Writing a World of Whimsy: Young Adult Author Claire Legrand

The WordPress.com Blog

Periodically, we share stories of WordPress.com users doing awesome things, from blogger David McRaney snagging his second book deal to memoirist Susan Morrison bringing her mother’s World War II-era diaries to life. Today, meet Claire Legrand — a young adult author of fantasy, paranormal, and science fiction worlds — who also makes WordPress.com her online home.

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Winters are here!!

“The chilly winds, falling leaves, hazy mornings, murky environment and hushed streets are enough to enunciate that winter season is here. Getting out of the blankets and jumping into the shower when your teeth talk nineteenth to the dozen makes the winters horrible! However, along with winter brings a lot of fun and relaxation! So welcome them.”

WARDROBE:

Winter is nearly here, but do not let the cold weather addle your wardrobe brain. The time to take out all the stuff that was packed before eight months is here; time to design your wardrobe again, hanging sweaters and replacing your flowy frocks with jeans and mufflers. Take out gloves, jackets, socks, jumpers and all the other wooly apparels that can save you from harsh cold breezes of winter.

HAIRS NEED CARE:

Protect your crowning glory during the cold winter season. Some precautionary measures can prevent your hair becoming dry, frizzy and brittle out of the harsh effects that the winter weather can bring.

  • ·         Shampoo your hair less in winter to keep its natural oils.
  • ·         Apply a hair moisturizing conditioner regularly.
  • ·         Use hair styling creams instead of gels.
  • ·         Dry your hair thoroughly before going outdoors to prevent breakage.
  • Avoid taking long hot showers or washing hair frequently in hot water. 
  • Use natural hot oil treatment if you have an excessively dry damaged hair.

PROTECT YOUR SKIN!

Your cheeks become as hard red apples, dry and stiff. Moreover, lips become chapped and fissured. Wearing thick clothes and additional layers of clothing worsens the situation as it prevents the skin to breathe, thus making the skin to look flaky, dull, and feel irritated. Your skin needs a layer of squelchy moist. Use some good moisturizer, lotion or cold cream to make your cheeks as well as your hands & feet soft and smooth. After taking bath your skin becomes rough so get a bottle of lotion, apply it on your skin, and knead this will definitely prevent it from toughening.

DRINKABLES:

Now that winter is here and we are looking at ways to stay warm. While we can turn up our heaters and curl up in blankets, there is one thing that can warm us from the inside out. A hot drink can take away those winter blues and make us feel toasty warm again. There are many types of hot drinks that you can have. They range from the black teas and herbal teas to the sweeter drinks like hot chocolate. That sweet taste of hot chocolate can do wonders on a winter’s night. With marshmallows, cream and chocolate sprinkles a hot chocolate can be both a hot drink and a creamy dessert.

Hot milk with a hodgepodge of flavors, green tea and yes personally my favorite coffee makes the winters more enjoyable.

 

MUNCHIES:

A warm snack on a cold winter day can help fill you and warm you up.

The tasty, delightful and delicious nuts come alongside with the arrival of winters. The pistachios, almonds, cashews, figs, peanuts, walnuts and groundnuts are the true and real delights of this season. They are lusciously tasty and equally healthy as well. If you take a fist full of nuts, it will provide you all the nutritional values that your body wants. Different desserts can be made with these nuts. In winter, the use of chocolate becomes more as it is used in many winter drinks and desserts so this season serves as the “eid” of chocolate lovers.

AMUSEMENT IN WINTERS:

Well, in winters people become lazy and sleepy as well. The nights approach and the days are gone so quickly, so people went to their beds comparatively early as summers. Amusement in winters is not a big deal. You can get a mug of hot coffee and sit in front of your window to enjoy the cold breezes that blow off your hair. On the other hand, you can lie in your cozy bed covering yourself with a warm and snug comforter having a bowl of peeled peanuts. How pleasant! What about grabbing a mug of your favorite hot beverage in your blanky with another new copy of smash!

WINTER BREAK:

Yes, the most important and preferred time of this time of year is winter vacation. Winter is the right time to wind down, dream, relax and enjoy. Spend some truly memorable vacations. Pack up your bags, cast off your inhibitions and curl up in your comforters until the schools summon you!

Happy cold winters!

By: Fizzah maryam 

 

educational racism

There is a list of tribulations Pakistan is coping with. Besides all those political marches, monetary crises and hypocritical politics we are also facing the education slump which is worsening day by day. There’s an “educational racism” among the Pakistanis. A-levels, Cambridge system, matriculation system are the three groups into which the students are categorized. The one who’s speaking American English is more sagacious; the one with British accent is less and one who studied at government school no matter how intelligent he is, not paid much attention. Despite all these systems, Pakistan’s education system has failed to equip the youth with the skills necessary for the development of a modern state, society and economy. Education is a social panacea but dividing educators and educational institutions into groups will just end up in creating a cataclysm soon in the country.
People don’t like studying in government schools because they don’t want themselves to be called as “low grades”. And that’s not their fallacy, everyone knows the condition of govt. schools, most of them are just ruining; converting into ghost schools! The O’ and A’ Level system is considered the pinnacle of learning for students in private (modern) schools. While government schools use the federal and provincial boards, which use techniques and curricula decades behind modern standards. There’s a bridge between these two schemes of education.
On the other hand Private schools are catering different social classes. There are average schools for the middle class and highfy schools for the upper class. Thus this class isolation, which is so palpable in Pakistani society, begins right in the era of primary schooling making the children egoistic. Children belonging to each social class go to schools where the other students come from the same economic background, thus growing up to be narrow-minded and self-centered individuals who fail to have compassion with people from dissimilar economic milieus.
At higher levels the situations become more exacerbated. Lower class is confined to choose “arts” because the fees of pre-medical, engineering and fields are out of their range. All the struggles have to surrender in front of educational racism! Students from affluent backgrounds enjoy not only better access to schools, colleges, teachers and tutors, but also have access to a readymade network of contacts. These can help them in getting internships and job opportunities that students from poorer backgrounds are completely cut off from. I read it in a newspaper column that:
“In Pakistan, after 16 years of education a clerk’s son ends up as a clerk and a manager’s son ends up as a manager.”
Yes, this is the truth! A poor student has no right to do MBA while the one born with a silver spoon in mouth can opt for any field and get seats in multi-national companies without any difficulty as he has “money” and partisanships to get the seat of his father. It is so easy for an affluent student to get admission wherever he wants; but what’s the guilt of a poor one?

