Happy New Year, everyone!!
2016 came along faster than I anticipated but now that it's here there's a lot to look forward to. Finishing up the semester, graduating in May, and everything beyond. Other than that, it's a fresh start for everyone and I'm excited to see what the year has to bring. I had a pretty good 2015 so I'm betting 2016 will be even better.
I don't do resolutions for New Year's, not really. I typically just make a goal and see if I stick with it. (Yes, I know that's basically the same thing but I don't hold it to the same sort of standards that people have to it as there always seems to be a big thing when someone breaks a resolution). My goal last year was to go to the gym more and I'm now in a routine of going about 5 times a week or so.
This year my goal is to focus more on my writing. Not only do I have to work on Reagan as well as Flynn but I want to re-write Two Pair. Not only because it's been three years since it was published (four once September hits) but because I write differently now and I feel that I'm a better storyteller. (I'm not amazing but any means, but I see the improvement). That being said, I have the re-written first chapter of Two Pair below; the way this story goes now is that each chapter focuses on one of the girls (in order of Reagan, Mickayla, Ronan, then Savannah) and tells the story switching between their POVs.
Let me know what you guys think. Really, let me know; what did you like about it? What didn't you like? What do you think about the characterization? What do you think about the pacing? etc. etc.
I hope you all have a great 2016.
“Ugh, leave it to school to ruin everything.”
“Not everything, I got a few great shots of the sunrise.”
Reagan Jacoby sighed as she gently laid her surfboard against the wall of the garage carefully placing it down so that it didn’t get scratched. Then she picked up the large beach towel that lay across her shoulders and used it to her body free of the ocean water and sand that stuck to her skin. “I’m sure they’re great, Ro,” she said, addressing her twin sister with a sigh. “But I’ve been trying to get that rodeo flip for weeks now and I still can’t get it.”
“Well, if you force yourself you’re just going to get worse,” Ronan commented. She lowered the camera that hung around her neck and placed her hands on her hips. “I know you didn’t manage to land a single trick today, but you’re just psyching yourself out.”
Reagan bobbed her head back and forth, twisting her mouth to the side as she thought about it. She had been putting a lot of pressure on herself after the competition she had entered last week. Those girls seemed to have been able to improve quicker than she had. She had placed well, but it still wasn’t something she was ready to brag about unless she could land the rodeo flip more than a few times. She was sure she would have gotten it if she weren’t risking the bus back to the neighborhood. It was one of the few times she hated that neither of them had their license.
“You’ll get it,” Ronan said. She reached up and pushed her purple strand of hair out of her blue eyes, chuckling when Reagan did the same movement at the same time, but with her red strand of hair.
Being twins Reagan and Ronan had become susceptible to the common questions and trappings of being a multiple.
How do you tell each other apart? They were color coded since birth; with Reagan’s color being pink and Ronan’s color being yellow thus dictating everything that was bought for them to be specifically in those colors or an off-shoot of the color. Then when they were young enough to make their decisions of their own desires, Reagan switched hers to red and Ronan switched hers to purple. Despite having the same shoulder length dark hair and standing at the same height, Ronan was bestowed with a mole on her chin and birthmark on her forehead, while Reagan had a birthmark on her left knee. On the other hand, their laughter and voices, though similar, were slightly different.
What’s it like to be a twin? The same as being a single person…considering they didn’t know anything about not being a twin. The quickest answer was being born with their best friend at their side.
Who’s the oldest? Reagan was born five minutes before Ronan and used it to her advantage as much as possible…though it always backfired in her face when she questioned “Why do I have to do it?” where Ronan would then say, “Because you’re the oldest”. And that was that. . It was an injustice, not to mention the strange sort of responsibility that was thrust upon her shoulders at differing moments. Was it her fault she was born first? For all she knew, with what little space they had in the womb, Ronan had pushed her out just to get some space. People always said that babies played together while they were in the womb, no one knew it could have potentially been a war for dominance.
