Friday, June 27, 2014

what the heck does Liebster even mean?

wow! I haven't been tagged for something in a loooooong time!!! This is kinda exciting!



Yes, that's right! I have received a Liebster blog award and the fact that I got chosen is giving me lots of warm and fuzzy feelings.

Miss Skylar Finn from Life of a Random, thank you so much for nominating me!! Like I said, it really kinda made my day and also made me want to do a happy dance (but that's nothing out of the ordinary for crazy lil me). Really happy that I got to discover your blog through this!

11 Facts About Myself


1. I am in love with my waterbottle. Seriously. It's like my favourite thing ever.

2. I cannot speak Spanish or French like half the people I know do, but boy can I tell the difference between Korean, Japanese, and Mandarin.

3. Normally my hair is halfway in between curly and straight, but today it's all curly and wild and I love it.

4. Top two favourite songs right now?

5. I had Summer Quizzing yesterday, and for the first time ever, I didn't have any material and am totally okay with that.

6. Currently, I am watching an anime called An no Exorcist, or Blue Exorcist. It's...interesting. I may or may not be sort of in love with the main character. Or maybe just his eyes. His eyes are awesome...


Also, I've discovered yet another anime opening to get stuck in my head.

7. I leave for North Carolina tonight and I really can't wait.

8. When I was little, I thought that showering after going swimming would wash away all the tan on your skin. It wasn't until a few years later that I figured out that I was just freakishly pale.

9. I'm a little obsessed with drawing on my skin right now...

10. I'm almost 18 and I have driven maybe 5 times in my life. (And proud of it)

I can drive bumper cars tho..

11. My favourite food ever is probably rice. That's it, just plain rice. Could eat it for days. That and avocados.
Skylar's Questions
1. How did you come up with your blog's name?
erm...I don't know really. Originally, it was going to be 'Such a Nerd' but I felt like that was putting myself too much a box, so I gave it the same name as my "this doesn't fit any where else" Pinterest board. And it suits.
2. Given the choice between having blue hair forever or a dragon tattoo on your arm forever (duh), which would you choose?
um, blue hair. Obviously. I have a thing about blue hair. It looks awesome.
3. Do you like reading book blogs or watching booktuber videos better?
I like reading blogs better than watching videos. IDK why, but it feels a little more thought out and a personal. Weird, I know.
4. Do you have a bucket list?
yerp. One item actually is to die my hair (or at least some of it) blue.
5. I couldn't live without my computer...or books, obviously. BUT, excluding your computer, books, and cellphone/phone (you know, the essentials), what is one thing you couldn't live without?
my water bottle. Remember, we're in love?
6. What's your least favorite food?
It's awfully cliche, but SPINACH. And SALMON. YECH.
7. Do you make up new endings in your head for books or movies that stunk because they were so sad?
I used to as a kid, but not so much now.
8. What does your handwriting look like? Picture, please. Well, I said please.


9. What do you want to accomplish in five years? (Like major goals, etc.)
Oh, how I hate this question...but I think that's a senior thing. I want to have the great ones and the general done. I want to have a job. I want to read books. I want to be more fluent in Korean. I want to learn to drive by then (LOL...)
10. Hardcover or paperback?
Paper back all the way, baby. I like books that fit easy in my hands, and hardbacks just don't do it for me.
11. What is your favorite sound?
My friends laughing. Even if it is at me. :)

You Have Been Nominated!
1. K-minty @ Kismint2. Lauricia @ Captivated
3. Beth P. @ Adventures of an Elven Princess
4. Jack @ However Improbable
5. Faith @ Princess Faith
6. Bekah Joan @ Found and Cherished
7. Felicity E. Moir @ ...a place for solitudes...
8. Kelly-N @ Chocolate_Bumblebee
aaaaand anyone else who wants to do it. :)



Questions of My Own Devising
1. winter or summer?

2. Your opinion on mayonnaise and bananas (not necessarily together, tho if that's your cup of tea...)
3. how many books do you have checked out from the library right now?
4. do you prefer to be in front of the camera or behind it?
5. If you had to permanently paint your fingernails one color for the rest of your life, what color would it be?
6. do you like your days to be busy or lazy?
7. most played song on your iPod (or music collection)
8. would you say that the word 'adorkable' is the thing that sums up these two dorks?


9. where is the first place you want to travel to?
10. funniest childhood story?
11. mountains or beach?

Go forth and answer my questions, friends!! Hope you have as much fun as I did!!

goooooooodbyeeeee...

And yes, I do actually know what Liebster means...  :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

paranoia and shailene woodley


My chair creaks as I settle into the old and torn leather. "Hello, Matthew. How are you today?"

He rubbed his nose and yawned, all the while giving me a look of disgust. "You should know. I live in your head, silly."

"Not recently. Lately you've been taking walks out onto the page."

"I know." He rolled his eyes. "Finally. An escape from the daily boredom of life."

"Well, then," I said, "you should like what we're about to do."

