Words That Burn + Poems About Identity And Two Big Announcements!

As part of my home school curriculum, I am doing a project called Words That Burn. It was launched by Amnesty International and is aimed at teaching young people about human rights, whilst encouraging them in their creative writing, mainly poetry. Learning at its best, in my view.

So, today I wanted to share a poem that we had to analyse in my project. It’s a really powerful and beautiful piece by spoken word artist Dean Atta, on the topic of identity. After that, we had to write our own poem, about our identity.

However, before we go into all of that exciting stuff, I have an important announcement to make! 🙂 You can now go vote for the nominees in Megan’s Part 1 of the Best Of 2017 Blogging Awards! I am literally jumping up and down right now because I WAS NOMINATED IN TWO CATEGORIES! Wow, I never expected that.  Anyway, go vote! And good luck! *proceeds to dance around the room*

Okay, so coming back to the poem. I present, I Come From by Dean Atta.

I come from shepherd’s pie and Sunday roast
Jerk chicken and stuffed vine leaves
I come from travelling through my taste buds but loving where I live

I come from a home that some would call broken
I come from D.I.Y. that never got done
I come from waiting by the phone for him to call

I come from waving the white flag to loneliness
I come from the rainbow flag and the union jack
I come from a British passport and an ever-ready suitcase

I come from jet fuel and fresh coconut water
I come from crossing oceans to find myself
I come from deep issues and shallow solutions

I come from a limited vocabulary but an unrestricted imagination
I come from a decent education and a marvellous mother
I come from being given permission to dream but choosing to wake up instead

I come from wherever I lay my head
I come from unanswered questions and unread books
Unnoticed effort and undelivered apologies and thanks

I come from who I trust and who I have left
I come from last year and last year and I don’t notice how I’ve changed
I come from looking in the mirror and looking online to find myself

I come from stories, myths, legends and folk tales
I come from lullabies and pop songs, Hip Hop and poetry
I come from griots, grandmothers and her-story tellers

I come from published words and strangers’ smiles
I come from my own pen but I see people torn apart like paper
Each a story or poem that never made it into a book.

I just love love love some of the lines in this, they’re so poignant. “waving the white flag to loneliness” “crossing oceans to find myself” “being given permission to dream, but choosing to wake up instead” I could go on and on and on. Seriously

Now comes the challenging part. I had to write a poem like his: an I come from….. poem. So I sat down and made a list of the things that have shaped my identity and then crafted them into this poem.

I Come From by Gracie Chick

I come from words springing from emptiness,

I come from the pages of a book, 

I come from misty mornings in my mind and conversations long into the night,

I come from the flames of a candle and the glowing embers of a campfire

I come from struggles and determination and an overwhelming desire for true friendship. 

I come from missing the sunrise and waiting all day for it to set.

I come from craving beauty in a world I want to change, 

I come from tears and discontentment, 

I come from dreaming big

I come from two amazing hearts that never lose faith. 

I come from wanting more than black and white

I come from music that no one else hears and stories that no one else sees,

or writes.

I come from a river of ink and a land of where the honey is too sticky and sweet and the milk soured long ago.

Hope that made sense to you guys! Now, the big question is……

Where do you come from???

Please answer in the comments, debating is more than welcome!

And now, time for the second big announcement. Some of you might remember reading my discussion post on makeup a few weeks ago. If so, you’ll probably recall that I included a section detailing the thoughts of many different teens throughout the blogosphere. The result was amazing and everyone really got into the discussion element of it. So, I was thinking I’d make this a regular thing. If you’re interested in contributing your opinions to these future discussion posts, please drop me an email at graciechick29@gmail.com

Then, whenever I need your thoughts, I’ll send out an email (probably monthly) and you can reply with your contributions. This is aimed mainly at teens, but if you’re older or younger and would still like to participate, feel free. Also, if you sign up, you don’t have to participate very time. If you’re ever too busy or just don’t want to contribute that’s totally fine.  Hoping to see lots of interest in this!

What did you think of Dean Atta’s Poem? What about mine? Complete this sentence: I come from…

Are you going to sign up to give your opinions in my future discussion posts?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Extracts From My Journal + The Best Of 2017 Blog Awards Have Arrived Again (Yay!!!)

30th November 2017

It’s a proven scientific fact that any energy that keeps getting larger and larger will eventually explode. For example, friction will  eventually burst into flames. Well, there’s friction in my mind right now.

