The 23rd Of December… Make That 24th

Was it a bad idea that I ate two slices of ice cream cake at 12 AM? Probably.

Am I regretting anything yet? Nope.

Will I? Hope not.

Ahem.

It’s the 24th of December. In other words, Christmas Eve. In other words, release day of Christmas Chances. But before we get to the debut of the Audiosmiths I have to ramble for a few paragraphs. 🙂

*mentally screams* Where on earth did time go? I could’ve sworn I was just starting on WordPress and the great American eclipse was yesterday and we just discovered that Jules was Connie’s half sister and Mr. Parker’s VA sounds so different and Thor got his hair cut and that it was just yesterday, just yesterday when I saw my cousin for the first time in four years and honestly I have no clue how we sped up to now. To December. To Christmas.

But that Christmas spirit that’s supposed to have infected everyone’s hearts?

I guess it missed me. I don’t have it.

(Sorry to all you guys who don’t celebrate Christmas! 😦 This is a lame apology… but it can’t hurt to make it. I think.)

Anyhoo. Christmas spirit. Missed me. That’s where we were. It’s weird. For all my life, I remember being so excited and happy for Christmas, the gifts, the family, the something that just made the day special, the fact that though Jesus probably didn’t come on the 25th, He came and that excited me- Christmas was a big deal. It was the one time our family was a family. And by family I mean your third great grand cousin’s niece’s son’s aunt’s nephew on your grandfather’s mother’s brother’s side that comes over once a year and gives you carefully cooked pandesal. All the good things happened on Christmas, and it was just this wonderful thing.

Fast forward to now, and it feels like just another day to me. Advent’s special, but not special. That magical feeling when you hear a carol? Sure, I’ll get chills up my spine, but I get chills listening to an epic movie soundtrack. Reading the Christmas story? It’s more of a comfty familiar feeling than excited fangirl squealing. Gifts? Thoughts and kind words seem to really be more than enough.

Maybe it’s life. Maybe it’s that I’ve gotten a littler older and understood a tad bit more, and maybe it’s just daily life and I’m not as stoked about Christmas like when I was five. Maybe it’s all the crazy that’s come my way and I’m still figuring out what goes where. Maybe it’s missing people. Maybe it’s all the big fuss the stores and malls make about it. But whichever of these maybes it is, Christmas and I aren’t the tight compadres we once were.

Hey, maybe that’s okay.

Maybe you don’t have to have the excited, happy feelings on Christmas to celebrate Christmas in your heart. Maybe it’s like joy, where you don’t need to be happy all the time to have it.

I’m okay with that. More than okay.

Anyway, The Return Of The King is playing and I’m not missing that with my family, so I’ll leave you this awesome card:

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And give you the link to Christmas Chances! At last!

AH. AH. AH. AH. AH.

Makies is indeed a word, friends. Many thanks to Mya, Gracie, and Penny for helping spread the word.

Merry Christmas Eve!

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Here is a short Christmas story based on Just Come Home that I wrote by hand. By hand. BY HAND Y’ALL.  I just might put it up here. Maybe.

 

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If I Knew Then What I Know Now (Plus pic for BIBPC, carol, and linky to more of the blog tour yikes this title is long)

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You’re not the only one, kid.

Not by a long shot.

There is only one you you of course, the dorky quirky awkward weird laughing kid who’s just not the same from everyone else, but there are other people with your dreams. Your quirks. And your alarming obsession of Adventures in Odyssey, good gracious.

You’re an annoying little midge of energy, so yes, the haters were right.

But you’re lovable. Sorta. So the haters were wrong.

Also, the haters’ opinions don’t really matter, so keep that in mind.

I don’t know how to tell you, kid. I don’t know how to tell you that people will break your heart and what you thought was right is wrong and that things will change with the snap of a finger and you’re gonna have a lot of curve balls whizzing your way, so please learn to catch, kay?

Your “friends” are shallow, but be nice. Don’t collar the big kids even though you know they’re being jerks. If you do, don’t lie about it. Lying is evil. And don’t think you’re all that smart, why don’t ya? But do learn more. You’ll need it.

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Remember how you said you had nothing to live for? Ohhh boy, you be wishing you could take that back. Look around you. Look at the little miracle baby of the C’s, that little tiny thing that everyone thought was a dangerous tumor. Her? She’s gonna grow up to be a sweet little terror, and you’ll be chasing her around a hall more times then you can count. Good on ya for not wearing high heels.

