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

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Grate(fullness)

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The Avengers 4 Endgame trailer. For reluctant family asking me about it because I’m the “expert.” XD For overall anticipation because that up there? That’s the endgame. Scary. For my mom refusing to believe Loki really died. For being able to find (as a writing critic, what’s new XD) the good and bad elements of these movies. For waiting in a weird sense of hope along with who knows how many other people.

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For ohana -as weird as it works in my family, it works. For mahal na mahal kita (I love you very much) and for ang gulo mo!! (Which roughly translates to, “you’re a walking blur of confusion”) For caffeine injected chocolate mini bars. Also known as the very thing needed for life.

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For the intricate development and detail going on in the Frozen 2 trailer (yes, really!), for music that has been and probably will be one of the few things that can keep me alive, for Sleeping At Last and Owl City and this list could go on forever. For the sun rising any time now while I write this. For the sun setting when I was writing the WTO post. The fact that the sun has been rising and setting for the better part of a couple centuries and hasn’t once got caught on a hook halfway. For the sounds of a city in the morning. For the morning. For coffee, who am I kidding.. and for a new day.

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For a thousand portals to a thousand different worlds in paperback form. For the ability to be lost into a book even after you’ve read the last page. For the rare and precious gift (if used wisely) of imagination. For fandoms, and the aggressive-passiveness you tend to have when discussing anything related to them. For favorite characters that are favorite because they are real and they’re broken and they’re flawed but they still come back strong anyway. For egg salad sandwiches, not that it has anything to do with this paragraph. 😛 For once good story plots *glares at Star Wars* and for forever good stories that never get old. (Come onnnn SW I still had faith in you!)

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Hot tea. Sassy mugs. A charged up MP3. The smell of rain after a rain. The smell of snow falling down. A giant blanket with a secret stash of tortilla chips and a good book hidden in it. That perfect moment when you have perfect harmony with your duet. YouTube. *coughs* A worn and dependable T-shirt.

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For friends that will throw their hands up in the air at you, but refuse to give up on you. For laughter at 7:15 PM because of a hilariously done (aka terrible) accent. For platforms that exist to connect you with people you’ve never even seen face to face. For the fact memes exist as well. For training, for living, for a thousand story ideas whirring around and around until one sounds coherent enough to work on. For Canva. And for bacon crumbles. Duh.

Have you ever heard of this really old song called, “count you every blessings, name ’em one by one?”

I didn’t even scratch the surface. And y’know, I don’t think anyone can. If they stop to think about it.

Wow, this got serious for a really late tag. 😛 But oh well. It is what it is.

Tell you what, take a look at this list and see if I missed anything. See if there’s anything you can add. Because there is so much to be grateful about. Because we’re about as full as we are grateful.

life is a highway, Jo

One Year Of This Lens

I am a bad blogger, and that’s the absolute tea. XD I *had* posts coming out last week, but I only published the lone roasting of posts because.. life. School. YouTube. You know what it’s like. 😛  Makes me wonder how I actually made it to a whole year of blogging.

*record scratches*

It’s been a year? 

I’ve been blogging for apparently an entire year? O_O Mindblown.

Yeah. I have. One year ago today, I flipped open a laptop, found WordPress, and started this whole thing. I have no insightful words to say about this, other than MAN MY BLOG DESIGN WAS BLEH. *shudders*

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Thank you for one whole crazy year of blogging- to be honest, I never expected to make it this far, and I had zero clue what was gonna happen. It takes readers for a blog to be a blog, so thank you so much. 🙂

I was gonna announce my secret project for release, but since life made me push that behind for a while *humph* I guess I can announce my other secret! XD Which is….

I answered your questions on a podcast of sorts. 

If you’ve followed Welcome To Odyssey, then you might’ve heard my horrible covers of AIO songs, and probably cringed at the sound of my voice in general. So what better thing to do to celebrate a year than to ruin it entirely with almost 45 minutes of my squeakly squeaky voice? 😀 But yeah, here you can find out if I actually have ships, the truth about my OTP, and how I got into photography! *nodnod*

Also, I’m awkward, and yes, I used Sleeping At Last’s music in the background, and yes, I may or may not have said stuff like, “How could youuuu” and “whyy” very dramatically. 😛 So, sorry in advance for that, and I don’t mean to offend anyone. Truly.

