Friday, August 29, 2014

// separation //

his little girl's hand is sticky and vanilla sweet in his giant man paw, and he likes the way she fits perfectly in his palm, just like she did when she was a baby. Now, she has pigtails the color of straw under the summer sun instead of colorless wispy curls, and her eyes are actually open so you could see the bright blue color, but she is still just the same as she'd been breaths away from her first cry.

a miracle.

that's what everyone at the hospital called her. They didn't think she was alive when his wife's labor pains struck. They swore up and down that she wasn't going to make it. They said they thought the wife would make it out alive, but he didn't like their worried glances. And yet, here she is. Holding his hand, skipping down the walkway, singing a little song to herself. A miracle, standing right beside him, and if he squints his eyes just right, all is good and perfect in the world.

if only it could stay that way.

he feels the moment she sees the woman standing by the resturant door; she strains at his hand like a dog pulls at a leash to reach the forbidden fruit. "Careful, baby," he says quietly. "We need to walk slower."

he speaks quietly because he doesn't want the woman to hear him. She'll only smirk; he knew she would know he was only holding her back for just a little more time...

"Mom!!" The miracle breaks free and rushes to the open arms of her mother. "I missed you!!"

did he get greeted that way?  

Honestly, he couldn't remember. Every time he saw her, it was like the sun was rising ten feet away, and that left no memory for words or first impressions. 

the woman waves half-heartedly. "Hey."

"Hey." This is what it has come to, he thinks. Stagnant words said with stagnant faces. The giddy smiles and shy hand-holding had long since vanished, long before the miracle ever arrived. 

the miracle had been the beginning of the end.

she grabs his hand and pulls him down on his knees, to her level, so her perfect shining pools of ocean blue look right into his boring brown eyes. "Daddy..." she asks softly. "Are you staying for supper?"

he squeezes her tiny hand in his, once more relishing how perfectly she fits. "Of course, sunshine. I'll always stick around for you."

"Yay!" And then she is gone again, grabbing at the woman and holding tight to her. "I wanna sit with mom!!!"

every exclamation point is like an arrow to his heart.

she is never like this with him.

so separation even touches the miracles in life. 


Monday, August 25, 2014

{how to live: put all your faults to bed}

fun fact about me: I'm a picky person.

I'm also a semi-perfectionist.

And I am very very very hard on myself.

Talk to my parents about this--during the quizzing season, I push myself so hard I get sick. I worry about statistics, I worry about not being a good enough quizzer, I worry about my teammates and my responsibilities as the oldest on the team, I worry about Nationals, I worry about Quiz-Offs, I worry that I'm not focusing on learning God's word enough, and I worry that I might worry too much.


It goes much the same way with school, social events, family affairs, relationships with friends...the whole kit and caboodle. I expect myself to be 110% all. the. freaking. time. No one can do that. It's stupid for anyone to think that they can be on top of everything in their life. I mean, they'd have to be superhuman or something to do that, and I'm pretty sure that, just like me, everyone is aware that it just isn't possible.

And yet they still do it.

actually, your anything.

Recently, while building up the character of Matthew (aka torturing him and making his life so messed up and sad that I'm apparently giving him room to grow and become a beautiful flower), I ran across his expectation for the world to be 110%. Perfection is an obsession when it comes to Matt. Any time anyone slips up, any time something goes wrong, any time he loses control, he pretty much goes nuts. He likes order and continuity and perfection; is that too much to ask? And just like me and every other person in the world, he's hard on himself too, to a point of absurdity. Matt's expectations for the world, for his life, for himself, are unreal and impossible.



And as I was writing, it bothered the heck out of me.

I wanted to sit him down and give him a stern talking-to. I wanted to smack him upside the head and knock some sense into him. I wanted him to realize that all these expectations were destroying all the progress he'd ever made and that it was actually tearing him down. Sometimes, I got mad at him. Yeah, his life sucks, but he's still got so many things to be thankful for. A mom and dad who love each other. A sister who puts up with his eccentricities. Colton Trelawney for a best  friend. He has sooooooooooo much. And he overlooks it all and see the negative.

Sometimes, I write characters and pour way more of myself into them than I originally thought I did.

I'm Matt. My mom is Matt. My friends are Matt. Complete strangers are Matt. Yeah, we're messed up people living messed up lives, and there is so much going on that we can't control, but we have so many blessings that we end up ignoring, because the bad stuff is so much bigger and obvious.

