Category Archives: Ariana

New Fish in the Sea: Part II

As you might recall, we recently got new guppies that we named Moby and Ishmael/Peridot/Ish/Perry, along with a cleaner shrimp named Sewey.

Unfortunately, it hasn’t quite worked out. As it turned out, Moby had worms. I’ll spare you the details, but basically this meant that the entire tank had to be disinfected. Long story short, we had to get rid of both fish and Sewey. Ariana and I were upset, but the fish store claimed that they would try to treat them. Still, we needed to start the ENTIRE tank over, and that is a process that takes weeks.

So now, we find ourselves back at square one. Again. It has been a long process, but the tank finally had the right balance of ammonia, nitrite and nitrate today to support fish. So, we went out to the fish store that received raving reviews online.

It was a really awesome store. A gigantic fluffy dog greeted us as soon as we walked through the door. We were allowed to pet him, and he was really soft. But, that wasn’t even the best part! The entire store was filled with breathtaking (albeit expensive) fish and corals. Some were brilliantly colored, and others were unbelievably big. They had eels, cleaner fish, crabs, and even a neon sting ray.

Since there were so many great options, Ariana and I were rather indecisive about which fish we wanted. There were some really beautiful fish that were very small and traveled in schools. (It was really cute when they got spooked– they all moved together.) They were a metallic, electric blue with red tails. They moved in a group, and it was really beautiful. The problem was that Ariana wanted fish that we could distinguish from each other, and all of the blue fish looked virtually identical. So, Ariana preferred some other fish called mollies that looked more different from each other. They were mostly a yellow-orange color with black spots. (They were a similar size to guppies.)

We wanted to get a mixture of the two typed of fish, but our mom advised us against it. If we did that, then we would had to have had about three of the blue fish, and that would have made them lonely, since they were school fish. In the end, we got three mollies and a cleaning fish called a cory.

We had a bit of a debate over what to name them, too. They cory had two antennae that looked like a mustache, so we decided to name him after someone with an impressive mustache: Salvador Dali. Also, the name Dali was perfect because Ariana and I love art.

The fish were a bit more tricky. We knew we wanted to name them after figures in music, science, and literature. We decided on Fermata for the fish that was mostly black, Suess for the one that was speckled, and Di Vinci for the one that was mostly orange. Here of some pictures of our fish in their new home:

Christmast Concert SJ HS Choir 2016

This is our Christmas Concert as part of the South Jersey Homeschool Choir.  We aren’t homeschooled but we started in this choir when we didn’t have a school choir. We have a solo in the first video (Daniela starts then I come in). In the last video Daniela is playing a piano solo of a song she had recently learned. (She plays it better now!)
Let us know what you think!


Daniela’s Piano Solo

Alternative Ending to The Fault in Our Stars

Every marking period in Language Arts, we are required to do an Independent Reading Mini-Project. One of the options was to do an alternate ending for a book you read, so I chose The Fault in Our Stars. Before you read this please know that I’m not trying to correct what I thought was an amazing book. All I changed was the perspective of the novel from Hazel’s to Gus’s. I thought it would be interesting.

Just as one more note before you read. The ending is intentional, but you may not get it if you didn’t read the book.



“Beautiful, huh?”

I motioned down at the shadows of a tree’s curling branches playing across the concrete ground.

“Yeah,” Hazel Grace said.

She and I were on a trip to Amsterdam, standing in front of a cafe. .I looked up at her, noticing the way the sunlight filtered through her hair and made it glow golden. Beautiful.

Hazel Grace was the love of my life, and I was hers. Not trying to sound full of it- but I know it’s true. Everything about her was perfect to me: her face, her laugh, and especially her mind. I love love loved her. I don’t know exactly what she sees in me but… there’s something! What she didn’t know was that our love was a bit star-crossed…

The universe seems to have it out for Hazel and I. It pushed us together, then pulled us apart. Together, apart. Together, apart. Just like those branches I was looking at, in fact. The wind pushed them up against each other, but then yanked them right back again…

“What a good metaphor…”

I didn’t even realize I’d spoken aloud until Hazel Grace responded, “Is it now?”

