Q and A – Ask Away!

Hiya All!

As promised, here is a Q and A post for you guys! I thought it’d be great for you to get to know me better so… ask away! This is thr perfect opportunity. You may ask as many questions as you like about my life in general, my writing, my future plans, the things I love, anything!

Looking forward to answering them, guys! Thanks in advance!

Gracie xxx

 

 

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Get To Know Me Better!

Hiya all,

I often think that there’s SO much my blogging friends don’t know about me. Oh sure, they know all about my ideas for world change and my deepest inner struggles, but not much about, well, me 🙂 So today I’ve decided that I’m going to tell you guys a lot more about myself. Here goes!

 

Let’s start with the basics, shall we? My name is Gracie and I am 14 years old.  At the moment I live in a van on a farm in *looks out of window* rainy, old England.

I am a teenager with an infinite mess of feelings, dreams, plans and struggles. I am a writer, a spoken word poet, a teacher, a blogger (obviously) and someone who loves baking, cooking and being with others. I am studying socio-anthropology (the social study of humanity) as well as doing yoga, film-making and Italian. 

I also am home-educated and I love it! I get to make decisions about what’s relevant to my life and my future and study what I’m passionate about.

My greatest dream is to be able to help others, but I often feel unbelievably helpless and wonder if I’m more naive than anything else? I live for those crazy of moments of abandon that make me feel like summer, songs that inspire rebellion, campfire smoke settling on my clothes,  sunsets and the times where my words fly from my heart and through my lips like it is their very purpose to change the world.

I get lonely, I get discontent, I get anxious and worried and I can’t bear to not know what’s happening, but I believe that this is the right path for me.

My family lives a very unusual lifestyle. Ever since I was a very small child, my parents have tried to teach me and my siblings to help others when we can, to challenge the way our modern society works, to make a difference and make a change, to be ourselves and be honest. Through the life we live, we hope to practice all these things.

*casually quotes my about page* lol

I have traveled a lot in the UK. In fact, my family and I are about to leave everything familiar behind and go off traveling permanently, perhaps even around Europe and beyond. My Dad has built a tiny home on the back of a vintage truck and we are going to live on the road, making the statement that alternative living is possible for other families, that there is another way to live your life in our crazy, messed-up world. We are advocates for positive change within our society.

I don’t know what the future holds…..

I obviously can’t sum up my whole being in just this one post, but I hope you’ve got to know me a bit better and enjoyed reading this. Feel free to do the same if you think your readers could benefit from getting to know you more!

I want to make my posts a bit more based around my life and a bit more personal. Here are a few ideas I’ve had, please vote for your (personal) favourite. See what I did there? XD

See ya guys later! Don’t forget to vote!

Best Day Of My Life – My Spoken Word Performance + Meeting A Blogging Bestie IRL For First Time EVER!

Yesterday was undoubtedly one of the best days of my life. This was because of two major events –

  1. I met a blogging friend in real life for the first time ever.
  2. I performed spoken word poetry live on stage in front of an audience at a theatre in an urban music show.

I really can’t believing I’m telling you this. It  still all feels totally and utterly surreal.

Note – I’ve written a lot about this ‘spoken word poetry’ and I’ve suddenly realised that a lot of you probably have no idea what I’m on about. You know when something’s, like, the centre of your world? Well, you don’t really think about other people not understanding it or not having heard of it, do you? That’s how I feel.

Anyway, spoken word poetry is basically poetry that is written to be performed. It’s extremely similar to something called ‘slam poetry’. You may have heard of that.

I love love love spoken word. It is how I express myself. It is what I feel born to do and when I was up on that stage yesterday, I felt confident, I felt like I belonged. When I looked around the theatre and saw all those people here, listening….and then I looked at all the new friends I’d made sitting there, watching me, as well as some very special people right in the front row (more on that soon 😀), I felt so happy and so content and so….like I’d found myself. Weird, I know, but true. It’s impossible for me to describe the feeling – belonging, maybe? Or ecstasy? Lol.

