‘Gracie’s School’ Q and A Post + An Exciting Blogging Announcement

In my last post I introduced to you to my very own school, students and classroom. I shared my happiness at being able to fulfill my dream and making it happen through my own determination.  I  also asked you to submit your questions for my school themed Q and A. Well, many of you had lots to ask so read on…and enjoy!

Questions from Mukta:

When and how did you realize you wanted to be a teacher?

I’ve always loved learning and, to me, nothing sounds more like paradise than a place where young people can gather together to learn and share and pursue their passions.

School, and the modern education system, are supposed to provide that service, but I don’t believe they are. The majority of my generation view school as a negative place, a prison, something they’re forced to attend. School should be a place everyone wants to go to.

I am home-educated and the above is precisely the reason I don’t go to school. The reason I decided to become a teacher is because I want to create the school that I dream of, the school I want to go to.

What time do you begin/end teaching?

Nothing is set in stone yet, at the moment I’m being pretty flexible. Usually we start at about 10am and finish about 4pm??? 😀😀😀

Questions from Loren:

When you start a real school, will you want it to be elementary, middle, or high school?

I hope that my school will be a place where kids and teens of all ages can come together and learn. I want it to be an environment where they help and teach each other. I am from the UK so I’m not exactly that familiar with the US education system, we say ‘Primary’ and ‘Secondary’ schools here!

Questions from Melissa:

Are your pupils allowed to direct any of your teaching and follow their own interests or are you quite strict in following your lesson plans?

There needs to be a balance. I do make lesson plans (which I try to stick to), but if I see that my students are interested in or enthusiastic about a particular subject, I’m more than happy to focus on it. I also welcome my students suggestions and ideas. I have certain parts in each lesson where I ask one of my students to lead the activity and I just watch. It teaches them teamwork, leadership and creativity, all equally important lessons!

Questions from The Girl With IronWings

Are you guys going to travel around the farm place and learn things practically or…..?

Yeah, I guess so. It’s important to include a bit of reading, writing, maths and theoretical science, but most of the activities we do are outdoors, hands on and practical. I find that my students learn better when out and about on the farm. For example, we went fishing in the stream and then identified and learnt about what we caught. They loved it! Way more than reading about the affect humans have on natural habitats! 😀 I bet they remembered more of the former too.

How is the teaching going to be – How different from today’s schools? 😊

Hehe. I would say it’s pretty different. Here’s a quick list.

  • All different ages and abilities taught together.
  • We learn about things that are important in life, like knowing and appreciating your surroundings and how to protect them. 
  • The learning (and teaching!) is FUN!!!
  • I try and think about what suits my students individually, what they need help with and what their strengths are. I keep that in mind when making my lesson plans, unlike school with its ‘one size fits all’ attitude.

Also, since it’s about the environment will you be using gadgets?

We have a few gadgets… a camera trap that we’ve used to try and capture the secret lives of wildlife on the farm. We don’t use a lot of technology, just the internet to research things and find information.

Questions from Misabella :

What is your favourite subject to teach?

I’m about to start doing a book club + English and creative writing classes. I don’t enjoy maths very much, just because I teach out of a book and have to follow a set system/curriculum. These ‘environment’ lessons are great, I get to be creative and come up with fun, unique ideas that really engage my students. 😁

Do you find particular methods of discipline more effective than others?

I’ve googled the different ‘methods of discipline’ and would say my style is a mix of them all! I do try to set boundaries, but I also try and be positive and humorous. I wouldn’t say I’m strict, I try to be patient and listen to my students – although that is something I struggle with. I think this is an area I need to look into a bit more – especially if I want to be a successful teacher!

Questions from Tom:

How long do you hope to be keeping up with this school for?

Well, we’re living at the farm over the autumn, winter and early spring so the lessons will probably continue through those seasons. After that my family and I are off on our travels, maybe into Europe, maybe even further, searching for a place to settle down and call home. When we find that place I have no doubt that my school will re-establish itself and begin again, stronger and better than before. 

School is an interesting word, I wonder if it’s Greek?

Well, thanks to your research, Tom, we now know that it is a Greek word meaning ‘lecture place’. It would have looked like this in its original text: skholḗ or σχολή. Great fact! 

