• Listen?

                  Sometimes, silence is golden. Other times, people appreciate an opinion more. However, almost always, when silence is used wisely in order to accent the opinion, it creates such a more drastic effect. It's like a punch in the stomach from someone who normally keeps to themselves. It's got that extra kick to it, that sweet feeling that you can't help but enjoy. I'm hoping that I have used my silence wisely; that I haven't blogged too little to where no one will hear it anyway, but not too much to where it gets lost in all the other noise.

                   Humans are scary individuals. They are devious, gullible, prone to make mistakes, and love to blame everyone BUT themselves. Today, I realized once again just how scary these creatures can be. I watched the Vice Presidential Debate today live, and can't help but satisfy my aching hunger to scream out my take on this whole ordeal.

                   Palin. (PEY-lin) 1) adj. when people pay attention to a certain interesting quality and forget the truly important matter.

                  This woman, who is inexperienced, is running for Vice President. This is scary. What ever happened to our high standards that our great Presidents such as Roosevelt set? They were shot down along with the many Polar Bears that hang on Palin's mantle in her home. She had never been out of the country until 2007, not even passing through. That's pretty sad seeing that she lived in Alaska, which is completely surrounded by Canada. I had my passport by the time I was 7. She was mayor of a small town by the name of Wasilla, Alaska for 6 years and Governer of Alaska for 2 years. She has no foreign policy background and very little political experience. How could we have gone from accomplished Hilary Clinton to PTA mom Sarah Palin? Heck, why don't I just take debate class next semester and then run for President myself? At least I knew that dinosaurs existed 6.5 billion years ago.

                Back to my point: people are overlooking what Palin stands for and just seeing that she is a woman. SO WHAT?!?!?! Sure, it'd be kind of cool to have a woman in office, but do you honestly want to waste that title on a person like Palin? It's like your first kiss. Would you rather have a really bad one ASAP or wait a little bit longer and have a more memorable one? Personally, I'd much rather the latter.

                People need to realize that appearance doesn't matter, it's what goes on beneath the surface. U.S. citizens need a positive role model to look up to right now. We are about to endure very hard times. We need a political team that will not only work us thruogh it, but hold our hand on the way and give us hope. That is what President Ronald Reagan is most famous for, is it not? I want someone who knows reality and who isn't going to dance around the inconvenient truth. Someone who is willing to admit how hard something may be, but at the same time knows how to keep our wills strong and hopeful. I don't want a Sarah Palin. I don't want someone who makes it all seem like a fairytale, that everything will be just fine. I do not want someone to put me in a plastic bubble, I want someone who will teach me how to handle real situations so that my generation can take over when the time comes.

               A very perceptive artist by the name of Adam Zyglis sketched a political cartoon that I thought illustrated my point to the 't'.


    7B81e96953-c640-4137-8a82-b27ded9ea.gif picture by CamillaThopson


    Thank you.


  • Update! In short...


    Hey Everybody! This one's going to be a short one because I got to head out to my aunt's house here pretty soon. But I just missed you all so much, so I thought I'd make good use of my time. How is everyone? I hope good... So, let's see.

    Well, Mother's Day was cool. Pretty chill, you know? My brothers and I all watched this REALLY cheesy movie together and it was so bad it was unintentionally hilarious. That was fun. Then we gave her our little gifts. My little brother's gift was the best: "Well, it used to be a sunflower plant, but someone cut it in half so I just figured I'd give you what was left..."

    My dad just got back from FL recently and I'm SO glad he's home. Having someone around you all the time, you don't really realize how much you're going to miss them when they're gone. I sure missed him.

    My little brother is playing baseball right now. I'm SO proud of him! At one of his practices, he was just messing around and threw the ball towards the home plate. One of the coaches saw and asked him to do that again. He [my little brother] didn't know why the coach wanted him to, but he did it. After about 20 times, the coaches [the rest had come over to watch] told him he was a great pitcher and that he threw pretty much all the balls in the strike zone without even knowing. They asked him to pitch at the game and the newspaper recorded that he "pitched with great command and composure". It's kind of funny for me because I was always the catcher, and now my little brother is the pitcher. Everybody knows that the catcher and pitcher always have to be on exactly the same page in order to make a good team!