I think this is the last time I’m doing something like this.

Maybe I’ll let you know my other plan sometime soon. *thumbs up*

life is a highway, Jo

A Scribble Scrabble On Life: Laughed At A License Plate (And Other Mundane Things)

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Well this one time we were driving and some black sedan whizzed by and the license plate read something along the lines of GANDALF.

You won’t believe how disappointed I was. There was no pointy gray hat. SACRILEGE.

I’ve always been interested in license plates. I even had a collection of the weirdest ones. I think my favorite was FLYAKITE. Mom didn’t get the reference.

Welcome back to another post of the mundane with your not favorite mundane person. 😀

The past two posts have been unusually deep, for some strange reason.  Not sure why. My brain is funny sometimes. Anyway, I’m breaking that streak because I couldn’t post stuff like that on a regular basis if my life depended on it. 😛

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I dunno what I was doing here, but I definitely thought it was funny. XD

How are you, huh?

Ooh, looky- it’s SNOWING.  The sun was shining a few minutes ago. I wish I had my camera, but there’s no way I’m stepping out in in 10 degree weather. And that’s in Farenheit, too. It’s cold. It’s beautiful. It’s cold. I’m shivering. XD

Library stuff. The other day Dad was free from work, so the reprobates that were us kids drove to the library to “work”.

HA.

Work.

*dies* That’s kinda funny. XD As if I could actually get work done in a library. Leaving me in a place of books is like taking a two year old to a candy shop- you won’t emerge unscathed.

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I actually did get some homework done though- the nice librarian who knows me as “The girl who’s almost always asking for the obscure American titles” showed me to the encyclopedias, and I think I walked back and forth from my desk to the shelf like…. 20 times? Per hour? SCHOOL. WHY.

Came back home with…. um.. tenish books? Does one count comics? And I owe 2.80 to the library now. Oops. And my card expires in 30 days. *sobs* The injustice.

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I’m not sure whose blog I saw it on, but the book Because You’ll Never Meet Me caught my eye, and I spent an hour or so reading it. Mini review- the POVs are really great, the characterization is well done, the concepts are seriously cool, but as for the other elements, I’m still deciding. XD It’s a pretty good read though! I also read Girls Can’t Hit and it’s a surprisingly good read as well. *nodnod* Makes me wanna pick up a set of boxing gloves. 

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Speaking of comics, I screamed unnaturally when the A4 TV spot came on during the Super Bowl. I didn’t even bother to stick around for the game. XD It’s coming and I shouldn’t be this excited, but I am. ENDGAME. AH. I’m too excited. 😛 Maybe also because I kinda get to nerd my family out with everything Marvel connect with my family a little more. 🙂 Although I’m not lying about the family part. I got my brother reading 2 comics simply by leaving them out on the shelf. He hates reading. XD I’m counting this as a score. It’s been decided that we’re now pronouncing Tony Stark “Sony Tark.”

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Spiderman can’t be more relatable.

Anyway.

Brief birthday related paragraph. My other brother, also known as the Very Loud And Unusual One Who Plays Electric Guitar And Drives Me Crazy went and decided to get older. Being the good sister I’m not, I ate a slice off his birthday cake. What, he won’t miss it. 🙂

Weather Intrusion. Wait, wait, THE SUN’S SHINING IN THE SNOW STORM *pokes head out window*

*freezes*

*dies*

*wakes up in Budapest*

Well, that was a mistake. 😛 I’m dying it’s cold. Sent hot cocoa over here! 😛

I’ve been desperately trying to catch up school-wise, which isn’t too bad if I just got my homework actually done, it feels like I live at this get up:

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Break down: Tiny black laptop balancing precariously on the edge of the abstract art couch is actually a DVD player. Main laptop is the thing I can’t live without due to its can’tlivewithoutqualites. Papers over there are the evil fatale assignments I had to go overtime to barely finish. 