“The negative image of things blown together and then apart,” I explained. I strategically left out the relation to us, though.

You see, Hazel doesn’t exactly know that our relationship was about to be in the “apart” stage. The universe had, in fact, given us another hurdle to jump over to complete the obstacle course of our relationship. The universe had given me a recurrence.

I know, I’m terrible. I fooled Hazel Grace into thinking that the man she was falling in love with was healthy. In reality, she got a cancer-ridden boy with a single leg. But as soon as she finds out that my disease is back, it’s over. She’d see that our relationship can never be normal. She’d see me as the mess I am and realize that I will unavoidably break her heart. And then she’d want to leave. So no, I hadn’t told her. Like I said, I’m terrible.

But I still couldn’t bring myself to tell her. She deserved to know, but i just couldn’t do it. To distract myself from the guilt, I looked back at the tree branches. They were puppets, and the wind was their puppeteer. And what a master he was! The branches spun and twirled to the unheard beat of nature’s music. I stared, mesmerised. But the longer I looked, the more my metaphor began to catch up to me. In front of my eyes, the branches turned from wood to flesh. They were Hazel Grace and me, and the wind was the universe, pushing and pulling and controlling us. Eventually, I couldn’t take it anymore.

“I could look at this all day, but we should go to the hotel.”

“Do we have time?” Hazel asked.

I struggled to smile. “If only.”

“What wrong?” she asked me, and the panic was tangible in her voice.

I couldn’t speak. All I did was motion towards the hotel.

I walked quickly and ahead of Hazel Grace, not wanting to meet her eyes. Even without looking at her, I could feel her anxiety. I knew if she saw my face, I would break down. I could only hope that I didn’t loose it while I confessed.

When we reached the room, I sat down in an dusty paisley chair. How old was it? 60 years? 70? All I knew was that it was older than I’d ever be. Oh, wow… that was depressing. But I had to keep it together. For Hazel Grace’s sake.

As she entered the room behind me, I drew out a cigarette and popped it between my lips. Just as sure as I wasn’t going to light it, I decided, I wasn’t going to let this cancer control me. Still, I could only hope that Hazel Grace wouldn’t react badly. Sighing, I leaned back and began to speak.

“Just before you went into the ICU, I started to feel this ache in my hip,” I started.

“No,” Hazel said.

I nodded. “So I went for a PET scan,” I explained, then paused. I was really about to do this. I couldn’t believe I could be about to lose Hazel Grace. But I had to do this. I clenched my jaw, trying not to cry. I would not become a sadness in Hazel’s life.

I tried for smile. “I lit up like a Christmas tree, Hazel Grace. The lining of my chest, my left hip, my liver, everywhere.”

Everywhere. Everywhere meant bad things. Everywhere meant death. But still, Hazel Grace got up, dragging herself across the carpet and resting her head on my knee.

“I’m so sorry,” she said, and I realized that no matter what, she would stay with me, because that’s what love is.

“I’m sorry I didn’t tell you,” I apologized. “Your mom must know. The way she looked at me. My mom must have told her or something. I should’ve told you. It was stupid. Selfish.”

But she didn’t seem angry. Only sad, and of course that made upset too.

“It’s not fair,” she said. “It’s just so freaking unfair.”

I knew that. But… “The world is not a wish granting factory.”

And in that moment, even if for just a second, I lost control. A sob, sharp and full of pain, escaped from my mouth. I was going to die, And when that happened, so much else wouldn’t. I would never again drink champagne. I would never not smoke. I wouldn’t get to enjoy any of the numerous little things that life had to give me. But most important, I would lose the love of my life. And I would not, could not, let that happen, I pulled her close,

“I’ll fight it. I’ll fight it for you. Don’t you worry about me, Hazel Grace. I’ll find a way to hang around and annoy you for a long time.”