Observing Matthew was like watching a movie in a single second. Too many emotions--repressed and exposed--to take in at once. He stretched out on my laundry covered bed, his long, lazy limbs expressing boredom, but when you looked into his eyes, something flicked on like a light switch deep within the back of his mind. His eyes were awake; the rest of him was asleep.

It was confusing.

"Spill," he said finally, fed up with me watching him closely. "Tell me what's up."

"You should know," I retorted. "You live in my head, silly."

"Ha. Ha. Ha. Not. Funny." When Matt started speaking in periods, you knew he was done.

"Okay, okay," I hurried to say. "We're practicing."

"Huh?"

"We're practicing talking."

"One, is that even a thing, and two, why is it necessary?" He shook his head and pulled a blanket over his head. "You've gone off the deep end, girl."

"I went off the deep end a long time ago, Matty," I said, grinning. "Hence, I am a writer."

He snorted a laugh. Got him.

"So let's talk, okay?" I pulled my notebook out from behind me. "Ready?"

"Whatever." He rolled onto his stomach, blanket still covering most of his head. Only his nose and chin jutted out. I giggled. He looked like a indignant eagle or something.

"What'd you have for breakfast?" I asked.

"Seriously? That's your question?"

"Ummm...yeah." I double checked my notebook. "Yup, question number one: what did you eat for breakfast."

"That's a terrible way to start an interview."

"This isn't an interview; interviews are stiff and boring. We're talking. Like friends."

"Do you ask your friends what they had for breakfast out of the blue? If so, you're a lot weirder than I originally thought."

"Point taken. But are you going to answer the question?"

He sighed. "Cereal. A nasty yogurt cup. Colt made me drink chocolate milk." He made a retching noise.

"You don't like chocolate milk?" I asked, surprised.

"Hate it. It's like melted ice cream, and ice cream isn't supposed to melt." The bed shook as he shuddered his shoulders in distaste.

I raised my eyebrows. You learn something new every day, I guess.

"Next question: name 5 words that make you happy."

He sat up, and the blanket slithered off. "Words? Any words?" I nodded. His forehead wrinkled thoughtfully. "Vulgar," he said, counting off on his fingers. "Shade. Meerkat. Panic. And...I can't think of a fifth."

"Ummm...okay."

"Not gonna ask me why they make me happy?" He smirked in my direction. When Matt smirked, it was like all the sarcastic energy in the room rushed and gathered in his facial muscles...I've never seen someone smirk as sarcastically as Matthew North.

"No," I said just to spite him. "That's not on my list."

"Good. Because I don't have reasons. They're just random words." I glowered at him. He just laughed. "I do like vulgar tho. It fits the idea of the word exactly. Kind of like lethargic. I don't know why."

"Moooooving on," I said, turning the page. "Tell me about your family--how have they been?"

"My family?" he asked in disbelief. "You're seriously taking that can of worms out of the cabinet and on a fishing trip?" He could definitely destroy a cliche, I'd give him that. "They're great. Wicked great. Haven't heard a word from them since I left home, and it's never been better."

I gave him the look again. "Fine then--tell me what it's like to live with them. I'm curious."

He laid down again, shoving piles of dirty (and clean) laundry onto the floor. "Lots of silence. Lots of apologies. Lots of post-it notes."

"Post it notes?"

One corner of his mouth twisted up, like he was sad in an ironic way. "When Mom can't bring herself to talk to me about something--it's always "too sensitive," she says--she leaves a post-it note where I can see it. She's been doing that for about six months now. Dad's started doing it too."

"And Shiloh?"

"Shiloh?" He laughed. "Mom wishes Shiloh would do it. Mom wishes Shiloh had a filter for all she says. No, actually I think Mom wishes Shiloh just didn't talk at all. Would solve a lot of her problems."

"Does her talking bother you?"

"Heck no. I love Shiloh. She's mouthy, she calls it like it is, and she really hates sappiness. We're perfect for each other." He smiled again, this time for real. "I'm actually glad she's my sister. I don't know what I'd do without her."

"Good answer," I said with a smile. His grin quickly morphed back into a scowl, and he wriggled his nose angrily. A laugh tickled the back of my throat, but I held it back. "So do you consider yourself paranoid?"

"Huh?" He propped himself up on one elbow. "Paranoid?"

"Yes, paranoid. Do I need to go get a dictionary, oh ignorant one?"

"I know what paranoid means, stupid. It was just such a random question that it caught me by surprise." He scratched his neck. "Not really. Maybe. Yeah, probably."

"That was helpful," I said. "Here, let me write down that response word for word. Filled with clarity, that answer."

"Ha, Ely. You're hilarious." He paused, stared at the ceiling for a few seconds, then said, "Yes, I am a little paranoid. But healthily so."

"What does that mean?"

