They can hurt
They can kill
They can save the life
Of someone who's ill.
They can wound
They can heal
They can speak
Or make a meal.
They can save the world
Or turn it black
They can live
They can lack.
Free as birds
They speak louder than words.
Crazy gamer freak!
Joined on 6/15/08
Posted by quickwing23 - August 25th, 2008
On Love's day
She took a part
And began to play
With my heart
Then she went
And took half my soul
Now I'm bent
And empty as a bowl
Will I ever be
Will anyone ever fill me
I doubt I'll ever begin
Then I found you
Washed up all anew
What do you think, it was made for a character in a story me and my best bud are writing. Comments, suggestions, questions???
Posted by quickwing23 - August 22nd, 2008
The Chronicles of the Letters
Book 1: Me, Mr. Z and the Battle of the Letters (Copyright 2007-2008)
Chapter One: The Introduction and Defense Class
It was a completely normal day in a completely normal time. It wouldn't stay that way for long. It never did. Things always happen, somewhere, somehow, for some obvious reasons that take forever to figure out because that's the way it's always been. It began in a makeshift defense classroom with a horrid teacher that didn't care what you thought or if you did have to go pee. This classroom was in a humongous, bigger-than-it-should-be kind of way that was... well scary for a castle. Along with the fact that it had turrets upon turrets, secret passageways, and too many entrances and exits to count. Vines of ivy and grapes climbed its sloping walls. While flowers, bushes and trees surrounded its outer walls, for lack of a moat, and they, of course, also surrounded the garden. Standing in front, near the main door and looking up, made you feel small and weak compared to its height and size. And the gargoyles and other countless statues didn't help your fear. This castle was in a country called Sorcia. Which was surrounded by other countries, that eventually seemed to end in water, mountains, or we were just too lazy to go any farther, and happened to like it here, thank you very much. There are countries beyond those; thousands even, beyond all the water, mountains or our laziness. That is their story, but this is ours. See we start with two friends in this castle, in Sorcia, in that downtrodden defense classroom of ours, with a teacher whose name we don't want to know, but know anyways, and we don't want to remember. Before we begin though, I must give you some warnings: That a lot of people walk out in this story, whether for some reason or no reason at all. That a lot of people have issues; no one is perfect, and some do seem to trade issues on a daily basis. That, though not in this story, but others, there are backdoors for people who died to all of the sudden for no absolute reason, show back up again and confuse the @#$% out of everybody. Then you wait for a real good explanation for why the heck they're back. We thought you were dead, and there are even half backdoors (trust me you'll understand, just give it some time). That's all I can give you and I wish you fun reading this story and all the others to follow (yes, there is more). Let us begin the first and most important, for it is the introduction of it all. So, here is our story, finally.
The defense classroom was dilapidated; it had bricks falling out of the wall, windows that would only open an inch or not at all, and they were caked in dust so badly, it blocked all light. The blackboard hung cockeyed on the wall, almost falling off. There were no desks, except for the teachers' (students sat on the dirty floor). She has light brown hair with streaks of gray, piercing, pale purple eyes, and always wore armor and sword of a green and brown color, which represented earth, her best power. She was our defense teacher, a relentless, almost evil personality, with a rage that didn't help her appearance. Her name was Ms. Vermin and the name seemed to fit her well. Ms. Vermin paced back and forth in front of us and we whispered the possible answer to the almost impossible question on the board. She smacked a lemon branch upon the desk, and as we knew, it didn't just hit the desk; it hit us as well. She hated noise, and that's what that lemon branch was used for, to keep silence and for punishment. But it wasn't any old lemon branch. It had one inch thorns all over, and any excess branches were cut off one-inch high at a forty-five degree angle, opposite the thorns. So when it hit you, it'd go deep and blood would definitely ooze out. All but one flinched, a brave but angry soul, Jewel, our first main character and one of many to come. Jewel is an elf who has red hair worn in a ponytail and deep red eyes when angry (green otherwise). She also has anger issues from about one thousand years ago, for reasons she doesn't want to get into. Our other main character happens to be Jewel's best friend, Hera. Hera has overeactive issues and flashback issues, which is where you live in the past too much. She is a human of sorts, and she has long, onyx black, flowing hair worn down, bright yellow eyes (an oddity). She wears a Purple Shades dress, which is a dress that's shades of purple (top to bottom, light to dark) and has markings and enchantments to help your powers, though it didn't do much