I’m Mary-Jane Alina Grace Valdez. It’s a long name, but my papá used to say that it’s normal for Spanish people to have long names. I’ve never really liked the name Mary-Jane, though, so I just go by MJ.
Why I said “used” up there, is because papá never says it anymore — in fact, he doesn’t say anything. Neither does maman. That’s because they’ve . . . passed on. So, yeah, I’m an orphan. I used to live in Paris, France with my Tante (Aunt) Sophie and Oncle (Uncle) Bernard and Cousine (Cousin) Sylvie. But after I became famous for my singing, I left Paris for the States, and usually just went back to Paris in the summer and around the holidays.
I’m on my first-ever world tour now. I’m a celebrity, which sometimes can be a little annoying — fan mobs, that kind of stuff — but other times, it’s a ticket to luxury. I’m staying at Loren’s house until my next show, which is in about a week. She has eight daughters, and they’re all super nice to me. But Saige Copeland sticks to me like glue. I guess I would do the same if I were her, so I’ll cut her some slack. By the end of the week, I bet she’ll be herself.
In case anyone other then me ever reads this, I’ve decided to explain my family a little bit:
My dad was from Houston, Texas, and his grandparents were from Mexico. I’ve never met my dad’s side of the family, because they all moved back to Mexico City before I was born.
I sometimes called my Mom by the French name for mother, but she was really American. Before she married my dad, her last name was Thomas. Her little sister, Sophie, studied abroad in France at a cooking school. She married my Uncle Bernard, who owns a pâtisserie, and stayed in Paris. Aunt Sophie is Sylvie’s step-mom. I now have a little cousin named Lilou, Lily for short. She’s so cute! Mom’s parents live in Bentwick, Massachusetts, and own First Street Family Bakery.
Now, just a little bit about me . . .
I have my dad’s hair and my mom’s eyes. Since my dad was Spanish, and my mom knew French, I learned some of both. I sometimes talk in Spanish when I’m angry or frustrated. I like basketball, violin, and singing. Being a perfectionist, I really want to go back through this entry and edit it like a story. Mainly just because I’m a perfectionist, but just in case someone else ever reads this, it would be nice, too. But what if they sold it on eBay?! Or to a publisher, and then anyone could read my journal?! I guess I’d better not put anything too secret in here . . .
Emily seems to think that it’s Christmas already. She’s been playing Christmas music since August, has gotten me to bake holiday cookies with her, and she’s even suggested that we put up the decorations. I saw her getting a box of ornaments out of the attic, and I said, “It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, Em. We can’t put up a Christmas tree!”
I haven’t recorded a single song since I came to stay at Happy House of AG in March, which has been driving the media and fans crazy for months. Emily has been begging me to write some Christmas music — “It could be my Christmas present,” she said — and today I finally agreed. To be honest, I’ve actually really been missing my old life. All the fame and glamour . . . you can’t get that here, in a small town where all the citizens are in their seventies. Nobody except for my sisters even knows that I was a celebrity. I miss being recognized by adoring fans. I miss people screaming my name wherever I go: “MJ! MJ!”
So I went to the treehouse to be nostalgic and compose some holiday songs, and wouldn’t you know, they sky opened up and rained on me. When I got indoors, Emily was arguing with Caroline about when we could have a fire. Emily wanted a fire right then, but Caroline wouldn’t light one until it got to be fifty degrees. I must say, a fire would be really nice, as my clothes are still damp.
Emily made me some hot coca with a mound of whipped cream and a candy cane (she insisted that the candy cane made the whole thing look Christmasy). She saw my song writing notebook and, after reading one of the holiday songs I had just started on, she came up with a few ways I could make it better. Turns out Emily is a natural! The songs are much better now, that’s for sure. I think, that for her Christmas present (great, I’m thinking about X-mas, too. It’s not even Thanksgiving yet, MJ!), I’ll give her a CD of my holiday songs, and a picture of her will be on the back. I could even list her as my co-editor!
Au revoir/Adios (or just a simple English “good bye”),
It’s insane how bad I am at keeping up with this journal! My last entry was in, what, September? All I have to say is that I am lazy and don’t have anything to write about.
Well, I’ve finally come up with something to talk about: Serpents! It’s a series Loren is going to do on her blog. I get to play Stephanie Atkins, the main character, which is awesome. Anyway, I decided to write about some Serpents-related stuff — i.e., preparing to film the first episode.
I met up with the other actress this morning. Caroline Abbott, who is playing Claire Fairfax, and Saige Copeland, who is playing Xena Fletcher.
We got our scripts and after a bit of “team bonding” time (munching on snacks provided by the director), began to work on the first episode! After silently reading through the script and stage directions, Caroline, Saige, and I acted out the first scene. It was pretty amusing to watch the other actresses flub their lines and miss their cues, though I made plenty of mistakes myself!
We’re going to get better, of course. We wouldn’t have been cast if we didn’t have the acting skills necessary to pull this off! Practice makes perfect . . .
I’ve got to say — I’m really nervous. Even though I’m a semi-retired celebrity and have had my share of the limelight, I’ve never played the main character in a series. I’ve never worked professionally with this group of actresses, either.
I’d better get to work memorizing my lines!
I, along with every one else in my enormous, crazy family, finished school last week! I’m so relieved that I don’t have to do anymore Algebra for a couple of months. It was wrecking my brain.
Anyway, summer is here now, and I’m determined to make the most of it before I’m sucked into my first year of high school (pretty nervous about that!). Hiking, swimming, eating ice cream, celebrating my birthday in July, and throwing a surprise concert for my family are a few things I’m looking forward to. Tracy wants to sleep and play video games all summer, but I’m not going to let her. All the things I want to accomplish would be so much more fun with my best friend by my side.
One thing I was looking forward to doing this summer isn’t going to happen, though. Loren told us over dinner one night that Camp Doll Diaries was shutting down. Everyone was pretty upset — myself included. Even though last year was the first time I went, I was a counselor for the Lil’ Rainbows Cabin, and I have fond memories. Despite that fact that I might never go to Camp Doll Diaries again, I’m determined to have a great summer, and help my sisters enjoy themselves, too. Maybe I can come up with some kind of week-long camp to keep everyone happy and busy.
On a different topic, it’s been months since the newest girl arrived at Happy House of AG — Ellie Larkin showed up in February. Loren never goes very long without adopting another girl. (Don’t ever tell her I said this, but she’s a bit of a softy.) Maybe a new girl will arrive before the summer ends. Hopeful she’ll be my age! It would be nice to know someone in my new high school classes other than Caroline. Sure, Tracy will be there, but she’s in the grade above me.
Ugh — I’m stressing about school again! Chill, MJ. Summer has just begun. Don’t ruin it with thoughts of Geometry.