Which, I gotta say, is really, really nice, but it gets tiring over time. So what better way to switch things up than to say, do the art tutorials on The Art Lab?

Art Dump. *facepalm* Sometimes I question my sanity.

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I spent so long at that paintiiiing- and the marker bled through. 😡  Oh well. It was rather fun trying to be artistic- and my other brother said he liked it. But still. those clouds look terrible.

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See, the marker bled straight through to the next page! (Also, very sorry for the terrible lighting) But I actually kinda like this one. My first decent drawing in a while. I just might redo and frame that one.

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And then I had to go and waste all my ink on trying the spaghetti mountain thing. It was HARD. And I ran outta marker. But it kinda looks like I actually tried! Which is good, because I actually did try. Art is hard.

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*gags* WHAT. EVEN. IS. THIS. ATROCITY.  YUK. My eyes hurt right now. I was trying Buttercup’s hair tutorial and thought, “ooh, this isn’t too bad, let’s try the face!”
What was I even thinking?

This offends everything in me that has an inkling of art sense. Why. Be-yuk. I suppose I’ll have to keep practicing to be remotely good. But that’s okay. Nobody’s an expert at first try. Take this as proof what whatever you’re doing is ten times better than whatever I could conjure.

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Conversations. I kinda wish people would take this mug at their words. Lately I’ve discovered that many times a lot of hurt can be avoided if someone just takes the time to listen. Many of the hurt’s been caused by myself too, which I hope to end. Tea doesn’t hurt. 🙂

Audiosmiths’ Release! We’ve been working very, very hard on this, and it’s finally out! Big thanks to Rebekah for taking on the editing work ❤ (also: was it hard getting an annoying Scottish accent that was probably incorrect? Answer: YES. VERY. ARGH.)

To sum up. Sometimes, random posts are really just random. They don’t make an ounce of sense, and honestly, you gotta ask yourself what’s the point.

I guess I don’t have any other than that after a long hard week,  people need a reason to smile again. If my recaps of an otherwise mundane life can do that, than I’ll consider this successful. XD It’s easy to look at the news and have your heart sink. But as Thor said:

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I’m telling ya, these comics have more insight then they let on. Maybe go read one sometime. 😉  So here’s your funnies for the week. It made zero sense, but hopefully.. I dunno, maybe it got you to smile. 🙂

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Have a good one, okay? 😀

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

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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

Hard Stuff: Don’t Call Yourself Dumb

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My dad and I were driving around yesterday and we were just talking about the weird things that are normal in the here and now: speaking with emojis instead of words, looking at your phone instead of talking to people, little kids spending their entire days on YouTube videos *cough cough heh guilty during NaNo*, people taking huge risks to make those videos, movies that churn out mediocre stories in exchange for money, how people will believe anything the internet tells ’em. Anyway, Dad mentioned something that I haven’t stopped thinking about for a while.

“you live in a dumbed-down society.”

I suppose, to an extent, he’s right, of course. This world’s very different then it was a decade or two ago. But I’d have to disagree if that statement applied to people too.

But forget people now, what I’m interested in is you.

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Ever feel like you’re just, so, so, hopelessly dumb? Annoying algebra and your brain just don’t work together, you push instead of pull on a doorknob, cashier at the checkout asks for a dollar and you accidentally give her two, you have no clue what “bonjour” means despite a test and two quizzes? Flunked?

The best running joke in my family is that I don’t have a brain, but I do have a placebo for it and it actually works. XD And that joke’s still run by me. I like poking fun at myself and the things I do that are just… well, for lack of a better word. Dumb. I’m already messed up, why not make fun of it and make other people laugh?

Thing is though, dumb is an adjective that fits nobody. Nobody.

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During July Camp NaNo, when I was groaning about how Mirages wasn’t ending up in the style I wanted and the characters were too OOC, and it’s just full of melodramatic nothingness and I was just a dumb writer, I think it was either Tess or Enni or quite possibly both at different times who shook my by the proverbial shoulders and said,

“Hey. God made your brain. Are you telling me He made a mistake in designing you?”