"I hate surprises. I want to know exactly what is going to happen at least an hour before it does happen. And if I don't know for sure what's going on, I think I'm reasonably allowed to be a little paranoid.  I can think about the contingencies. I can think about what could go wrong in a situation. I can think about the worst, because it could happen. And if it does, I need to be prepared."

"But you're not, like, paranoid that you'll suddenly come down with mono or keel over and die from some unknown malady?"

"I've had mono before," he said with a face. "It sucked. Like, seriously."

I sighed, then moved onto my next question. "All right, last question. You're going to hate this one, by the way."

He sat up all the way and crossed his legs indian-style. "Why? Is it terribly intrusive?"

"No, just disgusting shallow. Who was your very first celebrity crush?"

He groaned. "No. I'm not answer that stupid of a question. That's just silly."

"You've got to," I said. "Otherwise I'm going to think of tons of personal questions that intrude upon your privacy and this interview--I mean talk like friends--will never end."

"I could just get up and leave," he reminded me with a grin.

I grinned back. "Of course you could. However, you're decent enough to not do so."

He struggled for a response--a sarcastic one, I supposed--but in the end closed his mouth and sighed. "Fine. The first and only celebrity crush I ever had was on Shailene Woodley."

"Really?!" That surprised me. "Was this recently, because she's become a fairly big actress recently--"

He cut me off. "No. I hate her now. Well, not hate. Just  am not too fond of her. She's okay."

"So that means you still like her a little but don't want to admit it."

"Shut up." He glowered at me. "I never would've known who she was if Shiloh hadn't made me watch that one American Girl movie with her in it. And I only remembered her because she  had a funny name and red hair." He flushed a little. "Red hair is kind of hair to forget."

"I know," I said with a smirk. "You have no idea how much I get referred to as 'the red-headed girl'. Like, never." I leaned towards him and grinned in what I hoped was a Cheshire Cat-like way. "You liked Shailene Woodley and that's that."

"Whatever." He got up, and the last pile of laundry toppled to the floor. "I'm leaving. Talking to you exhausts me."

"Too bad for you!" I shouted after he slammed the door behind him. "This might become a regular thing."


Monday, June 23, 2014

feels

I haven't written this post yet because of feels.

And oddly enough, these feels come from real life.

Usually and ironically, the feelings that overwhelm me the most come from works of fiction, TV shows, and good movies. This time, however, these feelings are from something that really actually happened to me. Something I'd never experienced before. Something I never want to stop experiencing.

I'm talking about camp.

Two weeks at God's Mountain Camp really changed my life, guys. I'd never been a leader/counselor at a camp. Heck, I'd never even been a camper at a camp. I spent two weeks with people I'd barely met, with practically no communication with my family, with my usual concerns, priorities, and habits all flipped around.

It was what you would call a learning experience.

The day I left home, I felt very apprehensive about all of it. Could I survive that long without seeing my parents, my sister, my brother? And yet, when we drove the hill to the Mountain (because in Missouri, mountains pretty much ARE hills...) and I saw the roof of the dining hall, the camp office, the unfinished lodge construction...it struck me just how much I'd missed that place. How much I felt at home there. And I don't think anyone can understand the signifigance of this. I don't feel at home anywhere. I'm the girl who still gets homesick for my home of 12 years. And yet...I feel comfortable and safe at the Mountain.

And I knew God was going to amazing things.

And honestly, he did. I can't put into words how much these past two weeks mean. I'm still too overwhelmed. All the good things shine like polished stars, all the bad things stick me in the side like thorns. Yes, there were bad things. Nothing is ever completely wonderful. I have so so so many regrets. I wish I had said yes more than I had said no. I wish I'd focused less on myself someday and more on the others around me. I wish I listened better at some points. For once in my life, I wish I were a little less of an introvert and had more people endurance. I felt really bad at the end of my two weeks, because I was pretty much done with people...and yet, I still had so much more I wanted and needed to do with these girls.

Josiah, the camp director at God's Mountain, told all of us leaders over and over to not let camp just be something we get through. I heard him say it so many times that I almost stopped listening. But I'm so grateful that when I needed it most, I started to listen again and it struck me like a hammer to the head. Camp is one very important thing to not let be something that we just get through. Life is another. Faith, also. Family. Love. So many things that many people (including myself) just get through. "Just another day," I would sometimes catch myself thinking, "and it'll be one day closer til I go home."

Shame on me.

Yes, I can want to go home. I can count down all I want to go home.

But NEVER should I let that be the number one thing in my mind.

And I'm so very thankful that Josiah kept reminding me of this, because it kept my focus sharp on the work that I was doing. And though I did want to go home, though I was happy to get into my car and drive the 3 hours home...every ounce of me wanted to stay another week. Another 5 days of working kids. Another 5 days of little sleep in a hard bunkbed. Another five days of fellowship with God's people. Another 5 days of learning more about myself and about my Jesus.

