Throwback Thursday: 9th Grade – A Series of Vignettes: A Writing Project / My Version of The House On Mango Street

Throwback Thursday, where, essentially I post old writing samples, essays and short stories that I dig up from my pile of hoarded papers and school assignments or from the depths of my computer. So everyone can see how my writing has changed/improved over the years.

These are mostly true but very exaggerated stories as we had to emulate the tone and style of The House on Mango Street with our own autobiographical stories.


A Series of Vignettes: A Writing Project

My Version of The House On Mango Street


My House

(“The House on Mango Street”)

We moved to my house when I was about five. Through the entire moving process I screamed, kicked, and cried in protestation. But to no avail as we still moved to this house. At the time, I was an only child. But the time I was six, this was no longer the case. I got a little sister when I asked for a puppy, and the playroom got turned into a nursery much to my dismay. She got the bigger room because the front facing window made me nervous, I had watched too many movies and thought a burglar would come in at night. That never happened though.

Our house was new construction, and to me it seemed like it was on the edge of the universe because through the back fence you could see cornfields until I was about ten. A few blocks down there is a forest. I said we lived in the middle of nowhere. But we lived in a dull yellow, one-story house that I was determined to hate because I didn’t want to move. I am not the biggest fan of change.

Our house has two round, frosted windows in the front like eyes glazed over. Most of the back wall consists of rectangular windows overlooking the admittedly small backyard. The floors were tile, and seemed extra cold to my feet that up to this point had only ever lived in a place where the floors were carpet. I got used to it soon enough, but I complained constantly. Hoping this would convince my parents to let us move back to our old house.

There is no defining line in the front yard to show where our house ends and the neighbors begins. We usually end up mowing the grass because otherwise it ends up

looking like a jungle. A knee high, suburban jungle, but a jungle all the same. We have bushes right up against the wall of the house, and a tree off to the side that is perpetually overgrown. It’s too long branches sagging into the driveway. At night it forms a hand hovering over the yard. When I was younger I thought the tree looked sad, bending under the weight of its own leaves.

A lot of things changed when we moved to this house. Like the fact we were now closer to family and didn’t have to drive for so long on a daily basis anymore. And the fact I got to see my cousins more often as well. And then things changed again when my sister was born. I wasn’t an only child anymore. I changed from private to public school. The walls were repainted as well. I remember I wanted to paint my walls this bright turquoise color to match my Winx Club fairy poster. But we accidently ended up with baby blue. I sulked for days before I realized I liked this new color. We haven’t changed it since.

My house is the home I have lived in for eight years with my parents, my sister, and the pets we have had through the years. My house is one story, and is painted a pale yellow on the outside. The cornfields I used to see through the fence are now a park. And the backyard now has a pool. And my house looks different now from when we first moved in, because now my house is home.


Age Differences

(“Boys and Girls”)

My sister and I are six years apart. 1999 and 2005. Both of us born in October. Mine the 8th, and hers the 23rd. She has dishwater-blond hair like silk. And the kind of baby blue eyes newborns have, like she just never grew into her real eye color. Compared to me, my hair was brown-curls when I was her age but has turned into a light-brown/dark-blonde mass of frizz. Partially due to the humidity South Florida is famous for, part because I dyed my hair purple in middle school. My eyes used to be blue like hers and now they’re this hazel-gold-brown-green color that changes by the day.

I am almost 15. Almost old enough to drive. Almost an adult. Almost about to almost graduate. Almost about to go to college. Almost old enough to have to worry about it. She is almost 9. Almost in the fifth grade.

I’m a Libra, she’s a Scorpio.

We couldn’t be more different. We aren’t very close, but a six-year age difference will do that to you.

We are very different, but she’s my sister. And I love her.

I think that’s all that matters.


My Name

My name means “Listener”, which is funny because I love to talk. My name means unoriginal, it was one of the top five names of my birthyear. There is always at least one other girl or boy who shared my name. My name means never being told apart from those who share it. It means three tries before you get it straight which one I am. My name is Samantha. It is too long, too common, and sounds too much like an American Girl doll. I go by Sam. People say Sam is a boy’s name. I say its my name. I am only ever called Samantha by professional strangers (i.e teachers, doctors) and when I am trouble. Though in that case, I am called Samantha Aileen Bonge. My full name, middle and all.