 I hope you all enjoyed that little Q and A! I loved sharing my thoughts and ideas on education, I even learnt a few interesting things in the process. If anyone still has any questions, please feel free to comment them and I’ll try to answer.

Okay, now I have an exciting and important announcement to make: I am getting some newly designed features on A Light In The Darkness soon! Not saying anything more, but watch out for a post revealing those. This is me at the moment: 🤐☺☺☺🤐 

Xxx

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Dwelling On The Darkness

 

Dear All,

Things have happened in this past week and they’ve made me realise a lot. I started this blog to be ‘a light in the darkness’ and I’ve become consumed by the very thing I’m fighting. I’ve been dwelling on the darkness, and that doesn’t make any difference to the world. Nothing is changed unless you’re positive and hopeful. Unless you actually take action. 

Blogging is a beautiful, beautiful thing with so much potential, but for me it’s turned into a part of the darkness. It’s taken over my life, meaning I haven’t been getting out there and actually living a life that makes me ‘a light’.

My Mum wrote this in my notepad:

“It’s the life you lead that makes you a light, not your awareness of the darkness”

She’s right.

I’m going to write more about my own life, things I’ve done and thought, things that I hope will inspire others. I believe that getting young people talking about things that matter is extremely important, but our world needs action too.

Signing off…..

Gracie ❤️❤️❤

 

NEVER WEAR YELLOW IN THE SUMMER: A LESSON LEARNT!

As the title states, I think I’ve learnt my lesson. Never wear yellow in the summer, or this happens:

 

 

Most people would be hyperventilating screaming in that situation, but it doesn’t bother me. Like, at all. They were like little beetles with wings and were actually pretty cool. It makes me wonder how humans have become uncomfortable, even scared, around bugs? Where has this come from?

If people calmed down and thought about it rationally they’d realise that, although bugs may not be particularly ‘pleasant’, they’re not exactly disgusting or terrifying either. Are they?

These little fellas weren’t doing me any harm and it was actually quite funny to laugh at my mistake.

It’s crazy to think that there are people in this world who are absolutely horrified to even see a spider and then there are others who tuck into them like a snack. Sorry if this makes you feel queasy, it’s the truth though! The crazy, crazy truth.

This is the result of different cultures and societies. Are phobias of insects what comes with our ‘advanced modern society’?

What do you think? Apologies for the rant…!

I hope this sparks a discussion, please leave a comment with all your thoughts and opinions on this topic! I’d love to hear from you. 

300 Followers (Looking Back On My Blogging Journey)

Thank you. I actually can’t say much more. I may be a writer, but there are some times where these two simple words are the best way to express my gratitude. Every single heartfelt, genuine, inspiring comment you leave, every follow, every like, has made this blog what it is today.

I honestly wish I could give a shout out to every single one of you who’s made my journey unique and beautiful to be on. But there are hundreds of you and I cannot possibly reach out to you all, but even by you reading this now, it is making my day.

So, thank you.

Sitting here now, I wonder if I’ve achieved any of those crazily ambitious hopes I had when I began blogging? Have I really made any difference to anyone’s life? Have I become A Light In The Darkness, like I desperately wanted to? Have I been honest with myself?

Maybe not. I don’t know. I feel tinges of sadness, yet I’ve enjoyed every minute of this journey, every step. It’s opened up so many doors, given me amazing opportunities and I’ve made the best friends ever.

I’d like to celebrate in some way. If you can think of anything particularly special that ties in with the theme of this blog, please let me know. I thought maybe we could have a blog party? Or I could launch another blogging project? It’s absolutely up to you, my readers. I’m giving you the choice. Comment below.

I’m worried that I haven’t always been myself on here and one of my goals is to be totally me. I am naturally a serious person, but I’m young and I need to have some fun sometimes. Be more light-hearted. I hide in my computer, reading, writing, thinking. I never think about how it affects my family and those who love me. I feel the same way about this blog.

Being A Light In The Darkness isn’t about being articulate and serious all the time, it’s about being fun and spreading sunshine.

I promise there’ll be more of that!

