29.11.2013, Friday, 5:32 pm [In Malibu, on some deck chair]

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Well. Here I am. In Malibu. Attending Aunt Tracy’s brother’s wedding. In Malibu. [Wait, I already said that, didn’t I?]

This is the big surprise that mum was talking about the other day. The day she made me eat TOAST. For LUNCH. [Seriously, why am I not able to get over the fact that I munched whole grain for my mid day meal??]

Aunt Tracy’s brother, Harris -a.k.a the groom-, has put up Kathryn, mum and me at this seven star resort by the beach. It is SO wonderful. I can hear the waves as I scrub my teeth at night.

The really awesome part is that I get to bunk school for a couple of days. I am so relieved that I don’t have to be present for Miss Lambert’s math quiz.

Another great piece of news I have received is that Uncle Gavin, mum’s elder sibling, is popping in for a few weeks with Aunt Samantha. He lives in Australia [with the kangaroos, as dad says], so it’s been a while since we’ve seen him.

Natalie and Norman, Unc G’s twins [who are notorious cookie thieves] are visiting as well, so at least I have something to look forward to even when I get home from Malibu.

Oops, looks like I’ve got to go because Aunt Trace has arranged for the guests to go jet-skiing at six [the sun NEVER sets here. It was as bright as day break when I had dinner last night. At ELEVEN] so I’d better go “suit up.”

Plus, I think I have bird poo in my hair.

27.11.2013, Wednesday, 04:31 pm

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Something way weird happened today.

As I pushed open the front door this afternoon, thoroughly exhausted after a particularly boring day at school [why do we even NEED to know powers and roots?? Do people burst in through store gates while your shopping for groceries and demand you to tell them the square root of 343??? No, I believe they DON’T], mum was at the dining table. She asked me to sit and then pushed a plate of toast smeared with peanut butter forward, gesturing for me to eat it.

Seriously. My mother wanted me to eat toast. For LUNCH. My first impulse was to laugh out, because HELLO?? Who in their right mind eats TOAST for LUNCH?? But I noticed that mum looked a bit frazzled and figured she didn’t need a crazy outburst from her equally crazy kid just then.

So obediently  ‘lunch’ and then, mum ordered me to put on my coat, so I did. Then the two of us shuffled out back into the cold end-of-November wind and hopped into this cab that was waiting for us by the sidewalk.

Kathryn was already seated inside with her eyes glued to her mobile, but when mum and I got in -and mum ordered the driver to ‘step on it’ [pretty cool for a mother, eh?]- she went, ‘Mother?? WHERE are we going?? I need to be home by eight because Pamela’s throwing this COOL party at her place and I have GOT to be there because EVERYONE is coming,’ and mum just mumbled, ‘Oh, I can assure you that where we’re going is going to be twice as fun as your friends party.’

Which probably meant that Kathryn isn’t going to make it to the bash. But I guess she didn’t get it, because she just dug her back into the seat and resumed texting her buddies.

So here I am, in the taxi, waiting to ‘see’ whatever it is mum wants to show me. I just hope it’s not something disgusting. Like a creepy exhibition where monkeys eat eyeballs for money.

24.11.2013, Sunday, 10:47 pm

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Literary Competition News: Wait for it…[at the bottom of the post]

Well, I didn’t do it. Get the golden belt trophy at yesterday and today’s karate championship, I mean. To be honest with you, I’m not really sure whether I got it or not, but I’m pretty sure I didn’t.

The tournament was real bad for me. REAL bad. So bad that I don’t even want to talk about it anymore, DeDe, because I haven’t still recovered from the shock of me, ME, actually fairing so AWFULLY. I should have known. EVERYBODY else practiced for at least an hour a day while I sat in front of the telly, munching BBQ crisps.

The awards ceremony is tomorrow.

Just writing that sentence made me want to cry. Only, I NEVER cry. NEVER EVER. Except for when I think about Puffball, my darling pup who passed away when I was six. Oh, and when I feel EXTREMELY depressed.

On a WAY lighter note, [since all this unhappiness has made me feel like hanging myself]

GUESS WHAT?? I WON THE LITERARY COMPETITION!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! YYYYEEEEAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I was SO PSYCHED when I got the news that I SCREAMED. Like, SERIOUSLY. Hearing me scream is as rare as watching me cry. It’s actually quite dramatic, the way the whole thing unfolded. It happened after I came back from the competition in the afternoon, while I was trying to vent out the frustration of my MISERABLE results.

So I was busy dashing out another poem dedicated to Diet Coke when I heard my mum go, -into her new iPhone which she STILL hasn’t managed to figure out completely- ‘So… mmm hmm… yeah, so does she get her story published?? Yeah… yeah, yeah… Uh huh… so, first place, right?? Okay, thanks, buh bye’

For OBVIOUS reasons, the conversation made me want to zip over to my mum and ask her what happened at the top of my voice. Instead, like the mature -HA!- preteen that I am, I casually strolled by to her side and even MORE casually asked, ‘So, um mum?? What’s up with that writing competition that I took part in??’

It seemed like she was ignoring what I was saying -Duh. Gramma and Grandpa stopped by for lunch about twenty minutes before the fateful phone call and mum was panicking about what to make for lunch- so I repeated myself. Again. And again. AND again.

