so long before needing to stop and digest, so I wanted to read something fun and easy that didn’t make me think so much.

However, I started the book so late into summer that I didn’t get a chance to finish before school started, and then I didn’t have time to read my fun easy book. But once winter break started, I decided I would read nothing else until first finishing that book.

 And I did.

 In 1 day.

(I did say it was an easy book… Those last 150 pages I had left felt like nothing.)

After finishing that book (which is actually the first in a series, so I really want to start the next one…), I decided to start The Great Gatsby since I need to read that before school starts again. Reading this book is actually the only “assignment” I have for the winter break. The funny part is that I self assigned it along with Kat for our AP Lang course. We both wanted to read the book because everyone is always talking about it being a great book, so naturally we got curious as to what the big fuss it. Plus many English teachers often end up assigning it, so we thought it was a book that we definitely needed to read.

When I started reading the book I actually thought the main narrator was a girl. I don’t know what lead me to this belief, but it wasn’t until about 3 pages in that I finally went, “Wait a minute. This guy is a guy. This changes everything!”

My instinctual conclusion made me wonder if we naturally assume a narrator is like ourselves; therefore, in my case that would make this narrator a girl at first. I mean the role of the narrator is to help move the story forward and converse with the audience. They are the one character that always is breaking the 4th wall and typically they can be played by any type of person. This is because who the narrator is, is often less important than what the narrator is saying. So it makes sense that we would naturally want to relate with the narrator as much as possible.

However this isn’t always the case. Some stories have the narrator being a person who is actually in the story, making every narration like a mini soliloquy where the character tells you about how they were feeling on the inside, during or after a particular situation occurs.

The type of narration can really change a story because it changes the perspective in which you hear a story from. When you change the perspective you get an entirely different story. That’s why stories like Malificent and Wicked are so popular, because they tell you an old story from a new perspective, which changes the story in ways that make you question what is the “truth”.

The beginnings of stories fascinate me because in those first pages you can discover what type of book you are about to read based on the perspective it is told from. In The Great Gatsby, the narrator is also the main character, Nick. Right from the beginning you are able to tell that this story will be a reflective piece about a time in Nick’s life where exciting and life changing events took place.

However, not everything about the beginnings of a story is so great. In fact, they are often long and sometimes drag on without much excitement for a while because the backstory has to be set before the story can really get interesting.

The Great Gatsby has been one of those books that hasn’t gotten too terribly interesting yet. I haven’t reached that point where I can’t put it down until I finish it quit yet. So I am still on the hunt to figure out “What’s the big deal about The Great Gatsby; why has it become such a staple in high school literature?”

HMW Innovate Arts

Halloween was fun; I dressed up in my Renaissance dress and cloak, hung out with friends, made some interesting cookies, and spent the night at my friend’s house, but that was just party 1 of the weekend.

I’m not typically all that social of a person. I have my close friends that I hang out with a bunch, and am busy due to activities, but I wouldn’t consider myself a party person, so this is an odd and rare occasion for me where I have a party every day of the weekend.  Halloween yesterday, cast party today, then birthday party tomorrow.

Along with out cast party tonight, I also got to go see Cirque Du Soleil, and it was fantastic!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I love all of the big props they use for gymnastics routines that go together to tell a story. Every time I see a new show, they have some new kind of trick!

I also listened to songs from my favorite musical, Wicked, a ton today between the cast party and driving to and from Cirque Du Soleil. The music for that show is just spectacular, and it is especially catchy! I have a flute book for solo pieces to the musical, but I have always wanted to play a full band/orchestra version of at least one of the songs. I was thinking about my venture with playing the flute and also stories, and I thought about how cool it would be to hear about how someone from the Broadway Wicked orchestra ended up playing there (it would especially awesome to hear from a flute player).

Then my next thought was: “How might I make that happen?” 

I started putting together some dots together: my family lives in New York. Broadway is in New York. My aunts boyfriend in a conductor on broadway. He use to conduct the orchestra for Wicked. He knows people in the Wicked orchestra today. I have my aunts phone number. She probably has his email number. I know how to send emails. I can text my aunt.

Conclusion 1: I’m going to try to network. 

The ideas didn’t stop with this conclusion though. Since I’ve been concerning myself a lot with trying to learn the band songs themselves, I haven’t really had a ton of time for playing extra stuff like I use to. However, ID gives me time for me to venture. Well, playing the flute was a non intentional venture, but a venture none the least.

Conclusion 2: I am going to start planning to give myself time for working on playing the flute. 

