Camp NaNo here I come!

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Greetings, bookish friends! I am so excited to announce that I will be participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this July! If anything is going to challenge me as a writer, it’s Camp NaNoWriMo. I hope you enjoy this post, and good luck if you are participating in Camp too!

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What is Camp NaNoWriMo?

NaNoWriMo stands for “National Novel Writing Month”. NaNoWriMo happens every November, but Camp NaNoWriMo happens every April and July. I decided to do it in July because I knew that I would have more free time.

Camp NaNoWriMo is a virtual writer’s retreat where you are paired up with other campers in “writing cabins” to reach a common goal: write! You can pledge to write a novel, a screenplay, poetry, or anything in between. Camp NaNoWriMo allows you to set a writing goal between 30 and 1,000,000 words!

The purpose of Camp NaNoWriMo is to finish or make progress on a writing project while having fun and staying motivated!

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Pye Land (My Story)

I am writing a middle-grade fantasy novel called Pye Land. A girl is whisked off to a magical world and has to solve a mission to maintain peace in the land! Below is my synopsis.

Jamie Holt’s 6th-grade year has not been going the way she expected…and not in a middle-school meltdown manner. With her beloved mother’s obscure disappearance and the constant teasing of her peers, Jamie has enough on her plate. But things start to become really bizarre when she and 7th-grader Jack Prince are whisked off to a magical world: Pye Land: a land uncanny and endearing at the same time. Kamala Rivers, welcomes Jamie and Jack into her arms and gives them a mission that will change Pye Land’s future…forever. Jamie and Jack must stop the reign of the nefarious Mr. Newt, who has wreaked havoc all across Pye Land. If they don’t an evil force will soon shroud the entire universe, one planet at a time into darkness…

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My Goal + Progress

My goal is to write 25,000 words in Pye Land this month. I have already written 1,300 words and I am planning on writing more today. Although Pye Land will be much longer than 25,000 words when it is finished, I think it’s a good start!

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My Cabin

There are about 20 members in my cabin, and all of them are teenagers. The word count they are doing this month ranges from 1,000-50,000 words. In cabins, you can give writing advice, critique each other’s work, and motivate each other!

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Why I Chose to Participate in Camp NaNoWriMo

I chose to participate in Camp NaNoWriMo because I wanted to push myself and make a lot of progress in a short amount of time. I know that if I work hard, I can accomplish my goals! If you are working on a project at Camp as well, I wish you the best!\

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Thank you for reading this post. Please follow my blog to receive email updates whenever I post.

Are you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this month? Did you like my synopsis? Let me know in the comments below.

Keep On Booking,

☆ Katie K ☆

Cameras and Pens Challenge #5

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Hello squad! Here it is, the penultimate CPC post, an awesome challenge hosted by Carol @ Peeking Through a Kaleidoscope. Just like I did in another CPC entry, I incorporated some pictures I took on a vacation into my story. I’m typing this post in New York City, so I have some cool pictures of the NYC skyline.

Before you read this entry, you should check out my other CPC posts, as all of them end up connecting together.

Challenge 1

Challenge 3

Challenge 4

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Hannah
Liz
Katie K
Starling

All of these blogs are awesome so please, go check them out and give them all a big follow ❤

+1 point for submitting story/poem

+2 points for using 2 prompts

+6 points for adding 3 bonus photos

Total Points: 9

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“Eliza?” Jonathan calls as he and I walk through the graffiti covered concrete.

We are walking on a hill, hidden from New York City, covered in concrete from top to bottom. There are some construction trucks parked close by, but they’re not here. We’re safe for now.

But that’s not what catches my attention. It’s the phenomenal view of the city. I feel like I can see everything. I’m on top of the world.

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When I get scared of falling off, I just remind myself that I must keep on going.

For Jonathan.

For Eliza.

For Toby.

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I snap back to reality from my daydream and turn towards Jonathan.

“Jonathan.” I demand loudly. “You still haven’t told me what’s going on!”

“Jess, whisper! I don’t want anyone to hear. They may still be here.” he chastised quietly.

He kept on calling for Eliza, loud enough so that she could hear him if she was nearby, but quiet enough so that anyone further away couldn’t hear them.

They had been searching for hours, but they still hadn’t found Eliza. Would they ever find her?

I fidget with the drawing of the heart that Toby gave me, but remember to hold it tight. Even though I could always pick it back up, I would feel guilty dropping it, on the cold, dirty concrete floor.

And then I saw her.

Eliza.

She was sitting on the concrete with her head down. I couldn’t really see her face just yet, but I could tell that she was sad. I still recognize her, even after all these years.

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Jonathan ran over to her.