    On Mondays, my brother and I go to the local skate rink and roller blade for 2 ½ hours. We've been doing this for a few months now, and through the friends we've made I found out that there is a recreational hockey team there. I also found out that girls [there's only about four in the league] are allowed to play in the boys' league since they don't have a girls' one yet. I've been begging my mom to let me do it, and she finally let me! I'm going to get to play HOCKEY!!! YAY!!! Erika, I'm totally going to make a rollerblading trick called the "Tofu" just for you. =]

    So yeah, that's pretty much what's been going on lately. I have to hurry up and wrap this up, so bye! Drop me a message sometime!!!


    -Dani Cox



  • My Heroes Are 30 Minutes Down the Road

    Hey People! Long time no chat? Ha ha, I know, it’s only been like an hour. But I got a really important topic. I was going to mention it in the last blog, but this one deserves its own entry. I hope that at least some of them are reading this blog. This one goes out to a class room of 15 7th graders that attend East Avenue Middle School.

    To the 7th graders: You guys are awesome. I was so excited when my mom told me you guys wanted to write me letters. I literally woke up each day hoping that it would be the day your letters would arrive. Then the one day I had let it slip my mind, POW! It was there waiting for me on my kitchen counter. I never thought manila envelopes could be so exciting. But then again, there are many things I have yet to think of. =]

    So, overall, you guys made my jaw drop. No, you guys’ letters made my jaw fall of my skull, run across the floor, and jump out my second story window. As one of you guys said in your letter, my first thought was W-O-W.  I have so much to tell each of you, but since this is just a blog, I’ll try to keep it brief [stress on the try].

    I’m so glad I could make that big of an impact on you guys. You know, you guys call me your ‘inspirer’, but in all reality, you are the ones inspiring me. One of you talked about how you used to be very shy, but that my visit helped you feel more confident about your writing. To you, I just want to say that I’m so happy that something I did could instill that strong of a reaction. Wow, what a compliment. I hope that you continue on with this advancement. It’s a beautiful thing when you realize that there should be no shame in things that you have your heart in. Oliver Panter[another author I met in NYC] taught me that much.

    Also, you guys mentioned that you all really liked the writing activity. That’s great. I’m so glad you all were so willing to embrace my experiment. You probably didn’t realize this, but when I told you all to write something, anything, you guys were all writing up a storm within half a minute. It was a great feeling to think you guys had so much to say. My mom wasn’t kidding when she said that it looked like you all had a lot to write about. 

    One of you mentioned how you thought the exercise taught you how to write with a voice. That’s great. I hope you can keep developing it by writing more. I was also glad to hear that the boys enjoyed my performance just as much as you girls did. That’s fantabulous [Yes, I know that’s not a real word, but if Shakespeare made up his own words, why can’t I?]. I’m glad my potential isn’t just limited to girls, ladies, and women. Also, one of you said that you’d be reading my blogs regularly, so you also inspired me to get back on here and type my heart out. Thank you, I’ve been meaning to do that.

    Also, one of you students said that my essay was “a breath of fresh air”. Besides the fact that this is a mega-compliment, what descriptive detail! That has a lot more meaning to it than just saying it was a good reading. I’m glad I could bring some new genres into mind for you. In fact, I was extremely glad that a few of you took my type of topic to heart. If it was possible, I would’ve liked to keep all your essays.

    Many of you also mentioned that I inspired you to write your own essays and submit them to publishers. That’s awesome. I’m glad I could encourage some fellow colleagues to put the adult image of a teen to a freeze and show them we’re on our toes.

    One thing I really enjoyed about reading your letters was that you all had a different approach to saying your own personal thank you. Some were formal; others were as though you were writing a letter to your best friend. I really liked how one of you totally went against proper letter-heading rules and instead of putting the date in the right-hand corner, you wrote it in your letter. How lively! It was so neat and interesting. You may or may not have meant to do it, but it still looked really cool. Another thing I was really appreciative of was how you were honest. Some of you admitted that you thought I was just going to be another buy-my-book charade. Others told me that they were really excited for me to come. One even told me how she thought it was really embarrassing when your essays were read in front of the class. Honesty is priceless. I love it.