Do you fight a lot? Not very much but that didn’t mean there weren’t odd moments of bickering every once in a while. In the Jacoby household there were fights over very small and petty things. The biggest repeat offender being who got into the bathroom first, though the runners up in competitions were who got to use the ‘good bowl’ for cereal, who got to ride shotgun, who got the bigger brownie for desert, and who was the one to go first when they had a driving lesson. Just about anything could be turned into a not-quite-serious argument of equality.
Can you feel each other’s pain? Typically that responded in a light laugh, a short story of the only time they had managed to do it—if it weren’t an outright lie—and say that it was impossible. However that question was then followed up by ‘can you tell what your sister is thinking?’ where a random guess would be the answer.
What amused them and others the most were the times where the twin girls would move or say something in the same way at the same time, creating some sort of a stereo effect that would result in surprised laughter.
Ronan then called the first shower as the girls tramped into their house being careful not to drag sea water and sand all over the immaculate flooring of the kitchen. Their father set aside the garage and accompanying laundry room to collect their water and sports gear to finish his endless battle of combating piles of sand that managed to sneak its way inside. Their maltipoo puppy, Zack, greeted them at the door, lifting up on his hind legs tail wagging at high speeds and licked at their hands.
“Sorry, Zack, you know the vet said you’re going on a diet,” Reagan said as she scooped him up in her arms. “I don’t think licking away all of the dried saltwater is going to help much.” She giggled as his tiny tongue flicked over her chin and she headed towards her room to get her clothes out for the day.
Along the hallway she passed a portrait that held her sister and her father and stopped to smile at it, as she did every day. Though their family was small with only the two of them and their father, Elijah Jacoby, she wouldn’t trade it for the world. Seeing her father stick his fingers up behind their heads in bunny ears always made her laugh. Neither she nor Ronan had noticed it when the picture was being taken the last father’s day. As Reagan glanced at the photo, her mind wandered to her mother which was strange in itself as she didn't particularly dwell over the woman she didn’t get to know before she was out of her life.
For as long as she could remember it had always been herself, her sister, and their father and it was all she wanted, she loved her life. But then there were the vulnerable moments where the mysterious woman managed to creep in; late nights when she couldn’t fall asleep, when she got her period for the first time and had to call her father at work, Mother’s Day…holidays were always some of the harder days to get through. At some point someone would mention her, question how their mother managed to carry twins to term, or their father would suddenly fall silent and look off into space remembering a time the girls didn’t know. It helped their father was just as good of a mother as he was a father and the missing spot in their lives diminished in size.
Not completely gone.
But diminish in size.
Reagan went to their room and dropped Zack onto the ground, picking up her phone. She navigated to her MugShot profile, one of the biggest social media networks out there, and checked the notifications. A few handcuffs, some new pictures posted, and a comment on a status she had followed the day before. The usual. But then a colorful image caught her eye as she recognized a member of her school’s cross country team as the header for the article. Grinning, she clicked into the article, hoping to read about the win her school had at the latest meet but the longer she read, the lower her jaw dropped.
“What?” Ronan shouted over the running shower water.
“They mixed up our school names again! They said that Ashburg Arts was the team that got the state record at our last meet!” Shaking her head, Reagan continued to scroll the news article, hoping Ashburg Academy’s name would pop up somewhere. “I mean, sure, they can probably afford the steroids as easily as they buy candy, but we get our wins with hard work.”
She continued to look through her phone, checking out the scores of her favorite sports teams before becoming sucked in to Flutter, catching up on the musicians, actors, and athelets that had posted the night before, then catching up on her classmates. Her buzzed in her hand as a text came in.
Tristan: We’ll be there in a half hour, Nic needs to get to school early.
Reagan: No worries, we’ll see you when you get here.
