Sunday, December 4, 2011

Grant Solis"The Bridge" Interview Q&A

1. What is the moral of your story?
The moral of my story is the necessity for brotherhood and finding yourself along the way. As the two brothers grow to hate each other, they must learn that they need each other in order to survive.2. How old are the brothers in the story?
Nathan, the oldest is 17. And the youngest Tyler is 11.
3. Why does the government/ army cover up the death?
Technically, the government nor the army covers up Blaine’s (the father) death. If you want to know why or how you’re gonna have to read the story for yourself.
4. Why did you chose the title of your book?
As mentioned earlier, the two brothers must find themselves while learning about how important being brothers truly is. They are "Bridging" the gap that they have created. In other words, they are making amends to their lives in order to live and prosper.

5. Are the two brothers in the army too?
No they are not. There is some illusion that the oldest Nathan would want to join the army, but his plans are not set in stone.6. How long will your book be?
As long as it takes to tell the story. In order to create the in depth, heart felt story it takes time in order to have the reader feel the emotions they feel in order to sympathize and care for the characters I’ve created.7. How will you set up your ending? Tragedy? Happy?
Not wanting to give too much away here, but the ending I think is very climatic. Tragedy? Not necessarily. But there will be closure of some sort.
8. How will you portray the Afghan Forces?
The Afghan Forces in this story are the good and the bad guys in a way. In the story, they are aiding in the overall plot without really knowing it.9. Do you think it is too soon to write about the Afghan War?
I don’t think so. My goal is to reach out to two different groups of readers that need to understand the war from different points of views. The Afghan War is something I feel people need to understand what it does to families.10. Do you use any metaphors?
Here in there. More in descriptions such as setting up scenery or describing events. But there is no overall metaphor. 11. Do you use foreshadowing?
I believe foreshadowing is an almost un-necessary tool because if you attempt to utilize it’s capabilities and fail at it, then you just gave your ending way. I would rather shock the audience then allude to an ending or a climax before I reach it.12. Do you use symbolism?
I love symbolism. I think that it can really broaden the horizons of a story. I won’t tell you where exactly it is in my story but yes, it’s in there.
13. How will the two brothers get over to Afghanistan?
As the two brothers find out that their father has disappeared, Captain John Miller comes for the two of them in order retrieve and identify "the body" and also to take part in the ceremonies overseas.
14. What genre is your story?
My story has a few genres. It’s a mystery, blended with some action with just a dash of love. I think it reaches out to those looking for a story they can think about while also enjoy.15. Is the storyline based off a real story?
Nope. This story is completely fictionalized and created by me.
16. Will there be a prologue or epilogue?
Yes, there is a prologue but this prologue is different because it opens the book with a very sad moment which makes you feel sympathy right away.
17. How many chapters will there be?
At the moment there are 5 planned chapters. They are:
Chapter 1: Parallel
Chapter 2: Centerfold
Chapter 3: Decisions
Chapter 4: Outbreak
Chapter 5: Revelations

18. What age group is this book aimed at?
This reaches out to all ages. You have the adulthood, the middle schooler and also the High Schooler. I chose these ages because that’s who mainly is going to be reading our stories. It reaches out and connects with each age group in my story right from the start in the first chapter Parallel.
19. Do you think this book might be difficult for 5th graders?
I don’t think so. It’s easy and simplistic, but also meaningful and inspiring which I feel most people can connect too. 20. What was your favorite chapter to write thus far?
The first one so far. It connects to all ages right from the start. It ties everything together without knowing exactly what it’s tying into. I feel like it’s a different type of chapter than most people can write.
To read this story click here

Thursday, December 1, 2011

The Wolf Who Cried Boy (what I have so far)