good, and no one knows why. Jewel and Hera are friends for good reasons. See one time Hera used to run from Jewel in fear. Then, one day in a corridor, a group of cretins backed Hera into a corner, because she wasn't wanted at the castle. They were going to kill her, but then Jewel fought them off (for reasons unknown) and Hera has been grateful ever since. We really don't know why Hera ran from Jewel but didn't run from other people in the first place. Hera flinched as the teacher walked towards them, holding the lemon branch, high behind her, stained with blood. Hera always flinched. The schools' old church bell rang twice in the distance, signaling the end of that class. Everyone stood and mobbed each other to reach the door out of there first, eventually all made it out, and as the last person (blood oozing out off lemon branch wounds) shut the door behind them, we all breathed a sigh of relief to get out of there and worry rose slightly in our stomachs for the other classes of hers, who had to deal with that on the last day of learning lessons. Jewel and Hera make their way to Potions and Herbs class, and Hera was unfortunate to not be an elf. See the teacher for Potions and Herbs is an elf himself and likes those of his kind more than others, though he doesn't treat the others badly because of it. His name is Mr. Winged, he has golden brown hair worn back in a long, braided ponytail, for honor (elf honor is long hair), bright green eyes, always wears a deep red cloak and always seems to have a potion, herb, or ingredient in hand. They entered the classroom and sat in their normal seats, and Mr. Winged entered though the back door (where the potions were concocted, so if one messed up, the smell would not bother the classroom itself), carrying a light, ghostly green potion in hand. He sat at his desk and told all last year learners to get their grades at that time. Hera, Jewel, and a few non-named others rose and went to his desk, to get directions to where they were meant to go. The Hallway of Letters was their destination for final grades, and it was named so for a reason. See this castle is ruled by people who formed an organization long, long ago and called themselves by letters because their names were either too long, hard to say, or you forgot them two seconds after being told what they were. They were ruled by a very powerful monarchy, but nice they were, apparently the 'letters' didn't like that, even though, and managed to eradicate the King and Queen and pick a ruler among themselves, and, well, rule. They took care of the Hallway of Letters and some ran it, hence the name, but that's not the only reason for the name; they grade you on a range, A to Z, excellent to horrid, that's how it goes and anything below T is failing. Failing is rare though, most pass way above T and they were sure they had way above T beyond all means. Little did they know that this day was a big point in their lives and that point would continue on to adventures unlike any other with many perils of all sorts (trust me on this one). Without this day, you wouldn't be reading this now.
The Hallway of Letters is a long, long hallway filled with tables, chairs and way too busy people giving out grades to a whole lot of impatient, anxious last year learners worried if they failed or got the grades they wanted. Each letter had a table of its own and each student was assigned to a table, any table; one knew not if that tables' letter was your grade or not, all you could do was hope, or hope not. Jewel and Hera walked into the door of the Hallway of Letters and both looked over other peoples' heads to see the end of this extensive hallway but failed. They saw the line of people waiting for their table assignment and sighed, but joined its' numbers anyway. After a long delay, they got their appointment for their tables; Jewel had V and Hera Z. They turned from the line and began their small journey (if only they knew), together, towards their tables. As soon as they reached the V table, they parted, wishing each other good luck, and as Hera disappeared beyond a small group of people-it was not very crowded back here, in fact it was very meager-Jewel waited, more patient than earlier, after all, it was only a two person line. As soon as the other two left-one hanging their head, the other cursing-Jewel figured that perhaps they didn't get what they expected. She shrugged her shoulders and turned towards the V table, but stopped short, and she had reasons to hesitate; Mrs. Viese (the nameplate said that anyway (or V) was an elf, but she had hair, many pale, ugly colors within it, as short as up to the bottom of her ears, close to her head, one blue eye, one brown-looking the opposite way-a wrinkled, old face and quite hunched over, looking more ragged for the wear than one could seem to ever be. Mrs. V looked up and handed Jewel a rolled piece of parchment, magical closed. Jewel opened it easily and unrolled it and a bright fury welled up inside her, but she kept it down, though it was difficult because when you looked at the paper the same letter went all the way down the paper; the same letter as the table-a V. Jewel wondered if Hera knew and hoped whatever or whoever Z was he or she was ready for Hera and her anger.
