Tinker Tour USA

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As an American, I’d like to think that I automatically get first amendment rights, but as a student, that isn’t exactly the case. On the contrary, students’ rights are often taken from them simply because a leader in education views certain actions or behaviors offensive or inappropriate.

The most famous case in relation to students’ first amendment rights is Mary Beth Tinker’s case in 1969, Tinker v. Des Moines. For years prior to the court hearing, Tinker, Tinker’s brother, and their friend went to school wearing black arm bands as a symbol of respect for those that were dying in Vietnam and as a passive protest to the war. The students were taken out of class, asked to remove the arm bands, and suspended for doing nothing more than expressing their opinions.

Four years later, Tinker went to court and ultimately won, but that didn’t mean the student rights battle was over – far from it. Since Tinker’s case, students have actually lost rights.

Although Tinker works as a nurse, she remains an advocate for students everywhere in an effort to allow everyone the opportunity to have rights that are ours in the first place. In this effort, Tinker has launched the Tinker Tour, which is stopping at many high schools and universities this spring, including the University of Oklahoma on April 10, 2014.

I encourage you to see if Mary Beth Tinker is coming to a town near you and learn what you can do to help Mary Beth Tinker’s cause. Keep checking the website, as I’m sure dates will be posted soon.

To learn more about Mary Beth Tinker, her case, her work for student rights, and the Tinker Tour, check out the links below:

http://tinkertourusa.org/
http://twitter.com/tinkertour
http://twitter.com/marybtinker
http://www.band-of-rights.org/tinker.cfm

Also, a contribution to the tour would be greatly appreciated and would aid Mary Beth Tinker in her mission to hit as many schools as possible. You can find Tinker Tour’s fundraising page here.

I’m back!

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So you thought you’d seen the last of me with that kitten post nearly fifteen months ago. You though, “Oh, hey… What happened to that blog made up of random book posts, tea, and whatever the author wanted to throw on the page on any given week?” I wondered that myself, to be honest.

At first, I simply stopped blogging because (I know, I know. I’m about to break the golden rule of reality television. NEVER, UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE, MENTION THE CAMERA.) it was no longer required of me. There. I said it.

So when I say I’m throwing myself back into this blog, I really mean it because now I’m doing it for myself (and hopefully a few readers). Does that mean it will lose the frantic randomness it had before? Most definitely not. If anything, it may become more random. The difference will be that I will make posts about things that genuinely interest me, whether it be about books, music, television, or my adventures as a writer who lives inside her own head most of the time.

Because let’s be honest for once. I may be a “Young Novel Addict” with a strange tea addiction and an obsessive personality that began with Harry Potter when I was 8, but there are so many other things to talk about.

So, my wonderful readers, stay tuned for changes to come.

In the meantime, re-watch AHS: Coven, read the sequel to Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children, or check out Lady Gaga’s latest performance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

Killer Kittens

This blog as become less of a “YA novel blog” and more of a “whatever I feel like talking about today blog”. This post will not break the norm, but it does sort of have to do with writing.

I’ve discovered I am one of the last people on Earth to hear about the website Written? Kitten!, but I’ll say a little about it for those like me out in space. The site is fantastic. For every 100 to 1,000 words written a picture of a kitten appears on the screen!

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilghamilton/3959888385/

I was so excited to use the program, but then I remembered that I don’t like cats very much. Some of the kittens just aren’t that cute or look like they’re going to eat me. If I’m going to be eaten by a cat, I’d prefer a lion. They’re supposed to be terrifying.

So my excitement was lost and I went back to my boring word document. I was getting too distracted looking at a cat I didn’t particularly like.

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http://www.flickr.com/photos/elbosco/204168249/

Then I wasted more time on the Internet instead of writing and found that they have a puppy version! I mean, this picture is adorable.

In unrelated news, today is the last day of November. For some that means the last night of National Novel Writing Month. Keep going! Finish your novels! (Yeah, I didn’t actually do it this year, but I’m here to support all of those who kept with it!)

Also, what is this about a book on pencil sharpening? It’s all Melville House’s twitter talks about now. Someone please explain.

Black Friday

First of all, I hope everyone reading this in the States had a fantastic Thanksgiving and found good Black Friday deals. I survived Walmart and Target. It was crazy.