The air was crisp, the leaves were orange, gold and yellow. Fall had begun to settle in upon the little town of Littleton. This meant many things, but for Mr. Wolf this meant that he would be getting his sheep ready to be stored away for the winter ahead. And yes, Mr. Wolf is a wolf, and yes he is a sheep herder. How did he get such a job? Well Mr. Wolf doesn't like the taste of sheep at all. But, because he is a wolf, sheep still feared and listened to him. It's a perfect fit, really. But not everyone in the little town of Littleton agreed. A group of people in town hated the wolf and campaigned and petitioned to get rid of him. So, one day in mid October Mr. Wolf was letting his sheep graze on a nearby hill for what was one of the last times before the cold of winter set in. Mr. Wolf watched on as his sheep grazed happily. "What a nice day." Mr. Wolf thought out loud to himself. Mr. Wolf turned around to admire the view and gazed upon rolling hills and beautiful valleys. After a minute he was reminded of his sheep by a faint "bahhh" behind him. Mr. Wolf snapped around quickly and just caught a glimpse of the culprit. He was a young blond boy, and he was making off with one of Mr. Wolf's sheep. Mr. Wolf sprang into action and bound after the young boy. The boy was fast but Mr. Wolf was that much faster. Just on Mr. Wolf was on top of the boy he tripped and the continued off towards town. "He wont get away with this." Mr. Wolf proclaimed out loud then he too made haste towards the town. When he reached the little town of Littleton he didn't see the boy so he called to the whole town that his sheep had been stolen. Many heard and gathered in front of the wolf as he told his story. Many people, however, looked skeptical and didn't know whether to believe the wolf or not. In order to find out the truth someone went to go fetch the boy. An old man returned with the boy the wolf had described. He was a short blond boy, maybe 10 years old, and he looked out of breath. This was no surprise to Mr. Wolf as he had just been chasing the boy. Mr. Wolf descended upon him and started firing off questions at the boy:

"Where were you ten minutes ago!?"

"Why did you take my sheep!?"

"Did you think you could get away with it!?"

Mr. Wolf was determined to expose the truth, but the boy was that much more determined to hide it. All of a sudden, in the middle of Mr. Wolf's rant, the boy started to cry. This is where things started to sway in the other direction. The towns people, previously watching silently, swooped in to comfort the boy and condemn the wolf for acting so cruel. They yelled mean things at Mr. Wolf and said a young boy so sweet and innocent could never do such a thing. Mr. Wolf was stunned and walked angrily back to his house. The next morning Mr. Wolf woke to a bright sunrise. As usual he got up to go and check on his sheep before doing anything else. Mr. Wolf got dressed, went downstairs, crossed the yard, and over to the barn where his sheep sleep at night. Careful not to wake the sheep Mr. Wolf opened the barn door slowly.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Mentor Text- True Story of the Three Little Pigs

I read the story of the Three Little Pigs from the wolf's perspective which is what the wolf claims to be is the real story of what happens. He says that he was baking a cake for his granny but he didn't have any sugar. So the wolf went to his neighbor which was a pig and asked to borrow sugar but there was no answer. Just as the wolf went to go he felt a sneeze coming on, as he had a cold, and sneezed at the pigs straw house which knocked it down and killed the pig. Similar situations happen again at the second and third pigs house and when the reporters published a story about it they made it more interesting by "spicing" it up and saying that the wolf was a maniac. By reading this it showed me how someone else wrote about an alternate story to an already popular children's book. This also gave me ideas on how to introduce the story and from what perspective to tell it in. On top of that I also took note of the authors tone throughout the book and will look to make one similar to the book I read. There were a lot of other things that the author did well that I liked too. Such as making the background people in the story (the public) against the wolf and making the wolf seem innocent so that you want to trust him and believe his story rather than the other.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Why Mitt Romney is the Man for the Job

High unemployment. Historic debt. Weak credit and monetary values. This is how America stands today. Under Barack Obama the national debt has sky rocketed, Obama having spent roughly 840 billion dollars since being sworn into office. In respect to our president, its a simple economic fact, you don't just keep spending money you don't have. We need someone with a different train of thought in office. Someone not extremely left or right wing who can bring republican ideals back to the table with compromises from the democrats. Mitt Romney is just the man for the job. He knows business, he knows government, and he knows how to turn this country around.