With all the love I can muster, ouch.

As Doc Hudson’s coach said, “truth is always quicker.” Or something like that.

Anyway, we talked for a while, and Tess and Enni? You practically wrote this post. I’m just passing on what you told me because it’s kinda important.

I’m not sure if self esteem is a thing, but I do know that self negativity (which I’m hoping means always thinking of yourself as dumb or something to that extent) can really trip you up and stop you from moving and brings you down. So. What my crazy and awesome cabinmates told me, I’m telling you. To stop that from happening.  😀

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Because you are fearfully and wonderfully made, that includes your mental system, which means your brain and mind were wonderfully made, which means if you’re putting that down to yourself, you’re saying God wasn’t a good Creator. 

Ye-ouch, that hurts writing it. But God is the Master Creator. He “skillfully wrought you from the depths of the earth” (Psalm 139: 15b if you wanna fact-check me from the NASB). I dunno about you, but the word skillfully should give ya a clue as to how you were made.

Take a snowflake and look at it.. Ever think how delicately intricate it is? Ever wonder why in the world are no two of them ever exactly the same, no matter how many winters we have? If God pays so much attention to a melting crystal that dissolves in like 5 seconds, how much more you? Y’know?

Anyway, back in July when they were telling me this, I faintly remember arguing, if not on the cabin, in my head, “So I have a good brain. or mind. I still make the dumbest mistakes on a daily basis.”

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Everyone gets the chance to grow from their mistakes.

We’re all kids. We make mistakes that really are dumb. We’re growing, and making mistakes comes with the growth. It’s up to us whether we learn from them or still repeat them.

The mistakes, dumb they may be, do not define you. Not if you don’t let them define you.

Who knows, in a couple months’ time, I might look back on this post and groan at it. We grow.

If you wouldn’t call another person dumb, don’t call yourself dumb.

Am I right, or am I right? Maybe, when in exasperation or a joking mood, you can tease someone about being dumb, but for the most part, you wouldn’t go up to a person and say, “you’re just really dumb. Look at this work, can’t you just stop being so bad at this and actually get stuff done?” Of course you wouldn’t. Because if you would, you’re so dead.

So why you doing it to yourself, huh?

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If you keep saying it, there’s a good possibility you’ll actually believe it. 

Raise you hand if you’ve heard the story about that lil train who kept saying he could and he did. Or, for a different illustration, maybe you’ve heard Natasha Romanoff mutter this:

“I thought I knew whose lies I was telling. Guess I can’t tell the difference anymore.”

Black Widow is a fictional character. You’re real. Among the many lies you can tell yourself, the “I am dumb” one can be an easy one to believe. And the more you tell a lie, the more you start to believe it. Don’t need HYDRA or the KGB to believe a deadly lie.

Sure, sometimes you need to scold yourself once in a short while, I mean, I find myself doing that a lot, but if you keep thinking about how dumb you think you are, that can and will get to you.

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tl;dr:

Your mind is fearfully and wonderfully made by God among everyone in this earth (i.e. this also applies to kids with autism and Aspergers and down syndrome and people we call “normal”) and bashing that won’t help you get anywhere.

Maybe, the more people start to realize that their minds were intricately and specially made, society wouldn’t be as dumbed down as we think it is.

Life is a highway,

Jo

 

Letter to my future self

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So a while back, I saw Bayance do a post like this, and I thought it was a really great idea. Since I’m young and impressionable (I’m being sarcastic) and the idea of writing something that I’ll answer later on seems pretty neat.

Because the truth is, I’m terrified, yet eager for the future. I’m nervous and excited. Nervouscited. Sometimes I’m grateful I’m not driving my life and God is, but other times I wanna poke my head out from the back and ask, “Where are we going? And can we stop for a break?”

And then there’ve been times when I was so, so tired of the road, of life and- I guess you could call this letter thing.. a reminder to keep going? 😛 I don’t know. But here goes.