Samantha is a mouthful. Its awkward in the mouth of non-English speaking relatives like an ill-fitting retainer. It doesn’t quite fit. They inevitably mispronounce it as Samanta, no h. The name Samantha comes from a TV I have never seen but both my parents have. The name Aileen comes from my mother’s sister, chosen because it begins with an A, and my father’s stepsisters and their daughters all have middle names beginning with A. Aileen means compromise, two families coming together. It means tradition, and forever being mistaken as my aunt’s child. As the other granddaughter, it means immutably being called Alien by kids who can’t read the Spanish name.

Bonge is a name that doesn’t exist. The sole relic left of a man I have never met, my father’s father. His name was too difficult to say in English, so it was shortened to

Bonge.
Bonge is like the name of a ghost. Maybe it existed once upon a time. Maybe it belonged to a family with twelve kids in a small Italian village. Maybe the father was fair-haired and the mother was brunette. Maybe their children were a dishwater-colored mix of the two and they shared the name. But Bonge doesn’t exist; it belongs only to the four people that live in my house. Bonge belongs to my parents, my sister, and me. Bonge sounds like a fairytale in a language you can’t read. My name is Samantha Aileen Bonge, it means listener, tradition, fairytale. But I go by Sam. And that’s me.

Street Cats

(“Cathy Queen of Cats”)

Unlike most kids who have a dog or a fish-tank, I have cats. Three of them to be exact. Max, Angel, and Jackie.

None of them are purebred. I don’t actually know what breed they are, any of them. They aren’t fancy hairless cats that everyone wants but are terrified of. They’re all rescues. They’re street cats.

Max came to our door during a thunderstorm before I was even born. He is about 16 years old now, at least in human years. He is an old, fat cat. He is diabetic as well.

Every morning my dad has to inject him with insulin. He is black and white like a checkerboard. But now his fur is slowly turning grey. He has trouble jumping up onto the bed and couch now, but it doesn’t stop him. He’s long out grown leaving dead mice as presents, but he does like to follow people around the house and hang out in the shower. He must be the only cat in existence that likes showers, running water and everything. He still hates baths though.

He doesn’t like my sister much. But he likes to sleep on my bed sometimes. My mom says he used to sleep in my crib. He’s been with us my whole life. My mom calls him

my big brother. I don’t know what I’m going to do when he’s gone. He wouldn’t be the first pet to die, but he’d be the first I’d never truly lived without. I don’t think he remembers life without me either.

We got Angel next. She’s the only girl. She’s white except for the grey on her tail and ears. Her fur is longer and fluffier than the boys’. She’s also far more antisocial than the others. She doesn’t really like anyone except me. I was maybe seven when we got her. We found her outside our church the day we went to sing for Easter. My parents wouldn’t let me pet her; worried she had rabbis and that I’d get filthy. I begged and begged to take her home. I felt bad for her all alone, little kids throwing chunks of granola bars and pebbles at her. She’s about 8-years old now, maybe 9. She was black with dirt and grime when we found her. Like the monster from black lagoon from that kids book. Skinny like a skeleton too. But I named her Angel before I ever knew the color of her fur.

Of course, she took some time to get used to our house. She’d hide under beds. Refuse to eat if anyone was anyone near her. She tore things up at night with her claws and teeth. I woke up on day to find the remains of foam blocks everywhere like a rainbow threw-up. She liked to bring us present too. Rats, lizards, small snakes, dragonflies. You name it. Their dead corpses haunted the hallways.

But she calmed down eventually. But before then, she managed to break her leg by getting it caught on a tablecloth. It was wrapped up in a green cast for a few weeks. We stopped using tablecloths after that.

Max took to having a “little sister” fairly well. He took care of her. He also once got in a fight because of her. With a real street cat that tried attacking her. My dad had to

rescue Max. It was scary. But kind of cute too.