Putting her phone away, Reagan glanced at her watch then sighed heavily when she noticed how much time had passed and the shower water was still running. Must be payback for how long I spent at the beach this morning. Picking up her clothes, Reagan walked over to the bathroom door and banged her fist against it, causing the hinges shake, rattle, and roll. As she continued to knock the surrounding walls trembled and quaked in danger of knocking photos to the floor.
“How much longer are you gonna be in there?” she shouted. “I have to get dressed!” Reagan pressed her ear against the door, trying to hear the water over the blood pounding in her ears.
Receiving no response, she let out a sigh then alternately slammed both hands on the door with the repeated chant, “Ro. Ro! Ro-your-boat!” On the last few swings she missed and whacked her hand against the hinge of the door, scraping her knuckle. Sticking her finger in her mouth, Regan pictured herself hitting the door and realized how ridiculous she must have looked. It wasn’t like she hadn’t locked Ronan out of the bathroom; but in her defense, nothing was better or more relaxing than reading in a bubble bath after a long day at the beach.
Finally, Reagan got a reply—albeit an exasperated one—from her sister as she heard the nickname that had been given to her since first grade. “How long have you been waiting to use that one?”
“About as long as I’ve been standing in the hallway,” Reagan said. She crossed her arms. “I thought about going to get Dad’s taser, too. But I thought that might be overkill.” She smiled; sure it was evident in her voice. “Though it’d be a good way to be an only child again. Those first five minutes were pure bliss.”
“Like you even remember them. Besides, Dad took his taser to work with him and if you used it on me it’d be considered assault and you’d go to jail!”
“Not if it’s my first offense,” Reagan corrected. Of all of the lectures, warnings, and explanations her father had given her and Ronan over the years, it was ways of getting out of trouble that seemed to stick with her the most. Then again, there was nothing better than the camaraderie and familial closeness she got from the Ashburg Police Department. They practically grew up there and had gotten to know the rest of the officers and detectives as their own family.
“Whatever. Hold on.” Ronan said.
Reagan’s attention turned back to the bathroom as the door opened and an avalanche of steam followed her sister out of the bathroom.
“You know you’re the most impatient person ever,” Ronan said. Casually, she ran a fluffy purple towel over her hair.
“I know,” Reagan chirped. “It’s part of my charm.” She smiled sweetly and nudged her twin sister out of the way. Before closing the door behind her, she turned around to face Ronan with a raised eyebrow, which Ronan mimicked. “Did you really think that I would go and get Dad’s taser?”
“You’ve done worse things,” Ronan remarked. “Miss. You-have-to-listen-to-me-because-I’m-the-oldest. Don’t think I’ve forgotten the time we took Dad’s car for a joyride.”
“So I’m creative,” Reagan defended. “I like to have fun. That’s not a bad thing.”
“You get bored easily.”
A light sigh escaped Reagan’s lips and she turned her attention back to her sister. “I hate it when you do that, Sis.”
“Do what?” The corners of Ronan’s mouth twitched into a smile.
“Prove me wrong. Especially because you’re younger than me.”
“I know,” Ronan beamed. “That’s why I do it.”
Whew, it's been a while since I've written a blog. But I didn't want to bore you with anything? I mean, who cares to know that my semester ended and I'm getting ready for the next one?
I'm actually pretty excited for that, the classes portion anyway. I'm taking a level 500 intro to communications class that should merge with everything I've learned from 601, 602, and 603 but give me all of the background information I hadn't known before or was confused about. So it should be very helpful with the 604 and 605 classes I shall be taking as well. And so far I'm talking about taking a class during the summer, I'm not sure as of yet because it would tie-in with doing a thesis and I haven't decided if it will be a thesis or a project yet. All I know is skateboarding and/or surfing will be involved and that's good enough for me.