See you all later, talk soon and thank you from the bottom of my heart. ♥️♥️♥️

Lots of love,

Xxx 

 

Butterflies…

‘Butterflies in your stomach. Butterflies in your stomach.’ It’s such a cliche but it takes experiencing it to understand how true it really is. I take deep breaths and stare down at the salted caramel cookies my Dad bought especially for today. I realise that this is actually happening.

The gentle rocking of the boat isn’t making me feel any better, I keep glancing up the towpath, nervously watching, waiting. I expect to see them any minute. I don’t really know what they look like. All I know, (well, all you’re allowed to know) is that I am being filmed for a casting development project for a mainstream TV channel. A London production company is coming to film me and my life.

This has all happened so fast and, although I’m nervous, I feel an elated anticipation. Suddenly they’re here, carrying a huge camera and looking professional. This is it, Gracie…..this is it……

It all goes so amazingly, I enjoy every minute. Every minute spent giving my opinions on big modern life issues, being interviewed on challenging topics like politics, feminism, social media, materialism, relationships and social care. Every minute talking about my life and the things I’m passionate about, reading poetry and stories in a voice that seems more powerful now there’s someone here especially to hear it. Every minute spent being absolutely myself.

It was intense and my brain whirrs just thinking about it now. But I was in my element, I like a challenge. I like people who value the perspectives of young people on modern society. I loved thinking about the questions and carefully wording my replies. I didn’t find it easy, but I had the opportunity and I wanted to make the most of it.

All in all, I may be accepted to participate in this programme or I may not. I would love to be able to share my thoughts on life even further, but if not, I am just eternally grateful for this experience and I’m proud of myself for making it happen and getting this far.

Please leave me a message in the comments box below, I absolutely love to hear from you all. Thanks! 

A Light In The Darkness Part 6: The Ambassador’s Name

Demons haunted my sleep. “You have seen us and so you will die.” they hissed. I tried to wake up, but there was something about this slumber that was different. It felt like I was in a prison, trapped in the darkness and unable to free myself. I struggled for every minute of the seemingly endless sleep to wake up and find my way out.

Finally I broke through, gasping and sweating. My fingers closed around my cloak, it was covered in dried, crimson blood. I eased myself back down and stared up through at the canopy of leaves. Sunlight seeped through the gaps between the branches and touched my skin. It was so bright! I never knew how good the light was until that moment. I glanced around me.

I was laying on a sort of mossy bank and I could hear what sounded like a brook, bubbling somewhere nearby. I reached up to touch my head, it was pounding in a most peculiar and painful manner. My hand brushed a ragged cloth, again I could tell that it was crusted with blood.

“Faith.” my voice came out like a croak. “My name is Faith.” This made me laugh, despite myself. I don’t know why I was so deliriously happy. Perhaps it was because I knew I didn’t have Amnesia. I remembered the Ambassador and his strange behaviour in the moments before my accident. I even remembered the force of his hand pushing me hard to the floor.

Salty tears run down my cheeks. I trusted him. I thought he was good and kind and wanting to be my friend. I was so naive and now I had paid. I struggled to my knees and gritted my teeth against the searing, throbbing pain that plagued my head. “Ah!” I used the tiny incy bit of strength I had to heave myself to my feet and stumble off into the trees.

I had only walked a couple a steps when I began to feel extremely dizzy. I tried so hard to hold myself up, but it was no use.

I fell.

I don’t know how long I laid there, half conscious and moaning. It could have been minutes, even seconds, or it could have been hours. I only recollect two familiar arms folding themselves around my body and lifting me gently up.

Up, up, up.

High.

I was on top of the world.

All I could see was a deep, never-ending blackness, and I felt lost. “What if I’ve gone blind?” Stupid thoughts filled my barely conscious mind. Then I heard his voice and I didn’t care either way. “It’s ok.” he soothed, sitting me back down on the moss, I could feel its comforting springiness. I couldn’t see his eyes so I had no idea how he was feeling.

“I can’t see your eyes.” I whimpered. “Try opening your own.” he laughed. I did and was so overjoyed that I forgot to feel silly for not thinking of it before.