(I just realized how silly this might sound, especially when I just did a letter to my past self. I have put my hands to the keyboard and there’s no pressing backspace. XD)

Dear future Jo,

Are you getting enough sleep or are you still staying up ridiculously late for “writing research”? Or are you forgetting that because you’re writing too much fanfiction?

I wonder if you’ll remember me? The kid that was you just a year ago? Maybe just shorter than you by a couple inches- speaking of, did you get taller yet? XD If you don’t.. well, I guess your old journals should remind you. Wait, you’re still writing a page a day, right? 😀

I have so, so many questions but I won’t know the answers til later. Whyy- so this won’t take too much of your time.

How are you? Really? and not just “good”. How are you? Are you still the same weird crazy writer photographer lover of God bacon crumble enthusiast person? Do you still love reading? Ooh, did you find any new books? Did any of your alphas publish?? 😀

How’s your family? Did we change in any way? Did we get to go to Minnesota and meet up with Uncle Danny, or did work get in the way again? Speaking of work, do you have a job now? Tell Mom and Dad I say hi. XD That’s kinda funny.

Did you finally publish your book? or more importantly, did you finally FINISH your book? 😛 As well as memorize all of Galatians, or did you slack on that too?

Have you met anyone new? People that became close friends? 😀 Ooh- did you ever have a meetup or anything great like that?

Was this summer as crazy as you thought it would be? As last as last year? As rich and good and growing-y?

I kinda wonder.

I wonder about what you will be.

If you’ll be different.

The thought’s scary.

But kinda cool, too. 🙂

Have you joined any writing contests- oh, oh, oh, and how’s the Audiosmiths? Is that still going? And did Buck Oliver get adopted yet? please tell me Jason didn’t end up with Jillian. Even better, tell me Jillian left town- pleeeease. I begst of thee! Did AIO have anything new up its sleeve?

How many words did you girls write in your fanfiction? 😉 It was at 57k when last I checked, and we’re starting a new book soon. Where you at?

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Also, can you do a backflip yet? You still wanna join American Ninja Warrior or something great like that, right? And how’s Bible Bee going- assuming you joined and studied and did the work. Did they let Canadians compete in semi-finals yet?

Or like finals?

Because I’ve been wondering.

I wonder a lot, and I wonder if you will wonder too.

Are you still blogging, or did you give that up after your first year? And did you change your theme and actually put effort into your blog design, or were you lazy like I am?

Is your prayer life stronger than it is now? 😀 And your walk with God in general? Hopefully that got stronger over time.

How much did you laugh at St. John In Exile? XD Or in general? And is your favorite movie still CA:TWS? And is you favorite hero still TWS? 😛 Oh.

He didn’t die right?

I mean, he can’t.

I sure hope not.

Ahhhh if you find the answer, please lemme know.

Of course, I won’t receive it in time. XD But that’s okay.

Did anything change?

And are you okay with that now?

Because I’m still trying to figure stuff out.

I think that’s it for now. See you…. soon, I guess?

With all the questions my brain finds no trouble in mustering,

Jo

P.S Will you even still answer this- or remember you wrote it?

P.P.S. Now I got nothing.

P.P.P.S. Byeeeeee!

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Y’know, I still wonder.

But I guess time will tell. 🙂

Life is a highway,

Jo

Reveries Co! (An amazing company that needs all the attention it can get + interview with one of the head brainstormers and co-managers)

 

First, don’t you love that header? 😀 If you don’t go back and look at it again. If you still don’t, I am concerned. XD

Today is the day I hop on the blog tour for Reveries Co, a new company for writers, by writers! And boy, what a lovely day it is too!

But how did Reveries Co. even start?

SP Spotlights - Kellyn Roth

 

As you know, Kellyn Roth is an amazing author of several historical fiction books (one of which I’m reviewing and dying because it’s so good) and her book covers are l o v e l y. Kellyn makes many of her book covers herself and for other people too.

Now, see, when Kellyn was making a website for her cover design business.

It needed a tagline, see.