Chapter Two: Mr. Z and... Well A Whole Lot of Trouble
(Insert flashback... That i haven't made yet...sry)
Hera shook her head, as stray thoughts seemed to warn her about her grades. In her distraction she ran directly into a wall, and promptly turning around, dusted herself off and rubbed her now sore nose. She walked up to the last table, which was oddly twenty feet away from the wall (normally it was five feet, so something was missing). She soon found out that out that it was the Y table and asked, " Would you care to tell me where the Z table is supposed to be." in what most would think of as a kind of malevolent, rude voice, but actually was just the way she talked. "Right there." Yuffie (her name) answered, then pointed, to the space where a table should have been, "Where?" Hera asked, confused, "Look closely." Yuffie pointed out, smiling and giggling. Hera looked closer and found something out of the ordinary and yet spectacularly amazing. In between the wall and the Y table, if one looked close enough, was a tiny table and chair where a small person in a suit and tie sat shifting miniature papers and playing with mini paper clips. Hera took him to be Mr. Z (it's kinda hard to read the mini name plate you know) Mr. Z looked up and held out a slightly heavy piece of paper (for him anyways, for this one was big enough for Hera to hold and see). Hera stooped forward and took the paper and brought it close enough to her face (not too close after all) to see her grades. All the way down the paper the same exact letter went and Hera grew furious, she tore up the paper ruthlessly and threw it at Mr. Z (it didn't make it, it is paper). (this is where it all starts by the way) She had failed horribly with a Z in every class though she deserved much more (like a F at most...). She walked forward to that small table, gritting her teeth and clenching her fists ready to teach the giver her grades a lesson of her own. (here we go...) Heras' quick angry breathing made M. Z look up and begin to do what most of us would do if we were two and a half inches tall and had a five foot six inch person pissed off at us; panic. He jumped quickly from his chair, knocking it to the floor and flipping the table, along with scattering hundreds of papers on the floor, after which he began to run in frantic circles and occasionally slip up on a piece of paper or two, (imagine that for me and try not to laugh, even a little) along with constantly, randomly shouting "GNAH" (like gnat just with an H) extremely loud (not for us really, unless you happen to be two and a half inches tall, then I am terribly sorry, please forgive me). Hera reached down and grabbed him by his collar while he squirmed helplessly, still shouting. She brought him close to her face and screamed at the top of her lungs at him, "Why a Z, huh? Why not at least an S?! Then I would have passed!!". He seemed started, scared and even confused, if that was possible, which it probably was. His screams began again, but no matter what I cannot tell you what he was saying, for at this exact moment, he was too small and scared, as any of us who would perhaps, somehow, get into this situation would be. She dropped him from about five inches off the ground and he fell with a hurtful, "OW!". Hera had picked up his table in that amount of time and quickly pinned him down with it, then broke the chair into pieces and gathered those pieces and the papers that had been scattered and tripped upon earlier. She dropped them on him and stood up (remember she had to stoop down to do all that other stuff, after all its' very small) then grabbed a lit torch from one of the brackets on the wall (note: at this point she has an evil grin on her face, and Yuffie is watching, curious and exited) and went back to Mr. Z and stooped down to gently let the flame lick the pile of kindling (the stuff that starts a fire because it burns quickly, and the pile kinda seemed like that anyway), and it began to burn. Mr. Z struggled and screamed in fear, but before the fire could even singe his clothes, Hera blew it out like a birthday candle. She picked him up and he began to shout (audibly) "Put me down!!" continuously and so she did ( note: she's holding him five feet or more above the ground because she wanted to be face to face and got tired of stooping). She caught him before he hit the ground, to his immediate relief, and brought him back up to her level again, then asked, "Want to be put down now?" and he quickly replied, "NO!!!". Hera walked over to Yuffie's table (still holding Z) and asked for a jar, if she had one