We can't have unrealistic expectations for ourselves, and then self-destruct when we don't meet those goals.

So sometimes it's okay to put your faults to bed, to tell the whispers to be quiet for once, and accept that it is what is right now. That you're going to get better, but it doesn't have to happen all at once. Sometimes it's all right to take three steps forward and two steps back.

tell yourself this all. the freaking. time. instead, ok?

Be patient, hold strong, and things will get better.

Trust me on this.

Things will get better.

Friday, August 22, 2014

attack of the plot bunnies

I'm human. I get distracted. I get distracted a lot, actually. I get distracted by the fact that my t-shirt sometimes accidentally matches my socks, by forgetting what somebody's middle name is and then having to recall/research that information, by old papers, and by this dangerous (oh I'm so punny) song.


I get distracted a lot.


And when you're writing, distraction is not a good thing.


I mean this in a strictly "idea" based setting. Getting distracted after writing for an hour or two by being hungry or needing to use the restroom or just wanting to chill and listen to music is perfectly okay. Healthy, even.


However, being distracted by a new idea when you're smack dab (or worse, at a lull) in your writing is the literal worst.

Since I completed Section A of the great ones and the general, I decided to let myself have some time off--both for sanity and for editing's sake. I spent a lot of time letting my creative muscle rest (except for the little outlining I worked on) and filling in the gaps of A, of which there was a lot. I was especially on my guard for new ideas. Now is NOT the time to get distracted, and while I think I'm invested and excited in this story enough that it wouldn't have been a problem, I was still prepared.

That preparation payed off.

The other day, while reading one of the books I got for my birthday, a plot bunny struck me. Actually, it wasn't even a bunny at that point. It was just an idea, a thought. "Why does this never happen in books?" I asked myself. "What would a book with this in it be like?" It made my resting creative muscle twitch, and that set alarm bells ringing. Instantly, I shoved that idea into the deepest, darkest closet of my mind and tried to forget about it. It was to no avail. I couldn't stop thinking about it. There were several moments I literally got out a pen and paper and almost wrote a short story on it, but I stopped for two reasons. Firstly, because I didn't want to be distracted, and secondly, because I wanted to give this idea more than just a little scribble on two or three pages. I wanted to flesh it out, to give it bones. And right now, when I'm focusing on tgoatg, I can't do that.

So I sighed and moved on.

This afternoon, while watching The Night Watchmen (first episode: SO MANY CUTE LITTLE KIDS.) another idea blossomed. This time, I was prepared for the plot bunny attack. I got out my handy-dandy notebook and my mechanical pencil and began cleaning the dusty plot bunnies out of my closet and onto the page.

That isn't writing. That isn't getting 100% distracted from my work. That isn't shoving the idea back into my mind and potentially forgetting about it.

That's actually being a smart writer and saving your idea for a future date.


I don't know why it took me so long to figure this out; it seems like a no-brainer. Sometimes, it's hard to write the ideas down so quickly. I like to let things churn in my mind, to let them grow a tiny bit, just to see if they're actually worth saving. But sometimes that little bit is enough for the idea to take over my whole mind, and I'm pulled away from my main project. Sometimes I get ideas in the worst places--like in the middle of a dark movie theater or while I'm mowing the yard. I can't exactly run to my room or fish my notebook out of my pocket in those situations. So I guess I'm going to have to find a delicate balance.

But I've defeated the incoming horde of plot bunnies...for now!!!!


What do you do with plot bunnies? Ignore them? Write them down and let them ferment? Drop everything else and pursue them with all that you've got? In fact, tell me some of your plot bunnies! I want to hear about you all and your writing escapades--especially those pesky little bunnies. :)

Here are my main three plot bunnies at the moment, if you were interested. Hope you all have a fantastic weekend!!

  • extraordinary girl falls for the world's most ordinary boy, who really doesn't reciprocate the feelings (seriously, why does this never happen in the books I read? Not only does it mean having a strong, independent female lead--who is also one gorgeous chick--but also a male lead who isn't shallow, has brains, and is potentially the world's most adorable dork? This needs to happen.)
  • hey, remember icarus? well, that puppy needs finishing. And world building. And an actual plot. Not just a smattering of ideas shoved together. Besides, Felyn is totally an awesome name, and she needs to be boss or something.
  •  ghosts/demons/spirity things exist. A handful of people can see them.These ghosties are good and evil--but mostly on the evil side--and the See-ers (Seers? Something like that. Eyes?) are trying to get rid of them. Here's the catch--those who can see the spirits can't harm them, and vice verse. Only those who are clueless about the spirits' existence can destroy them or be destroyed by them.

