Randoms, Short Stories

From Reign to Ice: a Short Story (Full Version)

I think you’ve waited long enough for this, and I’m excited to share the full version of from Reign to Ice with you!

Genre: Christian medieval fantasy

Content warnings: violence, killing (nothing really gory and never taken lightly), and magic? Not quite; it’s more like one superpower, I’d say. *shrug*

Word count: about 2,700 (roughly 10 pages)

I… um, I also made a cover for this. Maybe I went overboard. It’s just a short story. But the cover was fun and honed some of my graphic design ‘skills’ a bit.

Credit to Daniel Amador (hey, I know him!)

I won’t you make wait any longer, so here you go! (WordPress was weird, so I’m currently not sure why it’s shown so strangely. To actually be able to read it, just click “Download”! And I’ll try to fix it later.)

I hope you enjoy it! 😀 I couldn’t really get the cover to fit the pdf page size, but I hope you were able to overlook that. 😛 Have a great good Friday (thank you, Jesus, so much for your sacrifice; it’s beyond comprehension—I’ll get more into it on the last Monday of April). May God bless this Holy Week for you!

With God’s help,

~Daniel Amador

Blogging Life, Randoms, Relevant Updates, Specials

100 Followers???

Guys. My goodness, THE RKW REACHED (and surpassed!) 100 FOLLOWERS!!! This… wow, many thanks to everyone who has followed and supported me. I really appreciate it—it means a lot. 🙂

And thank you, Jesus! This is a very generous gift. Thanks for always being there in this blogging rollercoaster.

To all you faithful readers and followers, I do hope I bring you insightful, quality content, and I hope following is worth it for you! 😀

Now for some celebration. Of course, we all need chocolate…

Chocolate!

I’ve also compiled five great “you know you’re a writer when” moments, turned them into fun little graphics, and made this small slideshow for you. So here you go!

You know you’re a writer when…

I hope you liked them! Of course, they’re not super professional or anything, and maybe a bit flashy, but I really enjoyed making them!

Now, time for the…

Q&A!

The difference with this is that it’s a Question and Answer for you guys, my readers! You’ll hear from me at least three times a month consistently, but unless you have a blog I follow, I don’t hear much from you.

So here are three questions I’d really love for you to answer!

1. What’s your favorite genre—for writing and reading? I’m only assuming that you write, but because you’re reading this I know you read something.

2. What’s one virtue you want to grow in this year? It doesn’t have to the one. Just one of them if there are multiple.

3. What’s your favorite indoor and outdoor pastime?

Don’t feel obligated to answer all or any of them, but I’d really like to hear your answers if you don’t mind! 😄

That’s all for today. Thanks for reading!

With God’s help,

Daniel Amador

Randoms

Runners; Rulers of the Road

Hellooo! Sorry this is a day late. Today I’m going to share some running 🏃 tips and advice, as well as a ‘why I run’ and my running history!

Running Tips & Advice:

#1. The two-two breathing method. This has most definitely helped me to become a better runner. My coach told me about the method. You just need to match your steps with your breathing: *step* *breathe in once* *step* *breathe in twice* *step* *breathe out once* *step* *breathe out twice* *repeat method* It helps you to breathe correctly without doing it too much or too little, which in turn will improve basically everything else.

#2. A running schedule. Our running group goes out three days a week. Monday and Tuesday afternoon/evening and Saturday morning (we only do Saturday during our 5K season—from mid-Spring to late September). On Monday we have our short, 1-3 mile run, where we focus on speed. Tuesday is a more relaxed 2-4 miles. On Saturday we focus on distance, which can range from 3 (or less) to +14 miles, depending on the experience and skill of the runner. I like our schedule a lot. It focuses on different skills, and doesn’t overwork us. Running 3-4 days a week is a pretty good number, I wouldn’t recommend running every day of the week, though. Even if it’s just one mile a day. . . I mean, I haven’t tried it but I haven’t heard good things about it either.