And thinking about the tagline made Kellyn think about design, and editing, and marketing, and all that important stuff an indie writer and all writers in general have to think about. But Kellyn can’t do everything herself.

So what if there was a team of people with different skills, who got together to offer their services?

One thing led to another, and now we have this.

And that team is now, after months of hard work and careful planning, this:

It’s amazing how many skilled people are in this, many of whom are just teenagers. Which is awesome, because we need more Christian teen writers in the world!

But now to the important part of this post, the interview with Angela R. Watts, manager, head brainstormer, and author!

SP Spotlights - Angela R. Watts

  1. What inspires you to write, and what was the very first thing you wrote?

I have been a storyteller since I was very young, so the gift of writing is just in me. It is something that comes from my heart and I really can’t stop doing it when God moves me to. The first thing I ever wrote, besides some little short stories in a notebook, was a story about picking blueberries. I illustrated that story and binded it, as well!

  1. What’s your absatootely-ootly-wunderbaar-ootly favorite thing about the whole writing process?

As strange as it sounds, everything. I love the brainstorming after the initial ‘I HAVE AN IDEA’ stage. I love the writing the first draft without caring what anything looks like. I love the rewriting, too, and the editing. I enjoy working with beta readers and an editor. I love the publishing process, even if it is (to me) the most frustrating part because of technical details that are often tricky. So, yes, as weird as it is, I do love the whole writing process, just for different reasons!

  1. How did you know you wanted to join forces with Kellyn with this company for writers?

Kellyn came to me with the initial idea and we spent plenty of time brainstorming. I immediately knew Reveries Co. was what I wanted to do, because I’d asked the Lord to show me how to go about offering my own editorial services. Discussing the plans for Reveries Co. with Kellyn was the open door from God.

  1. As a writer, what’s something you wished was around to make selling books easier?

Whether you market online the most, or have the ability to do book conventions and author signings, selling books is often hard to do. If I could have a magical little tool that helped me sell books, it would be a teleporter, I think. That way I can go to people, chat with them, and give them a copy of my book. And, hey. I have a teleporter. That’s bound to get attention… Thus, probably more attention on my books, yeah?

  1. Where do you gain inspiration for writing?

Inspiration for stories come from God, and the motivation to keep on writing through it all comes from God, too! I do find motivation from talking to family and friends, listening to music, focusing on other things, and noticing the world. As a writer, it’s fun finding bursts of inspiration from random things.

  1. Are you planning on releasing any new books, and if so where can I read them?   Aw, thank you! I do plan on publishing in 2019. Prayerfully, at least two novels: JUMP, a YA supernatural novel, and the first book of The Infidel Books, AWAKE. They will be published through Amazon. If you follow my blog or subscribe to my newsletter (newsletter pals get BONUS content/news!), you won’t miss any updates for when these babies release!

 

  1. What exactly is your part in this awesome new venture?

Kellyn and I are both managers at Reveries Co., so my job is to keep up with emails, advertise, plan things with Kellyn, and make sure our customers are given the best service we can provide. I also offer my own services, such as developmental edits, manuscript critiques, line editing, as well as consulting!

  1. How do you hope Reveries Co can help Christian authors succeed?

I understand how difficult it can be to enter the self-publishing world, whether you struggle with a budget or don’t know how to find readers. I pray Reveries Co. is a way for authors to not only strengthen their story’s interior and exterior quality, but also find support from other Christian authors.

  1. What are some of your favorite aspects of Reveries Co…?

I adore the fact so many services can be reached on one responsive website, so not only can a person find what service they need, but there are more than one service providers at hand! I also like how supportive the service providers are, so even if you do not have a story completed for and editor, you can contact a consulter and gain publishing insight. Reveries Co. is for authors to gain confidence, strengthen their skills, and support other authors. I’m glad to be a part of that!

10. Does Reveries Co. work for both independent and traditional authors?

Reveries Co. offers quality services that both independent and traditional authors can benefit from. If you have intentions of self-publishing or plan on submitting your manuscript to an agent or publisher, we can help you prepare your book.