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

"memories need to be shared."

this blogpost is waaaaaay overdue. like, I should've written it yesterday. Or Monday. Or maybe on Sunday, when I didn't have anything to do but lay on my bed and read books and watch TV. Yeah...maybe I should've done that then.

But I am Queen of Procrastination, and thus, this post has not gotten written yet.

Yet.

I am writing it now.

ok, maybe the heat did a little more than temporarily fry my phone and fried more than a little of my brain because I'm being really goofy and stupid. I guess I'm just happy right now. No idea why. (don't you love that--when you're just giddy and excited but you can't remember why because you're too giddy and excited to think straight? Yup, that's me right now).


Anyhoo...I saw The Giver on Saturday, and it was quite awesome. Actually, quite awesome doesn't sum it up very well. It was a very much a movie that made me think. It was also a very different movie from anything I'd seen for a long time. There was no big noisy showdown. There was no noticeably overwhelming character development (at least, I didn't notice much). There was barely a love triangle. And the ending left you thinking: "Was that really the end?" just like it did in the book.

the book.


I read The Giver about three years ago, and back then, I was strictly a dystopia hater (unlike now, when I tolerate them), so I didn't really like it much. Sure, it wasn't a bad book, but it just wasn't my thing. However, my dystopia hatred has softened, and when one of my best friends suggested seeing this movie together, I was all for it, except for one thing.

I couldn't remember the plot of the book whatsoever.

Even now, after seeing the movie, I'm still struggling to remember if the book and the movie were true to each other. The ending, obviously, I remember. I'm impressed they stepped out on a limb like that, leaving so many strings untied. Still, that means they're probably leaving it open for a sequel (just like the books! Fancy that!) 

I like this movie. The casting, the black and white shifting to color, the message...I enjoyed it a lot. I also enjoyed the fact that there was no language. At all. In fact, I was a little amused by the PG-13 rating...yes, some of the memories were a little violent, and the Releases might scare young ones, but I didn't think the rating fit. The Giver falls somewhere between PG and PG-13, in my humble opinion.

Like I said before, this movie provoked some thoughts on my part. One struck me as Jonas was finally starting to feel emotions and encountered the idea of love for the first time. "Do you love me?" He asked his family. His mother hurried told him to clarify his choice of words. "Do you mean 'do I enjoy you?' or 'Do I take pride in you?'" his father asked-answered. And that hit me really hard. I'm really lucky to have parents and family who love me, who really really love me. They are always there for me, and even when I feel like I'm a disgusting failure, they still want me around. So many other people in this world don't have that. They've only been sources of enjoyment or pride. And that's terrible. Everybody, at some point in their life, should at least have the privilege of being loved.


feelings play a huge part in this story. Injections take the emotions away, and the world is reduced to a cold, mannerly state of life. At first, being the person that I am, I thought "Hey, I could handle not having heartache and frustration and fear and all the other crap that comes along with being human." But as the movie progressed, and I saw just how much Jonas contrasted with the rest of his Community, I realized how vital emotions and feelings are to each individual person. One of my main bones to pick with this movie is how Asher, one of Jonas' best friends, was very undeveloped for the role he had to play. It wasn't until yesterday that I realized that his underdevelopment was because of the lack of emotion in his life. Yes, Asher was disturbed by Jonas and Fiona holding hands and doing things without him. Yes, he didn't understand why Jonas was acting so strange. But he didn't get angry. You didn't see him raging or pounding walls or even approaching Jonas and Fiona about it. He just had a look of discomfort and unhappiness on his face. And then, at the end, when Fiona asked him "Friends forever?" his discomfort returned, but you couldn't tell that it was guilt. So I guess what I'm trying to say is that life without emotions would suck. A lot. Your individual emotions make you who you are, and taking that away destroys so much of your personality. It was a beautiful thing, to compare how Jonas' dad treated the baby Gabe, and how Jonas himself treated the back (also the peekaboo scene with Gabe and Jonas is a perfectly good reason to go see this movie. Even you don't think you'll like it, go see it for that. It's adorably worth it.) Feelings make you alive. Emotions help you live.

