This is the perfect day for this post. Why? I'll explain later.
Zoology may be a bit of a stretch, but it's something for 'z.' For this one, I'm going back to the beginning of The Experiment. Audrey Raingold is taking Biology the year The Experiment happens, which necessitates learning about animals. So some of the course would be considered zoology. Audrey's introduction into the story is when she is dissecting a frog for school.
Audrey is somewhat based on me, and so her frog dissection is as well. She finds a beetle's exoskeleton in her frog's large intestine as I did in mine. I don't really remember much else from the dissection, except that I got bored with it before I was done, but the beetle experience has been incorporated into a story. After all, stories are better if they have some truth in them, and I've heard that authors are supposed to write what they know. (Though I have also heard it is better to write what you want to read.)
Why is this the perfect day? My sister and her friend dissected their own frogs today. My sister's frog has a more interesting story than mine. It had a ladybug in its mouth. It was also full of frog eggs, which was pretty gross. Biology can be quite interesting, and even furnish stories for fiction.
York and Jen Mercer are fifteen year old twins who meet up with the Raingolds about halfway through their adventure. They both went to public school where they constantly got themselves in trouble by questioning the wrong things their teachers tried to teach them. As Jen tells Audrey, "My teacher had been trying to teach us some baloney about the Constitution that wasn’t even slightly true, and I proved her wrong straight from the Constitution itself. Apparently they can’t have people doing that."
Jen wants to be a nurse. Her father was a doctor, and so these two combined gave her the medical knowledge necessary to deal with some unfortunate incident which befell them.
I'm not sure what York's ambition is, it wasn't necessary to the story, but he does have a dog. His dog is Canis, and Canis is very attached to his young master.
Jen was a dream character, she was in the dream about the fight on the bridge. That's where she got her name. York got his name because of Ian and Kansas. I was going to have a bunch of characters with state names, but in the end there were only three: Indiana (Ian), York, and Kansas.
York and Jen have a smaller role in the story than I at first thought, but they do have a role and they play it well.
It's been exactly one month since I wrote my last blog post. I never intended to let it go so long, but life has a way of getting busy, especially when one is involved in a congressional campaign.
I have to cheat a bit, because again there are no X-rays or X-boxes or xylophones or people named Xavier. So we have eXperiment. The eXperiment is what The Experiment is all about. It is a plot by the President and Miss Reginald to control the lives and minds of the American people. Along with that, there are scientific experiments performed by Miss Reginald.
Miss Reginald is trying to find a way of weakening the mind and making it susceptible to mind control. One of the ways she tried it was weakening it with the infirmities of age. Her experiments don't always go as planned, as Georgie Prescott could tell you.
She also was working on experiments to create fearless warriors. The one line I had in mind from the very beginning has to do with this experiment: "It is my pet project. To see what kind of monster I can create." This experiment causes Anne Rubin no end of grief. It is one she is determined to reverse, even more so than the experiments on the general population.
The eXperiments are a central element of the book, and what I desperately hope will always remain science fiction.
. . . I Wrote The Experiment.
I realize this is a major stretch for an A-Z post, but I didn't really have much to say about the weather, and I've been wanting to blog about this for a while.
I want to say first off that I didn't write The Experiment because dystopian is "in." I didn't even learn the word "dystopian" until I had completed all but my very last revision, and that revision, while it contained a major rewrite of the ending, was due to comments from a test reader, not to having discovered the dystopian genre. Besides, I'm not really sure The Experiment actually is dystopian. "Political thriller" seems to suit it better. But the reason I wrote it is the reason I think dystopian stories are popular. Because it's coming.
I wrote The Experiment because America is heading downhill fast. Even as I wrote it, I worried that the events portrayed in it would become outdated before I finished. Indeed, I hoped it would be in that America would turn around and get back on track. Alas, we have only continued downward. I wrote The Experiment as part of my endeavor to warn people and wake them up to what is happening.
A major part of The Experiment is the government using public schools to indoctrinate people to their cause and control them. This isn't wild speculation. The government is trying to do this. Look at all the regulations placed on schools. The schools and teachers are so wrapped in red tape they can no longer truly teach. Common Core is a major part of this. It creates national standards for education, which is truly a very bad thing. Everyone is different, but Common Core forces everyone to be exactly the same.
Miss Reginald's experiments are something that I sincerely hope will always remain science fiction, but sometimes I have my doubts. My mom has sent me links to several articles which indicate that scientists are trying to do similar things. One article even mentioned a Google person saying it might be possible someday to upload your brain to the internet. I hope it isn't true, but it's scary to think it might be possible.