I wanted to write a post yesterday on future book related Black Friday deals, but that obviously didn’t happen. There was too much food to eat. Here’s an overview of what I found:

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I found Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn at Target for 50% off. (I’m not really supposed to have it now. It’s a Christmas present. Mom and Dad, it’s just a picture. I’m not stealing it before Christmas… I say as I slowly open the cover.)

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Target also had the nook Simple Touch E-Reader for $49(half off). I, of course, didn’t buy it. I feel guilty enough for owning a broken first generation nook and having a Kindle app on my phone.

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Barnes & Noble flooded my inbox with emails, but they didn’t have very many books discounted. They do, however, have moleskin notebooks buy one get one half. I believe the sale extends through the weekend. Also, their nook Simple Touch accessories are 50% off through Monday.

If you’ve found any good deals on books that extend through the weekend please leave a comment.

Breaking Dawn – Part 2

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FINALLY the last Twilight movie has been released. Does anyone even care anymore? All of the girls who were fans when they were 14 are in their twenties now and hopefully have moved on.

Now we won’t have to hear about Kristen and Rob’s “relationship”. I still don’t believe they were ever together. And people say, “But they had a house! They were so in love!” Then why did Kristen sleep with a director?

I saw that there was apparently a plot twist, so I looked for spoilers on the Internet. SPOILER ALERT! Basically, there aren’t any spoilers.

Here’s what happens: There is a battle scene where Carlisle’s head is ripped off and Jasper dies. When I read this, I laughed. That was the kind of ending I was looking for in the book. Then the audience finds out the entire scene is one of Alice’s visions. Like in the novel, Irene is the only one who actually dies.

I guess I shouldn’t have expected anything cool to actually happen. People die in battles. The screenwriters should have changed the ending.

So anyway, tonight I am going to see the final film with some friends. It should be somewhat entertaining, even if I leave feeling like I wasted ten dollars. Taylor Lautner will inevitably be shirtless at least once. The scene will be dramatic. Girls will gasp. It’ll be fun.

Random note: I saw Part 1 with one of my friends I’m going with tonight, and we literally laughed for 5 minutes after seeing Meyer in the wedding scene. It was so awkward. If I ever write a book that is turned into a movie, DO NOT LET ME BE IN THE MOVIE. That would be mortifying.

Click here for to the “spoilers” I referenced, complete with a poll titled “What do you think of the surprise ending?”

NaNoWriMo Ate My Soul

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It’s November 9th. For nine days, I have been ignoring the fact that it’s November. I’m supposed to be writing for National Novel Writing Month, but I haven’t even picked a plot. It’s really pathetic.

Right now, I am with my friend Hannah, and apparently we’re having a “Writing Party”, which just means we’re spending our Friday night staring at our laptops/notebooks. We have thrilling lives.

She’s managed to nearly keep up with her word count, but I take comfort in the fact that she completely changed her story, and just now figured out her main character’s name. At least she’s writing.

I just really don’t want a repeat of last year, where I wrote garbage of the same quality as the short stories I wrote when I was ten. It pains me to look at that document.

Actually, over the summer I found an old notebook I’d used when I was thirteen or fourteen. The princess story I wrote in that notebook had more of a plot.

This year, if I’m actually going to do this, I need to have a real plot. I don’t know how I’ll ever catch up. I’m thinking I’ll just write more than normal and not worry about the NaNo word goal. A small increase in the time I spend in writing would probably be better than writing 15,000 of the worst words of my life in a single night(which is what I’d need to do to catch up), right?

Wow. I just did that math. I’m definitely not writing 15,000 words tonight. I could, but then I’d just hit the delete button.

Okay, I have to go get coffee and possibly start writing this thing. I don’t know what I’m writing, but I’ll figure it out.

Vote

This is off topic, so I’ll keep it short:

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Please don’t forget to vote tomorrow! All citizens of the United States should exercise their right to vote for the presidential nominee of their choice.

Whether you prefer President Barack Obama or Mitt Romney, head to the polls.

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Residents of swing states definitely need to head to the polls tomorrow.

On the other hand, if you live in a state that is set in its ways, do not give up your right as an American citizen. I live in a state where my vote does not have the power to change anything, but I still sent in an absentee ballot.

Every voice has the right to be heard. Remember to vote tomorrow, November 6, 2012.