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Showing posts from January, 2009

Emails from Viewers

Recently, I was one of the kids featured in a documentary on England's Channel 4. I received a giant wave of emails. Some of these contained questions. I decided to answer a few here on my blog.

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1.) Q: Do you agree with the advice that you should always write about what you know?

A: Not really. When you're writing "realistic fiction," it sometimes is best to stick with what you know, because otherwise your story might not ring as true with readers. However, you can always do research--and I have found research immensely helpful. Also, how could authors write fantasy stories if they only stuck to what they knew?

2.) Q: Have you ever read the book Life of Pi by Yann Martel?

A: I have read the book Life of Pi. It was a very interesting book, and I would recommend it to others.

3.) Q: Have you thought about reading more about chinese history / folklore and [then] coming up with an interesting fantasy novel?

A: I do enjoy reading about Chinese history and folklore. So far, I…

Letter to Representative Written with Port Leyden Elementary Students

This is a "letter to the representative"--in this case, written to the Honorable John McHugh--that I wrote with students of Port Leyden Elementary through videoconferencing. They came up with the idea for a four-day school week, by the way.

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Dear Honorable John McHugh,

We are writing today to bring to your attention an issue which we believe is very important.
Do you want the kids of Port Leyden getting good grades while at the same time helping out with chores around the house, participating in extracurricular activities, and getting a good night’s sleep? If you do, please consider our proposal. We believe that schools should run on a four-day week, rather than the traditional five. This would allow students to have more time for sports and recreation; to sleep; and to help out with domestic chores around the house.
America is facing a health problem; so many people these days are not getting enough exer…

Website Email

Recently I received a very interesting email on my website from Akaya in England. Here it is:

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Hi Adora! I wish the fighting in Gaza would stop. It really worries me to hear about the deaths and casualties, especially thechildren our age. I know Hamas is bad but I just wish that Israel would listen to the other countries like France and Egypt.We are all calling for a ceasefire but they will not listen. I am very interested about the NASA scientists trying to find out if there is or was life on Mars. It just said on the news (I like to watch the news just as much as you do) that the scientists have just found a gas whichcould have supported life on Mars. I hope Obama does the right thing for the economy.There was uproar yesterday when a banking Minister said that she could see the green shoots of recovery. My mother is always telling me to save for the future.We must borrow an amount that we can pay back. Most of the time over here, the Government are arguing over the credit crunch (…

Description of an Obstacle written with KCOE Central USD School

Most of the people I knew liked to swing. I loved swinging, especially in the warm summer days when I didn’t have much else to do.
On one of those days, I was out swinging in the backyard with all my friends, when my mom and another adult came walking out of the house. I suppose that they weren’t looking where they were going, because, sadly, they ended up right in front of the swing.
Unless I wanted to give my mother a painful kick in the leg, I wouldn’t be able to swing for a little while. My mom’s conversations tend to . . . well, go on.

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Example of weaving thoughts and feelings into description:

The castle was tall and foreboding, made of black stone, with slits in the walls for arrows. I shivered as I looked at the castle—I could already imagine arrows flying at my head. The windows of the castle were of fine stain glass, and I could see no one in its empty and desolate halls.

Story written with Radix Elementary Students

This is a story I wrote with Radix Elementary students through videoconferencing. It is not completed yet, so I am encouraging anyone who would like to continue this story to enter their continuation into the comments area:

The castle was huge and forbidding. It was made of stone, with twenty towers that rose up almost to the sky.
In this castle—which was called Nightmare Castle—resided a brave knight, Sir Phil. Sir Phil was known throughout the entire kingdom for his brave feats. He had slain a wicked dragon and had rescued royalty and nobility alike. But still one enemy evaded his reach—the evil Mr. Killclaw.
Sir Phil knew where Mr. Killclaw had been, but never where he was at the present. Thus, Sir Phil was forced to travel around the entire kingdom looking for this man.
A royal courier ran into the room just as Sir Phil was about to walk out the door.
“Sir Phil! Sir Phil! We have information on Mr. Killclaw’s whereabouts. He is at this moment in the great Mulapuladu…

Things I've Learned Recently

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Alas! I haven't updated the blog for ages. Here's my new post about things I've learned:


In history, I've been learning about the Reformation and the Counter-Reformation. The Reformation refers to the movement that pushed for reforms in the Roman Catholic church. In the 1500s, the Catholic Church needed reforming in many areas.

Firstly, some Renaissance popes lived like kings. Pope Sixtus IV was guilty of nepotism; he gave many important church positions to family members. Julius II was one such family member. Also known as the "Warrior Pope," Julius built himself lavish new palaces after deciding that the papal apartments were not good enough. He was famous for leading papal armies into battle against defiant city-states. The picture shown depicts Julius II.

Of course, there were some "grassroots" problems in the Catholic church as well, starting with nuns and monks. If you came from a noble family, you might live in lavish apartments, with "wor…