that is, "Yes here," then added, "I've been wanting to do that for years.". Hera then opened the jar and dropped Mr. Z inside, then closed it again, when he then started to hit the side of the jar with his fists hysterically, then when Hera began to walk back towards the entrance, he fell over, dazed. She soon reached where Jewel stood and had waited and didn't even stop or look that way, just stared straight ahead (more like glaring if you ask me). Jewel followed quickly and curiously behind Hera and asked her "What are you doing?". Silence and continued stalking-like-walking and glaring were her only answer. "Is that a jar you're holding," she questioned, surprised, "With a... miniature person inside??", but yet again the same answer as before. They reached the entrance (well almost), but somebody stepped forward into Heras' way, (no not Jewels', for Hera had just whispered, only to Jewel, I want to do this alone in a frenzied whisper, and Jewel didn't seem to mind not having to get into this one). He was the leader of them all, and had heard of the turmoil caused with Z, (no Yuffie didn't tell, Xander (X) did) he was prepared to defend his people, or so he said. He was Alexander (A), six feet eleven inches, (glaring down at Hera and she returning it upwards) had sandy blonde hair (back behind his ears and short except for his bangs) and deep brown eyes, but he always wore orange (today a robe and a wizards hat, slightly floppy and with a pouf ball on the end that now was hanging in his face while he was uselessly trying to blow it away, for it did nothing but flop there). Brian (his best friend, or B) then looked at him, curiously, and Alexander said, as if offended, "It's my lucky hat!". Stifled laughter came from Jewel, but Alexander didn't seem to notice. "Give me Mr. Z." Alexander ordered to Hera, "Never." she stated. Alexander lunged forward and tried to get Mr. Z, but Heras' grip didn't lessen, so a viscous tug-of-war fight began, which was extremely hilarious, as both carried swords (note: at this point a cloud of dust had surrounded them, so not many people could see what was going on). A crowd had gathered around the cloud of dust as people fought for a better view of this dust storm, though it didn't do much good. Soon the jar came flying out and the dust settled, to reveal a very surprised Hera and Alexander, both looking to where the jar had ended up. Jewel smiled and held up the jar, taunting Alexander and throwing it from hand to hand, scaring Mr. Z immensely. Alexander started forward towards her but Hera stopped him with a fire sword pointed directly at his throat (it was not flaming though). Brian then lunged forward and tackled Hera making her drop her sword which slipped conveniently out of reach and didn't even nick Alexander, for he had jumped back out of the way. As this happened, all the bad and good seemed to separate into separate sides and the bad backed away, including Alexander and Brian, but promised return. We, the good, meanwhile prepared for the inevitable that was to come.
Chapter 3: The Battle of the Letters
Outside upon a rock sat Jewel, holding Mr. Z, and watching as Hera decided what each person was doing, job wise, and was now to Elincia (E). "What is your specialty?" Hera questioned, "I want to be neutral." stated Elincia. A surprised look came across Heras' face, then she became stern, " You must do something, we need you." she replied, "I want to protect my brother Zacharias, or Mr. Z as most call him.". A seriously confused look came across her face and Jewel even glanced up to question it as well, "He was cursed when he was a baby and no one was or is able to cure it." answered Elincia. Their question answered, Jewel went back to thinking, but Hera was not finished, "He will be fine on his own, we need you more." she much more sternly replied, "He is small, and my brother, I promised to take care of him and I will." argued Elincia. "But..." she started but was cut off by Jewel, who said "Stop arguing you two." in an odd tone that brought back some memory from somewhere...
"I will be leaving soon Pearl." he guiltily said, "But you can't just get up and leave!" I panicky put. "I'm in the elven army, I must leave with them, after all I am a guard, and they need me immensely." he explained, "Forget that stupid army, let them find another guard and stay here with me!" I argued. "I must travel with them, I'm sorry." he said, hanging his head. "But..." I began, but was interrupted by the words, "Stop arguing you two." from someone I knew very well, that wasn't his or my friend, and instead was...