She was crying. Her body trembled against mine as I held her tight, tight, tight.

“I’m sorry. You’ll be okay. It’ll be okay. I promise.” I told her, and smiled, hoping it was true.

I kissed her on the forehead, then held her still closer. Then, all at once, I remembered a conversation I’d had long ago, back when I’d first met Hazel. She’d told me about hamartias, or fatal flaws. Back then, she had thought mine was smoking, until I informed her that my cigarettes were only metaphors. But now, I realized, I had a real fatal flaw: my cancer.

“I guess I had a hamartia after all.”

A few days later, we were home from Amsterdam. For a while, things were okay. I mean, I didn’t feel perfect, but I could still hang out with friends (mainly Hazel), and be at home. But my condition started to deteriorate. I knew the end was near- I was on constant meds, in a wheelchair, and so tired. I could do so little on my own, and it was frustrating as heck. But before I went, I needed to, I could do one last thing. I needed to give Hazel Grace a eulogy.

First, a bit of background. You see, the reason we were in Amsterdam was for a continuation of Hazel’s favorite book, An Imperial Affliction. It had ended abruptly- in the middle of a sentence, in fact. But Hazel and I, we wanted answers. So emails were sent and arrangements were made, and we were set to go visit Peter Van Houten, the author of the novel, in Amsterdam. Unfortunately, things hadn’t gone exactly as planned. Van Houten had turned out to be quite the alcoholic jerk. But he was still an amazing writer, and I needed his help.

After what felt like forever, I was able to draft a letter to Peter Van Houten. I prayed he would help me, despite his personality, because this was important. It was vital that Hazel Grace knew just how vital she was to me. So, here’s what I wrote him:

Van Houten,

I’m a good person but a crappy writer. You’re a crappy person but a good writer. We’d make a good team. I don’t want to ask you any favors, but if you have time – and from what I saw, you have plenty – I was wondering if you could write a eulogy for Hazel. I’ve got notes and everything, but if you could just make it into a coherent whole or whatever? Or even just tell me what I should say differently.

Here’s the thing about Hazel: Almost everyone is obsessed with leaving a mark upon the world. Bequeathing a legacy. Outlasting death. We all want to be remembered. I do, too. That’s what bothers me most, is being another unremembered casualty in the ancient and inglorious war against disease.

I want to leave a mark.

But Van Houten: The marks humans leave are too often scars. You build a hideous minimall or start a coup or try to become a rock star and you think, “They’ll remember me now,” but (a) they don’t remember you, and (b) all you leave behind are more scars. Your coup becomes a dictatorship. Your minimall becomes a lesion.

(Okay, maybe I’m not such a crappy writer. But I can’t pull my ideas together, Van Houten. My thoughts are stars I can’t fathom into constellations.)

We are like a bunch of dogs squirting on fire hydrants. We poison the groundwater with our toxic pee, marking everything MINE in a ridiculous attempt to survive our deaths. I can’t stop peeing on fire hydrants. I know it’s silly and useless – epically useless in my current state – but I am an animal like any other.

Hazel is different. She walks lightly, old man. She walks lightly upon the earth. Hazel knows the truth: We’re as likely to hurt the universe as we are to help it, and we’re not likely to do either.

People will say it’s sad that she leaves a lesser scar, that fewer remember her, that she was loved deeply but not widely. But it’s not sad, Van Houten. It’s triumphant. It’s heroic. Isn’t that the real heroism? Like the doctors say: First, do no harm.

The real heroes anyway aren’t the people doing things; the real heroes are the people NOTICING things, paying attention. The guy who invented the smallpox vaccine didn’t actually invented anything. He just noticed that people with cowpox didn’t get smallpox.