Otherwise I'm looking to see what sort of jobs I can get over the summer. I'm hoping to work at the Vans store this summer because it would be a good stepping stone to eventually end up working for the company out in CA (that's one of my dreams anyway, I haven't given up on being a NY Times Best Selling Author). Otherwise I have also extended an option to volunteer with the ECSC (East Coast Surfing Championships) during August down in Virginia Beach and I'm waiting to hear back from that. Nothing on the internship front yet, though I'm asking my adviser every now and then potential contacts that he has or ideas of places to intern with (though S4 technically would be that because I write for them and don't get paid, but it's fun and blogging about extreme sports is something I can never get tired of).
Other than that it's almost Christmas time, which everybody should know considering the fact that we've all been celebrating it since before Thanksgiving. Let's be honest here. I'm going back home for said break, however Justin won't be there this year but I do have something that I'd like to send him as a gift that I think he'll appreciate if not get a good laugh out of. I usually have more to talk about when my sisters and I are all together so don't be surprised if I have a few anecdotes here and there to tell.
Ask me about the time Mere and I thought we witnessed someone stealing a car.
I never really liked to compete with my peers over anything, in fact I always found it stupid. Some compete over grades, some compete over being the best on a sports team, some compete over how many extracurricular activities they could join and I didn't particularly find the point in being so competitive about it. Now I under stand it a bit.
I'm so frustrated because it seems like everyone around me is able to get a job or some sort of internship or something. I can't get a interview to save me life. I've had phone interviews before, otherwise I've had people try to help me get something and after that, I heard nothing back. We had gotten into contact with Ellen Goldstein-Vein (our commencement speaker who is a Hollins alumn, owner of the Gotham Group production company in LA) about our books as well as some screenwriting we have done and sent off samples and have heard nothing back from that, though we have sent in a few follow up e-mails.
And how long do you think you should try to contact a company for employment before you give up? I have been trying to work with Vans (the shoe and skate clothing brand out in California) ever since I heard about their summer internship opportunities. I applied to those and got rejected from each of them. I tried sending them messages explaining how much I know about the company and how my resume doesn't reflect why I'm a great person to work for them. Didn't get a response. I tried contacting their customer service and they gave me the number for HR. I called them twice to talk to someone about employment and got voicemail both times, left a message both times and still haven't gotten a response. I applies to work in the Vans stores (one in Tyson's the other down in Norfolk) and haven't heard anything from those either.
I'm sure everyone has felt this way at some point or another, but it's really starting to get to me.
So if anyone knows anyone in Screenwriting/Film/TV, Publishing/Editing, technical writing, extreme sports, fitness/running, or if anyone even needs a receptionist, please let me know. As much as I love my free time, I enjoy working as well.
How many other people can say that?
*Side note: thank you to everyone that has tried to help so far, even if it didn't work out. Just offering to be a connection is helpful.
Happy Mother's Day one and all.
Usually we're not able to spend/celebrate Mother's Day with our Mom because it's too close to exams for us to be able to take the time off and go home. This year it was different because our Dad came home from Afghanistan on Saturday and it was Mother's Day today so we figured why not come home and see both of our parents?
And we did.
It was perfect.
We made a banner for Dad to welcome him back home after six months away, and then on the flipside we made a giant banner for Mom for mother's day as well as a Hallmark card. (We didn't check to see if they made a Hoops and YoYo one...though nothing can beat that laughing cow we got her one year). Unfortunately we had to leave to come back to school so our celebration with Mom was cut short. So I guess we kinda did a double celebration last night.
Well, tomorrow and Tuesday are our last day of classes (tomorrow for Steph and Mere) and then all we have left is exams, senior week, and graduation. So...cross your fingers that we make it.
I'm in an annoyed mood today, probably mostly due to stress, but I'm going to rant a bit.
Why have me submit my resume and cover letter and tell me that I'm going to be a test study for a new program that school is going to do to help out seniors when they aren't even going to be looked at? Why even get my hopes up? All you can say instead is 'I hope you're networking' I've been doing that and it hasn't helped me s far because if it had, I wouldn't have made all of that stuff.
