If I Had A Million Dollars – Writer’s Tag

My friend Maggie tagged me in this challenge, and I thought I’d give it a shot. If I had a million dollars, what kind of writing things would I spend it on?

Usually “million dollars” and “writer” don’t go together, so this ought to be interesting.

1) A computer.

Just like Maggie, I’m cyber-schooled, and I’ve never owned my very own laptop. Some of my other friends who go to my school have done this, but they have these things called “jobs” which apparently provide “money” which assists in “purchasing” things. So, my first purchase would absolutely be a laptop for all my writing needs.

2) A Hobbit Hole.

This is totally writing related. I, as a writer, need to live somewhere. Housing of choice? Hobbit hole, hands down. I have always wanted to live in a people-sized Hobbit hole, and I have many plans in which to make this a possibility. If I had the money to do so, I could build my own Hobbit hole. So, there’s purchase number two.

3) Pay for what I actually want from a college education.

If, and probably when, I attend college, I want to learn specific things that will help me as a writer. You know, grammar and things like that. I want to be proficient in editing and writing creatively. That is what I want to learn. So, purchase number three is the education that I want.

4) Getting a publishing company started.

I’m not sure how much money I’ve got left, what with the cost of higher education now-a-days, but I’m seriously considering the creation of my own publishing company in the future. I want to break away from the online, independent publishing I do now; while it’s perfect for a high school student, it isn’t ideal for an adult. I’d love to publish with other like-minded individuals, once I find them.

5) Start a writing-related website/company/product/amusement park.

This sort of ties into my fourth purchase of starting a business? I’m not sure how this exactly takes form, but I have a witty little name that I’m not revealing and I’d love to make it a thing. #Vague.

6. Create a library.

Why not? If I have money at this point, a library is just a duh.

7. Start a personal book collection.

You know what’s cool? A book signed by the author. You know what’s cooler? A collection of your favorite books ever signed by their authors. I might have to bribe some people with cookies, but hey, it’ll be worth it.

8. Create my own book fair.

I’ve found it really difficult to find venues where I can successfully sell my books. Craft shows don’t do a lot. A local book fair would be fun for young authors who want to sell their work. I’m sure there’s big, fancy book fairs and book sales, but a small-scale book fair would be super fun.

9. Renovate a van into a book mobile.

Um, why not?

10. Travel.

At this point, my million dollars has worn thin. I don’t know how many pennies I have left over, but if everything I’ve purchase beforehand came through, I should be set to travel and experience new things. That’s what everyone keeps telling me to do, anyway.


Thanks to Maggie for tagging me. (To be honest, I liked her list a lot better than mine, but I did my best. You should go check it out. Compare them, and if you like hers better, don’t tell me what you think in the comments below.)

If you’re fellow writer, or if you like to imagine things that will never happen, go ahead and take the challenge! Here are the rules that I’m blatantly copying off of Maggie’s blog, which you should know, because you read it.

1) Save this image to your blog
2) Link back to the person who tagged you (in this case, me) and also link to Raychel Rose’s blog, since she’s the one who created this tag.
3) List ten things you would do if you had a million dollars. They can be silly, serious, or a little bit of both. It’s totally up to you!
4) Tag more writers to pass it on!


Happy Birthday, Dad!

My dad turns, um, older than he was last year, this Wednesday, so I thought I’d list off some of the things I appreciate about him.

1) His patience.

My dad is a really patient guy. Both my mom and I tend to be more hot-tempered, but Dad is quiet and reserved about what he’s thinking. He rarely yells or gets upset when you have a disagreement.

2) His brain.

Dad is an engineer, but he’s also a pastor. I never cease to be amazed at how my dad can connect engineering and the Bible together. He sees God in everything. Sometimes, when I’m having a struggle, I really need that connection.

3) His heart.

Some people don’t know how to work with others. I can safely say my father works with people, even when he disagrees with them. He doesn’t look at someone at point out a certain flaw as a reason that he can’t get along with them when he needs to. This doesn’t mean that Dad likes everybody; but he knows how to love everybody.

Happy birthday, Dad!


Losing with Dignity

I was at the Greater Pittsburgh Regional for FIRST Robotics Competition this past week. I missed some school, missed out on a trip to the Creation Museum, and missed sleeping in my own bed. However, the actual event itself presented such a huge reward that all that “missing out on” was justified.

Our robot has been worked on tirelessly since the start of build season at the beginning of January. Most teams stop at “bag day”, when your robot goes into a bag. My team builds another identical robot to continue testing and preparing for competition. We added more features, practiced endlessly, and were confident going into Pittsburgh that we were one of the better teams.

The qualifying matches we had didn’t all run smoothly, but we managed to come in a final placement of fourteenth out of fifty-two. We were thrilled! Confident in our ability to be picked, we sat through the selection process for playoffs very calmly. Just kidding, we were totally stressing out.