What else could I say about The Giver? I'd give it 4.5 stars out of 5, mainly because I don't like perfect ratings. And I feel like Asher could've been developed just an eeeeeensy-weeensy bit more, despite his situation. And I  would totally go see it again--just for Gabe and his adorable smile.

Well, that and a few other things.


Sunday, August 17, 2014

landmarks

yesterday, something big happened.


the great ones and the general broke 15k. And I completed writing section A in my outline.



Now, there are still tons of things to be done. I need to go back and write two or three scenes to fill in the blanks, fix the things that don't flow, and other nit-picking things. But just think: it's time for section B, already. I pulled out my outlining notebook and started outlining this morning.

I've forgotten how much I hate outlining.

But I'm really excited. Section A went smoothly, and I'm pretty happy with my wordcount so far. I can't wait to get into the meat of my story, and to start building characters. Sooooooooo excited!!!

And to celebrate making it to 15k, I thought I'd give you guys a snippets post. Because I haven't done one of those in ages.

So enjoy.

Birds of a feather were rude together.


She leaned against the door frame and watched me with her gold-flecked-brown eyes. "Cleaning, eh?"
Sometimes I swore my mom was Canadian.
"Yeah." I pointed to a moldy plate of potato chips. "Want some?"
Her nose wrinkled up like a pill bug. "I didn't think it was possible for something as processed as Pringles to mold like that..."


The urge to do something only kept growing throughout the days after my parents talked to me, to the point that Shiloh yelled at me to leave her alone and go away. I wasn't pestering her that much, I thought. Her bookshelf needed to be alphabetized was all. She didn't agree.


My parents were in the audience. My old "friends" were there too. People who hadn't come to the funeral--people I'd never met in my lifetime--were in the crowd. And if I had a panic attack on stage, I'd be in front of all their judging eyes. I'd be the leaf under their magnifying glass, ready to burst into flames. I'd be the messed up one this time, not my brother.


My lungs gave out for a millisecond as I saw Colt make his way up the steps to the podium. His back was ramrod straight, and for a moment, you could see past the awkward haircut and the gangliness and notice his strong features and fearless eyes. That explained it all, I realized. He was scare because of this, but he was also not afraid because he had to do this. There was no one else who could or should do it. Colt was Jon's best friend, and he was the only one who ever thought like Jon did.



"This is my spot," he said while pointing to his body one night while we were lying on the couch after watching the Matrix, of all movies. "This belongs to the Soul of Jonathon Mallory North. Now what am I supposed to do with it?" I didn't have an answer, other than I finally knew what the illusive 'M' in his name meant.





"He's looking at you," she half-whispered. "Aren't you gonna run up there and bro-hug each other or something?"
I stared at her with as much disgust as I could summon on the spot. "You seriously...you know what, never mind," I muttered, turning away.


They wanted to crack open my head like the carnivores they were and peel every private thought out of my mind and eat it alive. I had to run. I had to hide.


I looked down at my hands. They gripped the rail like a lifeline, knuckles white and veins standing out porcelain blue, but they didn't shake. My heart stopped pounding in my wrists and in my throat, and I finally felt like I could breathe again. I could end all this now.


I wanted to cry. I wanted to bawl, to say I was worry for even thinking about doing that to him. But I couldn't. I just sat stone-faced, listening to him weep into my coat, and staring up at the cloudless gray-blue sky.






'RU OK?' I half-smiled. Good old mom. She couldn't make a grilled cheese sandwich to save her life, couldn't have a conversation without bringing up Harry Potter, and was always forgetting that her glasses were hiding in her bushy auburn hair, but she was always "up-to-date" with texting lingo.



'PASSED OUT LIKE A DRUNK.'
'DON'T COMPARE YOUR BFF WITH AN ALCOHOLIC.'


The only reason I'd been able to blunder my way through it was because of some stupid thing he'd said before the ceremony. It'd been such a Jon thing to say, and he'd slurred his words in just the right way, and for a moment, I forgot who I was talking to. He'd even cocked his head and bit his cheek like Jon always had. And for some reason, I stopped freaking out every time I remembered that.






He met my eyes, and suddenly, I felt guilty.
'Don't leave me alone,' he'd said.
'I won't,' I'd promised.
Some friend I was.
I smiled at him and grabbed his knee lightly, rocking it back and forth. "Hey, you're okay now. All right? I'm not leaving, even to pee."
He wrinkled his nose up at me. "Don't talk about peeing, Colton. That's gross."