The last of the cats is Jack. He’s orange with brownish stripes. Like a perpetually infant tiger cub. I had wanted to name him Simba or Tiger. But my dad nixed those ideas right away. I was famous for awful names. So we picked Jack and that was the end of it, Jack was more my sister’s cat. She calls him Jackie. He’s the one that gets struck on the roof and drags bats and dying birds into the house. We got him from the FurBaby adoption thing at PetCo, he was going to be put down. His name had been Prancer, because his entire litter was named after Santa’s reindeer. I think that’s why he loves the roof so much.

He’s about 5 or 6 now. He’s smaller than the other two. But still bigger than when e got him. He’s fully grown now. He’s the one that attacks for feet under the covers and sleeps on the pillow next to your head. Guarding you through the night.


Blood is Thicker than Water

(“Louie, his Cousin, and his Other Cousin”)

Most people don’t really understand the phrase “Blood is thicker than Water”. It comes from a longer quote, “The blood of the covenant is thicker than the water of the womb”. Most people see the first and know it means that family is the most important bond. But according to the second, the bonds you chose to form (i.e. Friends), are stronger than those forged by familial ties.

I like to think of it as saying some ties you make are more important than the ones we are born into. That there is something more to family than just sharing blood. Like marriage for example, you chose to form that bond.

I am very close to my maternal grandparents, very close to some of my cousins. But I am also very close to some family members to whom I am not strictly related to. With whom I do not share a single drop of blood.

Like my Mama Rosario. Who is not my mother or stepmother, but rather my grandmother’s best friend of almost sixty years. She practically raised me. She and my

grandmother have been friends since they were six years old in Cuba. For all intents and purposes, she is family. Though we are not really related.

Or take my tia Lily. She bought the blanket they wrapped me in when they brought me home from the hospital. Her daughter Alejandra calls me cousin Sammy. And yet I am not related to her. But she has been my mom’s best friend for about 20 years.

I am a firm believer in the fact that family can be more than blood.

Because of this, I have more cousins than I can count.


Here Not Everywhere

(“Those Who Don’t”)

I have always lived in or at the very least near Miami. We moved to Miami from Miami Lakes. Those are the only two places I’ve lived. In those two houses. I have never even left the East Coast. At least, not that I can remember.

Miami is a big city, even when you live in the suburb type neighborhoods like Kendall. Here we do not talk to our neighbors. We do not send children outside to play alone even for a minute. You don’t walk home alone, especially at night. Not even if it’s a block away.

Here, flip-flops in winter are acceptable.

Here, we roll our eyes at tourists who squeal at the sight of the beach, because we are all so bored of sand and waves.

Here, we scoff at sunblock and silently suffer sunburns because we are too used to it to be bothered by the red peeling skin.

Here, humidity is never less than 50%. And the temperature dropping below seventy degrees means its time to break out the sweatshirts and boots. It might as well be snowing. Most people here haven’t seen snow once. Haven’t even seen the leaves change colors. But ask any Ten-year-old and they could tell you exactly when its safe and when its not to be outside during a thunderstorm. Because why should a little bit of rain stop us from running errands. Because you’ve never seen a rainstorm until you’ve seen the 15-minute flash flood Miami gives you. There’ll be water up to your knees.

Here, almost everyone speaks Spanish. And no one looks at you twice if you switch languages half way through a sentence.

Forgetting a word in one language, or only knowing it in Spanish is commonly accepted.

But anywhere else, a bathing suit any where but the pool is out of place. As is a sweater when it’s hotter than 50 degrees.

Anywhere else, forgetting how to say something in English makes people think you hit our head and are speaking in tongues.

But remember, anywhere else, there’s always someone who has never seen the ocean. Never been to Disneyworld.

Everywhere is different. And Miami is sort of messed up. But so is anywhere else. But Miami is home. No matter where we end up going to college.

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A Little About My Novel: Legacy Of Stardust

Synopsis:

Connie Ranvir is the daughter of a war hero, and the mirror image of him too. Too bad she never knew him, too bad she doesn’t want to be like him.

But the Alliance has other ideas, wants her to conscript, follow in his footsteps and be a martyr for a cause that isn’t hers.