I got to see so many amazing things at camp these past two weeks. I got to see a deaf boy do Bible Quizzing--I've seen a lot of quizzers in my career of quizzing, but I'd never seen someone as happy to quiz as him before. I got to see the somewhat brash and loudmouthed girl in my cabin stand up for the lonely one. I got see adorable little kids dancing around and goofing off to the Interlude (which, by the way, is more fun that I ever imagined it would be). I got to hear a girl's very first prayer ever. I got to talk to some people in great need of a greater love. I got make some incredible friends that I would never have even met if I hadn't gone to camp. I got to sit and pray for five very special girls who made the biggest, the hardest, and the greatest decision of their life while at camp: to follow Jesus.

It was too amazing for my mind to wrap around it.

I can't wait to go back.

I'm counting down the days til I get to go back.

Thank you, Jesus, for such an incredible opportunity. Never would've chosen to do something like this without you shoving it right in front of my face and practically shouting "You need to do this!" right at me. Thank you for that.

Thank you so much.


Saturday, June 21, 2014

hey girl

hey girl
you're gonna be okay.

hey girl
don't worry so much.
hey girl
there are bigger mountains to climb.
hey girl
he's not as blind as he seems.

hey girl
don't always be the mom.

hey girl
live a little.

hey girl
talk it out sometimes, okay?

hey girl
they believe in you.

hey girl
your sister loves you so much.

hey girl
your mom misses you.

hey girl
come back home.


okay?

Monday, June 9, 2014

reminisce

I like reminiscing about things.

And oddly enough, one of the things I love reminisce the most about is anime.

yes, I am aware that I am weird.

I am not a huge anime watcher, but when I do watch, I watch. It may take me all of three days to finish the show or sometimes more like a year and a half or more, but I like to soak in every detail, glean every little bit of wisdom or thought that I can out of it, and just enjoy the anime. More often than not, I end up watching episodes repeatedly, just so I can get everything out of it. One portion is not enough, sometimes.

And, also oddly enough, the anime opening songs are some of the things that stick with me the most.

Trust me--ask my sister. I went around singing Again, from Fullmetal Alchemist Brotherhood for DAYS on end in my pathetic fake-Japanese. It was bad. Really bad. Thankfully we didn't have house guests or something that week...it would've ruined my reputation (oh, who am I kidding, I have no reputation...)

Aaaaanyhoo--I love anime's songs. I don't know why, but they wedge themselves into my memories, and at the oddest times, they'll come back to me and remind me of the anime and its awesomeness.

And thus, I would love to share a few of my favourites with ya'll. Because I'm that kind of a person.

First up is...dun da da dun...Again, from Fullmetal Alchemist (of course). This is by fair my ultimate favourite anime opening, and I literally cannot get enough of it. It makes me happy and sad at the same time...kinda like the anime itself, now that I think about it...


It's even cool enough to have an English cover...


Going back deep within my anime watching career (LOL), we encounter Bleach's opening song.

And I have no idea what its title is.

But it's awesome. And the music makes me think of the color orange. For good reason. The other day I figured out that Ichigo means strawberry and that's why Ichigo has naturally reddish hair and it kinda just blew my mind. Kablam.


My third song is from an anime that I love, but the song is just kinda...meh. Partially because its title is Kiss Kiss Fall in Love. Every time Mekana starts watching this anime I either start to mechanically exit the room or sing along unwillingly. Usually the later.


It also has an English version, though its coolness level is way lower than Again's...


Toradora's opening is one that gets stuck in my head. For. Freaking. Days. I have it stuck in my head right now as I'm writing it, and I haven't listened to it in days. Luckily, it's such a perky little song that I'll forgive it for wedging itself in my brain today.


Finally, we have the opening from the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya, about which I have talked in depth on here (the anime, not the song). I won't go into so much detail with this fun little song, but I will say that the lyrics just fit the anime perfectly. I love looking at the lyrics for these songs, because sometimes you get one that's totally random and has nothing to do with the show whatsoever, but then you get some songs that just mesh and I love that.



I hope you all have a great next two weeks!! Talk to you on the 21st!!

Sunday, June 8, 2014

I request a leave of absence

so tomorrow is the start of an adventure. actually, my life is one entirely huge adventure--however, this is an adventure within an adventure...

and I'm rather excited.

you see, tomorrow, I leave for two weeks of camp. Two weeks of working with all sorts of kids from all sorts of backgrounds, two weeks being three hours away from home with no family or means of communication, two weeks spending a lot of time soaking in God's word...two weeks serving an awesome God.

and I can't wait.

but unfortunately, you know what these two weeks mean?

No blog posts.


And a week after I return, I'm leaving for vacation.

And two weeks after that, I leave for another week of camp.

So it's rather obvious I won't have much time. This blog is like a little piece of my mind, and I'm going to miss it a lot this summer when I'm gone...I will be taking pictures and writing a diary that I may or may not share when I get back.


I'm going to miss talking to you guys twice or three times a week. I'm going to miss pouring my brain and my heart out to y'all.

I'm going to miss it so much.