I don't focus much on religious persecution in The Experiment, but that is something else that I believe is coming. If you look at all the anti-Christian agenda being pushed everywhere, you will see I'm not being a conspiracy theorist. Prayer outlawed in schools, but Muslim indoctrination classes mandated; the constant slaughter of unborn children; perversion considered normal; immorality accepted . . . America is no longer a Christian nation. My pastor even said yesterday in his sermon that though we have not yet experienced religious persecution in America, he thinks it is not far off.
I am not a crazy conspiracy theorist. Yes, I have an active imagination, but it is not imagination that makes me think America is on the brink of destruction. I have been greatly involved in politics for about ten years now, since I was eight years old, and I pay close attention to national, state, and local politics. I have studied our founding documents and principles and helped to teach them. I have listened to talk radio almost every day since I was five, and have learned quite a lot about the true state of our nation. I pay attention to what goes on in this nation, and where we are headed is not a good place. I want people to know what is happening to America.
And that is why I wrote The Experiment.
This is where you get to find out just how weird I am. My dream car is not a fancy sports car, or a limousine, or any other car that's typically considered cool. I don't even know what the names of cool cars are. My dream car is a 15 passenger van. Preferably with a bunch of kids in the backseat.
The most important of the vehicles in The Experiment are the 15 passenger vans. The Raingolds and their friends take 15 passenger vans when they begin their journey to Courtstone. The 15 passenger vans are even engaged in a car chase. I loved writing the car chase. It was a lot of fun. When I revised The Experiment, I had some difficulties in making the car chase possible, but I was determined, and eventually succeeded.
Some other vehicles in The Experiment include police cars, semi trucks, limousines, and a bus, but my favorites are the 15 passenger vans.
Unconstitutional . . . it's Abby Raingold's favorite word. She doesn't just say it to use a big word either. When she says a thing is unconstitutional, she's right. In The Experiment, the U. S. government does many things which are unconstitutional. The first that Abby points out is when government officials insist on entering the Raingolds' home without a warrant. A warrant is required and, as Abby said, "it has to be a reasonable warrant! It’s unconstitutional for you to do it without! That’s unlawful search and seizure, and we’re protected from that by the Fourth Amendment!"
At another time, Abby mentions that the government is only allowed to do things specified in the Constitution. This is clarified by the Tenth Amendment: "The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people."
As much as I wish I could say it is not true, unconstitutional behavior by the government is a thing not relegated to fiction. In fact, the government today seems to do more that is unconstitutional than is constitutional. Gun control, the NSA, and the "separation of church and state" are some prominent examples.
Below is a fun and educational video written and acted by some good friends of mine all about what the Constitution is and why it matters. The government needs to follow the Constitution, and it's your job to make them do it.
Posted in: America
Well, I'm back.
I had a nice Christmas break with my family, despite people getting sick, but now it's time to get back into normal life. And for this blog, that means maybe finally finishing my Experiment A-Z posts.
I know of three things in fiction called "The Machine." Of those three, two are torture devices, and one is an automobile. The one in The Experiment is not the automobile. The Machine is a large, cage-like device with wires pointing towards the center. Miss Reginald loves The Machine, though I doubt anyone else does. It creates extreme torture, and generally causes the victim to pass out.
Linus Prescott describes the pain caused by The Machine as being "more painful than if every bone in your body were crushed into a powder." Luckily, there's no more detail of the pain than that. I don't think I could go into any more detail. I'm a bit squeamish. My youngest sister was reading The Experiment for about the hundredth time yesterday, and she said that the point where I said "The agony (she) suffered in those minutes can never be put into words," was cheating. But for me, it's enough. The Machine is a terrible device.
Samuel Polk is another one of those characters I made up to fill a specific role. I needed another teenager who could drive, and so I named him Samuel. Now, you may be wondering why I had a character named Sam in Across the Stars, and a Samuel in The Experiment. I obviously like the name, but why? That can be answered in two words: Samwise Gamgee. He is my favorite character from Lord of the Rings, and so I started to like his name. I can't very well go around naming my characters Samwise, so I decided on a different name that can have Sam for a nickname. So Audrey called him Samuel.
At one point in the story, I decided to write a chapter about Samuel, simply because I didn't know what would happen next to the Raingolds. To do this, though, Samuel needed siblings. I have a little notebook full of fictional families I've made up, and so I looked through that to find a Samuel that would suit the part. I couldn't find very many Samuels, but I did find one family that had one with several older siblings, a twin sister, and a younger brother and sister who were twins. These were the Polks. I decided to use this family with a few alterations. For one thing, I never mention whether or not there are any older siblings. For another, I changed the ages of the girls so there were no twins. Then I had the Polks as can be known from The Experiment: Samuel, Samantha, Timmy, and Tabby.
