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Bloom's Pre-Season Extravaganza! (Writing Contest)
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Bloom's Pre-Season Extravaganza! (Writing Contest)
Bloom
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#1
05-06-2014, 07:45 PM (This post was last modified: 06-03-2014, 07:38 PM by Bloom.)
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Welcome to my Pre-Season Extravaganza! Here you can partake in engaging activities and contests to not only earn great prizes, but a fun time as well! ^-^ What better way to prepare for summer than to have a little forum fun?!

Start Date: (5/6/14) End Date: (5/27/14)

This thread holds the Writing Contest portion of the Extravaganza. If you are interested in what other events are being held please visit the following links.

-Scavenger Hunt and Trivial Quiz
-Art Contest


The Theme for this contest is Your Favorite Place On Earth! So be sure to make sure your writing has something about the location, setting, inhabitants, and the culture/history perhaps. It is all up to you! ^^

Prizes:
- (1st Place) Shiny Torterra or 100,000PD
- (2nd Place) 75,000PD
- (3rd Place) 50,000PD

Sign up form:
Spoiler:
Username:
Do you promise to submit an entry on time: (Yes/Hopefully/Maybe/Nope)

Participants:
- Law
- Satsuki
-xKiYoMiNaTiONx
-Isaac
-Flyleaf
-Rainbow Thrash
-
-

Writing Entries:

-xKiYoMiNaTiONx
Spoiler:
My Favorite Place on Earth


I hope you weren't expecting me to say Disneyland, were you? Because, quite frankly, even though I love Disneyland, it's not my favorite place on Earth. My favorite place is a place so close to me, yet so very far away. It comes with a lot of awesome goodies that I often have to order online for, or even have to watch through online means.

Japan(日本), Nihon, is my most favorite place on earth. You can try to tell me that Japan has a lot of bad things happening like, earthquakes, tsunamis, and most recently, the radioactive, nuclear waves due to the 2011 earthquake. Yet, to me, this means nothing because the people still can live in their everyday lives.

Japan is part of me. I, myself, am half-japanese, and have taken up to two years of Japanese language classes. I even got to study in Japan for one month.

A lot of people tend to compare Japan to the US, rather the US to Japan. When someone says, Japan has awesome animated cartoons and dramas, the US would rebut and say, "Well, we have awesome cartoons and dramas too." Well, what can I say? If you are asking someone who is a 26 year old, I would prefer Japanese animation and dramas over american ones. Japan animation targets many different levels of ages. You have animation directly targeting children like Doraemon, Digimon, and Pokemon. Then you have animation such as Itazura na Kiss, CLANNAD, Attack on Titans that are directed more towards the upper teens to adults. There are also ones directed strictly for adults, which I tend to call, "Hentai" or animated p***. Yes, it's true, Japan is kind of famous for their adult videos like animated p***, and even live-action p*** (adult videos). Yet, no one really takes notice as to what Japan really has to offer.

Japan has things that the US don't have. For one thing, Cherry Blossoms. Sure, Washington D.C has cherryblossom trees, but that's it. Technically you aren't allowed to grow the trees anywhere else. It's quite saddening. The cherryblossom trees in Japan kind of signify a new year, a new school year, etc… Cherry Blossom normally bloom in April when the new school term starts.

Speaking about school terms, the Japanese system is quite different than the American system. I'm sure you must have went to Elementary school from Kindergarten through 6th grade, than intermediate/middle school for 7th - 8th, (and yes, I do know some middle schools include 6th grade), than high school, 9th - 12th grade. In Japan, the school system is as follows: Kindergarten (yes, it's separate from the normal elementary schools), Elementary School (Shougakkou), 1st - 6th grade (ages 7 - 12), Middle School or Junior High School (Chuugakkou), 7th-9th grade (ages 13-15), and High School (Koukou), 10th - 12th grade (and yes, High School is optional). That's how you would normally view it, but starting from junior high, they say 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year, and then repeat that again for high school. It's quite different from our american lives huh?

