Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Meet Mekayla & Company (Part 1: Getting to know Mekayla)

So as I continue to work on what I hope will be a series, I figure it's as good a time as any to start introducing my characters to the world. There's a movement going on in children's literature, the "We Need Diverse Books" campaign, and my girl Mekayla gives it her 100% support. She agrees with me and all of those that think children's books are lacking in kids just like her (but it doesn't stop her from burying her head in books, so that's a good thing). She hopes that her stories will be part of the movement. She always loves attention, except when she's getting in trouble. So on that note, let's start with the little nine year old responsible for all this chaos going on in my head. She's not a very easy girl to keep up with. Mekayla's imagination runs away with her often, so it's easy for those around her to have that same problem. She refers to it as the Mekayla Affect.

So here's some things to know about Mekayla, told by Mekayla herself. She's a talker, but it's a good thing, because she gives me lots to work with:

Hiya! I'm Mekayla Alegre. Nine years old. So I was told by my author friend to introduce myself to everyone, since she's been doing a lot of talking about me already. I'm good at that. The talking part I mean. I get in trouble sometimes for talking while other people talk. But I can't help it. Sometimes I think they are done talking. And other times they don't stop. So if I don't talk when they do, no one will get a chance. They must have never learned about taking turns. But my mom says it's still rude to interrupt people. But you didn't come here to hear my talk about what my mom yells at me for.

Talking about myself is hard. I mean does anyone like doing that? So my author friend said to just do this like I'm writing a story about my life or something. I didn't think I'd be doing that at nine years old. More like when I'm a lot older and a space explorer, so I'll have something fun to talk about. But here goes, my life and welcome to it.

So this is where I live:

Dresden is really, really small town in NY state. There's not a lot of people here. My dad says there's less than 400. But I think it's even smaller. It's really hard to find on the map. All that we have here is lots of farms, and vineyards where they grow grapes to make wine, and the lake. My school is so small that we have all the grades, kindergarten-12th, in the same building.

My dad grew up here. He had 12 kids in his family (and only 1 bathroom in the house!). So I have lots of aunts, uncles, and cousins that live around here. My dad works at a factory just up the road from our house.

My mom isn't from here. She was born in Jamaica:

And when she was really little, like younger than I am now, she moved to Virginia Beach with her mom, dad, sisters, and brother.

So not as many aunts, uncles, and cousins. And I don't get to see them very much. One of my favorite people in the world is my cousin Nikki. She used to live in Virginia Beach, but now she's going to college near where I live! I'm excited to have her so close. My mom has family in Jamaica still, some that I've never even met. Maybe one day I can go to Jamaica and meet them and see where my mom grew up. My mom works as a general manager at a hotel.

I have a small family, too. In fact, I'm like an only child. Except I'm not. My dad was married before and he had my two brothers. They're older than me. So much older that they don't even live home anymore. My brother Jason is in the Army and lives all the way in Germany right now:

My other brother Logan is in the Air Force. He lives all the way in Alaska:

I miss my brothers so much that I could cry thinking about them. But I try to talk to them when I can. My brother Jason sent me an Army bear when I broke my wrist a couple of years ago and I sleep with it every night. I wish I was older so I could go visit them. Jason is supposed to come home soon, though, so I'm really excited about that.

You know what makes me really happy? Animals. Especially my dog Radu.

He's a big Doberman that adopted us. Yes, he adopted us. Showed up one night while me and my dad were looking through my telescope and never left. We couldn't find his owner, so we became his adopted humans.

I also have 2 pet chinchilla's named Saturn (after my favorite planet that I want to visit) and Kingston (where my mom grew up):

I want to be an astronaut when I grow up.

I'm going to be the first person on Titan, one of Saturn's moons. I want to visit Saturn because it's so pretty. I want to visit all the planets and go out of our solar system. My parents say that Saturn is so far away, that if I leave I might never get to come home. I think it'd be worth it, though. My family can come with me, so we won't have to miss each other.

Radu's going to be the first dog in space, and Saturn and Kingston the first chinchillas. I love science. I love finding new things and making new experiments and seeing what will happen. My mom gets kind of mad sometimes but says she doesn't want me to lose interest in trying to figure stuff out. I guess she gets mad because sometimes food explodes or stuff gets stained and it can get messy. But that's the point of science. You have to get creative and messy to see what will work. I want to make life on other planets and moons livable. The earth is going to have so many people on it that one day we'll have to go to Mars and Titan and our moon and even past Pluto. I think there's so many wonderful things waiting for someone to find them. And I want to be a space pioneer and make all sorts of new discoveries. I'm glad my town doesn't have light pollution in it, so I can get a nice view of the starry sky every night.

Want to know something really cool? I discovered a spaceship. And a whole new alien race. Honest. I'd say more, but my author friend says you'll need to wait for the book about my adventure. We're still going over the details. She wants to make sure she gets them all right.

So what else about me. Oh, and even though no one will admit it, I feel like I can be kind of a pain to have over for dinner because I'm a vegetarian. It's not a big deal, but you would think people have never heard of it before. I've seen people freak out over what to feed me or having to make something special. You really don't have to go to so much trouble, though.

I eat a lot of tofu, and my mom uses her special jerk spices just like she uses on the meat. And my dad is nice enough to grill my tofu and bean burgers when he cooks out in the summer. I love dumpling soup with grilled cheese. And my nickname is Noodle, because pasta is my most favorite food ever. I'd eat spaghetti and penne pasta for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and everything in between if I could. Halloween is my favorite holiday, summer is my favorite time of year, science is my favorite school subject (obviously), my favorite tradition is Starshine and the lighting contest at Christmas and the haunted houses at Halloween. I'm scared of clowns and spiders. But I love playing outside in the woods.

That's one thing I love about Dresden. It's by the lake. So we can swim all the time. There's really cool hills for sledding in the winter, including one behind my G-Gs house (G-G is short for Gorgeous Gramma). She's my dads mom, and lives 3 houses down from us. My friends and I have a really cool fort in the woods behind her house. There's lots of gross spiders down there, but we've found really cool stuff, too. That's where I found that spaceship. And some of the stuff has to be at least 100 years old! We call our fort Fort Serenity.

And everyone knows everyone, so I can walk around town by myself as long as my friends are with me. My best friend Caden lives next door with his big family, including his soon-to-be-step sister Emia. She's from Montreal. She and Caden don't like each other much. But she seems cool. I'm just getting to know her. And my other best friend Lindsey lives with her two moms down by the lake. Her grandma and grandpa own the only restaurant in town, and the only ice cream stand in town. So we get lots of free ice cream in the summer. My favorite is peanut butter. Like pasta, I could eat peanut butter all the time. My mom makes these amazing peanut butter pancakes that I get for special occasions.

Well, I think I've talked enough for now. Hopefully you enjoyed that sneak peek into my life, and you can get to know more of me and my friends in the future. So with that, I'll be talking to ya!

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