The memory ended, but I still remember who said those words. But no time to explain. Hera looked up, confused as Elincia walked away holding Mr. Z (or Zacharias). "Wha...?" she questioned, "Where is she going," Hera protested, but Jewel cut her off, "She's neutral, okay, just let her go with her brother, he is of no use to us as a hostage anyways." Jewel replied, stern, then added, "Who made you leader anyway?" "No one, it's just we have Yuffie (Y), Claudia (C), Freyja (F), Henri (H), Juste (J), Lau (L), Masumune (M), Phillipe (P), Raphael (R), Unice (U), and Will (W), it wouldn't hurt to have one more." Hera pointed out, "They only have Alexander (A), Brian (B), Garnet (G), Tenkaki (T), Xander (X), Diania (D), Quincey (Q), Issac (I), Klein (K), Nowe (N), Ohatsu (O), Viese (V), and Soleiyu (S). We're even in numbers, but you and I are equipped better than they are, so we shall over power them, now shan't we?" She answered back, but Hera was silent, then said simply, "We need a plan." "Then lets make one." said Jewel, jumping down from the rock, since the crowd had fanned out, and room was not cramped. She called the rest of the letters forward, and the letters came and sat down in a group in front of Hera and Jewel, most in Indian style, others in different ways. Hera hoisted herself onto the rock Jewel had been on earlier, and sat upon it, probably to be above everyone else in her mind, unlike Jewel, who had sat there for lack of space, when now Hera had plenty of space to stand or sit lower, she chooses higher than all. Figures. Jewel then asked, "Does anyone have any ideas for a plan to attack Alexander and his army?" a murmur came from the letters, along with a whisper of, "Well, we don't have a hostage, who says they'll come up with any good ideas." except for the facts that 'they'll' was heard as we'll and it didn't come from the group of letters either, but it was still heard. "Now there must be better ideas than just taking Zacharias as a hostage" Jewel provoked, trying to get better thought and ideas, though it was useless on the one that said it, and then taken by the letters to mean that they must formulate parts of the plan together as a group of one. "They're servants and are not capable of proper thought process.", though not heard, it was said, and in an annoyed voice, same as last time, in fact in the same hissing, pissed off way. (I think someone needs to go back to bed and wake up on the other side). "Why don't Hera and Jewel, along with Yuffie, go in front, and the rest of us split in two columns behind them?" suggested Juste. Hera stood up, a glare in her eye, "Very well, lets fight!" she rallied, jumping off the rock and starting towards where the other side had camped, then realizing they weren't following, slowed. "No hostage, a pathetic group of servants that can't stand behind their own idea, and their servant lover, who probably thinks they're not ready yet. Might as well go throw myself off a cliff, since I have no chance with this measly group against Alexander, he's probably already on the move right now." she hissed under her breath, getting angrier at each strained word (bolded). Hera turned and glared back at the stunned group of letters (or servants in her eyes) and a questioning Jewel, "Let's GO!!!" she angrily ordered through gritted teeth, the letters, since they were servants after all (seriously, though I wouldn't treat them like Hera), followed reluctantly, but obediently, and Jewel and Y came forward to join her, and the letters split into two columns of five apiece. They moved forward as one, towards the enemy camp, luckily they knew where it was located. After a long silence, and a bit of walking, noises were heard, a murmuring behind the trees, and Hera smirked, happy, see they thought the trees would protect them (maybe if they weren't noisy), but the trees provided a hiding place for enemies as well, an advantage by far. "Me, Jewel and Yuffie will go in first, and talk, or so they think, while you will be hiding in the trees, waiting for my signal." Hera slyly said, then raised her sword in the air, where it then caught ablaze, "That's the signal, now go!" she ordered, ripping Juste's plan to pieces, and formulating her own. "Follow my lead." she sternly said to Jewel and Yuffie, then walked straight into the enemy camp. As soon as they entered, Alexander, Brian and Garnet (Brian's girlfriend, because Alexander can't have one because we would feel sorry... for her, and anyone watching, because Alexander has never dated and has no idea and is utterly clueless on what to do), were the first to jump up and unsheathe their swords. "No, no, we're here to talk, pleasantries only, but at least allow us to draw our weapons as well, and you may keep yours out along with us." Hera said gently while holding her hands out innocently. "Very well." replied Alexander, "Do sit." he offered. Hera pulled her sword, but let it hang by her side, "No thanks, I'll stand." she said, slightly annoyed he was that clueless. "So what kind of sword is that?" questioned Hera, "Silver with an iron hilt," Alexander answered, while raising one eyebrow questionly, "but is that what you came here to talk about?" "No you are right, I did not come here to chat, I came here to offer a treaty, we resolving our conflict in simple terms." she said, with a sly tone to it, though Alexander didn't notice but Brian did (did nothing