In Japan, there are quite a bit of traditions that the normal american family do not have. Sure, when it's football season, a lot of ya'll will be hankerin' out those hotdogs and barbeque grills and munch on them burgers… Well, Japanese Traditions are a bit different, especially when it comes to New Years, and Girl's Day, and even Boy's Day. On New Year's Day, in Japan or if you are a Japanese Family, the tradition is to make Ozoni (Mochi Soup), and also put up good luck charms of a sort in different areas of the house. Also, for Girls Day, the Japanese celebrate it by bringing out the Girl's Day dolls, and to be honest, the first girl born in the family inherits the dolls, so in my case, I technically inherited them from my mom. (She better let me keep them later!) On Boy's Day, they wave flags in the shape of fish and eat mochi, etc… Though, I believe now it's called Children's day. There are many other festivals in Japan that we don't celebrate, like the coming of age ceremony, etc.. But this is what appeals to me, for Japan.

I was blessed to be able to study abroad in Japan for one month back in 2010. By far, that is still my most vivid memory. I got to study in Chiba, Japan. Chiba actually looks like a dog when you look it up on the map! Hence why their mascot is a dog that looks like the shape of Chiba! (I'll search my room for it! XD) I got to meet so many different people! Of course, I went with a couple of my friends so I wouldn't be alone flying, and I got to meet other people from my school who were also taking the same study abroad courses. It was like we were a big family all of us, at least until we went back home. I was super excited about this. I got to see how it really is like in Japan. I remember when I first got onto the small mini bus to take us to our apartment building, I was like, "oh my god, we're on the wrong side of the road!", then I remembered, oh duh, that's right, Japan is different from us. It was really a unique experience to be able to ride in one of those reverse side cars. (Wheel is on the right, Passenger on the left.)

The unique scenery was all too appealing. I kept taking pictures from the time I arrived at the airport all the way to the apartment building. I was like, "Wow! I'll be staying here in my own apartment for a whole month!" The apartments were small, but it was livable. It came equipped with a TV, Internet, Refrigerator, Washing Machine (which took me a couple of days to figure out lol…), and the toilet… omg, that toilet hahaha… when you flush it, the water comes out from the top (it's not covered like most US toilets). The toilet in the airport though, all those buttons! XD

After getting acquainted with how Japan operates, I was soon finding myself being so very comfortable there. The people there are so nice! No, really, I mean they are nice! Even if you barely know the language, if you ask them, "Eigo o wakarimasuka?" They tend to say "Sukoshi dake" or "Maa Maa" meaning just a little bit. But somehow, they always seem to know what you are talking about. They are so nice, even the costumer service. I also liked how they feed your money through the machine, and the change comes out. It's quite a difference from our cash registers where you have to put the money in yourself, and take the change out yourself.

The food in Japan… I was in heaven! I mean, I loved eating Japanese food at home, but eating Japanese food in Japan…now that was heaven!! I got to eat sushi at one of those sushi places like Genki Sushi. The sushi there was so, so good! It was like..nothing I have ever had before! I was quite a piggy! I take pictures of everything I eat lol… The school I was studying at was called Josai International University, and once a week, the treat us to dinner. The first week was sushi, the 2nd week was soba, and the 3rd week was tonkatsu, and in the last week, we were treated by the japanese students to Okonomiyaki!

Also, in addition to being treated to dinner once a week, they also take us little trips during the weekends. The first weekend, we went to Kamogawa and visited the JIU branch over there. It was quite a learning experience, as we also went to Niemon Island, we got to visit a temple, also a castle, and got to visit the original headmaster's house of the school. During the second weekend, we got to finally go to Akihabara, or Akiba for short. It's the mainstay, or the place where Otakus love to be. It was my kind of town! Anime, Anime, Anime everywhere! I even bought a new camera there! (Yes, the menu and everything is all in Japanese OTL). We ate ramen, got to go to a museum, and especially Tokyo Tower! Yes, Tokyo Tower! It's like the number one place that every tourist has to go to! At that time, they were still building the Sky Tree tower, and it's supposed to be even higher than Tokyo Tower! I'd love to go back again and see it for myself! We also got to go to Harajuku and Shibuya, a couple of my japanese friends had to hold me back from spending all my money all at once! Yes, that's how much I wanted everything there! T^T I got to go to a shrine, and we were so lucky to witness two traditional wedding ceremonies at the same time! It was such a wonderful experience! We ended our Tokyo trip experience at Asakusa, where I bought some cool jpop goodies! XD and of course, just had fun taking pictures with my friends. In our 3rd weekend, which would be our last weekend in Japan, we had our homestay. My friend and I were paired up to spend the weekened with another older student from JIU. It was a really fun time! I got to eat at Outback Steakhouse, which is probably the first time in a while that I've been to an american joint in Japan XD I even took a picture with the waiter! I got to go back to Akihabara and buy things I weren't able to buy before hand, and even got to go Karaoke and play at a fun arcade place!

