Julia Nelson Blog Tour Launch! Thing! Interview! *thumbs up*

Whatever day this is, hopefully you’re enjoying. Because if not, then.. Uhh, I’m sorry.

There goes my attempt at a catchy intro.

Today I get to help out with a blog launch for a growing teen writer and blogger: Julia Nelson! 😀 So without further ado, Julia Nelson everyone!

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Hi Julia! 🙂 Thanks for letting me interview you! So to start this off, when did you start writing, and when did you start writing seriously?

Hi, Jo! Thank you so much for doing this! 🙂

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I started writing seriously when I joined the Young Writers Workshop in January 2018. It’s been a terrific and life-changing experience!

*nods* That sounds wonderful! So since last year. Now, how did you decide, “alright, I’m ready to do this, let’s start a blog”?

I remember wanting a place where I could share my writing with the world. After joining the Young Writers Workshop, I realized that starting a blog is important to start growing my platform as a writer. So a few months later, I started my first blog, Willowcreek Pines.

Julia NelsonNow, as I’ve continued to improve in my writing and blogging, I’ve realized that my current blog needs an update. So I’m launching my new blog, Julia Nelson! I believe I will be able to better serve my readers with this new blog.

That’s really cool! 😀 What are you looking forward to through writing and blogging?

I’m looking forward to serving, helping, and encouraging fellow writers, bloggers, and Christians. I love posting every week and using words to tell a story or a message that God has laid on my heart.

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Stories are beautiful. And so are words. XD It’s a funny thing with writers- if you had to choose between reading or writing, which would it be and why?

This is a tricky question, Jo! I know that you can learn a ton from books, but to be honest, I don’t make reading a priority (like I probably should). So I’d probably choose writing because I love making stories and characters come alive. It’s just something inside of me that I can’t get rid of. Even if I couldn’t read and didn’t know how to make a great story, I would still be able to write my own stories–even if I was the only person who liked them.

 Oooh, I so get that! Writing your own stories is something pretty special. Uh. Anyway. What’s your opinion on YA books- and do you hope to write one in the near future? 😀

I don’t think I’ve read many YA books, so I’m sorry that I can’t give an opinion. And no, I don’t plan to write YA in the future. I enjoy writing books like Lynn Austin (one of my favorite authors)–Christian, historical fiction novels.

Those are lovely genres too! I always like reading (or writing) these with food, since for some reason I work better with sugar. XD All that to say, what’s your favorite writing snack? 😉

I like to eat all sorts of things. Here are a few of my favorites: chocolate, dates, apples, peanut butter + honey, and sparkling water + juice. The latter two are delicious combinations, and if you haven’t tried them yet, you should!

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Ooh, I think I will! That sounds really good and now I’m hungry. XD. Anyway, back to topic. Are you a fan of writing to music, and if you are, what’s your favorite songs?

I love music, and I can’t concentrate on my writing when there’s music in the background. It’s distracting, so I end up paying attention to the music instead of writing when I should be XD

XD I do that too! I think it’s a thing- but it’s a ton of fun nonetheless. Music helps me with ideas. Oh, speaking of, where do you go to for inspiration?

Great question! I actually wrote a guest post on this very thing, which you can find here. In this post, I tell you of three things that keep me writing when my “inspiration well is dry.”

Neat! And even neater you wrote it as a guest post! 😀 So you have some pretty good experience with writing. For the newbies (and for all writers, to be honest), if you could pass down a piece of advice about writing that’s helped you in huge ways, what would it be?

Never give up. Three small words with a huge meaning. Whenever I’m in a slump, I need to remember that every writer has gone through this. Every published author has had fears and struggles, so it’s completely normal–and completely okay–if I also have writing struggles.

So again, never give up on your writing dream. Just because you aren’t a “perfect” writer, doesn’t mean you can never get published.

*sniffs happy tear* That was.. beautiful. 🙂 And I’m bookmarking that and looking at it whenever I’m tired of writing next month. XD To end, lastly, if you could go to any fictional world, but had to stay there for the rest of your life, where would you go?

I would go to Narnia. 😀

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A very wonderful answer. 🙂

*applauds* I had a great time Julia, and I can’t wait to read more of your writing and your blog! 😀 Thank you so much for letting me interview you!

Follow Julia here: JULIANELSONAUTHOR.COM

And catch the rest of the blog tour here! I’m happy to be a part of it.

life is a highway, Jo

 

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A Quicky Q&A and Random Updates

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I had a post coming on, but it wasn’t ready and I wasn’t ready and Enni, the brilliant genius she is, messaged me and asked for a post idea since she was a little low on creativity and since I was low on energy, I suggested a collab interview since those are fun and I was way too tired to think.