“Eliza! Is that you!”

I know Eliza must have seen both of us because she looked up, but she didn’t acknowledge us in any way.

“Eliza, are you there?” I said, gently prodding her shoulder.

“Annie. Annie. Annie. Annie.” she whispered, her words filled with sadness.

It was like we weren’t even there. No matter what we did, the only thing Eliza would say is Annie. Who’s Annie, anyway?

“Annie…” Jonathan began. “The name sounds familiar. But I just can’t put a finger on it…” he said, his voice trailing off.

Eliza nodded her head. “Annie.” she said again.

Finally, Eliza knew we were there!

“Who…who are you?” Eliza stuttered, still sitting down. Jonathan and I took a seat next to her.

“It’s me, Jonathan. Your brother. And our cousin Jessica.” he said, pointing to me.

After a moment or so, Eliza spoke again. “I’m sorry, I’ve never met you before.” she replied blankly, her eyes gazing off into space, as if she was preoccupied by something else.

“C’mon, it’s me, Jonathan! Your best friend! What do you mean you don’t remember?”

“Annie. Take me back to Annie.” she asked.

I nudged Jonathan and dropped my voice to a whisper. “Are you sure it’s really her?” I asked. The last time I saw Eliza was when I was a little kid and she was a teenager, before Toby was born. Oh, Toby. Why did I let him go?

Eliza stood up. She took both of our hands and looked at us right in the eyes. Finally, she seemed conscious and contempt.

“We have to save Annie. I don’t know who you are, but we have to save her. It’s your job. That’s why you came here, is it not?” She said intelligently. Frankly, this took me by shock. How was Eliza so focused all of a sudden? How was she so…normal? It was like she had completely altered personality.

“Actually, we came to save you.” I said.

Eliza looked confused. “Well I certainly don’t need saving.” If anything, it’s you too.” she sat back down on the concrete, aimlessly fidgeting with her bracelet. Why was Eliza acting so weird?

“Where’s Annie, Eliza?” I ask gently.

“The top of the Chrysler building, of course.” Eliza said, not looking up. “I can take you there. It’s not far.”

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This was definitely Eliza, but she didn’t seem like Eliza. There was something uncanny about her that made me uncomfortable. And why did she want to rescue this mysterious Annie so much?

“Let’s go.” Jonathan said.

So the three of us walked all the way down from the hill into busy New York City.

We had found Eliza, but now we had something even more important to do.

We were going to find Annie.

Which was the only thing that would truly bring Eliza back…

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Thanks for reading! Are you in CPC too? Have you ever been to New York City? What do you think of my short story? Let me know down in the comments.

Keep On Booking,

-Katie K

Cameras and Pens Challenge #4

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Hey everyone! It’s time for CPC Challenge 4, hosted by Carol @ Peeking Through a Kaleidoscope. Even though we are already halfway through the challenge, sign ups are still open if anyone is interested. It’s a really awesome challenge, so if you’re able to commit, please sign-up!

Before you read this post, check out my first entry of CPC. It has an interesting tie to this one at the end. I am planning to keep on connecting my CPC entires to make an even bigger story that all connects. 

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Go Team Strawberry!

Hannah
Liz
Katie K
Starling

All of these blogs are awesome so please, go check them out and give them all a big follow ❤️

+1 point for submitting story/poem

+3 points for using all three prompts

+2 points for including one bonus picture/piece of artwork

Total Points: 6

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For Toby: A Short Story

Jessica was sitting at her office, working on a memo that she would send to her coworkers tomorrow.

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“Surprise! I’m back from the dead! Isn’t that exciting?”

Jessica, appalled, looked directly into the face of her dead brother. Well, used-to-be-dead-brother. Is that even a thing?

“Toby? Is that really you?” Jessica asked, standing up from the desk, close to tears. “I haven’t seen you…” Jessica stuttered. “Well, since forever.”

“Well, forever since I’ve been dead!” he chirped happily.

Jessica found this odd. Toby wasn’t supposed to be happy.

Toby was dead.

Jessica took a deep breath, closed her eyes and counted to five. When she was done, Toby wouldn’t be there anymore.

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2

3

4

5

He was still there.

That was impossible.

“So,” Toby began speaking, to Jessica’s discomfort. “Have you concluded that I’m not apart of a strange hallucination you’re having.” he said, leaning against a ledge in his witty voice that Jessica knew so well. Or used to know, at the very least.

Jessica was so choked up with tears that she couldn’t speak. Her mind buzzed with failures and regrets of the past that she couldn’t fix, that time couldn’t heal.

It had been 15 years, but she still regretted what happened at the lake last night. It wasn’t supposed to play out that way.