After my PET scan lit up, I snuck into the ICU and saw her while she was unconscious. I just walked in behind a nurse with a badge and I got to sit next to her for like ten minutes before I got caught. I really thought she was going to die, too. It was brutal: the incessant mechanized haranguing of intensive care. She had this dark cancer water dripping out of her chest. Eyes closed. Intubated. But her hand was still her hand, still warm and the nails painted this almost black dark blue and I just held her hand and tried to imagine the world without us and for about one second I was a good enough person to hope she died so she would never know that I was going, too. But then I wanted more time so we could fall in love. I got my wish, I suppose. I left my scar.

A nurse guy came in and told me I had to leave, that visitors weren’t allowed, and I asked if she was doing okay, and the guy said, “She’s still taking on water.” A desert blessing, an ocean curse.

What else? She is so beautiful. You don’t get tired of looking at her. You never worry if she is smarter than you: You know she is. She is funny without ever being mean. I love her. I am so lucky to love her, Van Houten. You don’t get to choose if you get hurt in this world, old man, but you do have some say in who hurts you. I like my choices. I hope she likes hers.

So that’s what I sent him. It had been a week, and he had yet to respond. But what had I expected? He’s Peter Van Houten- if he replied at all, it would not be quickly. If only I had time for that. I was sure that when Van Houten responded with Hazel’s edited eulogy, she’d already be behind a lectern, reading my own. So all I could do was hope that the letter would reach her, one day.

At some point, around the 2 month mark home from Amsterdam, I had a realization. I would never attend my funeral. Every other person I knew, all my friends, my family, Hazel… They would all get to go. But not me. And I realized that I wanted to see what they would say, know what they thought. And so I arranged a prefuneral. Granted, only two people would attend: Hazel Grace and my blind friend, Isaac. But they were all I needed.

So I called Hazel, at around 5 o’clock, and Isaac shortly after. I invited them to met me at the Literal Heart of Jesus at 8 o’clock. Oh, and I asked them each to prepare a eulogy. I’m sure they both thought I was crazy, but I would explain everything once we got to the Literal Heart of Jesus.

By the way, that place isn’t exactly what it sounds: it’s actually the church basement where Hazel and Isaac meet for Support Group. It is, however, located in a cross-shaped church, and the basement just so happens to be in the exact center of that cross, where Jesus’ heart would be. And thus, the nickname. But it was special to me not for religious reasons, but because that is where I first met Hazel Grace. I guess I wanted her to say good-bye in the place where we had first waved hello.

I made my way to the church at around 7:30. When I found the doors locked, I used a few slightly immoral tricks to get in, but they were worth it. After all, how often do you get to attend your own funeral in the Literal Heart of Jesus?

Isaac arrived first. We chatted a bit, waiting for Hazel, but it was pretty empty talk. As soon as I explained that he was here attending my prefuneral, he walked behind a little wooden lectern, preparing to speak. Just then, Hazel arrived. Perfect.

“Hazel Grace,” I said, “you look ravishing.” And she did, even in the pajama pants, flip-flops, and t-shirt she was wearing.

“I know, right?” she said, and I could tell she thought I was being sarcastic. Then she noticed Isaac. “Are you going to sit down?” she asked him.

“No, I’m about to eulogize. You’re late,” Isaac explained,

“You’re… I’m… what?”

I motioned for her to sit. “I want to attend my funeral,” I told her. “By the way, will you speak at my funeral?”

I know that was probably an important question to ask before inviting her to a prefuneral, but I had been pretty certain that she would say yes.

“Um, of course, yeah.”

As I predicted. She knelt down to hug me, but although her intentions were good, that hurt tremendously. I winced, and she let go.

“I’m hopeful I’ll get to attend my funeral as a ghost,” I told them, “but just to be sure, I thought I’d- well, not to put you on the spot, but I just this afternoon thought I could arrange a prefuneral, and I figured since I’m in reasonably good spirits, there’s no time like the present.”

“How’d you even get in here?” Hazel grace questioned.

“Would you believe they leave the doors open all night?” I asked.

“Um, no,” she said. Hazel Grace wasn’t stupid.

“As well as you shouldn’t,” I told her. “Anyway, I know it’s a bit self-aggrandizing.”