But I know God is going to do amazing things.

 for now, until I return...this is good-bye.

(actually, it's not my technical good-bye, because I'm doing my final Muzac Monday post of the summer tomorrow, but whatevs).

IDK why this gif feels accurate...it just does...

Friday, June 6, 2014

the invisible magician


"Is this your card?"

Jason  whipped out a card from deep within his sleeve and grinned at the pigtailed girl in front of him. Her nose dribbled onto her swollen upper lip, but at least she was smiling now and not crying.

"No, silly." She giggled, then hiccuped.

He played embarrassed, kicking his heels on the dusty fairgrounds. "Aw shucks..." he rubbed back of his neck. "I told you I wasn't very good."

She wrinkled up her nose and said, "Maybe you should consider taking lessons."

He nodded. "Maybe I should...but..."

A card "magically" appeared in his hand. "Would this be your card?"

Her mouth dropped open. "H-h-how--"

He bent down to knee level and looked her in the eyes, smiling. "Keep it," he said, handing her the card, "it's a gift from the Invisible Magician." He gave her sticky hand a squeeze. "And you might want to look into closing that mouth of yours. A swallow might decide to make a nest, or something."

For about five seconds, she didn't move or breathe or speak--just stared at the card like it was a gift from the heavens--then clutched the card tight in her hand and bolted off, hollering for her mother. Jason chuckled to himself as he stood. "Wipe your nose!" he hollered after her. "And don't run into any more tent poles, you hear?" He shook his head. It never ceased to amaze him how his audience changed day to day. Whether it was an audience of one or a boisterous crowd...each demonstration he made was unique. "The magic isn't in the magician," his uncle had always said, "the magic is in the audience."

However, here at Timler Fairgrounds, where the paint was faded and chipped, where dust and decay breeded together, where the only sound was the absence of coins against metal... a pint-sized audience of one was hardly enough magic to satisfy Jason. He always had bigger plans--larger mountains to climb.

He packed up his show--decks of cards, a silk scarf or two, and a few secret tricks that he kept up his sleeve (figuratively) for difficult crowds--and headed towards the lonely exit gate. It didn't matter if the owners didn't know he was leaving; they hadn't even known he was there! That was his specialty as the Invisible Magician. No one ever knew he was there.

He was nearly at the gate when an old woman's voice stopped him.

"Hail, Cardmaster."

He stopped in his tracks.

Cardmaster. No one had called him that in years. It was always Magician this, Magician that. Never Cardmaster.

He turned around.

There, a few feet before the gate, sat an old woman dressed in red and black rags. Her fingers were crooked and gnarled, but as she knitted away like any other old woman, Jason saw what others didn't. Her fingers moved too quickly, her calluses caught on the wool. A fellow cardmaster.

"Hail, old mother," he said, adjusting his knapsack on his shoulder. "How goes the world?"

"It goes, it goes; ever does it go." Deep within her wrinkly face were set two sparkly black eyes, and he smiled. This woman--though old she might look--had some spunk in her yet.

"Why did you stop me, old mother?" He gestured to her knitting. "Care to learn me a stitch or two?"

She threw back her head and laughed feebly. "Oh, the lad is the jesting type. Nay, you don't strike me as a man of the string--secrets and tricks are what you deal in, methinks."

"You're not far wrong, old mother, not far indeed."

"Then come closer," she said, beckoning, "and I'll teach ye a trick, instead of a stitch."

Jason hesitated. She didn't seem a thief, though he'd seen many a traveller be fooled by similar acts. Still...the way her hands moved. It was enough to trust, he decided.

He strode to her side, keeping a strong hand on his moneybag, just to be safe. "Teach away, mother. I'm all ears."

She didn't look up from her knitting. "Can you smell it?" she asked.

"Excuse me?"

"Can you smell it?"

"Smell what?"

The knitting dropped, and she met his gaze with eyes filled with dark glee. "Something secret. A big secret. A dangerous secret."

Coming over here was a bad idea... "Are you telling me something, mother?"

"No no no...not you. Not yet. But soon." She moved as if to take up the knitting again, but instead, she pulled out a mass of large red cards from underneath. "Care to draw a hand, lad?"

"Of cards? For what?"

"For a good trick." Her eyes twinkled.

Jason shook his head, laughing. "I'm sorry, old mother, but I'm a cardmaster. I know all the tricks there are." He turned to leave the crazy woman to her knitting.

"But you believe in magic."

He stopped in his tracks once more.

"Magic isn't in the magician," she said quietly, "it's in the audience."

Jason stared at the woman. "Where did you hear that?"

She waved his words and questions away. "None of that matters. The real questions stands: will you leave me without an audience, or will you make some magic for me?"


{just a drabble the above pictures inspired. love it when short stories actually stay short!}

Thursday, June 5, 2014

hello, my name is Ely and I can't keep my eyes open

Seriously. I haven't been this tired in a really long time...and I'm pretty much to the point where all I want to do is go back to bed. Too bad for me--I have camp stuff to do, nine verses to memorize, and geometry to deal with.