“Phoenix.” I spoke the word slowly, cocking my head to one side. An understanding passed between us.  “The bird that rose from the darkness in a glorious burst of flames and lit up the world with its light.”

This was so different to the way I had imagined telling him the name I’d chosen, but it seemed like the perfect moment. “I’m sorry, Faith.” he whispered. “You will forgive me, won’t you?”

“Of course!” I cried. “But why did you do it?”

His answer distressed me even further. “Because you’re my friend.”

“Then why did you push me?” My head started pounding again.

“I didn’t want you to leave. I knew they’d come to take you away from me and I, being the selfish person I am, wanted you to stay. I’m sorry, Faith. It wasn’t your fault. I was just hurt, and angry that you had to be taken away from me so soon.” he hung his head “Now I’ve ruined every chance I ever had of changing. I can never change, the dark side has crept into my mind and is poisoning me. I understand if you don’t trust me any more.”

I began to laugh and he glared at me. “Phoenix-” “Call me Ambassador.” He was angry with himself, I think he was on the edge of absolute despair. I had to make him understand.

“But I was never going to go with them! I decided that long before you found me!”

“What!? Don’t be stupid, Faith. They’re your friends.” he smiled ruefully. “So are you.” I said softly, turning sadly away.

“Huh?”

“I said you’re my friend too!”

He hugged me then, tightly like he’d never let me go. “Are you sure?” he asked, doubtfully. “Yes!” I exclaimed. “Phoenix, no one has ever been a better friend to me. No one has ever shown me so much, inspired me more, trusted me with their very identity. Honestly, please believe me.”

He gave a slight nod of his head, too overcome with emotion to speak. I nodded back happily and then sank, exhausted, back onto the mossy bank to sleep.

Da da da! All has been revealed! I find character’s motives in stories quite fascinating, don’t you? What did you think of The Ambassador’s name? I decided to stick with the original one that I chose. I think it suits him. Do you like the sort of prose-y vibe that I snuck into this installment? I hoped it would compliment the drama of this part of the storyline. Please leave me all your thoughts, questions and ideas in the comments below! It’s much appreciated, guys. 

See ya….😉

Gracie

Xxx

 

Virtual Hugs All Round!

Sometimes we all need a hug, but there’s no one there to give us one. Sometimes we all struggle, and we don’t even know why. Sometimes we just have to be honest and say “Look, I was wrong. I’m sorry.” Sometimes things hurt and life is hard.

Sometimes it just takes a little gesture of friendship to light a spark of hope and draw a smile on your face.

Here’s a virtual hug for everyone that needs one right now and, if you don’t, please pass it on! Let’s make a difference. Anyone can be a light in the darkness if they try.

Image result for virtual hug gif

Introducing A Light In The Darkness: My New Novel

Hello People!

There comes a time in a writer’s life when they know that they are ready to take on something bigger. When they know that they have an idea that is deserving of a whole novel, not just a short story. A time when you know that your inspiration won’t run out suddenly, leaving you in frustrated fits of bitter writer’s block.

My time has come. That sounded so dramatic. 

This time I know​ I will succeed. So did that. 

So, I would like to introduce you to my novel: Light In The Darkness.

Basically, the whole idea is to use people to symbolise the battle between Light and Darkness. The storyline/plot sort of takes place inside a metaphor, if you get what I mean. Yup, complicated.

Anyhow, here is a brief overview:

Faith White wants to change the world. Witty and smart, she is an active campaigner for human rights all over the planet. She is internationally recognised as one of the youngest and most talented activists in the world.

But however much she thinks she may know, there are many things that will shock her. When she goes on a team building holiday/camping trip with her friends and fellow wannabe change-makers, she certainly doesn’t expect to be  shown a whole new world by a strange guy who seems to know a surprising amount about her, and her future. Suddenly she is stepping out of the light she has always known and into the realms where darkness rules. What truths will she discover lurking there? 

I’m better at writing actual stories than descriptions, as you’ve probably guessed. Nope, definitely guessed. Proven, in fact.

So please don’t judge. Please?

Now, I hope you’re intrigued ’cause I have a real treat for you guys coming right up. I’m actually really excited about this. I really want to know what you all think.