There’s an example run-on sentence for your grammar books kids. *thumbs up* On with this post. Although you should probably check out Enni’s answers to my questions over here since they’re much more fun than my answers. And she also posted my death threat on hers too. Cool stuff.

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1. If you could start life over, would ya?
If I could start life over… what. Uh. *sighs* *thinks deeply* No. Because the life I have right now is crazy enough. XD

2. How would you describe your sense of style?

I have no sense of style- it comes and goes.

3. What’s your favorite season?

WINTER FOREVER- snow, skates, CHRISTMAS, more snow, ice, winterrrr
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4. What are your life’s goals?

To live, obviously. And to publish a book, learn to drive, get a black belt, be on American Ninja Warrior, act in any kind of production, go to Bible Bee Nationals, and meet all of my blogger friends on a road trip around the world.

5. Which place in Europe would you most like to visit?

*waves hands wildly* Scotland! One, because of Brave, and two, because.. because Scotland. 😛

I’d also like to stop by Switzerland one time.

6. Which Marvel death broke your heart the most?

*sniffs* Thank you for asking about a fandom Enni I love you so- it would have to be Vision, because Wanda had to watch him die twice and she couldn’t do a thing to stop it and also because poor grey Vis’s lifeless self is heartbreaking. Also Spiderman and Bucky’s  were pretty horrible.
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7. What time do you normally get up in the mornings?
 I do my best to get up around 6 or 7- it sometimes happens. Sometimes.

8. What’s the worst book you’ve ever read?

The worst book I ever read shall go nameless to protect the innocent, but it was a Western that was so bad I’d rather read Twilight and I hate Twilight. It was so horribly preachy, the characters were unrealistic, the bad guy wasn’t bad guy-y enough, and to top it all off, it was supposed to be good Christian fiction. Ugh.
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9. Cursive or print?

Cursive forever- what can you do with print anyway? Other than print? Legit nothing. Be-yuk.
10. Which of your fandoms is your favorite?
As if I can choose between any of them?? O_O I can’t! Probably AIO. Or the MCU. Or LOTR. It’s a tie between those three.
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Thus concludes the mini random interview. *sighs and slumps onto couch*
Now for the updates that nobody asked for.
I have 4 drafts in my Editor, waiting for me to publish them. Which, I probably won’t until much later when they’re completely faded from relevancy. It’s not like I’m tired of blogging- it’s just that I’m tired, period. It’s hard volunteering for something you didn’t volunteer to do it, y’know? But that’s over now and I’m just in the fallout, waiting for energy to come back and… yeah. I’m alive! *thumbs up* In case you were wondering. Heh.
Currently in the process of finishing my NaNoWriMo 2018 project so I can move on to April Camp 2019’s WIP.. which I’ll announce eventually. As well as the secret project that I totally missed the deadline for but refuse to ditch. I’ll get there. One day.
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That seems to be the mantra for all my days. That one day, it’ll be okay. That one day, I’ll have the willpower to make it today and not one day. That one day will come when I don’t have to remind myself one day is coming. So until that day comes, I’ll try to do the best I can today. Which wasn’t much, but it’s coming- it’s coming! 😛
Here’s to another day, you guys- we’ll make this week. Somehow. *props to you all*
life is a highway, Jo

March Is Tomorrow *panics, flails, and ultimately dies*

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Okay, I swear, I only looked at Pinterest for all of two hours!

Per week.

heh.

Where has the time gone? I have zero clue. Swoosh, bye, gone it went and February 2019 has gone to the ages.

It’s been a good month, it really has.

School has successfully managed to kill me, so there’s that. At least I get to do something fun and write a character profile. >:) Also finished Ben Hur- never, ever, ever hang out with your little sister on a precariously built balcony watching a fancy guy with a houseplant on his head go by. *nods seriously*

We had 3 snow days. It was wonderful.

I got a bunch of books to read and only knocked out like a quarter (which reminds me I should probably get to beta-ing this book *rushes*)

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The Lens & The Hard Drive turned one, along with a bunch of other blogs. O_O AH. How have I been doing this for a full year? I have no clue.

A bunch of writing happened, and secret projects and tons of laughing over Google Docs and videochats and just laughing.

I FIGURED OUT HOW INSTALL DESIGNER FONTS ONTO MY LAPTOP AHHHH

Also robbed the freebie section of every font/graphics website I could find, because I’m in the designing bloggies and whatnot mood. Speaking of, if you check out Tess at Silver Sky Dolls, you can see for yourself 😉 Also, please, please lemme know if you want something designed. It’s fun and I may as well put my addiction to Canva to good use, right? 😀

Audiosmiths released a drama- and we’re working on one of the hardest and deepest ones we’ve done yet. Can’t wait to see how that goes. 🙂

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I’ve learned a ton about writing, and the inspiration is slowly coming back. Slowly. We’re only a couple weeks to NaNoWriMo everyone! *squeaks* Can’t wait for this craziness to come at me full force. It’s funny, my first NaNo, I didn’t think anything could be more stressful. Ha I was wrong. XD

Learned a few new songs on all 3 instruments I’m slightly adept at because my mom volunteered me and some other poor unfortunates to play background music at a church dinner. *sighs* Not to mention I’m shooting that too. Actually kinda looking forward to the shooting part- I miss holding a camera. 😛 However, learning the new songs means I get to be distracted with YouTube and wake up ridiculously early for practice. It is not easy to sing alto at 9 am, just sayin’. Also choked back something close to a tear watching clips from Little Women 2018 and Gifted. Onions were chopped a lot this month.