Romney said that on his first day in office he would enact 5 bills immediately. These bills include content such as cutting corporate taxes, reducing government spending, eliminating burdensome regulations, expanding U.S. energy production and restricting the power of labor union.

But why do each one of these things? If you cut corporate taxes it allows for businesses to be able to grow and earn more revenue. If you reduce wasteful government spending it allows for more money to be put towards other things that benefit domestic growth and help the economy. When you eliminate useless regulations then you allow for small and big businesses to be able to grow both domestically and internationally. This then creates expansion resulting in more people getting jobs and putting money back into the economy. Now, if you expand U.S. energy production you get a number of benefits. The United States sits on a lot of oil and other fuels that haven't been tapped into yet. By expanding U.S. energy production we can tap into those resources resulting in more industry jobs being created and more interdependence as a nation and less reliance on the middle east. Finally, restricting the power of labor union makes for a more dedicated workforce and helps to avoid strikes that inconvenience millions every year.

Mitt Romney brings all this to the table, and that's just what he's going to do on the first day. He then will put his 59 point plan into effect that highlights many other domestic and international issues such as how to deal with the emergence of China. Mitt Romney is the man for the job. He's experienced, dedicated, and knows how to turn the country around.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

This I Believe College Essay

I see hope every time I work. I am inspired every time I work. I learn something new every time I work. My job is both fulfilling and joyous and I consider myself lucky to have it. Where do I work? I am a Primary Care Attendant (PCA) to a 13 year old boy with an undiagnosed mental disorder in combination with low muscle tone. When I see what him and his family must struggle through every day it pains me, but at the same time inspires me. To see his parents keep fighting for him makes me think about how lucky myself and others really are. This job has taught me patience, people skills, and most importantly how to love someone even though they are different. I am able to see past the disabilities and focus on the genuine kindness and compassion in his heart. Over the last three years this job has, in a lot of ways, shaped me into the person I am now. I still remember the first time I met him and his family. I walked into his house and shook hands with a shy and quiet boy whom I had no idea I would develop a great relationship with. We sat down and, with help from his mother, he told me all about himself and what he's interested in. Things like eating and swimming topped the list. I didn't know it then but it would turn out he's like a fish in the water. All his brothers being out of the house, I took on the role of big brother. We swim, play games, and most importantly laugh together. Honestly, I second guessed myself and my abilities to be able to take care of someone with mental disabilities at first. I am, however, always trying to challenge myself so I took on the job. Three years later this job has blossomed into an amazing relationship. I teach him, but more often than not, he teaches me.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

The Book Thief- A Look at Morality Through Characters

Martin Luther King Jr. once said, “The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict.” This couldn't be more true in that someone who stands by and watches is no better than the person/group committing the immoral acts. In The Book Thief by Markus Zusak there is an ever present question of right and wrong as characters often face issues of morality. Two characters that face morality head on throughout the book are Death who narrates, and Liesel.

This book takes place during WWII and focuses more particularly on Nazi Germany and it's effect on people. Because of this setting there are questions of what is right and wrong laden all throughout the book.  This book is a narrative and is portrayed through the eyes of Death. Even Death himself faces many issues of morality. These questions and obstacles that Death faces puts him in perspective and gives him an almost humanistic side. He looks at the war and all the death and blood spilt and just doesn't understand why it has to be this way. Seen on page 550 Death states, "I am haunted by humans." (Zusak 550). This short but powerful statement says a lot about Death and his morals. When people think of "death" as a person they picture a grim reaper type character but this forces readers to think deeper. This book is surrounded around Death's contemplation of the worth of humanity, and Death's inability to understand the cruelty and compassion of which humans are simultaneously capable.