By the ending of our month long stay, we made so many wonderful memories and so many irreplaceable japanese, chinese, korean, even american friends that we can not forget. So many tears were shed on the day we got our certificates for completing the study abroad courses. We didn't want to say goodbye to all of our Japanese friends. We didn't want to say goodbye to Japan at all. In the end, it has become my most treasured memory, and still is, till this day!

-Isaac
Spoiler:
The Earth is a pretty big place. If you like being bored with numbers and ballpark estimates, the Earth is a sphere with a circumference of a little under 25000 miles, so if you do some number crunching, that amounts to a surface area of roughly 200 million square miles. And since the Earth is 30 percent land, it means I have 60 million square miles of area to pick a favourite place out of.

But my favourite place isn't geographical. That first paragraph probably wasted about 20 seconds of your life.

On the many years I have lived on this Earth, in an infinitesimally small part of those 60 million square miles, I've learned to treasure the time I spend with other people. No man is an island, and no man should act like one either. My favourite place isn't at some picturesque location, nor is it at a building I have fond memories of, nor is it fast asleep in my bed - though sleep is very nice. No, my favourite place on Earth to be is among friends.

Places may come and go, and times may change...but people do not, especially not true friends. They are not lone pillars of stability - they're two halves of an arch, resting on one another. They are not trees under which you find shade - they are symbiotes, protectors and providers. They are not just names you memorize - they are living breathing human beings, just like you. They are not faceless, a mere string of words and noise - they have hopes, dreams, aspirations, and emotions, just like you. Just like me. And when I am around them, and they around me, that is where life's best moments are spent. After all, what good is it if you're at Yellowstone, or Miami Beach, or Seoul...if you're there alone?

As for myself, it does not matter where I am - even if I am at home or a thousand miles from home - so long as I am with my friends. They are what give my life meaning, and I, in turn, assist in giving their lives meaning as well. Friends are hope. Friends are dreams. Friends are love. Friends are life. Friends are...amongst 60 million square miles of land...my favourite place on Earth, now and forever.

-Satsuki
Spoiler:
If I were to be asked where my favourite place on this small, blue planet was, I'd honestly be at a loss as to an answer that could accurately convey my thoughts and emotions. I mean, what do you think you could say, what could be an accurate and fitting answer to a question that can give away so, so much about yourself? Would it be somewhere surrounded by nature and animals, bathed in the light of the day's dying sun? Somewhere loud and mechanical, perhaps, feeling the rhythm of machines perfectly matching up with the soft little mechanical marvel inside your very own chest?

They say 'home is where the heart is', but is that actually a truth in this day and age? In a time where people would spend more time active at work, or awake and studying, seemingly endlessly pouring over books and screens in an attempt to prepare yourself for a full and happy life ahead, no matter where you go 'home' to, is it a true home for you? Surrounded by loved ones, things that you own, material possessions that you both adore and despise for their beauty and uses, can you call this place, this dwelling used as a venue of rest and recuperation, a home?

Well, it does depend, does it not, on the people there. The smiles that wait for you to return, the loving embraces, the gazes of affection over a hot meal, the soft touch on your cheek at night of a lover, somebody that devotes their romantic and spiritual life to you, puts their trust firmly in your hands, knowing, praying even, that you will never even think to let it slip between your fingers, are these not the things that make a house a true home?

After a day of toil, a day of pain and a day of strife, you get to leave your computers, your infernal little devices, ticking and buzzing away like your own heart and brain, a constant reminder of the time you are spending there, why would you think of going anywhere but home, back to the person that loves you, the things that you own, that you so carefully and lovingly chose yourself to adorn your place of dwelling that you will spend hours and hours tailoring and tweaking, fixing and bending, just to your liking?