#3. People to run with. Having runners and friends there with you before, after, and even during your runs is socially good for you, it’s also good in other ways. They can be encouragers, as you begin and finish your run, they can give advice, they can become good friends. I love hanging out with my running team cause they’re fun to be around and run with. They encourage me, and such, as well. It also sounds fun to have friendly running competitions with friends. I don’t think I’ve ever done one with both of us doing it intentionally, but maybe someday. *shrug*

If you don’t have a running team or club near or available to you, you can gather some friends and family members who are interested in running and organize a team.

#4. Paying attention to your food consumption. Chips and anything spicy is a no-no even several hours before and after a run. They will do horrible things to your body. Pasta and bananas 🍌 are good pre-run foods. I don’t suggest having any food directly before (or a full meal several hours before) a run, unless it’s something like a small banana or granola bar. Treat yourself or your team/group to some good food a few hours after a successful 5K or other important race/run, because you deserve it! Whether you’re a runner or not, eat healthy! All of this I speak from experience (except for the banana and pasta thing).

#5. Dynamic stretches before a run and static stretches after. Losen up your muscles and body before a run with dynamic (moving) stretches! Look up some examples. Keep your muscles from tightening back up too much and stuff with static (still) stretches. Look up some examples.

Why I Run:

Running is a sport you can do anywhere. You don’t need a field, ball, or other equipment. Simply good shoes and clothes. It can be competive, but it doesn’t have to be. You can focus on long distance or speed. You can run when you’re really young, or when you’re really old. You can explore your neighborhood, surroundings, etc. while you run. It’s healthy. I think it’s fun and amazing. There are many more benefits to running.

My Running History:

Beginning: It all started somewhere in late August, a few weeks before an annual 5K organized by my church, called El Grito 5K. My brother, who was a runner before I was, asked if I wanted to run it. I was in general a pretty fast kid, and I did love running, so I was like ‘sure, why not’. At that time I could only sprint but was not involved in any track or cross country team. To get into the 5K I joined the running team my brother was on, which was one of the programs of the youth ministry partnered with our church. I had two weeks to train before the 3.1 mile run.

On the first day of my training, I ran two miles; for the first time ever, and it was torture, but worth it.

1st 5K: On the day of the 5K I did good for a beginner. My overall time was 31 minutes and 32 seconds (31:32).

2nd 5K: My second 5K was like a month after that. It was a wet, humid day. I remember some parts of it very clearly. I vividly remember much of each and every race. Which is nice. Memories. My time was 29:29.

3rd 5K: My third 5K was about a month after the second one—it was on Thanksgiving morning. That one was really fun. It wasn’t with my team, but just with my brother and dad. We had some fun together before and after the race. It was pretty cold. My time was 30:38.

Pause: By the time my running team would be having 5Ks again after winter, the virus hit. The running program was temporarily cancelled, and I eventually just stopped running overall, because I was less disciplined and less into running back then.

Running Team Project: It was in mid-summer of 2020 when the program started up again. There were no races that summer (sadly) so we organized our own. Our team wanted to run 200 miles together, so we’d each run our own miles to contribute to the 200. I ran seven miles (silly amatuer Danny-boy), but I think the most someone ran was 14 miles. This was in late August, I think.

4th 5K: In September our church hosted El Grito 5K again. It was virtual (-_-) which meant that each participant would run on their own any day, track how long they took, and then message upload it to the El Grito site. It wasn’t too bad, though, ‘cause I still ran with my team. I was pretty proud of my score, which was around 24 minutes.

5th 5K (Placer): There were no races until June, 2021. What was funny was that the race (a 5K) was just a few days after my AP test. Hehehe. Well, I ran it and it was very fun! I also got third place for my age/gender division (18 and under) and 24th overall so that was awesome! 🥉 Time: 21:09.

Half-Marathon Training: Then, training for a half marathon to be held September 11th began, sometime in early July. The training was pretty fun. I’ve missed a few days because of summer vacation stuff and life in general. It got a bit trickier in Spain, as I’m not used to mountains.