Their part in the story expanded slightly from the tiny chapter I wrote while stalling the Raingold part. Their chapter doubled in length, and Tabby had a role to play at Courtstone. Their main role, however, is to show that these events are happening to others, and to expand the Raingolds' acquaintance. And that role they fulfill very well.
Finally I come to the Raingolds! I don't see why I always seem to pick last names for my main characters that come so far down in the alphabet. The Raingolds were a family I made up based on my own family except with extra kids, namely two little brothers. I made up random stuff about them for a while, but I really wanted a story to put them in. However, I couldn't come up with a good one. Then I had the dream which inspired what I then called Stand Fast, and decided to put them in it. It was a perfect fit, though the finished story is considerably different.
Audrey Raingold is the oldest, and somewhat based on me. She does tend to be somewhat bossy, and likes little kids. The muffin batter she mentions dumping on the inside of the oven is a true story. And I also found a beetle's exoskeleton inside of the frog I dissected for biology. Audrey is a lot braver than me, though. She is responsible, but she doesn't really want to be in charge. I suppose this is somewhat like me. I am capable of leading if I absolutely have to, but I hate doing it. Honestly, I think Audrey handled the whole situation better than I would have.
Ginnie was inspired by my sister Rebekah, but I think Ginnie came out even quieter than my sister. Ginnie is mostly just there, to support the others without obtruding into the story. Her relationship with Carrie Pauley as piggyback ride giver is taken from real life. "Carrie" did always get Rebekah to give her piggyback rides, and she did tell Bekah to jump over things, saying, "I won't fall off. I promise."
I'm not sure where to start with Abby. She is based on my sister Addyson, as my family was quickly able to see. I remember when my dad was reading it for the first time, my mom asked him, "Have you met your daughter yet?" Yes, Addy does talk a lot about the Constitution, and in an intelligent way. She knows it. She knows politics, too. Though Abby doesn't do this in the book, Addyson has gone into very detailed descriptions of why property and income taxes are wrong. Abby is rather argumentative, but she knows what she is talking about. She is a tomboy, and an entertaining character. Abby and Ian are the life of the story, which leads me to Ian.
Ian is not based on anyone in particular. However, his name is. His name is Indiana, which is because of Indiana Jones, though that is not the story explanation. I originally called him Indy, though I decided before I wrote it that I would call him Ian. He is, shall we say, spirited. In a less delicate way of speaking, he is a pain. He is very active and, well, he is a little boy. He is only seven, and doesn't know when to keep his mouth shut. He also is argumentative, and gets into good natured fights with Abby. It doesn't take much for the two of them to get obnoxious together. As a character, I like him, though I'm not sure I would want him to be my little brother.
Then there's Collin. He's two, and, apparently, not much of a talker. He gets carried around a lot by the older children, but he doesn't really do much. I'm pretty sure he's a cute little thing, though. At any rate, the little boy who played him in the book trailer is.
And that's the Raingolds.
I had a hard time coming up with something for "Q." In fact, I was having such a hard time thinking of something that I looked through all the words beginning with Q in my dictionary several times. Finally, I noticed the word "quadruped," and thought, a dog is a quadruped, I'll do Canis! And so this post was born.
I love dogs. I haven't always, but I do now, especially my yellow Labrador retriever Sophie. There is no mention of a dog in Across the Stars, so I had to put a dog into The Experiment. It isn't the Raingolds' dog, it is York's, and while the dog doesn't have much page time, he plays an important role. His name is Canis, which is Latin for "dog." And yes, that was on purpose. I was having trouble naming him, so I asked my mom and my sisters for ideas. We threw around a bunch of possibilities, and I ended up settling on Canis. I don't remember who thought of it, but it works. Canis is a very obedient dog, and very faithful to his master. I never specify his breed, but I tend to think of him as a German Shepherd, or something of that sort. Strange, because I like retrievers best by far. Canis has a job in the story, which he fulfills, but it could be considered a bit spoilery, so I won't say. It is in chapter 20.
I've moved my blog over to Blogger. You can find all the same content you can here plus much more at www.morganhuneke.blogspot.com
I am a 19 year old home-school graduate and a Christian children's book author. I'm involved in politics, and I play the violin. I make a lot of my own clothes and I love taking care of children. I generally blog about my books, but I also have an indefinitely running series on my favorite fictional characters. My friends' very awesome books seem to pop up around here quite often. I rarely post reviews here anymore, but my sisters and I regularly review books and movies at ShireReviews.blogspot.com I hope you enjoy your time here on my blog!