"You're not your brother, Matt," Mom said softly, reaching out to touch me, trying to calm me down. I brushed her off.
"You sure about that? Because that's not what my face says."
"Matthew--"
"Every time I look in the mirror, I see his face and I remember that I'm alive and he's not. If that's no enough to drive someone up a wall, then I don't know what is--I'm constantly asking myself why he was the one who got dumped with the depression and hurt and I didn't and it's eating me alive and I can't stop it." I smiled angrily at them. "You had a chance--if you'd seen how Jon was, if you'd done something about it, maybe this--" I pointed to my head "--wouldn't have happened."



~the end of the beginning~


{me after writing these crazy emotionally draining words...}

Friday, August 15, 2014

twice a Liebster

Well.

I say that word way too much.

Along with the word just. That was definitely one of the things that made me like Rainbow Rowell's Fangirl a little more, that Cath hated how much she used just, just like I do (and yes, I did do that on purpose.)

But back to my above statement.

Well.

It's time for another Liebster Award, thanks to the lovely Jessy! Thanks for the nomination, dearie! ;)


the rules, precious...

thank and link back to the one who tagged you

list 11 facts about yourself

answer the eleven questions asked by the blogger who nominated you

nominate 11 other bloggers who have less than 200 followers (no tag-backsies)

ask them 11 questions

let them know you nominated them
eleven facts about me, myself, and i
1. apparently I look somewhat like Holland Roden. O.O



2. I hate talking on the the phone, but this blogpost just got disrupted by a 37 minute phone call between me and my cousin/best friend.

3. I think bananas are evil and are plotting to overtake the world in 2015.

4. my favourite song would have to be this little guy right here:


5. I'm reading the Maze Runner right now, and really can't wait for the movie.

6. Continuing with the movie theme, I'm going to see the Giver on Saturday. And it's gonna be awesome.


7. I have little owls that help me outline my writing. True story, bro.


8. My room is halfway between an oriental themed room and a nerdy one. I have tons of stuff from China and Japan...but I also have several superhero posters...

9. When I was little, my biggest talent was chewing on my toes. For real.

10. I have no wisdom left.

11. and I am in love with this girl's voice.



jessy's questions

#1

If you could travel anywhere in the world, where is the first place you'd go? Why?
Probably Seoul, South Korea, or London. Or New Zealand. Or Colorado. I have too many favourites.

#2
If you could travel anywhere in any universe (fictional or otherwise), what specific place would you visit first? Why?
Because I'm an old soul, I'm going to say Middle Earth right off the bat. Home away from home. *Concerning Hobbits theme plays in distance*

#3
Do you have a favorite Bible story/character/verse? Who/what is it?
Bible Story--the stories of Elisha and Elijah
Bible Character--Peter
Bible verse--Exodus 4:10-12

#4
Would you ever consider eating octopus ink pasta with squid?
maybe...it would depend if it was gluten free or not. ;) I'd like to try squid someday, tho.

#5
Have you read The Book Thief? What is your opinion on it? Favorite quote/scene?
(You may mention the movie if you've seen it, but try to keep the movie spoilers to a minimum.)
*
sighs* this is one book that I'm really really really wanting to read, but I always seem to forget to find it at the library. Shame on me.

#6
If you suddenly found yourself in a do-or-die situation, what would it be?
What single item would you want to have with you?
...I must be tired, but this question doesn't make much sense to me. If I had to choose what do or die situation I wanted...I'd choose none at all, probably. Or maybe I'm just confused and you mean something else...

#7
Quotes are lovely things. I've got an entire blog devoted to them.
Post a favorite or three [for me to use].
(if I use any, I'll link to your post as the source and tell you when it publishes)

"Well," she said, "I'm seventeen and I'm crazy. My uncle says the two always go together. When people ask your age, he said, always say seventeen and insane. Isn't this a nice time of night to walk? I like to smell things and look at things, and sometimes stay up all night, walking, and watch the sun rise." Ray Bradbury
"You know what's wrong with you, Ms. Whoever-You-Are? You're chicken, you've got no guts. You're afraid to stick out your chin and say, "Okay, life's a fact, people do fall in love, people do belong to each other, because that's the only chance anybody's got for real happiness." Breakfast at Tiffany's.



#8
What is your favorite type of blog post to read?
{Beautiful People, Stacking the Shelves, ramblings, [original] writings,
character posts...}

I like ramblings and original writings, honestly. And just funniness in general. And serious, thought provoking stuff. I'm diverse.