Sadly, when my Mum tried to record during the performance, she didn’t manage to get it (instead she got a very blurry photo – don’t ask 😝)However, she very kindly agreed to film me performing both pieces again today. Here it is –

Oh, hold on, before you watch. If you want to hear more about the show click HERE!!!

Bonus photos below!

A very excited, energetic me before a day of train journeys and rehearsals left me an exhausted wreck.

Adam – my spoken word ‘mentor’ and the evening’s host.

Now, the blogosphere and ‘the real world’ are two completely different universes and two different identities for the blogger and, although I’ve always dreamed about what beautiful things might happen if these collided, I never once thought they would.

I was wrong.

A few weeks ago I was writing about my show (and gushing about how excited I was) when a very lovely human left me a comment. I quote:

Is the thing in London something you book for? Because honestly, I’d love to come and see it. No joke. Love you lots xxx

 

And my reply?

Oh my goodness {you totally should come and see it} Yesssssssssssss!

And so yeah! It happened. And it was absolutely incredible, better than I ever could have imagined. I got to meet and hang out with the AMAZINGGGGG Elm!!!

Oh and btw, this all happened on her 3 year blogoversary so get on over to her and wish her a good one, please!

I would like to thank her and her lovely friend who I also had the pleasure of meeting for being such fantastic humans and for supporting me throughout my performance. You guys really made me day – you deserve loads of love. Actually, this post is dedicated to you.

In a way, this post is a collaboration with Elm, she will be posting later on about her experience as an audience member so watch out for that.

 

Thank you to everyone who wished me luck or sent me messages of support before my performance. Loadsa love to you all.

I think that’s all, yeah. I’ll stop rambling now. Peace out, guys.

#How Are You? Get Involved!

How are you? 

Simple question, right? One you’ll hear pretty much everyday, probably several times. I’m sure you’ll have your automatic answer all lined up.  Something along the lines of ‘Fine, thanks’ or ‘I’m okay’ or ‘Good’ or whatever. You say it without even thinking.

What happens if you do think about it though? What happens if you pause before you answer and ask yourself how you really are? Would your answer be different?

So I’m asking you – how are you? 

Be creative, be thoughtful, but most importantly, be honest.

Now, if you think this is great, please get involved by either sharing this post or writing your own, spread this around the blogosphere, encourage people to be open and honest, show people how to care about each other! We can do this, guys!

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?

 

 

 

 

 

 

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? 

‘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

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 ❤️❤️❤

 

Beautiful Ideas + Determined Bloggers = One Word: Change (An Equation That Can Mean Only One Thing: Another Blogging Project)

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I told you we’d celebrate with something special, didn’t I? Something fun and light-hearted, yet still staying true to the purpose of A Light In The Darkness?

I had a bit of a dilemma, but I really hope that you guys like what I’ve chosen. My blogging project A Passion For The World seemed to inspire so many people to think about how they could use the things they love to change the world. I saw the power of this creative project, the joy and the purpose it gave all my blogging friends. I want to give you another opportunity to feel this way. So……….

Without further ado, I present my NEW blogging project: Beautiful Ideas + Determined Bloggers = One Word: Change 

Here are the steps you follow, it’s simple.

  • Sign up for the project by emailing me at graciechick29@gmail.com If you like, you can invite a couple of other bloggers to participate by sharing the links to their blogs with me.

 

  • I will assign pairs, based in which bloggers I think will work well together.

 

  • You must then collaborate to come up with a campaign idea for using blogging to change the world. Note: if you don’t want to be in direct contact with other bloggers then I suggest you don’t sign up for this. Unless you can think of another way to do it…?

 

  • You can then present your campaign idea to me and I will launch the winning ones on my blog!

Tip:  They can be interactive (like an award) or they can be raising awareness of something, let your imagination flow like a waterfall…..!

I hope this gets you excited and inspired!

Now, there were a few of you who wanted a blog party and, I must admit, it sounds pretty fun. So gone on, leave a comment and join the party! Tell us about yourself, chat and interact, visit new blogs, have fun and SMILE!

 

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