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Got to cheer a friend on because they got accepted to Nationals, to sit by someone who was kinda feeling down, to be goofy and make a rather stressed sibling grin, to laugh evilly with a cousin over our work in progress at 12 am to boot, to enjoy the little blessings of life, to enjoy each day that comes. There’s been a few horrible days, yes. There’s been days I wish I could redo all over again because right now I just wanna crumple them up and toss into a dumpster- but every day has blessings of its own.

And I guess I’m finding them the more I take time to recognize they’re there. 🙂

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Oh, and Ducky kindly agreed to model for me because he’s an adorable sassy stuffie. He is shown above portraying the typical reaction to chemistry homework.

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Here is he, contemplating the reasons for existence as he leans demurely on the railing. That’s one thing I didn’t expect to appreciate: stuffies, and stuffie bloggers. Was not seeing that coming, but it came anyway. I think I’m the better for it.

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I guess he wasn’t that impressed with the whole ordeal. XD

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So I picked him up and got him to fly around!

Ducky: YOU ALMOST MADE ME DIE JO THAT’S WHAT YOU DID THAT WAS SO HIGH UP I COULD DIED OR FALLEN I AM A SENSITIVE PIECE OF STUFFY I SHOULD BE HANDLED WITH CARE, JO, WITH CAREEE DO THAT AGAIN AND I WILL KARATE CHOP YOU

Yeesh, picky old duck.

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*passively-aggressively shows fight stance*

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And this is what happened when he tried attacking me.

Ducky: Medic!

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However, he recovered in time to venture forth into the dark darkness, which definitely had light the little liar.

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Got stuck halfway though.

Ducky: NOT. NICE. JO.

What, I’m just saying!

Anyway.

Favorite from this month.. Hm…

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Favorite Book

I really want to say this Black Widow comic that I’ve been reading, but that’s not my most most favorite, surprisingly.

DSC_0124It would probably be As Brave As You, which is this great story about two boys and their summer with their grandparents. Either it’s really long, or I’m really slow, but I haven’t finished it yet. 😛 I really loved Genie and Ernie’s sibling duo, and the theme. Ah. it’s great.

 

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Favorite Song

This one is almost pretty obvious.

 

I’m Not Here has been on repeat for the longest of times, partly because it’s so good and partly because it reminds me of a charrie down to the intricates of it, so yes, that’s my favorite. It’s also up there with True North by Rend Collective, Learning to Fly (How To Train Your Dragon 3 came out. I’m not okay. My childhood has ended. Ah. Help.) And Two, by Sleeping At Last. But ahhhh this song gets me. All the time. I dunno why. *sobs*

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Favorite Quote

And maybe one day I'll get around to fixing myself too

I think it speaks for itself. It really does.

So that’s been February for me in a nutshell. How ’bout you? Ready for March, or you wanna march in the other direction? Which, if you do, I’d join you, because I pretty much feel like this 110% of the time:

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Yeah, Ducky didn’t really like that.

*muffles his nonliving beak*

Have a good Thursday. And a great new month. 🙂

life is a highway, Jo

January’s Over And I Dunno How

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Yup, I’m still trying to figure how that happened too. But 31 days have passed with the blink of an eye and we’re fully stuck in 2019.

It’s been an interesting month, that’s for sure.

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We welcomed the New Year the proper way: getting two big bags of popcorn and watching Lord Of The Rings.

I got to go on a retreat- and that was pretty relaxing. Fun. Peaceful. Plus I got to photograph the stars. 😀

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School started and we all collectively died.

Started working on secret project that’s pretty fun/death inducing.

The Long End aired and I DIED. BUCK- JULES- THE MELTSNERS- SKINT- WOW. Like wow. Mindblown. Mom wondered why I was screaming after the first part aired.

Started reading through the New Testament- and I’m in 1 Corinthians now! I think. Ish. Wait, maybe that was another translation.. huh..