A busy bus journey back to a place that you begin to doubt that you call home, adverts of smiling families on vacation to a far-off destination, somewhere sunny and sandy, somewhere warm and constantly pushed into your face, forced into your brain so hard and so frequently that you begin to view that as a real family - that you begin to see that as real happiness - failing to notice the creases and lines of stress eating away, tearing away at the corners of those wide smiles and joyous eyes, clawing and gnashing, scratching and biting away at their very souls, and you see that as happiness and safety, contentment and partnership?

Perhaps you begin to doubt the decisions you have made, the people you have talked to, how you have talked to them, the things you have said and done in the past. Perhaps you wish that you can change things for, what you think is, the better.

There are hundreds of countries on this planet, thousands of languages, 7.046 billion people to meet, countless cultures to experience and nearly infinite experiences to be had, and why shouldn't you be out there, tasting everything that there is to taste, taking absolutely everything in and leaving behind this dull, predictable and mundane life that you are now living?

And then none of that matters. Exhausted and drained, battered and lifeless, you enter your house, and your family is waiting there, beaming and happy to see you. Smiles from a father, hugs from a mother, high-fives from a brother, a gentle kiss from a lover, it doesn't even matter in what form your family is there, because all that matters is that they are, that you can carry on living with the knowledge that there are people close that truly love and care about you, that there are people protecting you, or that you can, tonight, fall asleep in the arms of somebody that means more than the world, any culture or experience in it to you. Why would you want to be anywhere else?

Where else on the Earth has this for you?


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Solgaleo
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#2
05-07-2014, 10:38 AM
Username: Law
Do you promise to submit an entry on time: Hopefully

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Bloom
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#3
05-07-2014, 06:42 PM
You have been entered Law! ^^ I wish you good luck and I look forward to seeing your writing entry.

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Hana Song
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#4
05-07-2014, 08:22 PM
Username: Satsuki.
Do you promise to submit an entry on time: Yes.

I'm pretty successful when it comes to writing contests on this forum, so I might as well give this a shot.

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Bloom
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#5
05-07-2014, 10:24 PM
I'll be looking forward to seeing what you write Satsuki! You're entered. =)

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xKiYoMiNaTiONx
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#6
05-08-2014, 05:47 AM
Username: xKiYoMiNaTiONx
Do you promise to submit an entry on time: Hopefully
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Bloom
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#7
05-18-2014, 10:59 PM
@Law @Satsuki @xKiYoMiNaTiONx

Remember that you have less than 10 days to submit your writing entry!

There are still open spots as well! Don't be shy, anyone can enter. =)

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xKiYoMiNaTiONx
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#8
05-19-2014, 01:13 AM
Spoiler:
My Favorite Place on Earth


I hope you weren't expecting me to say Disneyland, were you? Because, quite frankly, even though I love Disneyland, it's not my favorite place on Earth. My favorite place is a place so close to me, yet so very far away. It comes with a lot of awesome goodies that I often have to order online for, or even have to watch through online means.

Japan(日本), Nihon, is my most favorite place on earth. You can try to tell me that Japan has a lot of bad things happening like, earthquakes, tsunamis, and most recently, the radioactive, nuclear waves due to the 2011 earthquake. Yet, to me, this means nothing because the people still can live in their everyday lives.

Japan is part of me. I, myself, am half-japanese, and have taken up to two years of Japanese language classes. I even got to study in Japan for one month.

A lot of people tend to compare Japan to the US, rather the US to Japan. When someone says, Japan has awesome animated cartoons and dramas, the US would rebut and say, "Well, we have awesome cartoons and dramas too." Well, what can I say? If you are asking someone who is a 26 year old, I would prefer Japanese animation and dramas over american ones. Japan animation targets many different levels of ages. You have animation directly targeting children like Doraemon, Digimon, and Pokemon. Then you have animation such as Itazura na Kiss, CLANNAD, Attack on Titans that are directed more towards the upper teens to adults. There are also ones directed strictly for adults, which I tend to call, "Hentai" or animated p***. Yes, it's true, Japan is kind of famous for their adult videos like animated p***, and even live-action p*** (adult videos). Yet, no one really takes notice as to what Japan really has to offer.