And for some odd reason when I wrote that, I wanted to stand up and proclaim to my empty room "I'm Diversent." *facepalm*

#9
What's the first thing you do in the morning, after you attempt to wake up and actually get out of bed?
Usually, it's either take a shower or watch a little bit of a Korean TV show. I know, I know, don't judge me, but watching that instead of an English show isn't the same. It's like having to follow the subs quickly and my mind adjusting to the cadence of the other language wakes me up. Weird.

#10
What is the worst book you've ever read?
How Green was My Valley,  by Richard Llewllyn. I read it for school. And it wasn't a bad book, it just wasn't a great book. Everything that could possibly go wrong in it did.

#11
Can you swim? Ocean, lake, creek, or pool?
yup, I can swim, tho little fish I am not. I like lakes better than oceans, and creeks better than pools.

my eleven(ish) nominees
Emily @ Emily Etc.
Amber @ Amber on the Mountain
Bekah Joan @ Found and Cherished
Lauricia @ Captivated
Faith @ Princess Faith
K-minty @ Kismint
Courtney @ Geek Meets World


my eleven questions

1. do you think owls are over-rated or do you think they're cute?
2. Sunflowers or roses?
3. Do you wear your watch on your right wrist or your left?
4. Do you make friends easier with guys or girls?
5. Do you like watching movies at the theatre or at home on your couch better?
6. Middle name?
7. Are you a fan of impromptu dance parties?
8. What color are your bedsheets? (I'm running out of ideas here...)
9. pen or pencil?
10. favourite band/artist?
11. Which do you like better--Snoopy or Linus from Charlie Brown?


well...

I did it again.

That was fun. And I'm apparently twice a Liebster. And I still need to look up whatever the heck that actually means...

Hope y'all have a wonderful weekend, guys! I look forward to seeing your answers!

Thursday, August 14, 2014

more than a sarcastic voice

Step into my life for a moment.

I've been home for less than 5 days.

I've started school and Bible Quizzing once again.

God and I are figuring out my future and looking at colleges.

And I've been writing like a BEAST.



Usually, it takes a lot of effort for me to write every day. I forget, I get busy, I procrastinate...any and all of the above happen all the time. However, I've written every day for three days so far. And not just little bits. BIG portions. Big emotional portions. Matt is such a mess right now and it's breaking my heart. He is by far the character that I wish I could hug the most. My poor little baby...at least he has my special snowflake to help him right now (aka Colton...)

yes yes I love you you big dweeb
Matty is very near and dear to me...but today, I'm going to be talking about Sam.

Why?

Because she's a Beautiful Person.


1) What does your character regret the most in their life?
Sam regrets leaving her father and going with her mother when she was little. Even though the relationship was harmful, she still loves her father a lot and wishes she could see him again.

2) What is your character's happiest memory? Most sorrowful memory?
Her favourite memory is when Linds was born, on her 12th birthday. She'd almost given up on having a sibling, so a little sister was like a gift from heaven.
It's not exactly her most sorrowful memory, more like her most painful memory, but she likes it the least to remember the time when she couldn't talk.

3) What majorly gets on your character’s nerves?
Yippy purse dogs. A lack of loyalty. People who let their food touch. Matthew. The sound of someone clipping their fingernails.

4) Do they act differently when they're around people as opposed to being alone? If so, how?
Sam is a very shielded person, but she uses sarcasm, friendliness, and semi-flirtation as her shield. She can be very bubbly and friendly when around people, but when she's alone, she's very quiet and thoughtful. She is also that way with a choice few friends.

5) What are their beliefs and superstitions? (Examples: their religion or lack of one, conspiracy theories, throwing salt, fear of black cats.)
Sam is a Christian, so she doesn't really have many superstitions. She does joke about Matt being a wobbly pale vampire a lot. :)

6) What are their catchphrases, or things they say frequently?
Sam's favourite word is "Actually..." She loves proving people wrong. It's like a hobby.

7) Would they be more prone to facing fears or running from them?
I think Sammy would say she stands and faces her  fears, but that's because she's a flawed human being and ignores a whole lot about her personality. As the author, I'd say she runs from them while facing them. It's complicated.

8) Do they have a good self image?
If you're asking if she's confident in herself, then yes. Double yes. If I could sum Sam up in a single word, it would be "Confidence." That girl has guts and is sure of herself--and she's pretty confident in her looks, too.