Speaking of the New Testament, really enjoyed having Bible studies over videochat. 😉

A couple times I was sitting down to write posts but ending up watching something with my family instead. The posts can wait. But not my family, Incredibles 2, The Last Jedi, Antman & The Wasp, or Black Panther. Incredibles 2 was AWESOME. Also, if you haven’t checked out the short Bao DO IT. *dies* It’s so good. I’m watching that whenever I can, it’s just really really nice to have some non-stereotypical representation you know? 😀

There were 2 gigantic snowstorms and thus, two snow days. Which means freezing cold and beautiful pictures.

It also means getting to go sledding… even though.. uh… technically..

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I’m pretty sure that sign’s décor. Right? I mean, you can’t be a Canadian and not sled. Sorry. No can do. It’s like taking away Tim Hortons. As a citizen of this fine country, I was exercising my right-

Okay. Okay. Still, it was fun though. Hanging on for dear life as the elements attack you? *thumbs up*

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Had a bunch of people ask me why I was wandering around the premises in the dead of winter, wind blowing, camera out, in a skirt (as if that’s a bad thing) no less, taking random pictures. I guess I did look kinda weird- but honestly, I’m past caring. XD besides, I got good pictures. B)

Interviewed a bunch of kids and failed dramatically.

Released a new audio drama! 😀 Which you can check out on the Audiosmiths page here.

I guess this month has been about finding a balance. Some stability. I’ve had a hard time figuring out school, and as you know, blogging has been random, and there’s just been so much to process and sometimes, taking that one step is tricky. Y’know?

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But I think I’m getting there. Over time. 🙂

Anyway, it’s February now. Also the month I started blogging. *hollers and shrieks* how has it been one year since I started into this vast and crazy and wonderful and strange thing called blogging? I don’t know.

So I’m looking forward to that. As well as secret project 1 and secret project 2. And yes I have two. And no, I’m not telling you what they are. Yet. 😛

I think this post is done.

Oh wait, I still have to pick faves. Right. XD

Favorite Book

See the source image

I borrowed this way back in December and only now got around to reading it. smh I wish I read it sooner- it’s an sweet story about a girl who has OCD, and honestly, I really connected with her, even though we couldn’t be anymore different. I’d love to write this kind of book one day. 😀

 

 

Favorite Song

Do I honestly have to pick? You know as well as I do that I caaaaan’t XD- I actually have three.

Rend Collective’s Life Is Beautiful is beautiful. I think after like, the 20th time listening to it, I got my brother to use it for praise & worship- it’s that good.

And uh…. this is mushy, but I really liked Falling Slowly from Once the musical..

and  38 Planes/Somewhere In The Middle Of Nowhere from another musical, Come From Away. But I’m not linking that, too much mush for the day. XD (Actually, you probably shouldn’t check out anything from either of these musicals except The North Strand from Once. That one’s catchy. XD)

Favorite Quote

I think I like musicals more than I care to admit. XD

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Now this post is done. XD Seeya on the next one!

Life is a highway,

Jo

Scribble Scrabble: It’s the happy little things.

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Happy Monday, friends, countrymen, WordPress bloggers, and the people who plan to take over the world! Here’s a bunch of random happy stuff for ya. 😉 Because sometimes it’s good to smile at stuff most people wouldn’t think much of.

Maddy’s hosting a giveaway!

Yeppidy-yup-yup, Maddy’s having a giveaway, and you could even consider it a collab, considering it’s Hannah from Crafts of All Seasons she’s doing a giveaway with! 😀

Hello everyone! I am so excited for today’s post! We have reach 3,000 subscribers on Digital Diary which means it’s time for a giveaway! Todays giveaway is sponsored. 1 winner will be chosen and get to pick an item from the Etsy shop, The Striped Plaid & Co! The Striped Plaid & Co is an […]

via 3k subscribers || Giveaway! —

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Let’s see. What else have we?

At the rink I saw a boy towing his little sister on the ice, the two of them giggling their heads off. I saw an old grey haired couple lacing up and whizzing around. I saw those tiny, extremely small kids take their first steps on the ice.

And fall.

And I saw a bunch of my characters on the ice. 😀 Or at least people who looked precisely like my characters. It was awesome.

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I am guilty of doodling on the church bulletin during the sermon… oops. I did pay attention, but.. yeah, no excuse XD Afterwards I rather liked this quote, so I kept it.

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Went out on a thrift store hunt, and came back with a couple of beauties. My aesthetic is slowly coming out of the Pinterest board and into real life. I even got my dad to buy “good vibes only” mugs- which I never even picked. Heh. One day I’m gonna convince my parents to let me wear the grateful shirt to church. 😛 Otherwise I have a whole ‘nother post simmering about why on earth girl jeans have no real pockets. That’s just messed up. Anyhoo.

Um….

Y’all thought I was the best new blog of 2018?