Japan has things that the US don't have. For one thing, Cherry Blossoms. Sure, Washington D.C has cherryblossom trees, but that's it. Technically you aren't allowed to grow the trees anywhere else. It's quite saddening. The cherryblossom trees in Japan kind of signify a new year, a new school year, etc… Cherry Blossom normally bloom in April when the new school term starts.

Speaking about school terms, the Japanese system is quite different than the American system. I'm sure you must have went to Elementary school from Kindergarten through 6th grade, than intermediate/middle school for 7th - 8th, (and yes, I do know some middle schools include 6th grade), than high school, 9th - 12th grade. In Japan, the school system is as follows: Kindergarten (yes, it's separate from the normal elementary schools), Elementary School (Shougakkou), 1st - 6th grade (ages 7 - 12), Middle School or Junior High School (Chuugakkou), 7th-9th grade (ages 13-15), and High School (Koukou), 10th - 12th grade (and yes, High School is optional). That's how you would normally view it, but starting from junior high, they say 1st year, 2nd year, 3rd year, and then repeat that again for high school. It's quite different from our american lives huh?

In Japan, there are quite a bit of traditions that the normal american family do not have. Sure, when it's football season, a lot of ya'll will be hankerin' out those hotdogs and barbeque grills and munch on them burgers… Well, Japanese Traditions are a bit different, especially when it comes to New Years, and Girl's Day, and even Boy's Day. On New Year's Day, in Japan or if you are a Japanese Family, the tradition is to make Ozoni (Mochi Soup), and also put up good luck charms of a sort in different areas of the house. Also, for Girls Day, the Japanese celebrate it by bringing out the Girl's Day dolls, and to be honest, the first girl born in the family inherits the dolls, so in my case, I technically inherited them from my mom. (She better let me keep them later!) On Boy's Day, they wave flags in the shape of fish and eat mochi, etc… Though, I believe now it's called Children's day. There are many other festivals in Japan that we don't celebrate, like the coming of age ceremony, etc.. But this is what appeals to me, for Japan.

I was blessed to be able to study abroad in Japan for one month back in 2010. By far, that is still my most vivid memory. I got to study in Chiba, Japan. Chiba actually looks like a dog when you look it up on the map! Hence why their mascot is a dog that looks like the shape of Chiba! (I'll search my room for it! XD) I got to meet so many different people! Of course, I went with a couple of my friends so I wouldn't be alone flying, and I got to meet other people from my school who were also taking the same study abroad courses. It was like we were a big family all of us, at least until we went back home. I was super excited about this. I got to see how it really is like in Japan. I remember when I first got onto the small mini bus to take us to our apartment building, I was like, "oh my god, we're on the wrong side of the road!", then I remembered, oh duh, that's right, Japan is different from us. It was really a unique experience to be able to ride in one of those reverse side cars. (Wheel is on the right, Passenger on the left.)

The unique scenery was all too appealing. I kept taking pictures from the time I arrived at the airport all the way to the apartment building. I was like, "Wow! I'll be staying here in my own apartment for a whole month!" The apartments were small, but it was livable. It came equipped with a TV, Internet, Refrigerator, Washing Machine (which took me a couple of days to figure out lol…), and the toilet… omg, that toilet hahaha… when you flush it, the water comes out from the top (it's not covered like most US toilets). The toilet in the airport though, all those buttons! XD

After getting acquainted with how Japan operates, I was soon finding myself being so very comfortable there. The people there are so nice! No, really, I mean they are nice! Even if you barely know the language, if you ask them, "Eigo o wakarimasuka?" They tend to say "Sukoshi dake" or "Maa Maa" meaning just a little bit. But somehow, they always seem to know what you are talking about. They are so nice, even the costumer service. I also liked how they feed your money through the machine, and the change comes out. It's quite a difference from our cash registers where you have to put the money in yourself, and take the change out yourself.

The food in Japan… I was in heaven! I mean, I loved eating Japanese food at home, but eating Japanese food in Japan…now that was heaven!! I got to eat sushi at one of those sushi places like Genki Sushi. The sushi there was so, so good! It was like..nothing I have ever had before! I was quite a piggy! I take pictures of everything I eat lol… The school I was studying at was called Josai International University, and once a week, the treat us to dinner. The first week was sushi, the 2nd week was soba, and the 3rd week was tonkatsu, and in the last week, we were treated by the japanese students to Okonomiyaki!