One whole round of picking went by and we hadn’t been selected. Out of fifty-two teams, only twenty-four would be moving into the playoffs, and there were only eight picks left.

When it got down to three picks, we were terrified. There are so many numbers on a list, and you know you’ve done everything in your power to stick out. When the third-ranked alliance called our number, we screamed. We clapped, thundered, shouted, stomped, waved!

My job is to lead scouting. I’ve been met with surprising and disheartening opposition this year, but my scouters understood how important their job was, and we had helped our team to get to this point. We knew from our data that our alliance members were just what we needed to win this competition. They complimented us perfectly, and I anxiously watched the matches, searching for flaws in the other seven competing alliances.

We won our quarter-final, setting the regional’s best score. Then we won our semi-final, and my scouters warned me about a particularly vicious robot on the opposing alliance. The last hurdle we had.

We could beat them easily.

My team has never won a regional on its own merits. Last year, we won in Chesapeake with the help of our alliance. We’ve almost always made it into playoffs, but we had a clear opportunity to win a regional, our first regional of the year, and go to World’s in St. Louis again.

The first match went smoothly, except for an opposing robot losing connection in the middle of the match. I felt terrible for them; to have a “rookie” mistake in the middle of the finale is disheartening; and no one wants to win because their opponent wasn’t at their best.

The second match didn’t go smoothly. I watched as our score didn’t climb, and I thought to myself, “What are we doing wrong?” When I realized our mistakes, I bolted from the stands to the drive team. We only had one more shot to win this competition; we were supposed to win the second match. If we lost again, it was over.

I spit out my advice in a terrible hurry, out of breath, and my friend understood as he returned to the robot. My other friends and I stood by the sidelines, praying, as the final match went on. We knew the odds were against us now, because of two little mistakes and one very aggressive robot.

And then we lost.

The most disappointing feeling settled over us, as we’d had this regional in the bag, and little mistakes cost us everything. Some things we could have fixed, some things we couldn’t have. 

We congratulated the opposing alliance, the ones who had rammed our fellow robot without a penalty, without a care, who had damaged it. They ignored us over their cheers. They stepped on us, a foe efficiently eliminated through a lack of fair play and one key strategy move.

It was hard, to sit in the stands, knowing we technically won, but in reality, were in second place. To hear them cheering, to hear the taunting celebration of, “We are the champions, too bad for losers” music jamming in the background of our pain. It was especially hard for me; me, who had predicted what could lead to our downfall and had done everything in her power to help.

Yet we put the past behind us. We have a lovely silver medal with a pretty red ribbon attached to it; another color to add to the roster along our blue from last year. A trophy for winning the Quality Award, one of a handful of awards to be given out to excellent teams. And somehow, this silver medal is beautiful to me. We earned that medal; we weren’t dragged along. We pulled our weight, did everything in our power to assist our teammates, and we won, in our hearts.

Of course, our hearts won’t get us to St. Louis, but that’s what the Tennessee Regional is for in a few weeks.

I think we did a great job at losing with dignity. And hopefully, we’ll be able to win with dignity at our next competition.

Hand-Holding Etiquette

Here’s the hard truth. Holding hands is awkward. Your palms get sweaty, your fingers twitch, and every hand is a different size. Maybe your hand feels like a dwarf’s in comparison; maybe you think the other person is a dwarf. At the end of the day, hand holding is messy.

Prayer is a time to join hands in agreement with each other. Whether you’re praying with a friend, making a chain around a room, or sitting in a circle, there’s just some basic prayer-time hand-holding rules of etiquette that should be followed for minimal awkwardness.

Rule #1: In the event of hand detachment, it is the responsibility of the one who let go to connect the hands again.

Look. Everyone’s eyes are closed. If you let go to scratch your head, brush your hair away from your eyes, wipe off your palm, or itch your nose, I don’t know when you’re done. I can’t see! It’s common sense that you should be the one to grab my hand again, not the other way around. If you don’t do this? The hands may never join together again.

Rule #2: To Not Clasp is Distracting.

You know that saying about a firm grip when shaking hands? It’s a valid point. A firm grip is expected from a hand shake. It’s memorable. Likewise, when praying, do not hold your hand like a floppy fish. Instead, clasp the hand of the other person. It’s plain etiquette to keep them from wondering if they’re squeezing the life out of you.

Rule #3: Don’t Squeeze the Life Out of People

A general clasp is good. The tight grasp of my fingers, cutting off my blood circulation, however, is not. As much as holding a floppy fish hand is distracting, the infliction of pain is even more so.

Rule #4: Let It Go; And Try Not To Again.

We understand that you get itchy. That your palm gets sweaty. That your nose needs scratched, that a hair is tickling you. We’ve already established what to do when you let go. But please, try not to continuously let go and retake someone’s hand. Take care of it all in one swoop, if you can.

Go forth, my fellow siblings-in-Christ, and eliminate prayer-time awkwardness.