*gasps*

*dies*

I’m really grateful and shocked and surprised that I was even nominated for the Emmie awards and Megan’s Best Of- thank you so so much, and again, it’s surprising that enough people like my random drabble- it’s not like I post anything revolutionary on here. So thank you. XD

Speaking of, my blog’s almost a year old. *screams* WHAT. HOW. WHY.

I’d do a giveaway, but I’m not. >:)

So yes, that’s a little thing I’m happy about.

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I can’t draw for the life of me, but I managed for this little guy! *pats it* It’s stuff like this that encourages me to keep trying to draw. And write.

Cause, yes, I’ve been in a rut creativity wise. But looking at this, and re-reading old WIPS and Just Come Home, I guess I got re-inspired.

And y’know, for some reason it’s the little things that inspire me.

I hope these have inspired you too. But hey, if not, that’s cool too! Maybe they made ya smile. 😀

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I will end this by saying that life is beautiful and I was reminded of that getting to see my new nephew- it’s precious and beautiful and soft and demanding.

And it’s a blessing indeed- down to the little things.

Because I Never Got To Share My Favorites Last Time, I’m Sharing Them Now

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In which I do exactly what the title says I’m doing.

Hello, and welcome to the second day of the New Year! I’m sure you’re all getting used to the reality that we have to go back to school soon. 😦  Fortunately, I’m not! 😛

Last year (can I really say it’s last year, wow…) I collected a bunch of my favorites. So before they get replaced with this year’s favorites, they shall forever be remembered on this blog. XD Okay, here goes literally nothing.

Favorites Of 2018

Favorite Books

Escape from Mr. Lemoncello's Library (Mr. Lemoncello's Library #1)

Okay, I’ve already written a post about this, so I won’t say much. But I LOVED this book! My imagination was on a high by the time I finished reading. XD And the end. *dies* If you read this, read it all the way to the end!

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I didn’t expect to like this book as much as I have, but I did. I loved the themes, I loved the characters, but most of all, I loved loved loved the heart. It was like I was right there with the kids at the institute. Definite fav.

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Penny Wood, you, my dear, are an amazing author! Casey Newman’s guide to being funny is one of my favorite books! And of course, Cassandra was my bestie. 😉

I could talk on and on anon about how I would die for this saga, but I really love this second book out of all of them. It’s sadder, deeper, and Janner is so real. Maybe that’s why it’s such a favorite. 🙂

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So I just read this yesterday and I want to cry.

It was so, so heartbreakingly sad.

But it was…. so good.

It was a tad bit slow in some areas, but for the most part it was a great story. I loved it.

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Wonder was a great story in an unusual way of telling it. I felt for everyone in the story, because I got to read their POVs. That was really nice.

I also wanted to punch Auggie’s bullies. They’re jerks.

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This book. Without a doubt or a shadow of it, is one of my favorites of 2018. I don’t think I could forget it.

It’s funny, how like it is to my WIP but so very different. The atmosphere is heavy with war, and the story follows with it. Mathilde is an amazing character, and she’s written beautifully.

And arggh I can’t find an image anywhere, but one of my favorites of all time would be..

Feather of Diamond, by Rebekah C!

XD It was just a first draft, I know, but I LOVED it Rebekah! Even if you did break my heart and kill off some people *cough cough* It was amazing! 😀

 

Ehehe. I can’t leave my fandoms and my fandoms won’t leave me. I reread LOTR and it’s. just. so. good. Tolkien was a master of worldbuilding, and I really really really want to go see Rivendell and Rohan and Gondor now! XD

Favorite Songs:

This should be easy. Ready?

Captain America The Winter Soldier scores are AMAZING writing music, and singlehandedly helped me win Nano!

Not really.

But it’s epic.

Even If helped me out when things weren’t looking so good.

His Heart Beats made my heart beat.

Remember Me is one of my poppier, upbeat faves.

Wake Me Up When It’s All Over is me every morning.

I’ll Keep You Safe makes me think of Dareine and her lil sister and thus I love it so.

It’s Gonna Be Okay. Okay, this song, to put it in the words of a hedgehog named Cuarto, “gives me the happies!!’

Tightrope is amazing for the sole reason it matches one of my charries and it is so sad and so… I don’t even know. Awesome.

Tell Me Again, by Skye Peterson, has kept me up and helped me keep going and I can’t stop listening to it. Also Skye Peterson has some awesome stuff and yes, you should check her songs out. 😀

God Help The Outcasts – I’m crying now, stop. Just yes!

When You Believe – I love Prince Of Egypt, I love this song, and I love all the covers I’ve heard of it so far.

Symphony was so catchy and so fun to write to. Favorite for sure.

Favorite Bible Passage: Psalm 46

Favorite Writing Snack: Bacon crumbles

Favorite WIP: Mirages y’all XD

And last but not least:

Favorite Quote:

There are a number of quotes I could pull up that for me, was my favorite of the year.

“I smelt a rat.”