    I also like how some of you wrote specifically about your feelings about the event and how others wrote about how the class overall felt about it afterward. It’s fun for me to hear other people’s thoughts on things like this. One person went full out with decorations. Thank you. Even if you actual letter was short, a picture is worth a thousand words. You definitely made up for it.

    A few of you also thanked my mom. She won’t admit it, but she’s so thrilled to be a part of the thanks. I appreciate how some of you told me which essays you wrote. I loved them all, and it’s nice to be able to put a story with a name. Thank you.

    One of you in particular mentioned that sometimes you are brave in doing daring things, but that sometimes you aren’t. Believe me, I’m the same way. I think everybody is to a point, but I’m definitely one of the cases where it occurs regularly. =] I want to tell you to not be afraid to try something new like having people know what you wrote. Sometimes, you have to rebel against yourself and your own internal boundaries you’ve made to realize the truth in some things. The first time is never easy. In fact, it’s one of the hardest things to do. But after the first time, it gets easier. It’s not going to be one of those things where it’s super hard the first time and then it’s over with. No, it’s going to keep being hard. But eventually, you’ll teach yourself [consciously or unconsciously] to become numb to it. Eventually, it’ll become like breathing: sometimes you don’t really know you’re doing it, sometimes you have to focus on it, and sometimes it hurts so much you want to just let it stop. But believe me, it’s going to be very uncomfortable if you let yourself stop at that point. I hope that helps.

    Another letter was almost more inspiring to me than my essay was. It was short, sweet, and packed with heart and meaning. Thank you so much. You don’t realize how much that helped me. It was so helpful.

    One of the letters mentioned talked about how I exploded their expectations. In respect for her and her thoughts, I won’t mention what her expectations were here, but hopefully you’ll know I’m talking to you. You also mentioned that you appreciated me coming into your class because you realize how “repetitive [going] to schools you don’t know and talking to strange faces” is.

    I was also excited to hear from one of the students that their favorite part was getting up in front of the class and improving their essay by using the million-question strategy that the beloved Amy taught me. I’m glad that all worked out well.

    I’m stoked to hear that since the activity, you have all decided to continue writing short stories, mini essays that pop into your head, and your everyday thoughts. I’m glad that I was able to inspire writing in a room of my peers. You know, I was in my English classroom when I was inspired to write. But that’s another story. This blog is all you guys.

    A few of you had some questions for me. As for sequels to RED, you’ll have to contact the editor Amy Goldwasser for confirmation, but I know she has talked seriously about many of them. One person asked me “Did you go to New York?” Yes, indeed I did. It was awesome. I talk about it a bit in my first blog. As for any other questions you guys had that either I skipped or you forgot to ask, feel free to email me with them. If I have a lot of them, I might post a Q&A blog. That'd be interesting, right?

    Anyways, thank you so much for being naturally awesome and willing to show your natural awesomeness to me.


    ~Dani Cox


  • Third Blog's the Charm

    Hey Everybody! It’s been SO long! Don’t worry though; I’ve got a fair amount of things to talk about. So first off, I’m going to travel way back to the SF readings in Oakland, Pleasanton, and Dublin. The Oakland reading was so much fun. Thank you SO much Jordyn for coming all the way up for it. It was great to see you again. Then there was the Pleasanton reading which was, of course, outstanding. Thanks to Jessica for coming. Who ever said “Two’s company; three’s a crowd” was definitely wrong. One person is lonely, a group of two people is company, and three’s a party! Also, quick thanks to all my family and friends who came out to support me [Grandma, Teachers, Mom, Dad, Brothers, Sister, Neighbors, etc.]  Finally, the Dublin reading: thanks to all who came. It meant a lot. Shout out to the awesomely awesome Erika. Thank you so much for coming to all three readings! It was relieving to know I wouldn’t be the only one.

