Uta Hagen--

"We must overcome the notion that we must be regular...it robs you of the chance to be extraordinary and leads you to the mediocre."

Monday, February 28, 2011

Progress Report #1

So I'm going to give progress reports with my writing occasionally.  Tonight I started writing after much procrastination and asking many question I know no one has the answers to.  Not to mention, the tears and hair-ripping phase.  Good times, I assure you.  In the words of Katy Perry in my new theme song "Who am I Living For?" - "I know there will be sacrifice, but that's the price."

So, stats.

# of pages: 3

# of words: 899

Not the best I've done, but considering this was amid math homework, chatting with some of my favorite people, eating grilled cheese, and watching the new episode of Pretty Little Liars, I consider this an accomplishment of great lengths.  Not to mention that it was a complete new start to a complete new story that I had never written before.  And the fact that certain people are counting on me to write this.  Pressure's on.  Another lyric from the mentioned song "I need your strength to handle the pressure."  Jimmy, I'm gonna be needing you, hun.  You've always stood in front of me, but I'm really needing you to stand behind me on this one.  And like always, catch me if I fall.

Goodnight, guys.  This writer's going to bed!

Much love,

Friday, February 25, 2011

Think of a Numb3r by John Verdon

I read this book way back in the first quarter of the school year in 2010.  I actually started reading it in July 2010, I believe, and with everything that was happening in August into September, this book unfortunately got pushed to the back burner a lot.  Which is really saying nothing about this book - this book was fabulous.  Unlike anything I have read in a long time.  It was chilling and dark and strangely beautiful in an odd way.  However, reviewing it so long after having read the book, I think it's safer to simply post the book review/report/connection paper I wrote on it for my English class.  WARNING: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS.  READ AT OWN RISK.

After reading Think of a Number by John Verdon there are several lessons that I can take from the book.  I didn't expect this book to teach me anything, but one lesson really hit home and the fact that it has been reinforced by a novel about an un-catchable serial killer surprised me, but also made me believe that this lesson is the most important to learn.

The main character, Dave Gurney, goes throughout most of the book avoiding the calls from his rich son and evading the heart-wrenching memories from the son that was killed on his watch.  Dave is aware that his relationship with his son is nearly non-existent and his relationship with his wife is on the rocks.  After working for the New York Police Department for twenty-something years he told her that his retirement would be the end of his obsessed-cop brain and late hours and the beginning of a relaxed life together away from the city.  But when he starts working a case again - after his retirement - as a favor to a friend (who ends up being killed - not a spoiler I promise), his wife realizes his promises will go unfulfilled and that her husband will never truly be able to leave the job - it's too much a part of who he is.  More people are killed by the same man who killed his friend, and Gurney is becoming more and more obsessed with this unsolvable case.  No evidence, no fingerprints, anything, nothing surfaces that the suspect doesn't want them to find.  More leads surface, but no solution can be reached even after several connections are made.  However, when a possible victim turns out to be the killer, Gurney finds himself locked in a room with the killer and another officer - Gurney is unarmed and the killer confiscates the officer's weapons.  Dave is very aware that this man could take his life and leave him for dead within minutes and without warning or reason.  As he realizes this, he tries to think of way to throw the control-freak killer off course and make him forget what he's doing all for an opportune moment of weakness where one of the hostages could make a move on him and take him down.  He's desperately thinking of just one way to make him falter, make him question who's really in control, but nothing seems to be working.  Gurney, in his own way, realizes he needs to patch things up with his family.  When he does, he realizes his perception of his son is totally off and that he had never really lost anything with his wife that wasn't re-attainable.  As for the son that was killed because he was distracted, he realizes that it wasn't his fault and that he hasn't failed as a father.

Throughout the past two months, I have been forced to look at my life and I have really realized what's important and what's just a trivial waste of time.  Ever since my hero and cousin was killed in Afghanistan, my life has been put into perspective.  Not only have I realized what really matters to me, but I've also realized how suddenly and how quickly life can be taken from you - without a second thought or reason, because sometimes there isn't a reason.  Understanding this, you should never leave a conflict unresolved and you should make the most of every single day.  If you're not living life, everyone's sacrifices both for freedom and from past hardships that made the present better, have been in vain.  They didn't give up their times and lives, nor did they endure pain so we can all just sit here and waste our lives away.  Reading Think of a Number by John Verdon has really reassured me that I need to know what's important in life and what's not.  It's also made me realize that a lot of people don't do this and just how many around me haven't realized this.

I rate this book 4 out of 5 stars.  This is the first mystery I've read where I haven't figured out the answers before the characters do and I really life that.  However, there's a LOT of stereotypical "Cop Language" in this book and I would read this based on your matturity level.  I definitely wouldn't recomend this to some people I go to school with, but I definitely would recomend this book!!

Monday, February 21, 2011


I also made a video for my uncle's birthday, but couldn't post it with his birthday blog post because I knew he would see it before his birthday party and I just simply could not have that.  So, here's the video I made for his birthday.