Four years ago she left it all behind, and now she’s back on Earth, surrounded by memories, and people, she’d rather forget. But the clocks counting down until she’s 18 and doesn’t have a choice anymore, so she strikes a deal: help her ex-best friend turned enemy figure out whose invading, and destroying, alliance ships, and he’ll keep the general the hell away from her.

Too bad she hates him now.

Too bad she needs him.

Too bad good old dad wasn’t as golden as everyone thought, because when his past comes around to haunt her, she’ll have to live up to the legacy he left her if she wants a chance to escape it. If she even lives that long…


Short Synopsis/Back Cover Blurb:

Everyone has secrets.

Everyone has a past they’d rather stayed hidden.

Everyone has a dark side.

And if she wants to see her future, Connie will have to live up to a legacy she doesn’t want,  a past she doesn’t understand, and discover that, though she may have survived the accident that should have killed her at birth,  life doesn’t give second chances.


Excerpt:

Connlynn Ranvier hated no day so much as she hated her birthday. Her seventeenth was no different, not for the bar fight, which was not even her first birthday bar fight let alone bar fight in general. It wasn’t different for her injurgies, a jagged cut down her cheek which would scar. It wasn’t even different for the sympathy directed at her from those who recognized her, which in these parts was most folks. She had long since come to terms with the fact that her birthday would never be a day to celebrate. It would always be the anniversary of her fathers death.

No, the things that made this birthday special was that it was her first day earth-side in exactly four years. Having left this same bar on her 13 birthday and never looking back since. Until now. Seems people aren’t as forgetful as she’d like them to be.

Which lead to the second reason her seventeenth birthday was made memorable: The bar had, in the intervening years, become frequented by alliance cadets. This, in turn, brought her face to face, for the first time in those four years, with her once time best friend turned enemy, Luxcian.

With a soldier at her side holding her still, she smiled despite the blood dripping into her mouth at Luxcian. Though she was out of practice with false pleasantries and she was sure it seemed more a grimace. But after all he’d done, he deserved nothing but her public mask, despite his once time adaptness at seeing right through it.

“Long time no see” she said brightly. Like they weren’t enemies. Like they didn’t know each other better than anyone. Like there wasn’t a four year gap in their history. Like it wasn’t her 17th birthday and this wasn’t her first time back home since that night four years ago when he joined the alliance and sent her away without another word.

He smiled back, but it didn’t reach the rest of his face. “Didn’t think you’d come back here” he said his tone conversational, despite his words. “I didn’t think I’d ever see you again”, he sifted at these words, voice becoming something softer, betraying him of his youth: A mere 3 years older than herself. Either he truly missed her or he was playing her for a fool and she honestly couldn’t have said which scenario she disliked more.

Connie settled for scowling. They were under no illusions for what would follow. He’d been promoted, perhaps for his own merit, perhaps for his insight into her mind. Either way, the night would go as most birthdays with the alliance went. The general would go on some spiel about her legacy or destiny or how her father died to save her and she should follow in his footsteps while trying not to make it sound like he wanted to make a martyr of her despite those exact intentions.

She’d be put in front of cameras commemorating her father.

If she plays along she’s a dutiful daughter living up to her fathers sacrifice.

If she doesn’t, she an example for how aweful a tradgey his death was, that without her father his daughter grew up poorly and that is why we need more people to join up so we can end the fight.

No matter what she does she’s stuck as a martyr for their cause. And now they want to draw her back in, with the customary thinly veiled threats that if she doesn’t join willingly, they will forcefully conscript her when she turns 18, though if she escaped their radar for four years she has no doubt she could do it again.

“You know me” she replied, “I’m good at finding where the trouble is.” Four years ago, he would have laughed, half entertained by her and half scared for her safety. Now, the words rang truer than either of them would have liked to admit.

He cut the civilities then. “Look” he started, paused looking unsure , and plowed ahead saying “we both know you could take any of my men, hell you could take all of them and get out of here without us being able to do a damned thing about it. But I think you came back her for a reason, even if that reason is just you being bored and looking for what is possibly the only challenge left in the universe for you after four years away. So, why don’t you come back and humor us.”

So he was going with a mix of honesty and avoiding the conversation they should, but really don’t want, to have. She’d leave in frustration but if she’s going to follow his take of honesty, she is bored.