This educational segregation is the cause of Pakistanis growing problems. As I said before “education is a social panacea”. This isolation of economic, educational and social is creating disparity among people, and then people talk about class segregation in Pakistan!!

The oratory of bringing revolution

The revolution is defined as “A forcible overthrow of a government or social order for a new system” and our youth want to bring revolution here in Pakistan. “Bringing revolution” has become a ‘catchphrase’ of many “youth” organizations and our youth is so frustrated of everyday situation that they are simply misled by the people who want to use them for their own false purposes. Just coming up with a zealous speech and summing up what you want in Pakistan is not ample!
People say that “A revolution can change the current situation of Pakistan.” I also agree but can a resolution bring practical changes to Pakistan? Will the economy, education system and everyday situation improve just by resolving? This empty rhetoric is just for the satisfaction of their own minds, that “I have addressed the Pakistani youth and that’s enough, they would be voting for me!” Actually, sometimes an alternative route which is short and accelerating is adopted which simply ends up into “nothing”. What we need is a drastic and long lasting change, and a revolution is not just enough to bring that, sometimes shortcuts appears to be more appealing and the individual turns to a route that is not unswerving.


You may be wondering that what I want to say, it is just that:
“A revolution is not needed, what we need is a Revolutionary progress!”
French revolution in France and American Revolution in America are two most prominent revolutions, which brought drastic changes. What needs to be understood is that Pakistan is a different case. Here, orations cannot work, only hard work and “sincere” hard work can work! Your speeches cannot strengthen the economy, they cannot end up the poverty, only talking about bringing a revolution; “INQILAAB” cannot fill the empty growling stomach of a child lying on a foot path, and the killing of innocents can never be stopped by these addresses!
“If you want a change then just don’t emphasize on the ways to bring it, practically bring it.”
Some of the organizations (simply “parties”) are trying to divert our minds by saying that “We will bring a change.” I agree that only the youth of Pakistan can bring a change, but which youth? A teen spending whole day at FB, smoking that “colored & flavored” tobacco and attending those revolutionary addresses; he can bring change? Just by writing at your FB profile that you are working as volunteer at some organization does not mean that you are a part of bringing a revolution!
“Revolutions aren’t brought by speaking scarcely; they are brought by working practically.”
The revolutionary development can only be brought by “education” and “hard work” which Pakistan needs badly. At present our youth needs to work towards progress in education, but some are obscuring their minds by telling that they would bring revolution! As I quoted before that by making speeches you can divert our mind but you cannot change the frightening situation of country by addressing!
So, my end note is the youth of Pakistan must understand clearly what their responsibility is and how they can build up this nation, and resolve not to be misled by those ambiguous people who choose to use them for their own purposes and blueprints.

karachi crippled by heavy rainfall

As the sun conceals behind the clouds and rain drop fall on the ground, love for the nature deepens. Last week, heavy rainfall battered Karachi. Karachites were pleased due to the fluctuation of weather to an exalted state but then there were others who were facing utter miseries. I was sifting through my news feed and a status caught my eye:
“Finally raining, rainbows everywhere.”
 I liked this so much and copied it as my own status, but the reality is that there were no rainbows. People were actually cursing either the government or the rain being caught up in traffic jams. The whole city was waterlogged, 80% of the city had no electricity and KESC was publicly messaging the citizens to keep themselves away from wires and all. That’s it! And yes, media was playing a pivotal role in narrating the “rain-story”. I myself was caught up in a traffic jam at MA Jinnah road and to the utter disappointment there was nothing to break the fast at iftar. Downpour was continued for three hours and my car was not moving about an inch.
Water flowed in the houses, feeders tripped and inconvenience was at its peak. As a nation, all of us have a habit of putting the blame of our failures onto the others and the same thing was happening. Political leaders were blaming each other, while researching for this article I read the statement from one of our leader which says:
“These cursed rains have caused all this havoc.”
Whoa! Now let’s curse the nature as well!
“Water flown into our houses, the whole Saadi town was plunged in darkness and no attempts were being made to deplete and drain the overflowing water,” Said a citizen, Bilal awan. And nearly all the karachites were facing the same probs.

 

In our childhood we were given topic to write essays: “Baarissh; rehmat ya zehmat?” and we use to write“Baarissh, Khuda ki rehmat hy and blah blah!” But Karachi was presenting an “opposite” picture of this. This time every one of us was cursing rain, why? Due to our own flaws.  Along with the government and associated authorities we the citizens are equally responsible. I sit here, writing, and recommending and you, reading, consenting or dissenting but none of us practically has the strength to accept our flaws and mistakes. Do we?

 

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