though, he is in second command). "Now how do you suggest we do that, I want to rule the castle and for you to leave." he said while glaring at Hera, and Jewel, though didn't seem to notice Yuffie at all. "I was thinking... you let Jewel and I rule the castle, and you be our servants or what so ever we chose you to be, at our command of course," She growled back at him, "or do you want me to kill you, as I could have before Brian tackled me, because this is no ordinary sword, watch." She threatened, then held her sword up in the air, and it set ablaze, signaling the good that were hiding to step forward. They swarmed in, surrounding the bad in a circle and trapping them from escaping. Everybody was paired with one person against another. Yuffie got Garnet, Jewel paired with Brian, and Hera stepped up to Alexander, all glaring at their opponents. Each and every persons cries and shouts went into the air as each person started their separate and entirely different battles. And so began the Battle of the Letters. Yuffie was furious with her sword, strengthening her blows with each hit, but Garnet fended them off easily, and without struggle. "I hate you, you know! You even hate your own side and kind!" Yuffie shouted at Garnet and she laughed gently, "At least I don't like the imbecilic one on the other side, unlike you, Yuffie, even you are scum compared to that moron." Yuffie glared and made a quick and very powerful blow, underhanded, and hit Garnet's sword out of her hands. She stepped forward anger flaring and pushed Garnet to the ground and rose her sword high above her, aiming directly above Garnets' rapidly beating heart. But, meanwhile, Jewel was hastily and easily beating Brian to a pulp. He had already lost his sword, earned a black eye, several bleeding scratches that would become scars and was also now pinned to the ground with a livid Jewel (she had to get rid of the aggravation somewhere). And while both those fights were happing along with all the other letters battling one another, Alexander and Hera confronted one another.
So what do you think, it's all i have right now, but its gonna be a 24 book series, set in medieval times, in a place that might of existed, or could not... i think it did... but i believe... and don't feel too sorry for Mr.Z, he gets his happy ending in book 19.
Posted by quickwing23 - August 22nd, 2008
It's an original vampire story. No reflection, no shadow, no heartbeat, drink blood, holy objects hurt, silver hurts, garlic wards off. The vampire hunters have killed Dracula though, and there's only 5 of them, the Helcore family. There are only 7 vampires left on the face of the planet, and only one person can save their existence. That person is Dracula's daughter, that no one has ever meant, and he hid from the world, he let her lead a normal life in the normal world, even when she's not normal. It is modern times, we are in Dracula's castle in Transylvania. I already have the 7 vampires made up and the savior.
And the Helcores ARE the BAD people.
Any ideas of what to do???
Posted by quickwing23 - August 20th, 2008
His name is Gaderian Lambourne, i know his right hand looks funny, but its hard drawing spiked gauntlets! One of my more awesome ones. Thats a silver cross sword/staff thing, its sharpened so much if you touch it it cuts you, so that's why the gauntlets. Sorry for the girly hair. He is raising an eyebrow. So what do you think? Any questions? Comments? Corrections?
P.S. The shadow is because i have no scanner and must use a camera, and the flash makes it too hard to see pencil or pen, even sharpie.
Posted by quickwing23 - August 15th, 2008
Being lonely isn't good for you.
Just because you can't see it doesn't mean it's not there.
If you do something out of the kindness of your heart and whoever you did it for turns on you, don't hate them for it, at least you tried.
Not everyone hates you, a lot of people like you for who you are.
Just because it's lost doesn't mean you can't find it again.
You look fine no matter what.
Don't lie unless it's really necessary.
Stuffed animals can be real good comfort objects.
Sleeping bags keep you really warm.
Simple meals made at home are the best.
No one likes a spoiled brat.
Not everyone dances all that great.
Bigger towns mean more traffic, more annoyances and smog.
Just because you live in a small town doesn't mean no one knows about it.
You have to be a little crazy to live in this crazy world.
Hot cocoa is better with lots of marshmallows and milk rather than water.
Opportunity knocks softly sometimes.
Criticism is not for the weak.
Monopoly can be a really long game, but fun with good friends and family who joke a lot.
Everyone makes mistakes.
First impressions mean a lot, but second impressions change a lot of first impression ideas about someone.
Everyone will find some form of happiness eventually.
Money isn't everything.
The big print gives you things, but the small print takes stuff away.
Beware people who have nothing to lose.
Marry for love.
Singing in the shower is fun.
Being random makes people laugh.
Watch one sunset, trust me you'll thank me later.
Go somewhere where you can see the stars and just take them in.
Sit and watch clouds and try to figure out what they are.
Be nice, but not too nice, people like nice, but not suck ups.
Everyone loves presents, especially ones you made.
Read. It's good for your vocabulary.
That's it for now.