Oh, and Beautiful People.

What is Beautiful People, you ask? Well, I'm no expert, but Sky from Further Up and Further In and Cait from Notebook Sisters are, and you should totally check their blogs out and find more out concerning Beautiful People! I took part in Beautiful People a few times when it wasn't on hiatus, and now that it's back, I'm all in!

Today's beautiful person is... drum roll please....

Colton Trelawney!


The reason why I chose Colt over any of my other characters is...okay, I'll be totally honest--I chose Colt for some very selfish reasons.

I love Colt.
He's ornery, sarcastic, and lives right on the edge between idiotic and brilliant.
He pushes all of Matt's buttons and gangs up on him with Sam.
He's just as much of a mess as his best friend is, but he's just easier at faking it.
So yeah. I love Colt. He's kind awesome.
and I may or may not have a file on my computer with pictures just  for him. Maybe. Probably not.
And thus, he is my Beautiful Person for the month of June.


And without further ado, here are Colton's questions!

1) What is their full name and is there a story behind why they got it?
Colt never had any other name in my mind besides Colt. He's always been Colton James Trelawney, and I can't explain why. I know a lot of younger boys named Colton, but I've never met a teenaged guy named Colt or Colton. And I guess the name fit him perfectly, because I cannot imagine Colt as anyone but Colt.

2) How old are they, and when were they born?
Colt is one year older than Matt and Sammy, so he's technically a legal adult. Not that I'd ever classify him as an adult...he's a little too stupid for that to be believable. He was born on February 12th, an oddly sunshine-y day for the middle of winter.

3) Describe their physical appearance. (Bonus questions: 1. What is their race/nationality/ethnicity? 2. Do you have a picture of them? If so, include it!)
When you first meet Colt, you immediately notice three things: height, hair, and voice. Colt is your legitimate string bean--he looks like he's only just escaped from Azkaban, when in reality the boy probably ate 12 hamburgers before arriving. He's just that gangly. His hair is nice, I guess...it's your average nutty-brown color, and if it was long, it might be just a little bit wavy. However, when the great ones and the general takes place, he's just suffered an unfortunate haircut. Like--very unfortunate. The third thing you notice about Colt is his unbelievably scary voice. Think Oscar the Grouch from Sesame Street mixed with Darth Vader on steroids. When Colt talks, it scares little children states away.
Other details about Colt--his gray-blue eyes, his almost crooked nose, his heavily freckled elbows--sink in over time, but at first encounter, these are the things about him that almost overwhelm your senses.


4) Describe your character's personality first in one word, and then elaborate with a few sentences.

Colt's personality would have to be...cocky. He's not arrogant, but he is also not humble at all. He knows what he's good at and he's not afraid at all show that he is good at it. He is also very confident in his relationships (read here: he's a bit of a flirt).


5) What theme song(s) fit their personality and story arc?
This question rather stumped me. I never really thought of a song for Colt, and I'm really not sure how to capture his personality in a song. How do you sum up that much awesome? (lol, I'm kidding...) In all seriousness, Marching On, by One Republic is a good song for Colt. He keeps on going. Cave In, by Owl City, is another Colt-ish song.

6) Which one of the seven deadly sins describes your character? Priiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiidddeeeeeeeeeeeeeee......

7) If they were an element (fire, water, earth, air), which one would they be?
Colt would probably be air. He's not dependable enough to earth, he's not flexible enough to water, and he's too laid back to be fire. He's air--easily swayed, but also forceful.

8) What is their favorite word?
Ummmm...probably "Dude." On certain auspicious moments, "Duuuuuuuuuuuuuude" seems to be another favourite.


9) Who’s one person they really miss? (It could be someone who’s passed away, or someone they’re not close to anymore, or someone who’s moved away.)

The obvious answer would be Jonathan, because he was just as close with Colt as he was with Matt before he died. However, I'm going to be with a not-so-obvious answer and say Matthew. Colt miss Matthew's old personality. He hates the dark clouds of depression that hide his best friend's smile and laugh. He wants the old Matthew back, deep down in his heart.

10) What sights, sounds, and smells remind them of that person? Pictures. Any picture from when they were younger brings back all the memories of Old Matthew. And it hurts. Boy howdy does it hurt. Right after the accident, Colt's room was covered in photos of the three boys and their escapades, but within weeks, all the pictures were boxed away so he couldn't see them and remember.


so there you have it--Colton is my beautiful people. Actually, one of the most beautiful people I've ever had the pleasure to create (and that sounds rather weird...) Writing scenes with him are genuinely fun, and I love pretty much every little bit of dialogue that comes out of his mouth. I'm really looking forward to seeing where this adorable little idiot ends up leading me. It should be one fun adventure.