Also, in addition to being treated to dinner once a week, they also take us little trips during the weekends. The first weekend, we went to Kamogawa and visited the JIU branch over there. It was quite a learning experience, as we also went to Niemon Island, we got to visit a temple, also a castle, and got to visit the original headmaster's house of the school. During the second weekend, we got to finally go to Akihabara, or Akiba for short. It's the mainstay, or the place where Otakus love to be. It was my kind of town! Anime, Anime, Anime everywhere! I even bought a new camera there! (Yes, the menu and everything is all in Japanese OTL). We ate ramen, got to go to a museum, and especially Tokyo Tower! Yes, Tokyo Tower! It's like the number one place that every tourist has to go to! At that time, they were still building the Sky Tree tower, and it's supposed to be even higher than Tokyo Tower! I'd love to go back again and see it for myself! We also got to go to Harajuku and Shibuya, a couple of my japanese friends had to hold me back from spending all my money all at once! Yes, that's how much I wanted everything there! T^T I got to go to a shrine, and we were so lucky to witness two traditional wedding ceremonies at the same time! It was such a wonderful experience! We ended our Tokyo trip experience at Asakusa, where I bought some cool jpop goodies! XD and of course, just had fun taking pictures with my friends. In our 3rd weekend, which would be our last weekend in Japan, we had our homestay. My friend and I were paired up to spend the weekened with another older student from JIU. It was a really fun time! I got to eat at Outback Steakhouse, which is probably the first time in a while that I've been to an american joint in Japan XD I even took a picture with the waiter! I got to go back to Akihabara and buy things I weren't able to buy before hand, and even got to go Karaoke and play at a fun arcade place!

By the ending of our month long stay, we made so many wonderful memories and so many irreplaceable japanese, chinese, korean, even american friends that we can not forget. So many tears were shed on the day we got our certificates for completing the study abroad courses. We didn't want to say goodbye to all of our Japanese friends. We didn't want to say goodbye to Japan at all. In the end, it has become my most treasured memory, and still is, till this day!
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Isaac
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#9
05-19-2014, 01:54 AM
Username: Isaac
Do you promise to submit an entry on time: That's what I'm doing right now.

Spoiler:
The Earth is a pretty big place. If you like being bored with numbers and ballpark estimates, the Earth is a sphere with a circumference of a little under 25000 miles, so if you do some number crunching, that amounts to a surface area of roughly 200 million square miles. And since the Earth is 30 percent land, it means I have 60 million square miles of area to pick a favourite place out of.

But my favourite place isn't geographical. That first paragraph probably wasted about 20 seconds of your life.

On the many years I have lived on this Earth, in an infinitesimally small part of those 60 million square miles, I've learned to treasure the time I spend with other people. No man is an island, and no man should act like one either. My favourite place isn't at some picturesque location, nor is it at a building I have fond memories of, nor is it fast asleep in my bed - though sleep is very nice. No, my favourite place on Earth to be is among friends.

Places may come and go, and times may change...but people do not, especially not true friends. They are not lone pillars of stability - they're two halves of an arch, resting on one another. They are not trees under which you find shade - they are symbiotes, protectors and providers. They are not just names you memorize - they are living breathing human beings, just like you. They are not faceless, a mere string of words and noise - they have hopes, dreams, aspirations, and emotions, just like you. Just like me. And when I am around them, and they around me, that is where life's best moments are spent. After all, what good is it if you're at Yellowstone, or Miami Beach, or Seoul...if you're there alone?

As for myself, it does not matter where I am - even if I am at home or a thousand miles from home - so long as I am with my friends. They are what give my life meaning, and I, in turn, assist in giving their lives meaning as well. Friends are hope. Friends are dreams. Friends are love. Friends are life. Friends are...amongst 60 million square miles of land...my favourite place on Earth, now and forever.

I think it's true that my best ideas strike me right before I'm about to go to sleep.

I have disappeared from here. As apology, please accept this cheery picture.

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Bloom
*❀~Bloop Dee Woop~❀*

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#10
05-19-2014, 08:34 AM
Isaac you have been entered and both yours and Kiyomi's entries have been added to the OP! Good luck and thank you both for submitting such wonderful entries! =)

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