    It was kind of funny. At the Dublin reading, my brother came to hear me do my thing. I was stoked that he came because he couldn’t come to any of the other ones. So, at first he’s being my brother and making funny faces at my trying really hard to make me start cracking up in front of everybody. Then he just sat there with his head bent reading some comic book which actually looked somewhat interesting. He had his head bent so far that I didn’t see the top of his head; I saw the back of his head. While I was reading, I kept looking over to him to see if he was looking, but he hadn’t moved. When I told my mom, I told her “[My brother] must’ve really dug that cover art” since that was the only page he seemed to be looking at.

    The she looked at me and said, “No, Dani. I think tonight he really dug his sister.” So yeah that made me feel really good because my brother normally tries to remain distant and neutral. It was special.

    Alright, moving right along. So, this past week, I was with my friend in LA. She brought up a really good point. The word ‘unique’ sounds so ordinary! And even worse, the word ‘tofu’ sounds super cool! We were talking about that a lot. Tofu sounds like it should be some sort of exotic food or incredibly hard skate trick. I could totally imagine someone saying, “I just did a 360-Tofu”. Alright, maybe knowing what tofu really is it makes it harder, but purely by sound, it works. So my friend and I came up with an adaptation to the word ‘unique’ to make it sound more… unique! You pronounce it YOO-NI-KYOO with a short ‘I’. Sounds better, right? Okay, maybe not but we think it does. =]

    High school. Wow. I’m stoked! I can’t wait to get in there and be an official high-schooler [I say official because I’ve already informed my parents that I’m a high-schooler by heart and maturity]. I just went to registration for it today. I think I might be bored, but I’ll enjoy the social surroundings. Don’t worry though; I won’t ever abandon you guys! I stick with the people who started me off. =]

    Loves. Yes, this really is my next topic; I’m not kidding. But I’m not talking about loves as in crushes between boys and girls [or boys and boys or girls and girls; whatever floats you boat]. I’m talking about loves for certain things or places. Like for me, I call them ‘comfort zones’. I love roller-blading. It has become a hobby of mine. The roller-rink is one of my comfort zones. I always feel at ease there. Also, writing is another hobby of mine. It normally takes place in my room or on my driveway, so those are some other comfort zones of mine. Acting is yet another hobby, as those of you who read my essay know. So whenever I’m acting, I’m in my comfort zone. Also, the dark, cold, or night are all comfort zones. All of them put me at ease. Why should the dark, cold and nighttime represent evil things?

    Alright, so if you guys haven’t figured out yet, this is my random post for February. I know, I’m a month behind. Never fear [not that you are], my next post is coming right up. Of course, topic ideas are ALWAYS welcomed and encouraged. Remember: you can always drop me an email. I love to here from the readers and authors. In fact, that has a little something to do with my next post. So, yeah. You guys get the picture: email me anytime, send requests for topics, say hello, etc. Okay, talk to you guys soon!


    ~Dani Cox


  • Checking in...

    Hey everyone, long time no chat?I really missed my blog. You have no idea. So, the Los Angeles book reading party was, of course, amazing. I'm glad I got to hear more girls read their stories. They always have more 'umph' [as my mother calls it] when they're read by the authors rather than by someone else. I also got to see some of my good friends that I haven't seen in a while [That'd be you guys, Michelle and Aidan!] After that, I went to Florida to visit with the family. I didn’t realize how much I missed them till I was with them. I love my family; it’s an important part of a person’s essential make up. I just now got back from a book signing in San Jose for Eoin Colfer, the author of Artemis Fowl and I got to see my friend again [Aidan,….that’s you]. So yeah, been pretty busy with a bunch of stuff, not to mention the three weeks when I was limited to five minutes a week on the computer. It wouldn’t have been so bad if I hadn’t lagged on the December blog. By the way, sorry about that, I’ll make up for it! =] Hey, did anyone hear about the many best-seller books in Japan that were written on the phone? They've got to have had blackberries or sidekicks! Seriously, they're going to have arthritis in a few years. Still, I thought that was cool. I should do that. *Looking at phone* Then again, maybe not. Knowing me, I think I'd have better luck writing the book backwards than on a phone.One of the things that I don't want to do in my writing is make everything work out in the end like some sort of fairytale. I think it's important that people realize not everyone gets to be the princess in the story. It reminds me of one of my friends' birthday parties. We were all upstairs playing some sort of make-believe game, as we always did at age 7/8 [I was always young for my grade]. The birthday girl, who we all agreed should be the main character, appointed me to be the best friend in the story, which everyone wanted to be. So, as I'm sure you can imagine, it resulted in total chaos and drama to the point where one of the most dramatic one's asked to "go home or die". Of course, this whole matter was resolved over candy, popcorn, and a movie. Still, it just goes to show that everyone wants to be the best in the story. Well anyways, I'm glad I got to blog again. If anyone has any  ideas of topics for me to talk about, message me with it and I'll do my best to incorporate it. Everyone, readers and writers alike, feel free to email me! I like talk to the other writers, and of course it's always interesting to hear the reader’s views on the book.  Talk to you all soon!~Dani