Actually, that’s an understatement. Nothing to do with the lake should have happened. Ever.

When Jessica was 13, and Toby was 6, Toby got lost in their local shopping mall. Jessica’s mother told Jessica to go find Toby, and then come straight back to her, but that hadn’t happened. Jessica found Toby in a dark, narrow, alleyway to the side of the mall. Jessica remembered it like yesterday.

“Toby! What are you doing here?” she called as he guided gently guided him out of the darkness. “Never run off like that ever–”

And then it happened.

Someone grabbed Toby.

Jessica heard his scream.

Even after all these years, the thought still sent shivers down her back.

Of course, Jessica instinctively turned around to see what horror had just happened, but before she had the chance, she felt someone snatched her off of the ground and then she found herself with Toby, kicking and screaming as well.

That was just the beginning.

Toby and Jessica were blindfolded, handcuffed, and carelessly thrown into the backseat of a jeep and then they were sent to a secret, sinister, and definitely illegal enslavement camp with a couple other kids who seem drained of all life, happiness, and motivation.

Sadly, there were too. Months went by without Jessica hearing Toby’s sweet laugh. Months went by without Jessica ruffling Toby’s hair.

Jessica knew there had to be a way to get out: there just had to.

Jessica was a clever girl.

So on the eve of her 15th birthday, late at night, she snuck out with Toby, who was still quite young, and they ran to the lake. They only brought to things: a random rubber pool float that they managed to find, and a Lego that Toby had in his pocket the day he got lost in the mall. All they had to do was cross the lake and climb over a fence.

It was not as easy as it looked.

They had successfully made it across the majority of the lake, undetected until a the same man who had kidnapped them jumped in from a side and drowned Toby.

Jessica wasn’t brave enough.

She swam away.

She swam away, leaving her dear brother, an already defenseless six-year-old to drown.

She swam away from all of her problems, all of her demons.

Then she reached the fence.

She didn’t hesitate to climb over it, and once she was done to keep running.

And running.

And running.

The worst year of her life.

She knew all of the specific events that had happened, yet everything seemed to blur together like a tornado of terror that follow her around for the rest of her life.

She should have never left Toby.

She should have died with him.

It would have been better.

“Toby…” Jessica began, fighting back tears. “I’m so sorry.”

“It’s OK, Jessica.” Toby said, coming closer to embrace her. “Things are born–” he snapped his fingers. “And just like that…they die.” his voice suddenly dropped. This sent shivers down Jessica’s back.

“No, Toby you’re wrong. I did everything wrong.” Jessica was openly crying now. “I should have never left you.” her words filled with genuine regret.

“Jessica that’s not why I’m here.” Toby said, looking at Jessica right in the eye. “I’m here to warn you. He’s coming back.”

Who’s coming back? Did Toby mean the man who kidnapped them, after all of these years? It was impossible. The man was arrested for a life in prison.

“Goodbye, Jess.” Toby said softly, as he handed her a piece of paper that was folded multiple times. He slowly faded away into the air and eventually disappeared.

“No! Toby, stay with me!” Jessica cried, feeling around to see if he was still present.

No.

He was gone.

Jessica opened the piece of paper.

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Toby had made this for her on her 13th birthday, all by himself, just for her.

Suddenly, someone else walked into the room. She turned around to see who it was.

“Why hello there, Jessica.” said a calm voice. Sensing Jessica’s fear, he said “Relax, Jessica, I’m not going to hurt you.”

Jessica couldn’t speak. It was her cousin, Jonathan. She almost thought that he had forgotten about her.

“I need your help.”

“What is it? Why are you here?” she replied.

“I need you to help me find Eliza.”

First Toby, and now Eliza? Something was going on.

“I thought Eliza was…dead.” Jessica whispered.

“Listen to me, Jessica. I thought she was dead too. I was wrong. She’s alive and she needs our help.” Jonathan confessed. Before Jessica could respond, he interrupted her. “I can explain later, but we need to go now, or else it will be too late.”

“What? Jonathan, this is crazy!” Jessica protested.

“I’ll explain everything in the car.” he said, forcefully dragging her along. Jessica wouldn’t move an inch.

“Please, Jess.” Jonathan begged. “Just trust me.”

There was a moment of silence.

“OK. I’ll do it…for Toby.” she choked.

Jonathan nodded his head as a thank you and before she knew it, she was sitting in the backseat of Jonathan’s jet black Mercedes.

Going to find Eliza.

For Toby.

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Thank you for reading this post. Are you signed up for CPC 2018 as well? What did you think of my interpretation of Carol’s prompts? Let me know in the comments.

Keep On Booking, 

-Katie K