Here is an exclusive scene from Gracie Chick’s  brand spanking new novel, I hope you enjoy it! Hint: There’s a BIG twist at the end so keep reading on, and on, and on, and on. Ok, here goes:

You’re not the first kid to want to change the world.” he muttered “Really?” I asked, conversationally. “Really.” he seemed to stare straight past me, his amber eyes glowing in the gloom beyond the dimly lit campfire circle.

I glanced around coolly, fighting to keep my calm and sarcastic demeanour whilst this unnervingly smart and perhaps a little too ‘deadly serious’ stranger told me about my own life and future.

I stuck up my nose and stared right back at his face. “I didn’t know that.” I said loudly, half hoping that someone would come to my rescue. “Come to think of it, I guess Superman probably did when he was fourteen too.”

The guy gritted his teeth. “Look girl, I don’t think you get what I’m saying. Let me show you something.”

Before I could abruptly object, he had seized my hand and was yanking me away from the light and safety of the camp and away into the darkness of the forest.

His hair was black and thick and I could see the moonlight glinting on it as he dragged me forcefully along behind him. I used my free hand to try and release his grip. It was no use. He stopped and turned to hiss angrily at me. He sighed in frustration. “I’m trying to help you!” he exclaimed. “How!?” I stamped my foot in annoyance. “You’ve kidnapped me,  lost me in a woodland at midnight, my friends​ have no idea where I am, I have no idea who you are or where you’re taking me.” My voice rose into a panicky sort of screech.

He seemed to soften suddenly and his firm grasp on my hand loosened. “I promise that no harm will befall you,” he whispered gently “but you have to trust me. Now, do you want to come with me or not?”

I was shaking all over as I considered my options. I was sure he’d leave me here if I didn’t agree to go with him, but perhaps he’d lead me into an even greater danger? Then, he did promise, didn’t he? Do I trust him?

Finally I looked up at his haunting face. “Ok,” I regained my composure and swallowed hard. “Let’s go.” My voice was steely and cold. “I don’t know why I’m trusting you, but it seems I have no other choice.”

“Good.” he turned briskly away and headed off into the shadows. “Wait!” I stumbled after him, arms stretched tentatively out in front of me like a deluded zombie. “Your eyes will adjust.” he said shortly, with stopping nor turning around.

“Actually,” he stood still suddenly and spun round, his eyes burning into me. “you’ll need to change out of those clothes.” “What!?” I looked down at my white skinny jeans and pale grey hoodie in disbelief. My light blue converse glowed comfortingly in the moonlight. “Trust me.” he snapped. “Alright! Alright!” I growled back before disappearing into the dense thorny shrubbery that crept along the forest floor.

I pulled off my shirt, wondering what I was supposed to change into, when a long, black garment came flying through the air and landed softly on the ground before me.

I picked it up, it was smooth and stretchy and smelt like musty leaves. I slipped it on and it clung to my body like heavy, dark shadow, cold and damp.

“Hurry up.” he appeared beside me, making me jump. “May I ask a question?” I said hesitantly. “Go ahead.” he kept walking, silent as a wolf in its wilderness. “Where are we going and why?” “Two questions, if I’m not mistaken.” he seemed to find himself amusing. “You said you’d answer and I’m waiting.” I stood up for myself like I knew how, in my fiercest​ and most commanding tone.

“We are going to the realms of darkness.” he said simply. “Ha! Now I know you’re crazy.” I scoffed, starting to feel crazy myself. He looked at me unblinkingly. “No. I’m not. We are going there.” “Not possible.” I laughed uneasily, trying to reassure myself. “There’s no such place.”

“You’d be surprised.” he muttered. I was growing more anxious by the minute and suddenly burst out with a torrent of words that even I was slightly taken aback by. “Look, I don’t care who you think you are, you must explain yourself before we go any further. It is completely and utterly unfair of you to do all this without any explanation. I won’t continue unless you tell me who you are, where we’re really going, why you took me, how you know so much about me and why you’re so totally arrogant and rude and weird.”

He sighed and smiled ruefully. When he spoke there was a hint of sadness in his melodious voice. “It’s difficult. You’ll never believe me. It’s easier for you to see it with your own eyes first.”