Books are portals to another world. I’m glad you spend your head off in them. Also, pick up a pencil soon- you’ll be writing your own before you know it.

Love your family. Love love love them. They’re broken and not perfect, but still good. Also you’re a part of it.

Bacon crumbles exist. You’ll love them.

Good gracious, stop assuming things are gonna be carved out for you, like an easy puzzle. You gotta start doing things yourself and get it done. People are gonna depend on you whether you like it or not. And if not now, definitely in the future. So get used to it.

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You’re gonna meet people in ways you didn’t expect and you’re gonna pour your heart and soul into projects you would never have dreamed of doing. So attack that homework while you still have energy.

It does get worse.

It will. It will hurt so bad you can’t breathe.

But it will get better. I can promise you that. Don’t take my word for it. Take God’s.

Also, never ever ever skimp on the Bible. Ever. You’re gonna need that weapon. You’re gonna need to be armed and dangerous.

Uh, no, no, I didn’t mean to practice knife throwing, especially because that’s our last good knife. Thank you.

Things are gonna change. Not all of it will be good, but there will be good changes. You’re gonna meet people you can’t imagine life without and yet don’t like.

Okay admit it, you like that person.

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Write, my friend. You’ll love it. You’ll love making up stories and charries and daydreaming and plotting terrible deaths. Surprising, I know. And it’ll help you. So much.

No, no, screaming because of jogging pants and not jeans isn’t normal, no matter how much everyone thinks it is. Don’t be emotional when you respond. Calm down. count to ten. Punch that meanie in the nose. Don’t do the latter one because it won’t make you feel better. Instead… uh… I haven’t come up with how to handle that guy, but as Jesus says, treat them like you would a tax collector.

Run for your life!

Sorry, wrong context, friend. Speaking of, you do need to understand contest very, very well. But you pick your battles, and you stand up to that guy. To your fears. To that goal. To that line. You got this. Life won’t give you a bowl of opportunities and tell you to pick, so keep your eyes peeled for anything you find, and take it.

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Connie and Mitch break up. Tom Riley dies. Old Yeller gets shot. Iron Man gets hurt. The Baudelaires are confusing. The stories and life are similar in a way: they don’t go the way you expect.

Unlike the stories, your life story is being written by the Perfect Author, so never fear.

There is always a reason to laugh. I know there will be days when you’ll feel like drek, but trust me, you can find something to smile about. Care for something other than yourself, and do it a lot. Pray constantly. Pray continually. Don’t get out of touch with God.

Get stronger. Practice your high kick, especially on your right foot. It’s terrible. Push yourself to excellence, but stop for water. take care of yourself, and learn how to braid so nobody objects to your ponytail for the hundredth time in a row.

Observe people. Note their reactions, their fears, their movements, how they think.

Don’t be creepy about it though.

Man, there’s too much I wanna tell ya. Too much. Too much about loving and hurting and living and dying and reading and writing and fighting and resting and the time of day and how the year’s gonna fly by before you know it and Aragorn is brave and courageous but he is broken too and broken pieces can be fixed and people like Blackgaard will be defeated and-

…and you’ll find your way.

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Love,

Jo

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Well, another sign of my past is the above picture, friends, ^, which is also my picture for BIBPC. This category was so much easier, thank you Megan, tradition. And here’s mine. See, every Christmas Eve, we go on a marathon of AIO’s Back To Bethlehem, and it’s something I hope to be doing til I’m old and gray (and with those same cassettes XD)

4 days until Christmas Chances, people! Ahhh. You can catch more of Audiosmiths with Hannah and Enni’s lovely posts. Well maybe not Enni’s because she messed up my name. 😛 For now, though, I’ve taken a break from editing the audio drama and worked on a carol. I hope ya enjoy, bad though it may be. 😉

https://www.dropbox.com/s/anjxh0voag0qvid/Oh%20Holy%20Night.m4a?dl=0

(And if the linky doesn’t work, then uh.. lemme know)

 

The Trouble Of Innovation (But the good things of it, too.)

 

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I wonder if Thomas Edison’s mother thought he was crazy way back when.

This is the story of how I got into trouble, you see.

But don’t worry, I got out of it! I mean, if I didn’t I’d be stuck in Peru with some angry water buffalo, you know? (I don’t either)

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See, my parents have been asking for the longest time what in the world I’ve been up to.

I.E. Christmas Chances, i.e. the secret thing I’ve been working on, i.e. the thing I just finished today and I can’t stop screaming about but have to keep my cool about it, that.