Wednesday, June 4, 2014

drifters

I've drifted a time or two. Not the Pacific Rim kind of drift, but the oddball out, bouncing between clusters of friends drift. I've been blessed to have had 3 very amazing best friends since birth (literally), but you see, the thing is that we never really were a part of any "group" of friends. We honestly looked down on that sort of nonsense, or at least I did. We had each other, and that was all we needed, right?

wrong.

everyone fights with their friends. It might not be a huge, ground-shaking fight where you completely stop talking to each other, but friends always have times when they're just not completely happy with each other. And that's okay. That's natural. I've been there several times--for stupid reasons, for important reasons, and sometimes just because I felt like I was growing up and needing to branch out a little.

But my issue always ended with the fact that I would latch onto one singular person and expect them to devote their attention to me, just like I was devoting my attention to them. As a introvert, I had a hard time dealing with that ornery group concept. Cliques were my enemy. I honestly hated my homeschool group because I felt like it was one giant clique and me and my best friends were the only 4 left out of the group. "That's so exclusive," I thought to myself.

Didn't do a thing about it. Shut everyone out who tried to be friendly for a while too. I didn't need people in my life. I had my best friends.


talk about exclusive, huh...

Needless to say, when the bombshell exploded, it was a good thing. I hurt, and I'm sure my friends hurt too, but it was a very good thing. Why? Because it woke me up to one very important fact.

You absolutely cannot get through life having only one group of friends.

After everything got switched up, I felt really lost. What could I do? It felt weird doing my ordinary activities with my friends because that person would be there and I didn't want to make it awkward for either of us. But what could I do? I'd already pretty much isolated myself from all the potential friends over the years; I couldn't just barge into a group and make a place there, right?

also wrong.

I couldn't barge in. Others had to let me in.



It all started with a simple invitation. Several invitations, actually. "Hey, you should come to this meeting!" "Hey, wanna go see a movie with me and some of my friends?" "Hey, you should totally volunteer at here--it'll be great fun." I dragged my feet, just for show, and for the first few times, I sat in my corner and didn't say a word, just smiled...because that's what introverts do, right? But slowly...after more and more events that I attended...my smile started getting bigger. My words started getting larger and louder. And I started to feel comfortable being myself around those people.

Miracles do happen.



Now, I still count those friends since birth as some of my closest friends. But I don't know if they all qualify as my best friends now. You see, sitting in a stagnant relationship, where there's little to no movement, no branching out...it's not necessarily a bad thing, but it's also not good. Going out and making new friends opened my eyes to the fact that yes, you can meet new people who quickly become close and maybe even your best friends in a matter of weeks. You don't have to be in a group. You don't have to be exclusive. Having friends all over the place, from different backgrounds, religions, towns, countries...whatever...It's all good. And it's a growing experience.

Because boy did I grow.

So I guess what I want to say is that you shouldn't be afraid of drifting. It feels rough while you're in that in-between phase, but please please please don't give up. I made it out, and so can you. Just don't give up.



Thank you so much to those people who reached out to me and shoved me into things that I didn't necessarily want but definitely needed. Thank you so so much. You probably saved my life, and you didn't even know it. So thank you.


Tuesday, June 3, 2014

our little soldiers

"Can we talk about perfection?"

Sam pulled her head off the table and rolled her eyes up at me. "Matty. It's 6:30 in morning. Are your thoughts even walking in straight lines yet?"
Hers obviously weren't.

Still, I persisted. "Perfection. What is it?"

She sighed. "Can this wait until I get my coffee?" She sighed yet again when she saw my scowl. "Fine. Perfection. What do you think it is?"

I hated when she did that, and she knew it. She grinned impishly at me, her cheeks curving her eyes into wrinkled half-moons. I drummed my fingers on the sticky diner table and bit my lip. Over the last week, I'd pondered this question for hours on end, and yet, when push came to shove, I had nothing to say. Nothing I could say. Not that Sam would laugh at me, but I wasn't sure if she would understand. She, of all people, should understand, but I was afraid that, at this important moment, she would fail me.

I decided to take the easy way out.

"Perfection is something we can never obtain."

The waitress walked by and presented Sam with her steaming coffee. She took a deep breath, basking in the heavy scent, and then said, "True.Text book answer, but true. But can I ask you a question?"

"You already asked me two," I grumped. Her coffee smelled good, to my chagrin. Maybe I should've bought some...

"Do you think, that since we can never obtain perfection, we shouldn't even try?"

I gave her a look. "Aren't you a Christian? They believe in achieving perfection, don't they?"

She ran fingers through her messy hair. "No, we believe in following Christ's footsteps, which is as close to perfection as we can get. But that's what I believe. What about you?"

"Ummm..." I squirmed a little under her laser-like vision. "I think striving for perfection is the one thing that keeps from us failing, so I guess yeah, I do believe we should try for it." Even in my own ears, my words sounded hollow and false. I kept my eyes on the salt and pepper shakers--eye contact was not an option.

"But is failing always a bad thing?"

"What?"

"Don't you think failure is a beautiful thing?" she persisted.

