‘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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‘Snapshot’ (A Guest-Poem)

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The poem is a little special to me, you see, because, after years of writing, I wrote about how things are in my country, how reality has nothing to do but to lie there with glazed eyes, because everyone is waiting, and just waiting some more, for a change. It’s like walking through honey, and change is bitter and hard work; most people here simply curse it. The few who risk a try get trapped in this spider web of lethargy. Time stills. No one moves. Everything stays the same and hypocrisy prevails. 

These words are a perfect introduction to a stunning poem that I am about to share with you all. The author is Flaw Rainlight  Here is how she describes herself:

Hey there! I’m Flaw Rainlight and often write under the name of T. E. Pyrus. I live in the company of five wonderful cats and writing is a passion. I also learn and love classical dance and music. 

When I first tried my hand at writing, I was about six years old, exploring Dr. Seuss and R. L. Stevenson. That was probably soon after realized my love and awe of books, the way they preserve dreams and lives of people, real and imaginary, for decades and centuries. 

I remember thinking at one point, when I was bothered by the lack of fun things to read on a short vacation with my parents, that if I couldn’t find things to read, why couldn’t try writing them? 

And thus, my imagination, fueled first by boredom, and later by curiosity, passion and a desire to challenge myself further, spilled into little rhymes and incomplete stories. (I’m still mortified that my mother keeps a firm hold on those notebook pages of childish rambling.)

Eventually, encouraged and supported lovingly by friends, family and absolute strangers, I decided to bring my work out into this scary outside world. I began to explore spoken word and set up this blog as a medium to reach out to people like you, who care about writing, and write about caring. After all, thinkers and writers unfurl from the burning fire within to love the world and everything in it, and to witness its evolution that many simply walk past without another glance.

Wow. She certainly I’d talented. Here is her wonderfully deep and meaningful piece:
SNAPSHOT’
 Curiosity stares through tinted glasses
at railway tracks that glint darker in the sun;
the house crow that pecks on the ties in between
looks only slightly greyer than its shadow.
The diesel smoke and incense mist
lie faintly over red painted benches
that infrequently decorate the station platform.
Glass doored cabinets in miniature stalls
hold jars of hard candy, myriad pan filling
and sugared tamarind sweets to charm the mouth,
brightly coloured foil packets of biscuits and sweetened milk cake
lie sulking on the icebox, liberally filled
with ice cream and badam milk, mishti doi and lassi,
chilled soda in orange, brown, and green,
sealed bottles of water for people to please.
People and more people with stranger clothes and faces
scurry and stumble, then scramble and hurry
up the overbridge and down to platform number four
with sari and suitcase, toddler with a missing shoe.
Cartons of fresh iced fish to be sold a thousand miles away
settle comfortably on the floor of the parcel compartment,
painted blue, like all the thirty and one passenger coaches
tailing the rusty red engine that punctuates the chaos
with sleepy sighs and anxious whistles.
Footsteps and wheels run briskly here,
yet time runs ever slowly still
in rhythm with the ceaseless chant –
“cha~i coffee! co~ffee chai! cha~i coffee!…”

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! 

Gracie’s Guide To The 2017 UK General Election Results

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Hey there guys!

As some of you know, I have a job as a researcher for the inspirational Liv, the young creator of theCramm, a movement aimed at empowering and informing today’s youth. You can read more about my role and theCramm here.

Today, I sent Liv an in-depth guide to my country’s recent General Election results. I wanted theCramm’s readers and subscribers to understand what’s been happening and be inspired to try to make a change.

I’ve tried to include a bit of humour and sarcasm and I hope that you’ll all enjoy and learn from this short guide.

Please do note that it contains some of my personal opinions and that I do not wish to offend anyone. I welcome different ideas and thoughts and am happy to listen to others and discuss anything with you all!

Okay, so here goes:

WHAT HAPPENED?
The UK General Election of 2017 (which sounds really grand and pompous, but actually ended up in an enormously embarrassing mess for certain people) came out with some surprising results. In short, we ended up with what’s called a ‘hung parliament’.
A ‘hung parliament’ is when no party gets enough seats to technically ‘win’ the election. 
HOW?
There are two things you can choose to believe about how these results came about:
1) All the parties were just too AWESOME to choose one!
2) Um, all the parties were just too RUBBISH to choose one! 
I know which one I’ve got my money on. 
You could choose to be hopeful and optimistic about these results, believing that something good will come out of this, or you could feel worried and confused about the political chaos that our country is dealing with right now. Again, I know which best describes my feelings. 
SO WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
There are many options for what could happen now. Our government is currently completely out of action, as no one is rightfully in power. 
Theresa May, our former prime minister and current leader of the Conservative Party, has lost her winning majority and probably wishes she’d never suggested a ‘snap election’ in the first place. It was expected that she would win with flying colours and confirm that she was a strong leader to take us through Brexit, but she failed to reach the minimum amount of seats to be re-elected.
Jeremy Corbyn of the Labour Party won the votes of a lot of young people, coming a close second in the polls. I think that this is because young people are more concerned with change that our older generations. Mr Corbyn certainly offers drastic change.  He is now calling for Mrs May to step down and resign. 
Realistically, the chances of becoming prime minister for these two party leaders are high. They are the still the main candidates. 
They now have the options of either going to our monarch, The Queen, and getting permission to form a minority government or….. Hey, wait! What exactly is a ‘minority government’? 
A ‘minority government’ is where the party in power has the most seats, but less than half of the total. It means that the government is also made up of MPs from other parties, meaning they also get a say in running the nation.
Other options include a coalition between parties or one main party attempting to go it alone. We’ll have to wait and see what will happen. One thing’s for sure though, the future of our country looks pretty perilous. 
What are your thoughts on these results? Did you find my guide helpful? Amusing? Do you have an opinion on the political events that happened? Comment discussions especially welcome! Thanks for reading, people!