The part that hurts the most is getting my hopes up that these alumni would look at what I wanted to do, to take my interests and help me turn it into a career and then I get a complete brush off. I'm so irritated and annoyed with school that at this point I wish they would just give me my final grades and I don't have to do anything anymore. All I want is a career that will keep me wanting to go back, not be stuck in a 9-5 where I'm unhappy. I thought the new program was going to help me with that.
I've gotten so disappointed so quickly.
I wish the year was over.
The question of the day is wondering how much rejection I can take before it actually starts to knock down my self-esteem. And let me tell you, I have a high sense of self-esteem and I rarely if ever get truly bummed by anything, rather choosing to go with the flow.
I've been rejected from a few other places I've applied to though I'm still waiting to hear from some others. I'm continuously looking for and applying to different places (internships and entry level jobs) so that way I have a choice when (notice I said when, not if) I get the opportunity to work for one of them.
Here's the bright side--and if you know me, you'd know that I spout out a lot of positivity stuff and I'm a firm believer in it--it's giving me the opportunity to figure out what it is I ultimately want as a career and what I want to focus it on. Recently I've been looking at PR, being a magazine editor/writer--because I want to travel--, a paid blogger--traveling would work for that too--, or a social media professional--let's face it, I'm always on twitter anyway--as well as my dream job for being an actress.
(Of course that's all above my dream of being on the NY Times Best Seller List. *fingers crossed*).
It gives me time to place precedence on the hobbies that I'd love to have time to continue if not work on more (running and playing the guitar), as well as helps me think of different ways each of those could potentially fall in with each other.
So, yes, I still get disappointed when I see that a company/place I applied to has chosen to skip on giving me an interview. Yes, it makes me discouraged at time if not worried. But I know it's all happening for a reason and that I'm going to get my start soon.
Now, if you know anyone that needs a writer/guitarist/skater/extreme sports enthusiast, let me know 'cause I'll be perfect for the job.
So I didn't get either of the internships that I applied for with Vans (the ones that would have been like a dream) even though I know I was perfect for it. It's a bit disappointing because it would have been a good experience, would have been with a brand that I've known and worn for forever, and it would have been paid. Ten weeks paid internship in California with a company that I know EVERYTHING about??? Yeah, kind of disappointed.
But I can't get everything I guess.
I just wish I knew why I was rejected from it. Oh well, I can't dwell on it, I just have to look to see what else I can do and what other opportunities come my way. And I'm still going to buy their shoes so there's that.
Guess what happened today? Our dog, Jackee, cut her ear and started to bleed EVERYWHERE. And when I say everywhere, I mean it. Our house looked like it was part of a crime scene before we managed to clean it all up. If you saw the pictures, you'd agree with me. The funniest part was how I ended up having to bandage her ear. Instead of using gauze, which we don't have, I put a piece of paper towel against the cut, then put a band-aid on it, wrapping the ends around her ear. Afterwards, I took another bandage and wrapped it vertically along the former bandage to hold a seal. If you look at her now, it's like she broke her ear rather than cut it.
It was frustrating at the time (everything that happens to her 'just so happens' to be when we're the only ones there to take care of her) although kind of funny. Especially seeing four people chase after a dog, trying to get her to sit still long enough to clean up the blood that she was spraying everywhere when she would shake her head. Yes, that means it ended up on us, too. The funniest thing was that I would chase her with a towel and when she moved to shake, I would quickly drape it over her head or jump in front of one of my sisters to keep from getting sprayed again.
Kudos to Mere for taking the lead on this one, especially with so many ideas that we had to try and help Jackee. Of course now she just trots around and sleeps all day like normal, but if you were watching us, as per usual, it would have been funny.
So it's Spring Break, finally. Don't get me started on how much we wanted it. Almost everyone I talked to said they wanted this break so badly. Though more often than not they just want the year to be over. And you know it's coming considering how many FB statuses there are about people getting into grad school.