Now you might be wondering how Cirque Du Soleil fits into this, or you might have thought that was just part of the “what I did today” section, but wait, there’s more. I’m an acrobat, so watching Cirque Du Soleil really blows my mind because it shows me innovative things acrobats can do. I want to spend more time with my gymnastics/acro stuff because that is also part of my story. I’ve had this idea for a while about playing the flute while doing a dance routine (“Everything is connected in the great circle of life”). I wonder where I could go with this. I wonder if I could use the technique from the mechanical side of how to play the flute towards some new device or instrument. I wonder if the dance could create the music. I wonder what ideas I haven’t even thought of.

Conclusion 3: I want to explore my constant idea of dancing while creating music. 

I haven’t yet taken the strengths finder assessment, but I have a feeling it will relay something about how I come up with lots of ideas; my problem is focusing on something. Even on standardize test that are suppose to give you feed back on what career you may be interested in, the results basically said, “We don’t know. She is interested in too many things.” I tend to get interested in a lot because I’m always finding connections between things that really perks my interest. Yet through everything I’ve been doing, I keep seeming to find myself back at dance and playing the flute. (Which is kind of where I started when coming into ID. I just didn’t think of it as a possible venture yet.) I’m curious in stories still, but I think the stories portion really supports student voice and my passion for the arts. I imagine it as a back bone that I will want to keep in mind along the way.

Conclusion 4: I’m really trying to make a path and go with it, but paths can be so windy some times. 

Unlimited

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Not everyone always likes the same things. That doesn’t necessarily make one way wrong or right. (What do those words even mean?) The important thing is to believe in what you believe in with all of your heart.

One of my favorite songs ever is “Defying Gravity” from the broadway musical Wicked. Elphaba has decided what she believes in and is ready to go advocate for it no matter what obstacles get in her way, and she doesn’t care what others think about her. However, I think what is really special about this song is how, while Galinda has basically the opposite perspective of Elphaba, Elphaba still respects Galinda and her choices because they are friends.

As it gets closer to school time, I can’t wait to see my friends again in person. We’ve talked over the summer, but everyone is always traveling and busy, so we haven’t really seen each other much. We may all have different opinions sometimes, but the thing about best friends is that they are still there to support you even when you don’t agree.

When you work together you’re, “unlimited”. Even when you have to go your separate ways, you know that they “have changed you for the better. And, because you knew them, you have been changed for good.”

It is the nature of the world to be Secret

Today was a lay back and relax kind of day. I woke up late, ate, read a lot, made cookies, and now I’m blogging. Nothing too exciting went on here, but I did finally finish reading Wicked.

(Plus, it was a choice for a summer reading book this year which was nice since I was going to read it anyway.)

With the end of the book there was more talk about the whole “good versus evil” thing, so I figured now would be a good time to bring that up again. This one paragraph specifically caught my attention:

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This excerpt didn’t change my opinions on the topic (in the idea that words are powerful and difficult to define), but I really liked the way it was worded, and the idea of a secret.

 It just goes to show how humans don’t know everything and we never will, but that doesn’t stop us from wondering and imagining anyway. (“It is the nature of the world to be secret”; time, water, good, evil, words…)

Also, shout out to my friend Marisa ( http://alltheplanets.wordpress.com ) who recently wrote a really good post on perception as well. (And also talked about Wicked; great minds think alike!)

The Power of Perception

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“The power of perception is infinite.”- Annabel Soutar

Yesterday, (tear that I forgot to blog then), I saw Maleficent, and it was amazing! Don’t worry there will be no spoilers for today at least. I just always get intrigued by this style of theater. Wicked my favorite non-Disney musical, is MIND BLOWING, because it makes you think and question everything you already know about good, evil, and the world. Then the creators of Maleficent realized how great of an idea it is to create an entire movie from the “villain’s” perspective, so they did too.

If movies and musicals can become great hits by just taking a story and telling it from a new perspective, imagine what could happen in life if everyone took the time to examine situations from other perspectives. As shown by Wicked and Maleficent, we would probably come to learn that everyone is not what they seam, and sometimes a “bad guy” might not be all that bad.

Then this brings up the whole debate about “what is good and bad, and how can we define the difference?”

I don’t think there is a “good” answer to that question. (I don’t know if you actually found that funny, but I really crack myself up sometimes!)

Words are all relative, and they always will be, so maybe this debate isn’t worth having. This is why words can be so powerful.  It truly comes down to how you interpret stories and what situation you are making an opinion about, but there is definitely a special power that comes with being able to examine stories from multiple perspectives.

It makes you more likely to question the nature of things. And, change always starts with a question.

I’m having one of those moments now where I don’t really know where I was going with this yesterday, but at the same time this is one of those topics that may not need be taken any further right now. Instead, I will ponder more about the ideas of perception, good, and evil, and maybe some day I will come back to it if I have a new thought.