Another character who is faced with the question of morality is Liesel. Liesel is a main focus of the narrator and is dubbed the "book thief" sequentially by him. Loosing her parents at the hands of the Nazis, Liezel is haunted by her past. This I believe, however, makes her stronger and develops her as a character. Liezel is a focus when discussing morality because she herself faces right and wrong all throughout the book. For example she steals books and commits a crime but at the same time is it okay for her to do this considering the Nazis outlawing of books seems to us as readers as unnecessary and cruel. Zusak writes, "I have hated the words and I have loved them, and I hope I have made them right." (Zusak 558). This is taken from the last line Liesel writes in her novel. In saying this Liesel is saying that she has hated whats happened and how there has been so much death but at the same time she has loved writing them because they need to be heard and need to be told.

Morality is something that cannot easily be defined in words. On the contrary it's something situational that changes from person to person. In The Book Thief we see the question of morality presented to many different characters under many different situations. More particularly we see these questioned faced even more so by the Death and by Liesel, two important figures in this book. On one side Death holds many of the same morals that we as humans do, and on the other side we find Liesel who faces questions of right and wrong almost daily but always pulls through with the right decision.

My Moral Compass- What I Live By

Nearly everyone has something they live by. Whether it be values, a moral code, or simply life goals everyone should have their own moral compass. For me, my moral compass has four points, these points of which represent meaningful things in my life, the things that often keep me going. My four points on my moral compass are my passions, my values, kindness, and my family.
Let's start with my passions. For as long as I could understand politics I've been interested in politics. Everything from elections, to legislature, to the daily on goings of government, it all fascinates me. This is my passion, I hope to one day break into politics and be a key figure in the political scene, whether it be at the state or federal level. It is this goal that pushes me in school and drives me forward when I just can't go anymore. I plan to go to college and study political science and I'm even mentoring with a local politician so as to gain valuable experience and understanding.
The next point on my moral compass is my values. I believe that strong values are one of the most important things someone can have. The ability to separate right from wrong and to try and always to the right thing is extremely admirable and should be given respect. Largely in part to my parents, and of course a little guidance on my own accord, I've grown up always trying to do the right thing and to be a good person. It is this that guides me in life and helps me choose the best paths for myself as I keep going down the road.
My third point on my moral compass is kindness. I put this as my third point because I am a strong believer in being nice to everyone and making people happy when they see you. I always try to be kind to everyone, but do occasionally slip up, and in doing this I believe that I've set myself up for success and put myself on the right path for the future.
Finally, the last point on my compass is something very important to me, family. My family is always supportive of me know matter what I do and they are always there for me. This has helped me a lot because they've helped guide me and assist me when ever I may need it. Just like any other family we do fight but through it all we always stay close and try to help each other out. Out of my whole family I would have to say my parents are the most helpful. They are always pushing me but I know it's just because they want to see me be successful and go somewhere in life.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Morals of Reality TV

Reality television is something that has made headway into our every day lives. From its humble beginnings of "Survivor" to the smash hit "Jersey Shore" it seems reality TV is growing in popularity and finding a way to reach nearly every target market. So what makes reality TV so interesting to people? Well who wouldn't want to watch people on TV screaming at one another. There is however a much more serious side to reality TV. Take the show "Jersey Shore" for example. It depicts Italians as loud and obnoxious people with no disregard for their "friends" let alone cultural values. While this show may be very popular in America it is actually viewed as disgusting by people living in Italy. In fact, this past summer the cast was booed by residents upon landing in Italy to shoot a new season. These reality shows put the wrong ideas in our heads and teach us its okay to do whatever you want at others expense and often glorifies things that shouldn't be glorified, such as teen pregnancy. Even more disturbing is the use of children in these shows and bringing cameraes and abnormality into what should be a normal childhood. These shows reflect badly upon us as a nation and reflect bad morals that shouldn't be followed by anyone.