“Fine” she agreed. Lightly dancing out of the grip of the cadets holding her despite each of them being three times her size easily. The others looked at her in awed confusion and Luxcian smiled ruefully and amusedly.

“Just like that?” he asked.

“Just like that” she confirmed. “On one condition, two to be exact.”

“Which are…?” he prodded when she paused.

“First, I get a clean slate” At his confused look she clarified. “I don’t know you and you don’t know me. No history. We don’t speak about that night. Agreed?”

“Agreed” he told her uneasily, looking for the first time, not not exactly scared of her the way the guards were, certainly weary, “and the second thing?”

Here she looked him dead in the eye and stayed straight faced as she said, “once I’ve helped with whatever problem is so bad that you were desperate enough to ask instead of tricking or blackmailing me into fixing, you let me go. For good. No birthdays, no speeches, no martyrdom. You let me get away without joining up, and you don’t use my name for causes I don’t believe in just because you can. You let me rest in peace the way you can’t seem to to let my dad. We have a deal?”

He stared her down. Of course he broke first. He was out of practice and she hasn’t had anything but practice these last few years. She wasn’t the same girl he remembered her being when she left. He blinked and conceded. “Fine” he said. Not an edge of emotion leaking into his tone. A perfect robot. A perfect soldier. A perfect Kesnian.

A perfect stranger.

“Well then” she thought ruefully as she followed. “All is right in the world when Luxcian doesn’t show emotion.”

Still, she couldn’t help but feel disappointed at this despite being the reason for it, Lucian, like most of his species reserves his emotions, or at least their expression for his family.

And these days, she is anything but.

Scars & Stories: Asexuality

I haven’t done a scars and stories post in a long time, not since (and I just checked this) October of 2016. I’ve only done about 5 total in the over-a-year since I’ve started these…new blogging goal, actually WRITE MY OWN FEATURES.

I’m getting off track.

So, I’ve mentioned that I identify as asexual (ace) a couple of times on this blog, but its never really been anything I’ve talked about, mostly just because it didn’t feel like the sort of thing to talk about in the middle of a book tag or whatever.

And I thought it’d make a good Scars & Stories prompt, so here we are.


Definitions:

Asexuality, if you don’t know, means a lack of sexual attraction. It is NOT the same thing as being romantic, which is a lack of romantic attraction, which I don’t think I identify as.

Asexuality is a spectrum, and there are different kinds, and honestly I don’t know everything about it, but there is different extents, such as:
-Complete asexuality where you experience attraction under no circumstances.
-Demi-sexuality, where you experience sexual attraction to someone only after falling in love with them.
-There is sex-apethtic, where sex doesn’t excite you but doesn’t repulse you.
-And semi-repulsed which is pretty self explanatory.


Where I Fall:

I honestly don’t really know where exactly I fall on the spectrum. I know I’m ace, and maybe I’m demi-, but I know I’m not aromantic, because I do want to get married and have kids one day. WHICH IS SOMETHING ACE PEOPLE CAN DO BY THE WAY. Like, after I graduate from college though. I do not want to be a teen mother.

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Story Time:

So I started identifying as ace in freshman year of high school, so I was 14/15 (depending on the month – I don’t quite remember).

I do remember the moment quite vividly though.

In my high school, I am a part of a magnet (basically meaning special/advanced) program – I’m in the Biomedical academy. First year biomed is basically basic anatomy and physiology as at simplified level. And in this class we had a sex-ed program called “Be Hip”. And to their credit they touched upon different sexualities. They also mentioned something called the Kinsey Scale.

Fast forward a couple of weeks. Our teacher leaves us alone for a while. And since we’re the good kids at nerd school, we don’t start wrecking havoc, but rather decide to take this Kinsey Scale test that we had heard about on our phones.

So, we pass the phone around the table to take the test.

(Sidebar – The Kinsey Scale is a sexuality measurement test named after a psychologist whose focus of study/research was human sexuality and its variations. It goes from 1-6. A 1 means entirely heterosexual, a 6 is entirely homosexual, a 3 is bisexual with even preference, 2’s and 4’s are graduations meaning you are willing to try and/or like both sexes but lean mostly one way or another. An X stands for no-sexuality or, asexual.)