But the scenery was BEAUTIFUL! 🌄 One time while I was running, I saw two deer 🦌 on the edge of the path, and when they saw me they started running, and then ran away into the thicket 🌳, but I did get a close look at them, and it was majestic! I was also able to run ten miles at my grandparents house, and that was an awesome accomplishment.

1st Half-Marathon: The half-marathon was amazing! I did a lot better than I thought I would, and I felt really good throughout the whole thing. My results were 2 hrs and 2 mins. (I got 3rd out of 4 for my age group, or something like that—I somehow cannot find the results!) The longest run I’ve ever done.

6th 5K: On September 25th I ran another 5K (this one was also virtual *sigh*) and my score was 20:55. I got 5th place overall.

7th 5K (Placer, Record Breaker): Exactly a week later, I ran my most recent 5K. My score, a record-breaker, was 20:29. I got 6th overall, and 1st for my age/gender group (15-19)! 🥇 I ran it with my mom (my team didn’t participate).

Coming Up: I have another 5K coming up this Saturday, and I think maybe one or two others later in October or November, not entirely sure though.

And that’s I suppose all I have to share about running! I know, it’s long. That’s why I decided it into many different sections. 😉 All of this was a huge blessing and I’m grateful to several beings, including God, my coach, my parents, and my team mates. That’s all. I hope you enjoyed reading.

With God’s help,

Daniel Amador

Randoms

Adam Toledo: A True & Tragic Story

A Chicago neighborhood — Little Village, La Villita, South Lawndale… it depends on who you ask — has been spotlighted more than usual during these times. Sometimes for really good things, sometimes for truly tragic things. Like the death of a young teenager, Adam Toledo. You all may or may not recognize the name. It is the name of the 13-year-old boy who was shot by the police. He was shot in my city, Chicago, in a neighborhood dear to me, Little Village.

It was around 2:30 a.m. in the morning on March 29, 2021. The same shooting was reported by multiple people; roughly 6 shots directed to cars driving by on Sawyer and 24th. Two cops were sent to the crime scene. They pulled up into the alley between 23rd and 24th, and quickly jumped out of the car. They ran down the alley, towards the two people there; the older one walking casually (pretending to be guilty of nothing) and the younger one running.

The policeman who was driving shoved the young adult to the ground and continued running after the teen, who was carrying a gun. The policewoman, the driver’s partner, kept the man on the ground and handcuffed him.

The policeman strode after the boy, shouting, screaming even, for him to stop. Almost at the end of the alley, the boy slowed down and quickly threw the gun behind the fence. He had begun to lift his hands and turn to face the policeman when a bullet from the officer’s gun shot out, piercing Adam Toledo’s chest, and the boy collapsed to the ground.

The officer went over to him and turned him over, looking for the wound. He called several other officers, and they arrived momentarily. The officer began CPR as the other cops knelt beside Adam, saying encouragement like, “Stay with us, big guy.”

Another officer took the policeman’s place, doing CPR on the boy. The policeman stood and began slowly wandering around, and the loudest sound heard by the cop’s body cam was his heavy breathing. His wanderings led him a bit around the alley and through an opening in the gate to the parking lot of the high school. For a while he stood in the parking lot, just breathing. His partner walked up to him and rubbed his arm. After several minutes, she suggested that he sit down and then they get a drink of water from the squad car. He sat down on a concrete parking block and sat there for a while, his partner standing beside him. At some point the sergeant stood beside him as well. It was evident: Adam Toledo had died.

Then came the order for all the officers to turn off their body cams because the situation was secure, and…

*beep*

*static*

***

And that was it. Our city is in an uproar, some siding with cops, others with Adam, and still others undecided, or with different opinions. Several marches and protests have occurred because of Adam’s death. Many voices and opinions fill the air. What do we make of this? Through it all, however, may we love God and love people.

A memorial for Adam Toledo near where he was shot.
Mural of Adam Toledo at the spot where he was shot.
Adam Toledo was shot right beside the pole.
A protest march through Little Village.

With God’s help,

Daniel Amador

Credit to Daniel Amador for all photos in this blog post.