But in vain. Because mum swiftly brushed past me to the backyard, where Gramma and Grandpa were sipping lemonade. I followed her -Rule No. #1: NEVER give up- and before I could open my mouth and ask her right in the face whether or not I got through, she opened HERS and what she said next was music in my ears;

‘So, Mum and Dad, your grand daughter has just won a national level writing championship,’

That line. That simple sentence changed my life FOREVER. [Okay, maybe THAT was exaggeration, but I’ve come to realize that it’s in the blood. I’m BORN this way, sistah!]

I can’t believe it. I’m a PUBLISHED AUTHOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AT TWELVE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

The emotions that flew through me as it FINALLY registered that I’d won something this HUGE… -sure, I’ve got gold medals in national karate tournaments, but never for writing, partly because this is the first literary competition that I’ve applied to-

Oops, got to go sleep. Apparently even published authors [AT TWELVE!!!!!!!!] have to go to school on Mondays.

Crud.

23.11.2013, Saturday, 09:06 am

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Literary Competition News: Nil

Today is the day. The day I risk it all in a savage battle of strength, technique and mind power. Kind of like the Hunger Games. Only, we won’t fight for our LIVES, we will struggle for the “Golden Belt” this award that’s handed out to the best martial artist.

Yes, today is the day of my karate championship. THE karate championship.

Just writing that made my heart beat a trillion times quicker. The enormous pressure of achieving the Golden Belt trophy will mount on my shoulders as I enter the arena and will persist, unless I take it home with me. I just HAVE to.

I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to.I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to.I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to.I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to.I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to. I HAVE to.

[Seeing as how scribbling “I HAVE to” a dozen times hasn’t boosted my confidence levels, I think I’m gonna go puke into a paper bag now. Great]

-You can see by the fact that I haven’t used a single exclamation mark in this post how thoroughly disturbed and emotionally drained I am-

21.11.2013, Friday, 3:19 pm

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Literary Competition News: Nil!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

My stomach feels like its on a roller-coaster. My lunch is likely to come out any second now. My heart is thudding like I’m being chased by fifteen starved cannibals. My mind refuses to believe this startling piece of news.

MY KARATE CHAMPIONSHIP BEGINS TOMORROW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Seriously. It should be ILLEGAL to pile up SO MUCH pressure on a defenseless twelve-year old kid.

Ugh. This is SO NOT my idea of a relaxing weekend. At all. The next two days are bound to scream ‘nerves, tension, breakdown.’ The only good thing that happened to me today was that Chantal lent me her Hunger Games copy. I have been itching to read that book, especially after I saw the first part of the movie.

Of course, the little pleasure I had from reading the first half of the novel was rubbed away when dad went, ‘The Hunger Games??’ When he saw me walking to the kitchen to grab a banana with the hardcover still clutched in my hands. ‘Yeah,’ I said, unsure about where this conversation was heading.

Of course, I should have just walked away. Well, not RUDELY, but I should have at least made some lame excuse about Greta ringing me or something, but, like the idiot that I am, I stayed put and was almost FORCED to hand over the book. Not PHYSICALLY but the way dad said it… It felt like he wanted me to give up The Hunger Games for Moby Dick.

It’s not like I DON’T like classics. Well, maybe not as much as I like reading Rafael Nadal’s autobiography. But, still, at least I don’t DOZE OFF or anything while flipping through a Dickens.

I have to go now, DeDe. Lunch is forcing itself out. [I KNEW that the bowl of ice cream wasn’t going to help things] Later!

 

20.11.2013, Wednesday, 3:37 pm

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Literary Competition News: Nil

Dad ordered mum an iPhone from Flipkart [and it isn’t even her birthday!! Or Christmas!!!].  Right from the moment mum ripped off the wrapper and said, ‘Is this a picturebook?’ I KNEW that the iPhone was a bad idea.

Spent the rest of the afternoon teaching mum how to operate her new mobile. It took AGES to get her to understand how to ring someone up. Don’t even get me started on how long the “click-a-pic” lesson took. [This is why I say that the words “adult” and “technology” should never be used in the same sentence]

After about three hours [or more. I lost track after two and a half hours] of electronic tutoring, mum assured me that she knew enough about her new gadget to manage.

But she was proven otherwise when her phone beeped while she was chopping the veggies for dinner [Wednesday is home-made-food day at our home. Personally, I prefer Olive Garden], indicating that she had just received an SMS, she dropped the knife and commanded -in her scariest voice till date- ‘Someone has texted me! Taylor, quick! Grab a paper so we can copy it down!’

17.11.2013, Saturday, 12:07 pm

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Literary Competition News: Nil

This is… this is CRAZY. CRAZY and RIDICULOUS!!! You know what?? It’s RIDICULOUSLY CRAZY!! Yes, that’s what it is. They have increased the price of Galaxy chocolate bars!! By THREE dollars!!!!

I will soon go broke. I just KNOW it. I have come to depend on a daily dose of chocolate [ESPECIALLY Galaxy bars] like a normal human depends on oxygen. It has turned from a liking to a necessity to a… a way of life! [Well said, bucko!]

Damn these big companies! All they REALLY ever do is make life more and more miserable for us tiny ones. I am SO going to write a long letter to Galaxy Inc. [or whatever it is called]. That will teach them!