But, see, I couldn’t exactly tell my parents because…. well, not only is it a debut for the Audiosmiths, but it’s also a sorta a surprise gift, I guess you could say, to my parents, in the hopes that maybe they’d like it. (And well, Mom, now you know. :P)

If. From the suspicious glares I’ve gotten and the prying comments and the averse reaction to my suspiciousness- worthy evil grins, (which was the trouble I got into but thankfully got out of- suspense is not a strong suit here) I’m not sure if they’ll think it’s worth all the fuss I’ve made over it, or if it’s worth anything. Maybe it’s just a big flop.

Maybe everything new I try to do is a big flop. Maybe I should just stick with what’s comfortable and well-known, something everyone else has done.

But that’s not original, novel, or creative. And that’s not an innovating way to help put smiles on people’s faces, which happens to be my preferred line of work. And that’s just plain boring!

Yes, innovation is a risk. Doing anything new that nobody’s done before is an exciting, semi scary risk. Can it get you some weird looks? Yup. Will people understand you? Nope. Is it possible you could accidentally make yourself explode? Definitely.

Is it worth it?

I’m inclined to think so.

Hey, if Edison didn’t perfect the light bulb, we’d all be sitting in the dark. Ford didn’t work on the automotive line-thingy, cars would be crazy expensive.

We’re not doing anything even equal to the light bulb or the line, but maybe, just maybe, sparking inspiration in your head.

You know, like a domino line of ideas. Maybe our attempts at audio drama can give you that boost to do something you never thought you could. Maybe you can inspire someone else to reach for the stars.

And with enough people, maybe someone can smile tonight. Tomorrow. The next week.

Ya never know unless you try.

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Christmas Chances releases on the 24th, my friends. In the meantime, check out Rose’s and Cat’s posts, and be on the look out for more posts to come!

And of course, Christmas Chances itself. 😛

Seeya!

 

The Secret’s Out. Done. Revealed. (Or, in which I talk about Audiosmiths)

Happy Monday people!

Why did I even say that. It’s Monday, for crying out loud.

*sighs*

It’s time I came clean about something I have been waiting to come clean about in…. forever, really. Destiny’s here, my friends. Or rather, the Audiosmiths are here.

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But what are the Audiosmiths?

I’ve been hinting at this for quite some time now. Both here and here, I mention secrets. In fact, you may have seen it on other blogs, but we’re here. Again, what are we?

Well, there was an idea, Liz knows this, called the Audiosmiths’ Radio Theater. The idea was to bring together a group of amateur actresses, bloggers, writers, and designers, see if they could become something more. See if they could work together to produce wholesome amazing entertainment the real showbiz never could.

About Audiosmiths_ Radio Theater

It’s my personal belief that the world needs good stuff again. It seems that a lot of people believe the only way to make people interested in a story is to add too much violence, too much not-kid-or-adult-appropriate stuff, and ignore plot, theme and story entirely. My Literature teacher would sigh at the popular stories now that aren’t much more than drabble, if you come to think about it.

What makes a story good or bad is the story itself.

And we’re here to offer new ones.

The art of storytelling is a gift, a gift anyone can practice to use for good. But there’s another gift, almost better. The gift of imagination. The ability to dream and to think and to laugh. Both were given by God, and it’s a sad day when these gifts are stifled and left dusty.

This is where we come in.

Our Crew

We’re not up there pros, (don’t I wish!) we might come a wee bit flat, and we’ll write stuff we dread editing sometimes, but we do love a good story. And we do love acting a good story.

So what are we gonna be doing, specifically? Audio dramas that we script, record, and splice ourselves. Our first drama was Izoria’s Choices, which you’ve probably already heard. It was more of a prequel, if you will. But our real, official, waaaayyy better sounding drama is an all new short called Christmas Chances, written by Madi and edited by yours truly.

Audiosmiths Christmas Chances TeaserYessiree, as our Christmas/Winter break gift to you, we’re debuting the first drama right before Christmas, for you and yours to enjoy, appreciate, suffer through, or utterly utterly hate. It’s all up to you!

We’ll be putting up our dramas on YouTube here, and for those of you who don’t use YouTube because reasons, I’ll be putting them up on a page on this blog, so no worries! 😀

It’s my hope that our attempts at making our stories come to life will give a boost to your imagination, and that in the end, we can put a smile on your face. We might put on tears too, hey, but you never know, right? 😉

Look out for various posts on your Reader (I.E. we’re doing a blog tour) to find out more about us, and get ready for our debut drama. We do hope you enjoy.