“Wake me up when it’s all over.”

“If you get killed, walk it off.”

“Buckle up, it’s gonna be a weird ride.”

“Pray on, dear one, the power lies that way.”

But I’m gonna go with this one.

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That was kinda my… motto, thingy, quote-y? XD I’m glad it was.

So here’s to another year dawning, with new favorites ahead.

What were some of your favorites, I wonder? 🙂

Hopes, Dreams, and Unrealistic Aspirations

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WARNING LONG POST AHEAD PROCEED AT OWN CAUTION

Hi again, lovely people of the internet!

By the time you read this (since I was waay too verbose last time) it’ll be January. 1. 2019.

*screams*

“I wasn’t prepared for this. We can’t let them know anything.”- Kira

Truer words have never been spoken, Kira. But I *am* letting you know some things… not quite sure why.

Ohhh, right! Because I thought it would be a good idea! *facesmacks* It doesn’t seem too bad right now, so… uh…here goes. 🙂

2019 Goals

Life Goals

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  • Get a job. Somehow, someway, I’d really really like to work and save money for even more future stuff- if that’s what God wants. But even not, doing some thing that’s a little more serious than a fandom. 😛
  • Wake up early and get stuff DONE. For Christmas break, my gift to myself was slacking off on everything. Including important, essential things like devotions. And I don’t want to admit that, but I have to. Because starting now, I want to change that, and start being productive.
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With my feet propped up, a’course!
  • Read the whole New Testament and get into Bible Bee’s Summer Study. Last year (which feels like yesterday, probably because it was) I was so blessed by digging deeper into God’s word, and I don’t think I can explain that. It’s so awesome to study the Bible not because anyone says you have to, but because you want to. So I’m looking forward to this!
  • School. Crush it. Defeat the boss villain, move to next level. ‘Nuff said. Oh, and start seriously learning French. And look at ops around.
  • Train.  And by train I mean exercise. Because I’d love to get stronger in that area.
  • Learn as many life skills as I can at this age. They’re life skills. I’ll need them. Some of em are fun!
  • Go to a buskerfest. And get a buskering permit. I doubt I’ll crush this goal, but it won’t be for lack of trying. *grabs hammer*
  • Get offscreen for more than I am on. As much as I love Pinterest, I won’t let it take away time I could use to use other worthy things. Besides, I don’t want to be that kid that never sticks her head out to see the sky.
  • Develop my photography. Compared to my first picture here, I’d glad to say that I’ve grown a tad in the mastery of the lens. But I have a long way to go. So I’d really like to learn to use manual. XD
  • MORE ANDREW PETERSON MUSIC YES BOIII

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Wordy Goals

  • read 100 books. I’m really, really looking forward to this! And I’m counting books of the Bible so technically, I’ve already read four of the hundred I have to read! 😀 But yup, 100 books. Some of which may include War and Peace (HA!) some YA, and alphas. I really love the alpha part XD
  • finish, edit and rewrite Just Come Home. Ahhh, my wittle baby WIP is a year old already! *sighs* It’s gonna take some work, but I’m so doing this. You can’t stop me. It’s not your funeral, after all.
  • look into publishing. O_O WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT DID I SAY WHAT. I hve no clue where to start, I mean, it’s almost 100% sure I’m self-publishing, because honestly, who would take that? But again, if this doesn’t happen, it won’t be because I didn’t try!
  • write at least 500 words a day. I wish I could be meta and go for 1k1day, but I need to LIVE XD so I’m gonna set a reasonable amount for myself. I don’t know what I’ll write, but I’m looking forward to it! (fanfic, short stories, and poems, most likely *cough cough*) (maybe a novel or two) (I haven’t forgotten you Mirages)
  • actually respond to pen pals. 
  • join NaNo. Crush NaNo. Die in NaNo. 
  • Fill up my old notebooks. I have a bunch of old, good notebooks that wouldn’t be used. But I’m gonna take them. And write. Probably drek like on this blog. But it’ll be better than mindlessly scrolling through the web, right?
  • write in this lovely!

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The cover the cover da coverrrrr yay!

I can’t wait to write in it!

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Blogging Goals

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“Awwww yay!” you cry. “The actually fun stuff!”

Ha. Well, what do we have here…

  • have a blogsiversary.  >:) *laughs evilly* I’ve been blogging for practically a whole year, how?? But I know what I’m doing to “celebrate”. And it will be fun. 😉
  • start writing quality posts. I’m the lord of the random, and everything on this blog and this blog itself, is a result of that. So I wanna up the ante and make it a tad more purposeful.
  • enter a few contests and challenges. Like BIBPC. Ohhh and speaking of, Megan, I GET TEN EXTRA POINTS BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAH Because this is my picture for Category 4!