Most of my friends get 1’s (completely straight), one girl gets a 3 (bi- but she had already come out to us and so we were entirely unsurprised). I got an X – this was not something we understood.

So, we looked up what asexuality was – and everyone basically agreed it applied to me. I was, after all, the only one in our entire friend group who, not only hadn’t had a boyfriend/girlfriend but also had never even had a crush on anyone.

This obviously doesn’t set anything in stone. The Kinsey Scale isn’t foolproof, sexuality is a fluid, personal thing. And it was mostly a joke, everyone basically assumed I just didn’t like anyone yet and would grow out of it.

But the more I thought about it, the more I thought it was true. But it felt weird to say that, since I knew I still wanted to have a family one day – and that seemed at odds.

But I learned more about the spectrum, and while I don’t know exactly where I fall on it – I know I do fall somewhere on it.

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Parents’ Reaction

Now, being asexual is not quite as dramatic a revelation as coming out as other sexualities. But I do have a pretty funny story.

My dad still mostly affirms that I’ll grow out of it, but I’m about 90% sure he’s joking.

My mom on the other hand…

Flash forward a few more weeks, my mom is driving me to school. And she’s been working late so I hadn’t talked to her much about school.

So she’s asking me about my friends and what we’re doing in school, in biomed etc. Off handedly I mention “we took the Kinsey scale test in class”, and said nothing more on it. After a beat my mom says, “So did you get an X” – cue screeching rewound record noise, I remember suddenly that my mother has a MASTERS DEGREE IN PSYCHOLOGY. She very much knows what the Kinsey scale is. I ask how she knew I got an X, she says “I know my daughter” – that is the one and only conversation we have ever had about it.

While I don’t talk to my parents much about it, it is something that comes up at school a considerable amount. Especially since my best friend just started dating, everyone now thinks I should to – the Sam’s Asexual thing comes up a lot more now, but at least its stopped being such a joke. I think people finally realized its very, very, legitimate.

 


That’s all I have to say really.

Its not very exciting/dramatic but it is a story I wanted to share.

Do any of you identify as asexual?

Did this help you understand asexuality better if you didn’t before?

Do you want to see more of these Scars & Stories posts?

Let me know!

 

Shoutout!

So, some of my friends recently started there own book blogs and if you like my blog, I think you’ll really enjoy there’s.

Roses Book Nook – My friend Kendall. She has some great reviews and awesome bookstagram photos!

Night Court Reads – MY BEST FRIEND. Ana has been my best friend for 7 years now, and she was originally going to start a book blog with me, which never happened. Until now. She literally made the site 2 days ago. Her first review should be up in about a week, which will be for A Court of Frost and Starlight.

So go check out my friends’ blogs!

You won’t regret it!

Throwback Thursday: 2009 – Inventor Report

I asked what feature people wanted me to bring back and one that came up was Throwback Thursday, where, essentially I post old writing samples, essays and short stories that I dig up from my pile of hoarded papers and school assignments or from the depths of my computer. So everyone can see how my writing has changed/improved over the years.

 


 

Ruth Graves Wakefield has earned her place as one of America’s famous women inventors.  She might not be the most famous inventor but she created one of the most popular American snacks.  The chocolate chip cookie was her invention.  The chocolate chip cookie was not her only invention.  This little chocolate chip that was created accidentally then created one of America’s largest cookie companies.

It was June 17, 1903 the day Ruth Graves Wakefield was born. It appears as if her childhood was unremarkable and there are no biographies.  It is known that Ruth went to school at Framingham State Normal School Department of Household Arts in 1924.  She was a dietitian and lectured about foods.  Her husband’s name was Kenneth Wakefield. During her life Ruth lived in an inn named Toll House.  In the 1930’s her husband bought a tourist lodge and named it Toll House in Whitman, Massachusetts.  Toll House was originally built in 1709.  It was named Toll House since historically this is where passengers used to pay their tolls.  Ruth cooked all the meals and became famous for her cooking and especially her desserts.