“Hey!” Isaac exclaimed. “You’re stealing my eulogy! My first bit is about how you are a self-aggrandizing jerk.”

Hazel laughed.

“Okay, okay,” I said. “At your leisure.”

Isaac cleared his throat. “Augustus Waters is a self-aggrandizing jerk. But we forgive him. We forgive him not because he had a heart as figuratively good as his literal one sucked, or because he knew more about how to hold a cigarette than any nonsmoker in history, or because he got eighteen years when he should’ve gotten more.”

“Seventeen,” I corrected him. I was seventeen, and never would be eighteen.

“I’m assuming you have more time, you interrupting jerk,” Isaac told me, then continued.

“I’m telling you Augustus Waters talked so much about him that he’d interrupt you at his own funeral. And he was pretentious: Oh my goodness,, that kid never took a pee without pondering the abundant metaphorical resonances of human waste production. and he was vain: I do not believe I have ever met a more physically attractive person who was more acutely aware of his own physical attractiveness. But I will say this: When the scientists from the future show up at my house with robot eyes and tell me to try them on, I will tell them to screw off because I do not want to see a world without him. And then, having made my rhetorical point, I will put on my robot eyes on , because I mean, with robot eyes you can probably see some pretty interesting things. Augustus, my friend, Godspeed.”

Hazel was full out crying, and I was welling up. I pursed my lips, trying to keep from crying, then flashed my buddy thumbs up.

“I would cut the bit about seeing interesting things though,” I told him.

“Wow, Augustus, editing your own eulogy.” Isaac said, but through shaking sobs. “Hazel, can i get a hand here?” Hazel helped Isaac away from the podium, and then she began.

My name is Hazel. Augustus Waters was the great star-crossed love of of my life. Ours was an epic love story, and I won’t be able to get more than a sentence into it without disappearing into a puddle of tears. Gus knew. Gus knows. I will not tell you our love story, because like all real love stories, it will die with us. As it should. I’d hoped that he’d be eulogizing me, because there is no one I’d rather have. I can’t talk about our love story, so I will talk about math. I am not a mathematician, but I know this. There is an infinite between 0 and 1. There’s .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course there is a bigger infinite set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many days of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I’m likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn’t trade it for the world. You have me a forever within the numbered days, and I’m grateful.”

The next day, I went to the hospital. I knew I was about to die, to cease to exist, to end. The panic came first, and then the regrets. I would miss so much, loose so much. I would never make my mark. But I would make my mark on Hazel Grace, and the more I thought about it, that would be enough. Everyone wishes to be extraordinary. Including me. But maybe being extraordinary isn’t what makes life worthwhile. If you are special to even one person, that is enough. Hazel Grace loved me, and we both loved our little


My Name

My name is Ariana.  More specifically, Ariana (a very holy one) Carmela Velasquez.  But I’ll focus on my first name, what I respond to , and the name that has become me.  My parents gave me this title, in part to be able to choose something that would be pronounced teh same in English and Spanish, so my father’s heritage, Panama, wouldn’t be lost on my twin and me.  But I wasn’t always Ariana.  I was going to be Daniela, the name that was, in the end, given to my sister.  However, my mother wanted Baby A (me!) to be Ariana, and Daniela to be the hyper one, and even in the womb, she was a kicker.  I however, was relaxed and Sous le même toit 2017 movie now

Before I was even Daniela, I had a different name:  Opportunity.  I know that’s odd, so I’ll take a moment to explain.  The two space rovers (Spirit and Opportunity) had just been launched, and simultaneously, Gwyneth Paltrow had named her child Apple.  My mom was inspired by Gwyneth’s originality.  My father wasn’t. So with that, Opportunity was corssed off the list and my parents moved on.  The end result, Ariana, is shared with the singing sensation Ariana Grande, whose name is too often compared to mine.  Also I share my name with Ariana Dumbledore, as seen in Harry Potty books 6 and 7.  To of my favorite stories!