  • First Time, 'Thanks to' s, and Life After the Party

          Hello everyone. This is both cool and weird at the same time. Cool because I get to speak with the readers and other writers of the book, but also weird because I have no idea where to start and have no experience with this. Well, I'll take courage in the other girls' blogs and believe I'm not alone in this feeling.

          First of all, it was great to meet all of the authors at the NYC book reading. I'm really glad we can all keep in touch. Long distance friendships are often hard to maintain. This will definitely make things easier! Quick notes: Olive, you're band was awesome and you were great to talk to. Kirsten, thanks for hanging out with me and, once again, you're dress ROCKED! Lisa, your reading was HILARIOUS to say the least. Annie, you were truly inspiring to me with your reading and the courage you showed. Sarah and Hannah, you guys were great talking to and I felt very at ease with you both.

          Last, but by far not the least, Amy. I always thought you were very cool and professional, but meeting you in person at the party made me have even more respect for you than I already had [which was hard to imagine]. You were funny, easy going, not to mention looking fantastic in your sequin dress, and I felt like conversation came easy. Thank you SO much for putting all this together for us and for giving me this opportunity. You are truly an extraordinary woman!

          I'm literally pooped from traveling. I just got back yesterday and I didn't sleep that well as I was in a sleeping bag on the floor rather than my comfy little twin bed. You see, the reason I was on the floor in the first place was because my Amma [a.k.a grandma] is out visiting us for Thanksgiving. It was so nice to be able to see her when my mom pulled the car up to the airport curb. I've really missed her a lot. Maybe that's why I was so willing to allow her to keep sleeping in my room. Hmm, possible. Then again, maybe I just didn't know where else she would sleep. Again, possible. However, last night's sleeping arrangements didn't put me in a bad mood today as they sometimes do. Why was today different? Let's just say, my little brother is adorable. This morning he came over to my sleeping bag, laid down next to me, and put his arm around me. Then he whispered, "Wake up, Dani" so sweetly that I could have just been imagining it. If this was his reaction to me being gone for an extended period of time, I should go away more often! 

          So, I guess I'll need to continue on with what else I have to do today. You could say I'm not entirely jumping out of my seat in excitement to get to my next task: school. It's not like I hate school, in fact I find it very interesting most of the time, but I could think of a couple things I'd rather do today. If I'm ever going to get to the other things on my list after school [such as wrap my friend’s presents, spend time with Amma, and reply to all those emails piling up in my inbox], I better get started. So I suppose I'll wrap up this blog with a few, and I mean FEW, songs that are on my mind. I can't wait to talk to everybody and I'm excited to see where this might take me. Keep encouraging each other with even the minor things! Here are the songs that are stuck on my mind:
    •  Let It Be by The Beatles
    • 17 Years by Red Handed
    • The Immigrant Song by Led Zeppelin
    • Dust in the Wind by Kansas
    • Jimmy's Rap by Eddie Murphy [from the movie Dreamgirls]
    • Randy Scouse Git by The Monkees