“Please?” I replied softly, sinking down onto my knees amongst the leaves. He paused. “Ok,” he answered “but we must keep moving to arrive before morning.”

“Go ahead then.” I wearily rose back to my feet.

“Every now and then, throughout the history of time, there is a child who wants to change the world, make a difference, save the people. The believe they are well equipped, strong, able and capable.” the boy began his story, gliding across the leafy ground with hardly a rustle.

“Your ways are all the same. So hopeful, so optimistic, so sure.” he emphasised the last word, almost spitefully. “There are two sides to this world, though both tend to merge and hide within each other until it becomes impossible to distinguish the truth from the fakes and frauds. Unless you know where to look, of course.” he grinned at me as if there was something I didn’t know. I reached up to finger my hair nervously.

I almost screamed. It was jet black. “What is happening to me? I was blonde. I AM blonde.” I tried to control my confused anger. “Shhh!” he soothed “Listen to the story.”

“The sides have names: Dark and Light, Good and Evil.” “I know.” I told him. “ I fight for the Good and Light. That’s what I do. I try to be A Light In The Darkness.”

“You all say that.” he shrugged. “How do you know?” I asked. A faraway look came into his bright and alert eyes. “I know you all.” he whispered. “All of you. It is my job, as the Dark side’s ambassador to show you the truth, to show you the enemy. Because how can you fight us when you don’t know anything about us?”

And with that he bowed low, his shining hair brushing the floor. “Welcome to the realms of darkness, Faith.”

I screamed.  

Da da da!!! The drama! Even I’m getting scared and I know what happens next!

 Did you enjoy that? What did you think of the idea? Any feedback is absolutely welcome and appreciated. Would you like to read more snippets and scenes? Please let me know. Does anyone else have any novel-ish news to share so that we can compare notes and experiences? 

See you all later!

Gracie

 

 

 

 

Destination Coope Farm

Hello Everyone! People of the world!

As some of you may know, me and my family are on a journey in Mo, our 1968 Morris Traveller camper van. We are pioneers in a way, venturing out into the world to try and live life differently.

I have always had this dream of being somewhere where everyone lives together, working towards creating a better world and doing their bests to help others. Someplace where strong and committed relationships and friendships are forged and tested. Where me and my family can flourish and extend a hand to those who are struggling. Where people will care about us when we struggle.

So I saw going away in Mo as the perfect opportunity to start searching, to begin the journey of finding the right place, learning and experiencing along the way. So, months previous to our actual departure, I started doing my research.

One of the places I found was Coope Farm, a small holding down in deepest Devon run by a family with hopes that they can make a difference.

It’s best to let them explain more:

A Coope Farm Quote:

We believe that the sustainable lifestyle is much more than just about trying to reverse the harm that mankind has wrought upon the planet.
For us it is a decision to turn away from many of the things that we find unpalatable about our modern society.It is a conscious decision to act out the idea that wealth is about much more than money.
For us wealth is the ability to enjoy as much of each day as we can, which demands that we find time to smell the roses – to chill. It is about turning our back on a culture that celebrates celebrity over the vital spark of individuality and teaches, through advertising, that a persons worth is measured by his possessions. It is the belief that more money does not get us off the treadmill, but more often than not, just makes us go faster and faster.
Currently, in the UK, 1 in 5 people are suffering from depression. As a nation we are lonely, stressed, unfit and bored.
We, at Coope, want our lifestyle to give meaning to tasks, to people and to the moment.
We will, of course, fail to achieve such lofty goals, but we will live well in the process. And hopefully meet others along the way​!

My whole family agreed that we would really like to find out more and perhaps visit at some point. I resolved to email straight away.

I did and so Destination Coope Farm was formed. The plan was simple, head West in Mo until we got there, we left it pretty flexible, you know what travelling in ancient vehicles is like! It only took us three weeks.

Being here has already been amazing and we’ve only really just arrived. There are people to have both meaningful and fun conversations with, a common purpose to each day, hard work to do, delicious homemade food to share, laughter to ring out, animals to feed and muck out, friends to make.

Living like this is my absolute dream, but it isn’t easy or simple. Everything comes at a cost and the biggest cost is committment. At the moment, my family has big decisions to make, regarding the next chapter of all of our lives.