Am I going to grad school? Maybe. There's an completely online MLIS program (Master's of Library Sciences) that I'm thinking of applying to at San Jose State university. I'm already taking a class online and it's actually really easy to keep up with. I just don't want to have to sit in a classroom and be lectured every day which is why having the program online is better for me. Especially beacuse I can work it around my schedule.
I just need to have someone get back to me on whether or not it's a legit thing before I do apply so I don't get scammed out of it. And that way I can still have/get a job, which is also what I'm really pushing with during this Spring Break. I've found a few internships, still haven't applied yet, but I've applied to a few work places. Other than that I've been working on a couple of books, two that would be a series with Mere, one that's another series the four of us would work on together, and one that I'm doing myself. The one I'm doing myself I had started in last year's Advanced Creative Writing Class and while I'm currently putting it on hold I'm excited to see how it'll end up.
We have the whole week to figure things out with our books as well as with jobs and with what we plan to do after graduation, so hopefully there's an update with that soon.
*Quote is credited to Steph
So taking away from our resume finalizing, homework, school work, potential day off tomorrow (cross fingers), and getting everything finished in general, my sisters and I are watching the Oscars. It's the first time I've actually sat still enough to watch it because I usually don't like to watch award shows since I always knows what's going to win and who is going to get what and it's boring.
This time Ellen is hosting and she's making it hilarious to watch as well as to something that we wish could happen if she was speaking at our graduation ceremony. (She's not, FYI, we nominated her as someone to have speak but Ellen Goldsmith-Vein is, which his just as cool. She's a Hollywood producer and a Hollins alumna). Anyway, this year's Oscars are really entertaining and I think that the right people are winning awards this time. And of course my sisters and I can't help but joke that we'll get there at some point.
Our names are announced, we got up on stage, take the Oscar and say: "Look, Mom! We got an Oscar! And it's better than the one you used to give us!" <---Anyone that knows the joke behind that will laugh as hard as we did along with
"GUYS! LOOK! WE GOT AN OSCAR!"
and what we said we would do: "I'd go charging up those stairs so fast it's not even funny" as well as "I'd make sure they don't give me a dress all the way to the floor because I need to see where my feet are when I'm going up to accept my award".
So we're saying it now, folks. One day we may be there. Will we be receiving an award? Who knows. But we're staying positive anyway.
So we didn't get our quizzes back today, but I don't blame him. He had only one day to try and grade it when he probably needs the whole weekend considering how many classes he has to teach.
I'm definitely looking forward to this weekend. This week went by soooooo slooooowwwwwllllyyy, I need some time away from classes just to relax. I don't have a lot f homework to do this weekend, though I usually get it done early anyway, so that's a plus. I can go outside and take advantage of the sunshine and the good weather we're supposed to get. Especially on Sunday. I'm a little bummed that I don't have my skateboard here, since I want to get back into that, but then I can get it during Spring Break so that's alright.
Starting to plan out what to do during Spring Break (need to remember to buy my graduation robes) so that's really exiting. Only about three full weeks of classes left and it's going to fly by, considering March 1st is tomorrow. Don't forget to say 'Bunny Bunny Bunny' or 'Rabbit Rabbit, White Rabbit' when you first wake up so you can get good luck all month. It usually works for me, but I forgot to do it for February so who knows what I could have gotten. CURSE MYSELF FOR FORGETTING!!!
Otherwise today was pretty uneventful. I only had my one class and then was at work. I practiced a lot of bass guitar and I'm starting to get really good at a song I only learned yesterday. Though I have come to the conclusion that I prefer the sound of my bass through my instrucor's amps rather than my own. (Note to self, figure out how to set your own amp).
Loves anything red. Rock music, playing the guitar, drawing, writing, tattoos, and sports are some of my interests and hobbies. I like to laugh, I like to think I'm funny. I talk a lot...just a warning.