Monday, March 5, 2012

A Day in the Life and GIVEAWAY: Jenna Gustafson

Our third Day in the Life profile will probably be our youngest ever - 15-year-old published MG author, Jenna Gustafson from Montana.  She's giving away a copy of her book, Saving Fort Smoky, which she started writing in 7th grade!

What is A Day in the Life?  CLICK to find out and be featured next!
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Hi! I’m Jenna Gustafson. Let me give you a rundown of my Leap Day!

Generally, I get up at 6:15, but for whatever reason I never got up until 6:27 AM. With a groan, I rolled out of bet, showered, and rushed to get ready. After downing my breakfast and brushing my teeth in about ten minutes, my mom, brother (who is in seventh grade), and I rushed out the door into the frosty, crisp morning.

After dropping my brother off at the middle school, I walked through the red doors of Dawson County High school a few blocks away, ready to discover what was in store for the day. The halls were milling with the usual mix of kids. I gathered my books at my locker and headed upstairs to my first period class, Spanish, where I was unsocial and read quietly as usual.

 “Hola!” said our Spanish teach when he walked in and saw me sitting in my customary desk before class. Our teacher has brown hair that is usually slicked back into a pony tail. His eyebrows threaten to form a unibrow. In his pass time, our Spanish teacher enjoys making origami, puzzles, and word games. Though some see him as a little odd, he is amiable, clever, and witty, and teaches Spanish well despite having less experience than most teachers at our school. During class, all nine of us worked on our homework (Tarea de Clase) and racked our brains. Our classes always consist of a few jocks, book worms, health nuts, and junkies. In a school of 300 students, everyone is like a giant family and gets along for the most part.

After Spanish, one of my good friends and I walked to Biology together, where we took a ton of notes and were amused by our teacher’s white board sketch of short giraffes and tall giraffes used to illustrate directional selection. He even signed his name like a professional and offered to sell it for a starting bid of $5000! :) An energetic, goofy and balding forty-year- old, he likes fishing, playing pranks on my Geology teacher down the hall, wolf-whistling absurdly loud, and his unending supply of coffee.

Next, my friend and I walked to Health on the opposite end of the campus where we had a substitute with stylish attire and brown, fluffy hair with highlights. She lectured on the dangers of domestic violence perpetrators and signs of their actions. What a fun topic, huh?

When the bell rang, I was relieved to go to Geology. The twin teachers who teach our class keep plenty of earthy-smelling rocks and minerals in the shelves lining the large classroom, and never fail to joke with the seven of us in the class, which consists of good natured, curious, and mostly-outgoing farm kids who like being outside. That day we went out to Makoshika, very rugged local land that is a state park, under cold, grey skies in a white minivan, which is always an adventure. We collected a few samples of Canadian loess, clay, and loam from the river. Back at the school, I ate apples, two cheese sticks, and granola bars for lunch before testing our samples with water to see what they contained.

In math, my least favorite class, we had a quiz.

English was equally a drag, where our teacher with short, blonde hair and a particular love for Carmex droned on and on about the plots of the short stories we’ve been reading.

After school I dropped my backpack and coat off at the auditorium and stealthily raided the Speech and Drama closet on the second floor, which contains plenty of partially stale snacks. I took some Red Vines as always. Back in the auditorium, I read my book, The DaVinci Code before briefly talking with the director of our play, Around the World and Back: A Brief and Inaccurate History of Everything. At 4:00 pm, we began running through the scenes and called it quits at 6:00 pm.

Then I went home and ate a dinner of chicken, peas, and pineapple. After dinner I excitedly went downstairs and tried on running shoes for the next hour and a half. I ordered them because the Asics 2160’s that I had gotten for cross country had given me months of nickel sized blisters and bruised the majority of my toenails, and I didn’t want to relive that during track season as well. The Brooks Trance 11 felt much different, like spongy boards on my feet compared to the bright green Saucony Cortanas which still seem to have plenty of cushion and a more glove-like fit. I decided on the 8 in the Cortana’s, but still sent them back in exchange for a black and hot pink pair. I know I sound picky, but the right shoes make a world of difference when it comes to competitive running.

Content, I went to be at 9:00 pm dreaming of lightning fast shoes and getting back into season shape.

That is a typical day in the life of me. Thanks for having me!

Jenna Gustafson is a sophomore who lives happily in Montana with her parents and brother. Jenna loves to run, dance, write, draw, and read. While she has won local short story contests, Saving Fort Smoky is her first book which she published in 2010. She hopes to inspire other children to chase their dreams and understand that they are never too young to accomplish something.

Summary from Goodreads:

There's only one hope for Fort Smoky to survive. After a devastating fire ravages the homes of Fort Smoky, it's up to young Ben Clearwater and his sister and friends to help the residents and get to Fort Futureland to save the people before the harsh, cold winter sets in. To get there, they will have to trek through unknown mountains, relying on Running Wind's compass and Big Jim's maps of the land while struggling against the harsh forces of Mother Nature. Fort Futureland is a place of new and interesting contraptions, like cars and computers, the four children have never seen, and they are captivated. But the children soon uncover a sinister plot to destroy their beloved Fort Smoky. Will they be able to stop the evil leaders of Fort Futureland? Will they ever make it home?


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