I have always had big ideas and big ambitions and sometimes it’s difficult for me to acknowledge that they may not always walk hand in hand with reality. I’m being honest when I say that one of my greatest struggles is accepting that life can’t always be how I want it to be, that problems exist and that things are complex and ugly and hard to achieve.

I want so much to change the world and I cling on to any opportunity that arises, but the people I love try to tell me that I can’t make things happen to fast. Life isn’t that straight forward, sometimes I have to go with the flow. It affects me and I have to stop it becoming a negative thing.

Recently I have been reading a book called Out Of Bounds, it is a collection of fictitious stories about the experiences of young people during the period of apartheid in South Africa. One of the pieces details a grandmother who’s granddaughter is sixteen and a freedom fighter who risks her life every day to do what is right.

The old woman can never understand why her granddaughter fights so hard and tries to force things to change. Then one day, when the child is in trouble, the woman sacrifices herself so that the girl can be free and keep fighting. It is incredibly moving and powerful and I learnt a lot from reading it.

My Dad says I will always struggle, it is part of my character, I know he’s right. It is my strength and my weakness, it’s where I thrive and where I fall.  Although I will keep on fighting for my dreams, I must learn to control it.

Being at Coope Farm is great for me, I made it happen and I am here now enjoying it. Even though I am just thirteen years old and I can’t possibly change the world, I can jolly well do my best to try!

See ya later,

Gracie

P.S If anyone’s interested in reading more about Coope Farm, please click this link: http://www.coopefarmdevon.co.uk

 

The Sunshine Blogger Award: Filled With Light

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When someone says The Sunshine Blogger Award, what words spring to mind? For me it’s Light. Hope. Happiness. Laughter. Fun. I want this blog to be filled with all of those things and I hope that I already create a sense of some of them here on A Light In The Darkness.

So I want to begin by saying a big thank you to the wonderful May for nominating me for this award and giving me the opportunity to share with you one of my passions besides writing and trying to change the world: Books!

So let’s start with the rules:

  • Thank the person/persons that nominated you and link back to their blog.
  • Answer the 11 questions your nominator has given you.
  • Nominate 11 other people and give them 11 new questions to answer.
  • List the rules and display the award.

If you could be an author, who would you be?

Probably Sita Brahmachari, not only does she pen the most incredible books about subjects like grief, war, bullying, friendship, poverty and love, she is also a full-time campaigner for Amnesty International, a human rights organisation. She works with refugees and allows them how to express themselves through writing. She blogs at this blog here. She is an extremely down-to-earth and inspirational person and I’d love to be like her. To read my book review of three of Sita’s books, click here.

If I could be another author, it would be Michael Morpurgo, he writes with such strong feeling and emotion about real things that happen in the world. He is a master storyteller and he really wants to make a difference. The way he gets inspiration for his books is amazing, it’s all through experiences he has and chance conversations with random people. He inspires me a lot.

What book(s) do you wish you wrote?

Moon Bear by Gill Lewis, the story line is so complex and touching. A girl sacrifices her life for the sake of doing the right thing. The author creates beautiful characters that you feel so connected with. The dialog is convincing and realistic (something I struggle with when writing my own novels). Her art of describing is also incredible. I highly recommend it.

The Penderwicks by Jeanne Birdshall. The main reason I wish I wrote this book is the way the author is so clever with the characters. It is a sort of modern version of Little Women, following the crazy lives of four sisters, but Jeanne makes it totally her own. She manages to keep up the unique personalities of each sister throughout the whole series.

Here are each of their profiles, starting with the oldest, I thought you might find it fun to read:

Rosalind: The responsible and sensible, kind and caring eldest sister. She is practical and loves to bake, but can sometimes be taken to romantic notions! She is looked up to by all her younger siblings. 

Sky: Stubborn, smart and out-spoken Sky is the second Penderwick sister. She wants to be an astrophysicist when she grows up and believes in science and fact. She finds her sisters extremely annoying, but is never afraid to be brave and stand up for them in an emergency. 