My Mum called it emotional turmoil, my Dad called it being lost, but I think friction is a good word at the moment. I’ve already burst into flames a few times, the energy always seems to die down, simmer quietly for a little while and then begin to build up until, you guessed it, I explode again with emotion again. Most of the time I don’t even know what causes all of these feelings. 

I need to look towards my future, focus on the positives that lie ahead and stop clinging onto the negatives of the here and the now. Being sad and discontent never made anyone’s life better, I’ve got to take action. 

2nd December 2017

Today I went to see Wonder at the cinema. As the scenes from my favourite book flashed past my eyes, I immersed myself in the story, rediscovering the powerful themes that run through it. Many of them are relevant to my life right now – being different, going to school, fitting in, standing out, real friendships, finding your place in this world, staying true to who you are. 

In all of the characters that I’ve known and loved for so long, I suddenly saw myself. When I read the book (and I must have read it 100 times, no kidding) I am an observer in Auggie, Via, Miranda, Jack Will, Julian, Summer, Justin and everyone else’s lives. However, watching the movie made me see their story in a different light. I felt like I was there, I was part of it.

I was Via, struggling with friendships. I was Miranda, just trying to fit in with the crowd, wanting to be liked. I was Summer, trying to be a good friend and Jack Will, trying but not always succeeding.There are no words for how much I loved this movie and how much of an impact it had on me. 
4th December 2017

I went to my teen yoga class today. Although I’m not flexible enough to do half of the poses I still love it. It’s amazing for relaxation, concentration, exercise and the releasing of stress. 

My yoga teacher, Luna, says that in yoga thoughts are like clouds, we let them drift by without holding onto them. You go into your body and just observe your mind. It makes you less anxious and stressed plus it helps you concentrate on your thoughts and make more sense of them. This was great for me, for someone who’s brain is especially active and often anxious, it helped me chill out and bring things into perspective. </

In other news from the life of Gracie Chick, my prize for when I cam runner-up in a poetry competition arrived. I received a certificate and a small bundle of writing supplies (a notepad, two pencils, one pen and a bookmark). Exciting! 🙂 


I’ve also been really into cooking with foraged goodies. This time of year is brilliant for wild food and I’ve been making the most of the abundance of it on the farm where I live. 

</I made this delicious lunch for my family, it’s a chickweed and lettuce salad with a berry vinegar dressing and crumbled parmesan on toast. It was SO good. 

</A yummy snack of roasted burdock root chips sprinkled with sesame seeds. Okay, I hope you enjoyed that little peek into my life at the moment. I felt like doing an update and I wanted to be honest.<Now, I have an exciting announcement to make ~ Megan is hosting the Best Of 2017 Blogging Awards for the third year in a row! By taking the survey now, you can vote for all the amazing blogs and posts out there that you’ve particularly loved. So, what are you waiting for? Go VOTE!

What’s going on in your life at the moment? Don’t be afraid of honesty, I often am and it never makes you feel better when you bottle it up. You can send me an email if you feel like talking. 🙂 🙂 🙂 Oh, and will you vote in the Best Of 2017 Blogging Awards? 

The Perfectly Imperfect Tag ~ A Guest Post By Aqsa!

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Today I am honoured to host the creation of an inspiring new tag by my amazing blogging friend Aqsa . *fanfare* I asked her if she wanted to do a guest post and she came up with something as brilliant as this. Totally typical. Anyways, it is with great pleasure that I share with you The Perfectly Imperfect Tag! Here’s the link to it on Aqsa’s blog:

via The Perfectly Imperfect Tag: My Blogging Campaign/Featured Guest Post! – Aqsa Says What? — Aqsa Says What?

Expect my participation within the near future!

Wishing this tag the best of luck! Hope it spreads all around the blogosphere…..!

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

 

TheCramm Award

I was nominated by the incredible Aqsa for this inspiring and slightly different award. It is called the Cramm Award because an amazing young blogger called Liv created this website called theCramm. It’s whole desire is to make current affairs more understandable and interesting for young adults and teens. So a huge thank you to both Aqsa and Liv!

Now, the rules:

  • Include a bit  about who created this award (with a link to the website)
  • Mention the person who nominated you
  • Share three things that motivate you to blog
  • Share three people who inspire you to blog
  • Share one thing you hope to do to improve the world
  • Answer your challenge question
  • Nominate 10+ bloggers and give them a cool challenge question

Here it goes!