Speaking of favorite, Ariana, to me is not the ideal name.  Sure, its’ nice, but there are other names I prefer to it.  Valerie, Remi, Shay, and Teddy all please me, but if I were to exchange Ariana, I would opt for Teddy.  It’s one of my sister’s favorite names, and she says it suits me. “Its solid, like you.” she told me. “Plus it can also be a boy name, and you have a ‘tomboy attitude’, even though you aren’t a tomboy.” Ariana sort of reflects that, I guess, but mostly it reminds me of a queen’s portrait, with a the woman wearing an extremely gaudy crown.

Maybe this queen is Greek?  My name comes from the Greek name Ariandne.  I think that name is rather elegant.  Ariana is sometimes sounds short and rough.  It fits the personality that I let the world see, but not really the inside me.  My middle name, Carmela, is better.  It belonged to my maternal grandmother, or Baba.  On the paternal side, I have, of course, my last name, Velasquez.  I actually think it sounds kind of sophisticated, but I worry about losing opportunities because of bias against my Hispanic surname,  I won’t, though, let people think badly of my family.  I love them and I’m proud of them.  That’s the end of discussion.

Nearly the beginning, I was Opportunity.  I might want to be a Teddy or Shay, but I am Ariana, a very holy one,  and a mix of two countries.  I’m glad for my name, even if I don’t love it 100% of the time.  Anyway, it’s mind, the one my parents chose for me.  I’m Ariana Carmela Velasquez.


Secret Arrows; Getting Started II

Good news! Now that we have 7 chapters of Secret Arrows written, we’ve decided to share the first chapter with you. (We previously shared the Prologue.)Except, it may not be call Secret Arrows. We’ve decided that it’s a little corny, so for now, we’re calling it “Secrets of Rensovia. (Rensovia is the Medieval kingdom that Val lives in.) If you have any mysterious names, go ahead and post in comments. We just might name our book that!  Just a warning, Chapter One isn’t so interesting. We need and appreciate them. We do feel like the rest of the book gets better,  so even if you don’t like it, still come back for Chapter 2, because it DOES get more interesting. Anyway, here goes.

Chapter One 

key2The Truth

The whole day had been a waste. It was only noon, yet I had already broken 3 dishes, countless glasses, and spilled a goblet of wine during my kitchen shift. To make matters worse, my father had just been recruited to fight in a war, and I was worried sick about him. After all, he was the only family I had left. Nausea knotted in my stomach as I continue to scrub the dishes. 

    As ever, luck wasn’t on my side. I had smashed the most expensive piece yet. I flew to the broomstick and dustpan, but I knew it was too late when I heard the clumping of a soldier’s thick soles down the hallway. As I was beginning to stuff the scattered shards into my apron, the lock began to rattle. I gave a silent thanks to myself for locking the door earlier, but I knew I had to keep working to have any chance of salvaging my job. I was stuffing the last of the china shards into my apron pocket when the door finally clicked open, revealing a burly guard. I tried to ignore him, like a good little maid, but I eventually cracked, feeling his eyes boring into me. “What do you want?” I huffed. “I’m just a lowly maid!”

     He turned to me.”I just thought you might want to know” he breathed, so that I could just make out what he said. “Know what?” I snapped. But, I was starting to connect the dots. I just didn’t like what they said. A soldier talking to me privately, the sympathetic look in his eyes… Yes, it could only mean one thing. My father was dead


                                                                        . . .


     “Your father has died.” The soldier’s emotionless response only confirmed my suspicions, but it was still a blow. My father…dead….the two words just didn’t belong in the same sentence. After telling myself for weeks that he would be fine, it was hard to believe that he wasn’t. 

     “H-how?” I managed. If I was going to believe this, I needed some proof.

     “You see, it wasn’t just him,” the soldier began, his eyes misting, perhaps envisioning the deaths of my father and these apparent others. “No, Sargent Keyroid was eliminated along with the rest of his unit.”