9) Do they turn to people when they're upset, or do they isolate themselves?
She pulls away from most people, but as she gets to know Matt and Colt, she finds herself turning to them more and more, much to her embarrassment.

10) If they were standing next to you would it make you laugh or cry?
Eh....we'd probably rip out each others hair first or hug each other like we were long lost sisters. Because we kinda are. I wrote Sam's personality to be fairly similar to mine, so we'd either love or hate each other. So that really doesn't answer the question. But I don't care.

Sam is one of  those characters that I struggle to write. She's so snarky, which pleases me, but it's also really hard to pour into her anything but snarkiness. I want her to be as 3D as she can be, but if she's made out of sarcasm and nothing else, she's not going to make it. I'm almost happy that we don't meet her for a good little while after meeting Matt and Colt, because that gives me time to play with her voice and personality and actions. She's my Grand Experiment, I guess you could say.


Yup. Sammy Carpenter, the Grand Experiment. Has a nice ring to it.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

{how to live: look before you leap}

Hello, world! I'm back for good from camp--a rather melancholy thing, but also a very good thing. I'm glad that I got to experience such an amazing adventure and that my experience went out with a bang...but I know I'm gonna miss it like crazy.


Even though I just got back from camp and I've learned so much and I want to talk about it, I can't. I'm not ready yet. I need to process it all, to digest it. And that could take days. Weeks. Months. I don't know.

But in the meantime I want to share with you something that I've been thinking about a lot these past few days.

look before you leap.

what does that age-old cliche make you think of? Personally, the first place my mind goes to is leapfrog and that kinda amuses me... I've heard this saying a lot in my 18 years, and somehow, it's applicable in every situation.

Except for this particular situation, I thought.

I have a friend, okay? (*snickers*) (okay, I have more than one friend...) I used to hate her when we were younger, but now we're older and I fully admit that she is one of my best friends. I love her, and I would miss her terribly if she got up and left. However, she isn't what I would call the most intelligent in her friendships. Another friend and I jokingly call her the "creep-magnet" because she attracts a lot of creepy guys for some reason. And over the years, that friend and I have grown accustomed to "weeding out" those creepy people, or helping her see that she really needs to not be friends with this or that person, because she really has a hard time saying no to people.

and that was all fine and dandy until she met a guy. and she liked him. but our other friend deemed creepy, just like the others.

I never got a chance to personally meet the dude. I only heard about their interactions via social media (they lived a fair distance from each other) and I'd only heard tell of him from the friend who was determined that he was a creeper. The girl who liked him didn't say much in defense, mostly because she was trying not to like him and failing and because me and my other friend were bashing him a lot. It wasn't until their relationship became Facebook official that I found out how much she liked him, and even then I thought they were both stupid and crazy. I mean, they live at least 6 or 7 hours away from each other, met only a handful of times, and only communicated via Snapchat and texting for most of the time before they decided to date. Everything about this relationship was messed up, my friend and I decided, and although we supported her because she was our good friend, we didn't think this was smart. We were waiting for the relationship to fall into pieces.

well, I got a chance to meet this young man this week at camp. I got to work with him, seeing him at his best and his worst and when he was around her and when he wasn't. And it was interesting. Because he wasn't creepy at all in person. A little bit forceful, a little bit of a sarcastic individual--occasionally a jerk but not too often--he turned out to be a fairy nice kid. I enjoyed teasing the two of them and being sarcastic with him and it was a lot of fun, hanging out as a third wheel. I still have a few doubts that their relationship will be very long, but I am rooting for them now, and I hope that they will both be happy.


But throughout the whole time I was with them, the terrible untrue things I'd said concerning him were festering within me. I felt terrible for saying so many unconfirmed things. I'd trusted my other friends first impression of him wholly, and it had turned out wrong. I wanted to erase everything I'd said, every text I'd sent saying something about them and their messed up relationship. I wanted to wipe it all away and forget about it.


And that's when I remember the saying "look before you leap."

please. Don't jump in blindfolded with your own preconceived notions only to find out that you've jumped into a mud puddle. Don't ever think you know it all and that you know what's best for people. Don't ever say something you don't know for sure. You'll regret it later.

please. Just look before you leap.

Sunday, August 3, 2014

camp lyfe

excerpt from my camp journal July 27th through July 31st, 2014

Junior High Girls Camp--Sunday, 10:16 pm.

Nothing happens that isn't supposed to happen.

Think on that for a moment.