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

 

Remember Me

Remember me as I was before things changed and took a lifelong pause. Remember the me that was so sure that life could be shaped the me that was pure. Remember me back when we did not think that in a blink things would be so different I did not know what this meant. Remember […]

via Remember Me — Elsie L.M.C

I read this post and just had to share it. It is authored by the wonderful Elsie L.M.C, an inspiring blogger who genuinely cares about others. She wrote this poem about Alzheimer’s, a disease that affects so many of our older generation. It focuses on the fact that we so often judge people on who they are now, caught in an inescapable mess of muddled memories, sometimes unable to communicate or interact with others. But we forget about the person they used to be and still are, deep inside.

Me and my family cared for a 96-year-old gentleman for seven months and he had dementia, so I know what its like. It can be confusing, saddening and frustrating for everyone. But that just makes the moments when he smiled or laughed even more special and joyful. We need to raise awareness about Alzheimer’s, so I have shared Elsie’s post with you today. Please enjoy….

 

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.

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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 Writer’s Ink Challenge

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Hey guys! I was nominated by the amazing Saanvi @ One Notebook,One Pen And Me for The Writing Ink Challenge. So thanks so much to her!

I am really excited to do this as writing is my main passion in life. As a writer I extremely dislike clichés (anyone else?), but I can honestly say that writing is one thing I couldn’t live without. It is my way of expressing myself and being myself and I can’t imagine not being able to dig into my bank of inspiration and imagination and then into my vocabulary to find the right words to tell a story.

Now, onto the rules:

  • Thank the writer who nominated you (that’s you Saanvi, so much appreciation. It means the world!)
  • Answer the amazing writing-related questions. Cannot wait!
  • Nominate at least five writers/bloggers to do the tag. Warning: I know too many awesome people who would eagerly accept this challenge to nominate only five.

The Questions

When did you first start writing?

In all the photos of me growing up from a baby to a toddler to a kid to the thirteen year old I am now, you can never see my face. Why? Simply because it’s always stuck in a book. My love of words has fuelled my desire to write and I have been writing since I can remember. 

Have you always been interested in writing?

Yes, I have many other interests, but writing is the most important to me. Without it I don’t know what sort of person I’d be, it is so much a part of my personality, it fuels my confidence and it allows me to grow and be myself whilst doing something that feels like magic to me.

Why do you like writing?

My mind is filled with beautiful ideas, with characters good and evil and intriguing. My life is a story, a memory, an echo. I have to let it out onto paper or it will swallow me into its depths. No, I am its master, I will create it and then I will control it, not become a part of it. It is a part of me. 

I hope that makes sense for it is the reason writing is personally incredible for me. I also love it because it means I can share and connect with others, transport them into my world for a fleeting moment. Make them feel how I feel through the character. Show them things perhaps they never saw before.

What genre do you write in?

I think my style is quite unique. I enjoy to weave stories with a lot of emotion. I would say I mainly write realistic, yet creative fiction with poetry mixed in when I feel like it! 

Do you write poetry?

Yup! I love how something so short can be so powerful. I actually started my own campaign combining poetry with changing the world. I’m still looking for new participants so click here to find out more.

Have you ever written a story with a friend?

No, sadly not. I find the idea quite strange actually, it would certainly be a challenge. Has anyone else ever done this? 

How do you write your stories? First tense or second? Past tense or present?

I try to think of what will suit the piece, what will enhance it. I often write in the present tense, it is my go to form. Most of the time I just write what’s in my mind and see where it leads me. Someone once told me never to change tense during a piece of writing. Top tip there! 

Where do you see yourself writing-related in one month? One year? Ten years?

In one month I hope that I will have experienced many more things to write about and add to my ever-lasting bank of ideas. I hope to share many more with you all on this blog too!

In a year, I want to have met many other writers who I will be able to continue my wordy journey with. We’ll advise and support each other and exchange ideas and experiences.

Ten years is a long time to look ahead, but I know I’ll still be writing. Write on forever!!! 

Right, that’s done! Now for my nominees:

Rainbow Girl @ The Fabulous Rainbow Blog

Aqsa @ Aqsa Says What?

Little Helper @ Thoughts In Life

Elsie L.M.C

Emma @ Book Emma

Sumzoe @ The Unshackled Thoughts Of A Dreamer

Mintie Freshie

Adoma @ Girl From Ghana

Grace @ From The Tip Of Grace’s Pen

Grace @ The Girl Upstairs

Mirra @ A Young Writer’s Dream

Okay, I hope all of you guys are able to do the challenge and enjoy it! I also want to remind all you fellow writers of my writing competition that you have until May 1st to enter! Please, please, please submit a piece! I can’t wait to reveal the winners, but first I need more entries from you, wonderful writerly bloggers! Click here now to read more and submit your entry.

Goodbye for now and looking forward to reading all your posts!

Gracie

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