Jo-Team Bear- Category 4

I couldn’t change the file name.. but THAT IS A DONKEY. And I’ve saved that just for you since March! 😛 HA! HA! HA! *is so happy right now*

Ahem. Moving on.

  • Design some blogs. If you’re interested, I put up a Services page, so if you want to redesign your blog or need a new button, header, signoff, widgets, or whatever, I’d love to work with ya! And Rebekah’s helping me out too, so I won’t mess anything up! 🙂
  • Keep things running at Welcome To Odyssey. As you know, AIO is my fandom and my fandom is AIO, so I love ranting about everything under the sun that even remotely has something to do with AIO, so I’m looking forward to this!
  • figure out my YT channel. It’s pathetic.

 

B9EF66FA-B504-491B-A2BD-B0E1A3ECDE3BRandom Fun Goals (we’re almost over, hang in there :P)

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  • record more songs and make more audio dramas as part of the Audiosmiths. As bad as my voice is, I love singing.. and I love acting, so win-win! XD
  • beat someone, ANYONE, at checkers! My good friend Denise gave me this awesome set for my birthday, and then proceeded to beat me at checkers.

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WAH.  But ahem. Learning, and playing more offscreen games in general is a plus I’m looking forward to. 🙂

  • go outside more. 
  • dream. 
  • try to keep a thankfulness journal. 
  • eat bacon.
  • make someone smile. 

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Yesterday, I got this framed from a friend.

And I think that’s gonna be my… quote of the year, or whatever.

Call to Me and I will answer you. And show you great and mighty things which you do not know. -Jeremiah 33:3

From the looks of everything, I have it all under control (HA!) But the truth is, I don’t know just what’s going to happen. But God does.

I’m looking forward to the great and might things He has for me, and until then, I’m gonna trust Him and keep driving this hard drive. It has some awesome views along the way.

May the roads be as bumpy as you can handle, that you’ll find rest, and you’ll be fueled up for a hard- but joyful drive. 🙂

 

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When I Can’t Even, I Can’t Even- The Year Is Almost Done, My Friends//Recap + All That Lovely Stuff

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Okay, I’m really trying not to go into excited squealing panicking nervous wreck mode, but the struggle is real: Today is the last Sunday of 2018 AND the second to the last day of 2018.

I just have one question.

WHERE DID THE TIME AGO?!?!?

This year has been one of the most craziest in… ever for me, huge changes that I had no clue would happen, people I didn’t think I’d meet, goals I didn’t think I was crazy enough to actually crush. It’s been a weird ride, but so far, God’s been a great driver of it all. There’s been a ton of bumps and curves along the way and I am semi-shook that I still survived.

Also I’m semi shook that it’s taken me this long to actually get down and write. Bad YouTube. XD Anyhow. This is real. This is happening. The year flew past my eyes. *shudders*

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January- Ummm… things literally started changing for me with New Year’s Day. I started writing novels, not just poems (which were terrible), I got into photography, and dreaded freshman year. So helpful. I played spy a few dozen times, and oh, oh, I started my resolution to listen to more AIO!

I also seriously started thinking about blogging. So there’s that.

OH AND MITCH

I STARTED TO LIKE MITCH

HOW COULD YOU MITCH

LEAVING CONNIE FOR BUDAPEST

Ahem.

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February- THE WORLD CHANGED!

Okay, not the world, but I did start blogging. I pulled out a laptop, googled best blogging platforms, picked WordPress, stole my brother’s email address, and started on this crazy adventure of documenting my thoughts and life experiences and random bacon crumbles. I picked a hideous theme and thought it was great. That’s it. That’s all that matters.

XD Ha! No, my brother had a birthday, and I was unofficially hired at a church dinner to play violin. And I broke 4k on Just Come Home, then called The Click Of The Lens, which was my highest wordcount back then.  So there was that too. But February was the month of new changes.

If I only knew, you know?

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March- March is kinda a filler month, if you ask me. At least for the most part. It’s not quite winter anymore but it’s not spring just yet and it’s most definitely not summer and it couldn’t possibly be fall and it just IS.

At least for the most part.

Not this time.

The same day I put up my first poem here , my mom had surgery on her thyroid, the doctors having found cancer the previous month. Thankfully, Mom doesn’t have it anymore, I think. I don’t know quite sure what’s happening even now. But that month, I came to know the inside of a hospital pretty well. That month, I started to take life seriously. Even though Mom’s cancer wasn’t fatal, it wasn’t all easy as pie. That month, I started to realize that there are things I can’t control or understand, but God does.

That month I saw Allison featured on Discover, and then saw Megan, and finally got into the…neighborhood? 😛 And from there I saw Gracie and Brad and Hope and Welcome To Odyssey changed my life. XD

That month, I broke down because my sister surprised us with a 4 day visit for March Break. Just when I was worried about Mom and it wasn’t all that great, it was like God sent someone to get me back into the game.