Audiosmiths LogoP.S.

8.

Fast.

Days.

Til.

Releast.

AHHHH

I’m not exctited about this at all.

Scribble Scrabble: Snippets, Observations, And A Carol

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Monday. Dreadful, dreadful day. If Saturday brings out the best in us, Monday brings the worst.

Yet today wasn’t all that bad. If you don’t count the dreary sky, aching everything, tension so thick you could cut it with a knife, and *gasp* participles. In all seriousness though, I’m grateful for the day.

One, National Bible Bee Competition (Or Nats for short) started today. It’s unbelievably encouraging to see so many kids come out and own God’s Word and proclaim it, and I’m shook, to understate, to count myself one of the many who joined the Summer Study. Shook, grateful, blessed, have at the thesaurus.

Two, I managed to get out another carol (yes, I’m sorry for buggin’ y’all it’s just really fun to play these hymns! Even if my renditions are horrible XD) O Come, O Come Emmanuel brings yet hope for me, hope and a promise.

(Also, shoutout if you want to hear a specific song! I’ll do my best not to mess it up. 🙂 )
Hymn Print O Come O Come Emmanuel by LamplightsPrints on Etsy, $14.00

Three, snippets.

But no context so you all can suffer. 😉

She’s alone for Christmas, and somehow it hurts more and more every year.

But come now, in the deep bustle in New York City, you’d think a few more people would be flying the day solo. Right?

_Not a soul_, Andrea Marti thought bitterly as she looked around her, hand clutched on skateboard as she crossed the street. There was a couple walking in front of her, more like they were slow dancing to some music only they could hear, a guy eagerly holding his small- daughter, it had to be, she was so tiny, an old wrinkled man and an old wrinkled lady, laughing as they looked around at the gently falling snow. And some pigeon was nestled against a dog.

A pigeon had a dog.

A pigeon.

Writing seems to help a lot with the craziness of life, and Just Come Home is almost done.

Almost.

I’m a mess of a writer.

But here’s a snippet from that too. 😛

“Little annoying brat-how dare she say that about Mom the way she did..” Zeke muttered my thoughts, handing me a water bottle. He was being unusually kind and helpful, which meant I was in worse than I thought I was. He was the one who got Mom to check on me, apparently I was thrashing in my sleep or something. I don’t really wanna talk about it. But it was bad enough to let me stay home from school indefinitely. And I should know, my head was throbbing.

And to think I wanted to publish this mess of a story. *sighs* it’s my mess however- so at least there’s that small comfort.

And besides my thoughts, well, that’s it. 🙂

Oh, no. you don’t want to know about my thoughts. That’s even more of a mess. Like how sometimes I feel bad for praying the same thing over and over but I know I mean it and it’s hard to understand that God doesn’t tire of me babbling the same thing; like how hope is something everyone wants but nobody quite knows how to get; like how heroes, even fictional ones, mean the world to us because if we’re honest we want to be the heroes; like how the mind can be quickly swayed by what’s around it; like how there should be an episode where Connie plans Trent and Mandy’s wedding cause how awesome would that be; like how the future seems super uncertain and trust is shaky; like how in the world is this month over already; like how am I gonna handle school and life; like why can’t I think straight for once.

I think I’ll leave you to you own thoughts now- I’ve bombarded you with words long enough. 🙂

The Secret Project I Was Working On, pt. 2

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Hey people, it’s Friday! *cheers* Doing good?

So I have the extra part to the secret project. That is, if you’re interested.

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Aha, I assume you’re interested! 😀 Now, if you remember, I had to write a script for school. I’m not sure if I told you, but I had the option to read it out loud, or actually make it into a play.

I chose the latter.

Now, the funny thing is, I don’t actually have anyone on hand to voice these characters. But I did know a few Blogger/NaNo cabinmates/ friends who could! So with the help of Madi, Tess, and Rebekah, lots of late night editing, laughter, and fancy words, we turned the script into a full on audio drama.

And I had the crazy notion that just maybe, you’d all enjoy watching it. 😶

So here it is, in all its nonexistent glory, once again. Click or risk death by stepping on Legos…

(Warning, it’s not that good, and I mean professional AIO good but it is my first time so no hate!) Ahem, but I would like to know what y’all think!

Thanks a bunch to Tess for playing Alistair, Madi for playing Izoria and uploading the audio, and Rebekah for playing Louisa! You gals are awesome!

Oh… and one last thing.

That’s not the end of the secret project.

Not at all.

It’s only the beginning.