     With that, he turned on his heels and left me to my sorrow. I was as sullen as any girl who had just received the news of her father’s death, maybe more. But, I realized, along with the units’ death came the opportunity I had been waiting for practically my whole life; the chance to be a knight.

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                                                                   . . . 

 download The Girl on the Mat 2017 movie

      Everything and everyone had their place. Women were maids, men were knights, pigs were food. So, as you can imagine, I, as a girl of 12, was looked down upon by just about everyone except the pigs, which made my mission of being a knight next to impossible. Now, a few years back, I had finally figured out that I could disguise as a boy and change my age to try out for the army. Everything was set; I lopped off my hair, practiced fighting with kitchen knives to build up muscle, snuck into private fighting sessions meant for knights. You name it, I had done it. But, when I was finally ready to try out, I discovered what you could call a hurtle. A huge one. You see, all the spots were taken. It was devastating after all that hard work, but I made the most of it, biding my time, waiting until an opportunity to be in the army arose. So, when I heard that an entire unit had died, I knew that those deaths were simply blessings in disguise.

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                                                                . . . 

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  “This is it” I thought, collecting all the knives I could carry. I had to look intimidating in order to have any shot at qualifying as a knight. Anyone with sense knew that knights were fierce, muscled. My racing thoughts were clouded with what ifs. “What if I get discovered? What if I don’t do well? What if I make a bad impression? What if…” Praying that only a couple boys would come to try their hand at being a knight, I left my broom closet bedroom, supplies in hand. A glance at the clock showed me that I had a mere 5 minutes to reach the training arena. The time had been posted on the wall three hours ago. So, I cautiously set off down the hall, scanning my surroundings for people who could catch me in the act.

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     Luckily, I arrived at the tryout without incident, but it goes without saying that I wasn’t off the hook just yet. There was still the detail of appearing masculine. Just before I stepped into the training room, I patted down my hair, rearranged my gear, and rubbed over my chest, thanking God that it was still flat. With a deep breath and a final adjustment of my jacket, I was ready

Just an Update

FilmstripHey! This is just an update on our lives and whats coming on our website soon. We’ve  stopped working on “To Be Determined”, because we think the lyrics are cheesy. (We know you were thinking it.) We still might write a song, but with a better theme. Right now, though, our lives are pretty chaotic. We’ve just finished a new play (more on that in “Deja Vu”) are currently in the process of making head shots (see “Take One”) , and have lots more of Secret Arrows to share with you now, (Again, feel free to criticize) not to mention choosing a middle school. EEK!movie I Am Heath Ledger

Number the Stars

scottishrite1If you check our About page, you”ll notice that we’ve been in quite a number of shows. But, the majority of them were done with summer camps, rather than with actual theater companies. Which is why to me, Number the Stars is unique. We performed that show with Haddonfield Plays and Players, or HP&P,  at the Scottish Wright Auditorium in April of 2015.  If you’ve never been there, just believe me when I that it’s really beautiful, with magnificent stone carvings and hundreds of seats. The picture doesn’t do it justice. (It’s also extremely old, so the building itself is a little worse for wear.) Regardless, I am honored to have been able to preform with HP&P.


The Number the Stars play is based off of the Newbery Award winning book by Lois Lowry, a well-known author. Her story is a heartwarming tale about a Christian family, the Johansens, trying to protect their Jewish neighbors, the Rosens, during the Holocaust. The two families live in Copenhagen, Denmark, under the watchful eyes of Nazi soldiers. While Annemarie Johansen, her sister Kirsti, and their parents are safe from harm, single child Ellen Rosen and her parents are in danger as the Nazi’s gather Jews and take then to an unknown site. During the story, the Johansens take Ellen in as their daughter to protect her, and everybody, especially Annemarie, learns a valuable lesson about them self.


TidyDesk Primary School Organizing System

Hi, Ariana here…I finally finished my invention project for school.  I want to show off all of my hard work.  So here’s the video and persuasive essay I created for my new invention TidyDesk.