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April- April was a good month. It was when spring bloomed up and life was good, and spring cleaning was evil, and I was getting into the blogging thing (Starling had a contest, amirite?).

April was also when I met the awesome, evil author waiting to be a bestseller Rebekah, and got into Camp NaNo for the first time. With a pathetic 7k. It’s not my fault I only found out about three days before it ended! It s a decision that has forever sealed my crazed writer state. Forever.

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May- Things swung into high gear this month. I met a bunch of awesome people, Hope from AG Doll Dreams and Zielle from my Homeschool Notebook (miss you lovelies!) among other people, we drove to Buffalo to pick my sister up, Mom was getting better, it was hopeful. Really hopeful.

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June-  Okay, I want to squeal every time I think about this month. That was the month I got to fly out to Texas for my cousin’s wedding and I got to see family.

Family is a huge thing for me, this huge collective swarm of people that I can’t imagine not knowing. I got to hold nieces and steal donuts with my cousins and feel right at home and that was worth the allnighter and the heat and narrowly missing the plane. XD I started to plan Mirages too, and that’s something else I’m so stoked about.

And I got a DSLR. AH. AH. AHHHHHHH.

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July- July was HOT, people. HOT HOT HOT HOT OUCH HAVE MERCY ON MY POOR SELF.

But it was also awesome.

Camp NaNo started. And I got to be in a cabin. And I got to meet fellow writers and eventually friends. Bible Bee’s Summer Study and the Bored Games happened, and I found myself LOVING God’s word and clinging on to it.

It wasn’t all easy.

I won’t lie, I had a few times where I was shaking so badly I needed to breathe and calm down.

But I wasn’t alone. That helped.

I don’t regret trying to spread my writing wings, because that helped the rest of me.

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August-  Goodness, that was hard. So hard.
I found myself questioning a lot of things, I found myself clinging onto the Bible, I found myself wondering if I was secretly interpreting the Bible wrong, and I found that Mom banned bacon crumbles from the house if I all was gonna do was snack on them.
WHYYYY MOM?!
*sniffs*
Enni and I put our heads together and tried to make sense of the thing that was culture. It’s nice not to be alone for once.
We watched The Greatest Showman and I can’t stop humming A Million Dreams. Ah. *shakes the air*
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September- The dreaded scott known as SCHOOL started again. Need I say more?
This was also pretty hard too.
But we pressed though. God was good. Very good. I learned to trust and spent a lot of time delving into writing and photography and deciding that randomness is my specialty.
Oooh, ooh, I JOINED A FANBLOG YEET YEET HOORAY YAY Odyssians will never ever be the same again! Definite win of the month yet!
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October- October whizzed by so fast I’m a little scared of it. It took the snap of a finger, and it’s gone. Obliterated to complete and utter ash. Gone. Poof!
I started planning for NaNoWriMo, spent bunches chatting with friends, forced myself to get up earlier and actually be productive, cheered Tess on with APADO, and died every Saturday with Album 65 Adventures In Odyssey, really died. Don’t remind me about the time I jumped so hard my mom almost dropped her phone.
Oh, and Audiosmiths’ Radio Theater started. Win!
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November- Also known as the death of me.
National Novel Writing Month was a thriller in itself. I wrote more than I thought I could, yelled more than I thought I could, and basically did a lot of stuff more than I thought I could. And we had to wear jackets. And I got my laptop.
It’s a tad surreal to think It was just last month. It really is.
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December- Have mercy, it is 12: 26 AM and I still have another month to recap?? *sighs* This is what I get for “resting” and watching Youtube vids for like…an hour.
But December moved pretty fast too, believe it or not. I’m going with the latter, because I could sworn I was recording my fiddlings and writing out Christmas cards just yesterday.
25 Days, 25 recordings didn’t go as planned, but I’m okay with that. I’m proud of what I recorded so far, bad though they be. I mean, I edited and released an audio drama! So all ya’ll lovely requests are being saved, dontcha worry bout that. 😉
I turned a year older. Still feel like an immature writer dork. Advent. Wrote short stories. Wrote fanfic (!!!!) Gave gifts. Got more than I gave. Feel a smidge bad about that. but I *did* give!
And uhhh, I went to Parliament! And Montreal! And I wrote!
Yeah, this month has been good.
This year has been about growth. Like my bell pepper plant. There’s been thorns. And nasty flies. And it has been HARD.
But it has been worth it.
I’m overwhelmed by the people who’ve got my back, and whose backs I’ve got, who’re praying for me, and I’m praying for them, by the fact that I am not alone. And even if I never met anyone via blogging, God’s been closer. More real, if that’s even possible.
Okay. I’m done.
It’s been a hard year.
But we stuck through it.
🙂
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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!