"I think it's pathetic," I replied.
"But don't you see how amazing it is, that we can sink to the very pith of our existence and rise up again at moments notice?"
"Or we can stay in the dark forever."
"True, but there will always be potential to move upwards."

I shook my head at her, smirking a little. "Have you ever seen someone sink that low? It's not beautiful. It hurts." As I said that, my heart twisted a little. It hurt more than she could ever imagine.

"It's a beautiful pain, tho." She seriously would not give up on this tangent of hers. I sighed and without thinking, reached across the table to take her hand like I would with my sister. She froze, then gave me the evil eye. I withdrew quickly and gulped a little. Slipped up again.

"Pain is never beautiful. Trust me on this." My throat scratched and tightened like I had a ball of cotton lodged in it. "You know how Colton says I'm suffering from acute depression. That came from pain. Depression is pain. Depression is like being sucked into a black hole. Depression is losing it all."

She just looked at me, her face as a blank slate. "Matthew."

"Sam," I copied.

She shook her head. "No, don't break the mood with sarcasm, mister. We're talking here, and we're not going to be sidetracked."

I bit my tongue. This girl knew me inside and out and that scared me.

"I never said that pain doesn't hurt. I just said that it was beautiful, to me. Because I have something else. I took the gift of Christ--the painkiller, I guess you could say. It still hurts, so much. But at least I know I'm going to get out. At least I know I'm not alone."

"Says the girl who ran away from home and won't go back." The moment the words left my lips I regretted them.

She glowered at me. "We all have our own struggles, Matthew North. Perfection? I'm not it. Understand that, okay?"

And with that, she got up and left.


Monday, June 2, 2014

a little melancholy


{three things I learned from the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya}

It's kind of funny to admit that you've learned something important from a thing as simple and pointless as an anime, but I learned that 'righteous' wrath can destroy yourself from Death Note, that people are worth more than their stereotypes (yes, I did learn something valuable from an anime as off the wall as Ouran High School Host Club), and I can't even express in words what Fullmetal Alchemist: Brotherhood taught me. The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya is no different. It's not an anime that I out and out recommend (Haruhi's ethics are a little off-kilter, and sometimes the plot drags...and the whole show is just a little...weird), but it was somewhat enjoyable to watch. It did take me two years to buckle down and finish it tho--and I haven't even started on the movies, either. But that's not what's important right now. Right now, I'm sharing what I've learned.

{lesson number one: ordinary people are important.}

I come from a fairly odd family. We're not your average people; we all have a unique brand of humor, we're not afraid to do/say what others aren't, and we're competitive as all get out. We joke sometimes about "why would we want 'normal' friends when we have our family to be crazy with?" In reality, it's our normal friends that help keep us from going crazy. Take my friend Sarah, for example. She, my cousin, and I have been close ever since we were 8 or so years old, so we're pretty good friends. Hannah and I can get pretty nuts, and so can Sarah, but she's always there to give us a strange look if we're getting too out of hand. She's steady and dependable, but still a lot of fun, like Kyon is to Haruhi. He may be normal and a bit boring sometimes, but he balances out her chaos. And while chaos can be a good thing, we definitely need a little bit of good old ordinary to balance out the seesaw of life.


{lesson number two: don't lose your eagerness.}

Haruhi is pretty crazy. She does some pretty bizarre and out of the ordinary things. Oddball is her middle name. However, she does all these things with a childish zeal. Have you ever watched a kid do something for the very first time? Like riding a horse, for example? I watched a four year old from my church ride a horse for the first time at camp last year, and there was no fear in her eyes at all: only joy and raw excitement. Within seconds of getting off the horse, she was clamoring for another ride. I, on the other hand, had never ridden a horse, was only doing so because my sister-in-law (whose major is in equine science and, in all kindness, is a horse nut) was horrifed that I'd never ridden one, and was deathly afraid the whole time, even though one of my childhood friends was leading the horse--a guy who goes to rodeos and such and can handle horses like a pro. I was terrified. She was overjoyed. Your perspective changes more than you can ever imagine, I guess.


{lesson number three: happy people can be sad on the inside}

Along with being crazy, temperamental, bossy, and energetic, Haruhi seems like a pretty happy teenager. She's the leader of the club of her dreams, she has four underlings (or friends, however you want to slice it) to boss around--she has everything.
But the title of the show is the Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya. Melancholy, not happiness.
When I first started this anime, its name baffled me. Haruhi seemed like your average happy (albeit a little crazy) teenaged girl. But once I got a little deeper in the show, and Koizumi explained to Kyon what the heck was actually going on in Haruhi's head, it all made sense. Haruhi might look happy or busy or eager on the outside, but on the inside, she's torn up and searching for something. Hence, the melancholy. And if that's how an animated girl from an off-the-wall TV show feels, how about those of us who live in the real real world? How do we feel?
A little happy some days, a little melancholy on others.

At least, on my part.