Urggh! It’s that time again. You know your desk is in need of organization—it’s in complete disarray—but in the back of your mind, the question lingers…why? I mean, all your things are going to spill right back out again, anyway. It all just seems so futile! But is it? Not with TidyDesk.™ TidyDesk is a must have student desk organizing system. With it cleaning out your desk will be checked off your “to-do” list forever. Extensions such as my “Folder Holder” will give your desk a spacious interior, while the simple to install ‘Tidy Slide” will keep your remaining possessions in their places and right at your fingertips. This way, the distractions of a disorderly and inefficient workspace will not have effect on you any longer. From now on, school can serve its proper purpose for you- to learn.

First up: space. It’s the beginning necessity to an organized desk, and let me tell you, the TidyDesk certainly delivers. Not just one, but two add-ons give the room you require. For one, you have what I like to call the “Folder Holder”. These handy canvas pockets attach to the back of your desk, allowing you to insert your folders with ease and nearly double your desk’s internal space! Not to mention, the canvas material of the “Folder Holder” appeals to the artist in you by allowing you to draw designs galore on its surface. It’s set up like a Grade 2 composition notebook, letting you draw colorful designs and patterns on it to go with a story or just a single word. So, not only is your desk neat, it’s a work of art for people to goggle at and compliment! What more could you want? Did I hear “more space”? Then I could say, “Coming right up!”

Introducing my second space-giving add-on….“The Swingy Thingy.” Despite the slightly childish name, it’s perhaps the most beneficial part of TidyDesk. My reasoning simply is this: I knew all to well of the daily headache of pencils falling repeatedly out of the desk. So, I created the “Swingy Thingy”! The design consists of a plastic, lidded, compartmentalized storage container that has the capability to swing from underneath the desk to the outside, the cap keeping any pencils from tumbling out of it. But that’s not the full extent of “The Swingy Thingy’s” utility. It is able to hold not only writing utensils, but also art and school time supplies aplenty. That means no more settling for what the classroom stock has to offer. Now, you have the space not only for basic necessities, but also to spoil yourself with extra trinkets and gadgets.

Using the “Folder Holder” and “Swingy Thingy” creates abundant space within the desk. But what to do with the books and items still inside is another question altogether. That’s where the “Tidy Slide” comes in. The unique drawer-like design slides in and out of your desk with ease and the dividers within it separate your textbooks and supplies into orderly portions. This way, these items are within reach at any given time- you can even pull it out completely and place it on top of your desk. Math time- you’ll have your yellow notebook out in an instant- no more digging around like a mole! “Get out your writing textbook, class”- it’ll be a breeze! To think, I haven’t even yet told you of the most remarkable aspect of all- the protective front panel that keeps your organized belongings inside the desk, where they belong. At the same time, it fends off any classmates who are looking to nab something or other. The practical panel eliminates all those instances when you’re bracing yourself against all of your things, trying to keep everything in. Or, dare I say, trying to identify the culprit of your missing pencil. Never again will you do that with the “Tidy Slide” installed! The easy-grip soft handle makes pulling it out effortless and convenient. This way, it’s just pull it open, grab your item, and push the divider back in! Simple as that!

I’ve made my voice hoarse telling you about the remarkable uses of the TidyDesk system. Now, it’s your time to act and purchase TidyDesk! What is there not to like? The “Folder Holder” conveniently stashes away and organizes your folders, while simultaneously being fun and decorative. The “Swingy Thingy” smoothly swings away all your pencil problems, and gives you space to keep your art supplies and other extra nick-knacks. Then, right when you don’t think it could get any better, you learn that the “Tidy Slide” can organize all your school time essentials, keeping them in your desk, where they belong. After one simple installation, this could be your reality. The time to organize so laboriously would never come again. Distraction from lost folders or supplies would be a thing of the past. TidyDesk, for only $39.99, rids you of frustrating delays and keeps you highly organized. Every aspect of the TidyDesk just adds more on to its central purpose- to help you to focus on what matters at school, which is to learn. Isn’t that what we all need?