I also made a video for YouTube basically saying what I wrote about on Friday.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Love You

So let me tell you about this amazing guy I have in my life.  He's amazingly supportive, always is there to listen to me, will tell me the truth when I need to hear it, has taught me a lot of important things, and has introduced me to the lifestyle I have now - as well as introduced me to a new hobby and passion.  He always answers my texts and has been my texting buddy for quite some time now.  He's an amazing guy that I will always hold near and dear to my heart.  And today's his birthday.

My beloved Uncle Chris turns the big five-oh today! 

My Uncle has believed in me since he first discovered that I was writing.  He since then has inspired me to continue writing what I feel and in the past six months has pushed me to start writing again after having taken a half-year off after losing my cousin, his son, in Afghanistan.  And I figure that today, being that it is my "cheer-leader's" birthday, it's as good of day as any to announce that in ten days - February 28th, 2011 - I will begin writing once again.  It will make half a year since SGT Jimmy was killed in action and I figure that it's time I get a part of me back that I've so desperately been searching for. 

Although I will not be continuing Solace - or at least, not right now - I will be starting a new project that has a very personal essence to it and that I'm very eager to start.  I feel that this project, which - obviously, knowing me - doesn't yet have a title, will bring closure in a way and hopefully help me keep some of the promises I've made in the past.  And while I cannot tell you much about it, I really want to tell you guys.  We'll just say for now that My Strong Soldier will live on through this project and that since he was the inspiration for Solace, he deserves a story of his own now. 

Uncle Chris, Happy 50th Birthday.  I cannot wait to give you your present, and I also cannot wait to give you draft after draft of this project to read.  Thank you, for everything, Biker Dude.

Much love,

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Welcome Home Extended Family

A big WELCOME HOME to the Rakkasans!!  You guys are like family to me and I'm so glad you're finally home!  (or getting here!)  I cannot thank you enough for what you guys do and I am forever indebted to each and every one of you!!  I love you guys so much without even knowing a single one of you!

Much love,

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

James Henry!


Can't wait to meet you little guy!!  April!!!

Love your favorite cousin,
<3 Hanna <3

Sunday, February 6, 2011



One Year

One year ago today at 10pm, Jimmy's unit deployed to Afghanistan.  One year later, they are still there fighting, but will be home soon.  To you guys, I say THANK YOU with my whole heart and being for fighting for my freedoms, for putting up with Jimmy, for protecting him and each other, and for being his family when we couldn't be.  As a result of this, each one of you are like family to me.  I'm praying for your safe homecoming. 

Much love and appreciation,

Friday, February 4, 2011

Red Friday

So, many of you may not be aware that this ever existed, but a few years ago there was this thing called "Red Friday" where people would wear red every Friday to show their support and remembrance for our Troops deployed and serving here in the sates.  I participated in this when I remembered it, and over the years kind of forgot about it.  I wasn't for sure that people still acknowledged Red Friday anymore, but I've recently learned that some do. 

I'm not really sure what the point of this post is about, except to expose you all to Red Friday and ask you to please participate.  I know I don't wear red every Friday, I don't have all that much red to wear, but I just ask to please wear red when you can.  And even if you can't wear red on Fridays, I still ask you to remember our Troops and what they are sacrificing for you each and every day - even if they're not deployed they are still making sacrifices for this country and for each and every one of us.  I may just be more acutely aware of it than some other people might be, but I'm asking you to realize it and never forget it.  We shouldn't just honor these men and women on Memorial Day and Veterans Day and other days like that - we should honor them each and every day.  Perhaps not on such a grand scale, but just with who we are and what we do.  We shouldn't bash a war, because - guess what? - the soldiers don't want to be there any more than you want the war to be going on.  But they go there, fight, and some even lay down their own life because they BELIEVE IN THIS COUNTRY.  And THAT'S what I'm asking you to never forget.

Many thanks to Troops & Veterans,
^picture copy right of me.^

Wednesday, February 2, 2011


Oh how I love Kit Kats.  They describe just how I feel sometimes.  Like this morning.  Ice everywhere and I'm going to school on time. Seriously?

Sorry I've been a very bad blogger so far this year.  It's been a crazy few weeks with exams and school - and lack there of - not to mention all the snow/ice and a lot of excitement that I can't talk about on this blog because my lovely Uncle might read it and spoil his birthday present.  Which he'll never guess what it is at this point - so I don't want to ruin it now.

So I haven't had a whole lot to talk about, though here in the few coming weeks I probably will.  Especially at the end of February because I'm going to do something.  A lot of you may know what this thing is, but if you don't, I promise it's not too exciting and if you want to know, keep checking this blog for the news.

Having already said that I have pretty much nothing to talk about, you're probably wondering why I'm posting this.  And the answer is simply: Because of a contest.  Now, don't get too excited, I'm not having a contest.  I entered a contest, and I have to blog about it as part of it, just to spread the word.  So, if you're interested in winning a ARC of one of the YA Rebels on YouTube you should most definitely click here

Hope you're all staying warm!  Seems it's cold pretty much all over! Brrrrrrrr.

With eternal love and blessings,