Ruth created many desserts at the inn.  The delicious and now famous chocolate chip cookie was created completely accidentally.  One day Ruth was making her favorite Butter Drop Do cookies but was out of baker’s chocolate.  Ruth decided to use cut up pieces of semi-sweet chocolate instead from a bar of Nestle chocolate. Later on these pieces of chocolate would be known as chocolate chips.  Ruth expected that the chocolate would melt into the dough in order to make chocolate cookies.  Instead soft chocolate chip cookies came out of the oven.  Later on these cookies were called Toll House Cookies after Ruth’s inn.

These new cookies were popular with the guests at Toll House and the recipes were even printed in a Boston newspaper.  This lead to the sales of semi-sweet chocolate bars increasing and it caught the attention of Andrew Nestle.  Once the cookies became famous Ruth and Andrew Nestle (of the Nestle Company) made a deal.  Nestle would print her recipe on their cover of all their semi-sweet chocolate bars.  In return Ruth would receive a lifetime supply of chocolate.  Due to these new partnership sales of the semi-sweet chocolate “went through the roof”.  In 1939 Nestle started making semi-sweet chocolate morsels especially for the chocolate chip cookie.

During this time Ruth wrote a book called Toll House Tried and True Recipes in 1940 at the age of 37. This book held most of her original recipe secrets. The book also went through thirty-nine printings.  Ruth also enjoyed her success until she retired.  Ruth retired in Duxbury, Massachusetts.  Ruth and Kenneth then sold the Toll House in 1966 and new owners turned it into a nightclub for a time.  However, in 1970 another owner turned it back into an inn and back to its original form. Then on New Year’s Eve 1984 seven years after Ruth’s death Toll House burnt down.  Sadly, Toll House burned down in a fire started in the kitchen.  It is now a historical landmark.  In its place there is a Walgreen’s pharmacy and a Wendy’s restaurant.

Ruth Wakefield later died on January 10, 1977 at the age of 73.  There are not many biographies about her early life but the tradition of publishing her recipe on the back of each Nestle Toll House chocolate bar package is still honored today.  Ruth Wakefield was a great cook; an inventor and she created one of American’s favorite cookies, the chocolate chip cookie.  Ruth was also a dietician, innkeeper and businesswoman who entered into business with Nestle.  Even though Ruth died almost 32 years ago her cookie has been “alive” for almost 70 years and will never die.

The chocolate chip cookie is not the first invention you think of when asked about famous inventions.  Most people might not even know who Ruth Wakefield is.  However, almost everyone has tasted the chocolate chip cookie at one time.  Ruth Wakefield and her invention are proof the accidents are not always bad and can taste really good.  They are also proof that anything can be an invention and anyone can be an inventor.

Throwback Thursday: Color Your World

Throwback Thursday, where, essentially I post old writing samples, essays and short stories that I dig up from my pile of hoarded papers and school assignments or from the depths of my computer. So everyone can see how my writing has changed/improved over the years.


 

In kindergarten, there was only one debate bigger than “Crayola v. Rozart” (and really, everyone knows that Crayola is the winner there). That argument is, of course, “what color is this?” Common contenders of this fight are:  red/orange and blue/green, both of which probably have actual names that no one uses. But the argument, actually more like all out war, of my kindergarten class was over a color from the Rozart box, called Orchid.

Orchid is this pink/purple color that was a favorite among the girls of the class. Of course, because no one could read, no one knew it was called Orchid, so we all called it pink or purple depending on the side of the argument you fell on.

I was firmly entrenched in the belief that it was purple. My kindergarten best friend firmly believed it was pink. In order to salvage our friendship from this crushing betrayal, we settled on naming the color “pinkish-purplish”(a perfectly acceptable name considering we were five years old).

Of course, we had to explain to our peers why we were very obviously correct in our naming, and everyone else was wrong. So, we gave the crayon an origin story, and this is that origin story: Once upon a time, a pink crayon and a purple crayon got married and had a baby. That baby was a perfect mix of pink and purple. The crayon parents argued about which one of them the baby should be named after. Finally they came to an agreement, and thus the crayon was named “pinkish-purplish”.

Again, this made perfect sense to a group of five year olds. And although our teacher crushed our little hearts by telling us the crayons real name was Orchid, we never did stop calling it pinkish-purpleish.