Wednesday, August 31, 2011


All right, so I said I'd talk about poisonous Japanese blowfish today. Er--I decided I'd talk about something else, seeing as I already had to type this up for school. It's very interesting and, to me, somewhat disturbing.

When I first read my article on Manzanar Relocation Camp, I was shocked. I had never known, before, about the Japanese internment camps. To read about such an obvious lack in my education hurt me. If this was such an important period in history with such enormous discrimination, why don’t we know about it? Why isn’t it taught in schools today alongside the Nazi Concentration Camps and the aftermath of Pearl Harbor Day?

The government shut down American branches of Japanese banks. Men, women, and children, sometimes second-generation American or even adopted by Americans, were carted off to Manzanar and other camps. Religious and political leaders were arrested for no apparent reason, with no warning or explanation to their families. In the relocation camps, families were expected to survive in “apartments” the size of two horse stalls.

The worst came after the Japanese gained permission to leave. Those with less than $500 in savings received a measly $25, a train ticket, and food on the road. How could this ever be payment for what those people suffered? Even the $20,000 to survivors offered by President Reagan in 1988 and the official apology offered by President Bush in 1989 could never come close to repaying the Japanese for what we did to them.

I found this article at, written by a man named Martin Kelly. Kelly taught social studies for eight years at a secondary school and developed the AP History curriculum for the Florida Virtual School. From my research, he appears to be well-educated and I found no reason to doubt the information he placed in his article.

You can read the original article here.

How many of you knew about this or learned it in history? Comment and let me know!

~Mercia Dragonslayer

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

I Learned Something New Today.

I learned something new today--something I definitely never wanted to know about. Let's visit some foreign countries and take a taste of their cuisine.

NOTE: NOT FOR THE SQUEAMISH, OKAY? Really. If you get sick easily, don't read this. I watched a video in Sociology today and I want to write about what I--er--learned. I think it might help me retain it better.

Hanoi, Vietnam

Imagine sitting down to dinner in Hanoi and glancing over the menu. You see "snake," and you and your friends decide to try it. The waiter nods. He comes back minutes later with a squirming, hissing, venomous snake. With a deft motion, he uses a small scalpel knife to slit open the snake's chest and drip the blood into a clear glass. A moment later the still-beating heart drops into a shot glass along with a small sampling of blood. This glass goes to the host while the other members of the party receive the same glasses with blood only.

I kid you not. This is considered a delicacy.

Tomorrow, I bring you the deadliest fish in the world--and where it's eaten.

~Mercia Dragonslayer

Monday, August 29, 2011

Thirty Days of ______

Today, bored, I googled "Thirty Day Blog Challenge" to see what would come up. The first site that appeared had Matt Cutts' Try Something New For Thirty Days challenge. You can watch it below.

I thought, "Why not do it? What have I got to lose?" Besides my dignity, of course. Instead of posting sporadically on my blog, I shall now attempt to post on it daily in accordance with a monthly theme. September's theme is drawing. October's is original fiction. So on and so forth.

Wish me luck, all! If you have any ideas for themes (or something you want to challenge me on!), go ahead and post it in a comment below.

~Mercia Dragonslayer

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Someone on OYAN (oh, yes, OYAN! Again!) asked whether fanfiction was acceptable to write for the One Year Adventure Novel curriculum. I, of course, had a bit to say on the subject.

First of all, there are fanfiction sites out there (most reknowned of which is where people write stories like this and post them for the world to see. You can't publish them, or make money off them, or claim the characters (unless they are original) or the story world as yours. I'm also fairly sure you can't enter such a story into the OYAN contest, although you may have to check with Mr. or Mrs. S on that. For your OYAN, it is best that you come up with original characters, an original storyline, and an original story world. This will help you in the long run.

(Translation for those of you who are NOT OYANers: You can't publish fanfiction without permission from the author or their publisher. You will also get in BIG trouble if you claim the story world or canon characters as your own.)

People have had different views on fanfiction. Some say it hurts one's writing, others say it helps. I think it can do both. If you write fanfiction like I do, mainly for self-entertainment, then I don't think it can hurt. It's extra writing experience, extra time spent making characters feel real. You have a template to start with and all you have to do is add a plot and run with it. It's good for developing good spelling and grammar skills, as well as a consistent writing style (or several, even!). I also use fanfiction as a way to write consistently. If I don't feel like working on a particular story one day, I open up my fanfiction and work a bit on that. 

However, if you ALWAYS write fanfiction and never come up with anything original, this will hurt your original fiction in the long run. It will sap your imagination. If you write it instead of your original novels, you will find yourself getting lazy and not wanting to work on the things you should. It DOES take up a lot of your time--and why write something you can't make money off of, some say. All these are things to consider.

So my point here is that while it is a bad idea to write fanfiction for the OYAN curriculum (or for your first "novel"), you can certainly save the idea for later. After you've written your first original novel, it will be good writing practice. It will help you write consistently. That's a good thing.

Peace out, yo.

~Mercia Dragonslayer

PS: I apologize profusely. It appears that I cannot remove the white highlighting... Oops.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Greatest Author

First of all, I'm terribly sorry that I haven't updated in a while. I've been busy (and stressed!) working at a camp in the northeastern US. Therefore, no time for writing at all, even, on my stories, let alone blog posts. But I've got a bit of extra time on my hands and I have something interesting to say.

Lately, God has been revealing Himself to me through writing. No, not other people's writing--though that has helped a bit. Not even through my own writing (at least not recently). Through writing in general.

We, as writers, are called to a Special Purpose For God. We all are, as children of God, but I feel a specific calling as a writer to share the vision that God has given me in order to show the world His love.

"Then the LORD answered me, 'Write the vision. Make it clear on tablets so that anyone can read it quickly.'" ~Habakkuk 2:2
This is a verse that shows me my purpose as a writer. I take The Truth and write it out for the world to see.

That's writing. Truth versus Lies. Love versus Hatred. Good versus Evil. Every possible struggle between the side of Light and the side of Darkness has already been documented in the greatest True Story every written. Our Heavenly Father and the Author of our Salvation has written out the plans of our lives before we were even born. He planned every single instant of every single day, as well as the beautiful story arc of the world.

God is the Ultimate Storyteller.

~Mercia Dragonslayer