Three Things That Motivate Me To Blog

First and foremost, the world. The purpose of A Light In The Darkness is to be a light and help others through my passion: words and stories. There is so much to write about, good and bad. Everything sparks my interest and I try to combine my loves of writing and making the world a better place together to create a recipe for positive change.

Inspiration. Recently I wrote this in one of my many works of fiction:

I am a writer, I feed off of the crazy inspiration that wells up inside me, demanding to be pinned onto paper. So when I can’t write,  I don’t know who I am. I begin to feel like a sort of spirit of a past writer, who wanders with all purpose lost. Who seeks a new identity.

Lastly, it probably has to be the thought of the impact I, an ordinary teen girl, could have on the planet if I keep writing. I hope people read my posts and are inspired, motivated, filled with hope and light. I really want my tiny, humble blog to reach out to people all over our earth, from all races, religions, backgrounds and cultures.

Three People Who Inspire Me To Blog

My Dad. My Dad teaches me and explains things to me. He encourages me, but he also challenges me. My Dad wants to contribute to making a better world and he wants me to help him on his journey. He was the one who came up with the idea of my blog name: A Light In The Darkness. Dad always told me about the people who are like lighthouses, the ones who guide others away from the treacherous rocks and into the safety of the light.  Dad talks to me and makes sure I understand everything in the world. I am so grateful for having him as my chief source of research and also as my biggest supporter. When you read my posts in future, remember that he is always there, behind the scenes…..

My Mum too. She always reads through posts and casts her valuable opinion, whether or not I listen to it is another question! But she’s always right. She always encourages me with my writing and assures me that I have a gift, but she also lets me know when I’m not meeting my potential, which I really appreciate. She plays a lot of the same roles as my Dad, teaching me, answering my never-ending stream of questions and much more. i love her so much.  Mum is another essential member of my ‘behind the scenes’ blogging team.

Then there are all the other people who inspire me in my life, in big and small ways. Whether it’s Malala Yousafzai standing up for girl’s education or just a conversation I have with one of my friends, even the tiniest thing can set off a whole train of thoughts in my mind. I am so glad that the world is full of opportunities to be inspired. I am thankful for each and every thing that captures my attention and forces me to write something to raise awareness and do it justice.

One Thing I Want To Do To Improve The World 

There are so many things in the world that need changing and I often wonder how I can make a difference. Everywhere I look there are problems and tragic situations. It’s so difficult for me to even know where to begin.

One thing that’s always on my mind is how I can make a direct difference to people’s lives. I often feel like blogging about the world isn’t enough to do anything of any real meaning.

I have moments where I’ve been watching the news and I’m ready to board an aeroplane and fly to Africa, but my parents always tell me that I’m 13 and that it would be crazy. I might be able to help a few people, but people need more than just food and water, they need the rest of the world to stop thinking about themselves and start sharing what they have with others.

So I’ll keep writing, hoping that I’m changing attitudes and perspectives for the better. I am doing something that I love and am good at and, bit by bit, I am helping to make the world a much more peaceful and fair place.

All in all, I want to change people’s minds, make them think and hopefully take action. I want to draw people together and show them the truth.

Aqsa’s Challenge Question For Me

If you were to have 3 wishes to change the world, what would you wish for?

Well, first of all I would abolish greed. Greed causes wars and conflicts, destroys people’s lives and relationships. It is a terrible force for evil and it lives within all of us. Greed was the reason people kept slaves, the reason why a person would kill a whole other race of people. Our history is riddled with it and although we can’t erase that, we can learn our lesson and begin again.

Secondly, I would wish for people to suddenly wake up and realise what we are doing to our planet and its people.  Because we can’t change unless we acknowledge that we were wrong.

Lastly I would wish that all people could live without fear, oppression, war, poverty, discrimination and injustice in their lives. That everyone was happy and content. This is my overall wish for the world.

My Challenge Question For My Nominees

If you could team up with someone to create a movement for change, who would it be, why would it be them and what would your movement focus on? 

My Nominees!

Em

Fizzy

Arya and Shruti

Thoughts In Life

Misty

RubixCube

Mintiefreshie

Megan

Asha

Chithra

Elsie L.M.C

If I haven’t tagged you feel free to nominate yourself! Let me know if you do so I can read your answers! If I have nominated and you’d rather not do this award, then no worries. Enjoy……!