All the things that happened to you these past years...Grandma's cancer, Grandpa's mental issues, friends being stupid and leaving, not being prepared for college, Abby's cancer, Mom's eye...

All that stuff is and was supposed to happen. For a purpose.

I guess I've really seen that in the past few days, what with all that's going on. I can't imagine trying to go to college with my mom's eye out-of-whack and my grandma dying. This--me not going to college/not knowing what I want to do in life--happened because God knew exactly where I needed to be right now. To heck with all the people who think it strange that I'm waiting--I'm home. And that's where I'm supposed to be.

In other news, CAMP!! Girls (JH) starts tomorrow, and I'm so excited!!! I'm in Australia, the room by the pool, with Abby R. She's a really sweet girl, and I'm looking forward to knowing her better over the next few days.

Joanna and Sarah and flying solo...it's just the the two of them in a room with the girls. Should be an adventure. :P

Mr. Train is going off. I HAVE NOT MISSED THEE, SIR!!

I saw Lillian today--and by saw I mean the moment I saw her I ran toward her and we tackled each other in a hug and I think my knee has a bruise from how hard we collided. I missed her SOOOOOOOOOO much. I don't know how I'm going to survive the non-camp season.

Welp. It's 10:30 and I need to pray for the girls and home and all that.

I'm at camp again! Home at last!

Day One of JH Girls--2:13 pm

F.O.B. time! Hallelujah! Actually, I'm not too tired yet, but socially this is nice. Quiet, calm, and introvert friendly.

Abby and I have a good group of girls. We have 2 or so quiet ones, a crazy loud few, and the rest are moderate. Perfect mix. Funnily enough, we have both an Abby and an Elizabeth in our cabin...

Apparently I'm going to be called Momma Bear. Oh well. It doesn't hurt to be a wee bit motherly/bossy.

My eyes are falling shut. Maybe I'm more tired than I originally thought.

10:39 pm.

I. AM. TIRED.

But a good day. A really good day. The dynamic in this group is very good. I love these nuts girls. And I'm tired. Sooooo exhausted.

Today consisted of scraped knees, crazy pool time, dragging introverts out of their shells, Hitler and bad jokes...yeah. It's been nuts.

And now I'm gonna go to bed.

2nd Day of JH Girls--3:41 pm.

Wearing my TFioS shirt in a camp full of pre-teen campers and teenaged counselors was one of the best--or the worst--ideas I've ever had. I've heard the words "I loooooooooooooooove your t-shirt" so many times today.

And now for F.O.B time. Exhausted still.

3rd Day of JH Girls--10:21 pm

yo, it's mah birthday! Wut wut!

It's actually been a crazy good day today. If I'd been at home, it would've been a  semi-usual day--except for the whole funeral arrangement thing--I would've been in my room most of the day...watching Supernatural and Roommate, studying, sleeping. Yeah. Boring.

Today, I got to be with so many people, do so much, have so much fun. Even having to think of Gma's passing, I still had crazy fun.

I love it here.

I really can't wait to go home.

And I really can't wait to come back.

Also, Josiah has the World's Best glow in the dark Dora the Explorer t-shirt EVER.

And contrary to my cabin's popular belief, homeschoolers do have the moves. Exhibit A: Abby R.

Day Four of JH Girls--10:18 pm.

So many things don't matter here.

and so many things do that get neglected.

I forget that a lot.

It's okay to let the girls run wild for a little while.

it's not okay to let one of your campers sing somewhat inappropriate secular songs all the time just because "they're not singing the bad part."

I forgot that.

it's okay to admit that it is physically hard to verbally comfort someone.

it's is also okay to just be there for them and hold them until the crying stops.

I forgot that.

I realized today that the Devil really didn't want me here this week. REALLY REALLY REALLY didn't want that. All the things that happened before, during, and after camp were and are his instruments. But I was meant to be here today, and I was meant to hear what Bandi had to say. I woke to all the bitterness in my life.

And I'm going to let it all go.

Even that person who left me because I started to change. Even the person how doesn't realized he's hurting me when he unintentionally ignores me. Even my grandparents. Even the people at my church. Even the cancer that ate a 4 year hole in my life. Even myself.

So yeah. I learned that today. It kinda changed my perspective. A lot.

Funniest moment today: during F.O.B. time this afternoon, I was resting, only to be woken up by Abby shaking my shoulder and whispering while giggling, "So...I kinda just dropped my schedule in the toilet..."

I'm still giggling.