Jane: Jane is the crazy, dreamy third sister who spends each and every moment of her day with her head stuck in one of her books. She hopes to become an author one day and practices writing poetry and stories all the time. She has a habit of using long words.

Batty: Her name is short for Elizabeth, she’s named after her late Mother. She is quiet and sensitive and loves to try and help others. She also seems to understand animals in a way none of her sisters can. 

How fast of a reader are you?

Um, very very fast. I literally DEVOUR books! I read the average book in two days.

Which book character would you totally want to meet, but fear might kill you?

The fearsome Nancy Blackett from Swallows and Amazons by Arthur Ransome. She is my absolute idol. I have walked around in a red bobble hat and black cowboy boots since I first read the book aged about seven. I want to meet her and be her so much!  She is a young female pirate, who resides over Lake Coniston in The Lake district, UK.  She’s captain of a boat called Amazon whom she sails with her sister, Peggy. They live off grog (ginger beer) and great hunks of fruitcake.  It’s just good old-fashioned adventure and some of it is actually quite exciting.

What books have you cried over (if any)?

The Child’s Elephant by Rachel Campbell-Johnston. It is quite a serious book about child soldiers in Rwanda and it really shocked me. I had no idea that this sort of thing went on in the world and I found it deeply moving. To read my book review that I wrote two years ago click here.

What do you do besides reading?

Well, obviously writing. And blogging. I really enjoy to swim too. I am a total water baby and rejoice in the freedom that being in the water grants me. Out of the pool, I am not agile at all, so it’s liberating for me. I also love baking and creating new recipes to share with my family and friends. I am learning about foraging, wild food and herbal medicine too, I find that so interesting. My other hobbies include skiing, sailing and hanging out with friends.

How would you react if all the books suddenly disappeared from the world?

I cannot possibly imagine that and I’d rather not, if you don’t mind. Ha ha!

Book-to-movie adaptations: Like or hate?

It depends. I guess some are great and others aren’t. I don’t like it when they change the story too much,

What book have you been dying to read, but haven’t gotten the chance to?

One by Sarah Crossan. It’s about conjoined twins who’ve been home educated all their lives and then go to school. I find the concept of being physically joined to your twin incredible and being home schooled myself, I am curious as to how the author writes about their experiences. It’s also written in poetry form, which I feel would enhance the story.

Would you rather get paid to read books, review books, or blog about books?

The first one and the last one. But, if I had to choose, I would say ‘get paid to read books’ as I’m not the hugest fan of writing book reviews and I could still blog about other things.

WOULD YOU LOOK AT THAT ONE OF YOU FAVORITE AUTHORS IS STANDING ACROSS THE STREET FROM YOU WHAT DO YOU DO???

I’M GOING TO WRITE THIS IN CAPS TOO ‘CAUSE IT’S SO EXCITING!!! Okay, I’ll stop now. I would tell myself that now is no time to be shy and that this is a once in a lifetime opportunity. Then I would walk across the street and say “Excuse me, can I take a picture with you?” If they said yes, which they would because I only like kind authors, I would be posting it on this blog as soon as I had an internet connection! I would ask them a few questions about writing and then thank them profusely before happily skipping away.

Now for my nominees:

Grace: From The Tip Of Grace’s Pen

Aqsa: Aqsa Says What

MintieFreshie

Elsie L.M.C

Thoughts In Life

RubixCube: Singing To The Sea

Tiana: The Book Raven

Rainbow Girl: Born To Be Me

Loren: Blue Eyes, Grey Eyes

Emma: Book Emma

https://itssimplyme3.wordpress.com/

If I’ve nominated you and you’d rather not do this award, that’s fine! I totally understand. If I haven’t nominated you, please don’t be offended, instead feel free to take part.

My Questions:

What words do you live your life by?

How do you think that you personally can change the world?

What do the words ‘A Light In The Darkness’ mean to you? (How do you interpret them?)

What do you want more than anything else in the world?

Who do you aspire to be like?

What is the story behind your blog name?

What book left you speechless?

Describe one memory that you would never want to lose?

What song could you sing for eternity?

Which blogger in the blogosphere can you relate to the most?

What in life challenges you the most?

Okay, enjoy and let me know how you get on!

Bye for now,

Gracie