11. If I wanted to contact Reveries Co. but wasn’t quite sure if I needed help with editing or proofreading or blog tours or alpha reading, what should I do first?

If you are unsure what stage of editing your manuscript needs, I advise contacting Reveries Co. so we can get and idea of what service will fit. It can be hard deciding if you need a manuscript critique or developmental edit, or a line edit or proofread. However, we can help you decide, and look forward to helping!

For things like deciding on which blog tour package would best fit you and your book, contact us with your thoughts and wants! We’ll get you fixed up with what you need.

If you need consulting on other things, like wanting to know the pros and cons of alpha readers, you can contact one of our consulters. We’re friendly and love brainstorming with you!

Thank you so much for letting me interview you, Angela! 😀 I can’t wait to see where this is gonna go!

Now, like with all the best blog tours, this one has the works: giveaway,

ENTER THE GIVEAWAY NOW!

Facebook party,

The official Facebook launch party will be at the end of this week (Saturday the 5th) from 12 PM to 3 PM PST.

Kellyn will be hosting a live video and taking your questions, among other things.

CLICK TO JOIN!

Discounts,

Book Them Now!

And blog tour schedule:

Schedule

Tuesday, January 1st

Interview with Founder // Kendra E. Ardnek @ Knitted by God’s Plan

Spotlight // Abigail Harder @ Books, Life, and Christ

Announcement from Founder // Lila Diller @ Creating Romance

Wednesday, January 2nd

Announcement // Kellyn Roth @ Reveries

Spotlight // Mukta A @ Born Free

Interview with the Co-Manager // Jo A @ The Lens & the Hard Drive

Announcement from Founder // A. Kaylee @ Kaylee’s Kind of Writes

Guest Post from Founder // Emily Yager

Interview with Founder // Dawn Dagger

Announcement from Founder // Eva-Joy @ Coffee, Classics, and Craziness

Thursday, January 3rd

Interview with Co-Manager // Michaela Bush @ Tangled Up In Writing

Spotlight // Jessica Greyson

Interview with Founder // Parker Hankins @ Pencils and Pianos

Guest Post by Founder // Merie Shen @ Imperial Scribis

Announcement from Founder // Jana T. @ Reviews From the Stacks

Announcement from Founder // Hanne T. @ Losing The Busyness

Friday, January 4th

Announcement from Founder // Deborah @ Reading on the Edge

Announcement from Founder // Katherine Brown Books

Guest Post from Founder // Julia Witmer

Announcement from Founder // Jessie Bingham

Spotlight // Loretta @ Just Writing

Interview with Co-Manager // Isabel Olivetti @ Chasing Fantasia

Saturday, January 5th

Spotlight // Abigayle Claire @ The Left-Handed Typist

Spotlight // Gracelyn Buckner @ Literatura

Announcement from Founder // Faith Blum @ Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections

Guest Post from Founder // R.M. Archer @ Scribes & Archers

Wrapup // Kellyn Roth @ Reveries

*wipes brow* Phew! You should totally check out those other posts, they’re way better than this one, lemme tell ya. XD Have a great Wednesday!

OH OH OH AND THE LINKS TO THEIR COMPANY ONE SEC

Website // Instagram // Facebook // Twitter

There ya go. Bye!

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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Yippee-Kai-Yay-Hoo It Is JULY!!!

It’s July. It’s July. IT’S JULY!!!!!!!!!!

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Where does the time go, people??? I need more of it!

I’ve:

-been in the air

-spent time with loved ones

-upgraded these lens

– watching my bell pepper plants grow!

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-worked on a lil’ prank (that was successful)

I’ve even got to do some graphic design for different people!

-My constant posting paid off: The Ladybugs won Starling’s HARPs! Yaasss!!!

There have been so many thing, little blessings, little trials, a whopper of homework, and overall, life has gone by in a blink of an eye.

Through all of this month, from the first day to the coming last, God has been so good.

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And now, WE GET A NEW MONTH!!!!! WHO-HOOO!!!!! Summer has finally come! In my opinion, it’s too hot, but hey, who am I to complain? Less school!! And yes, that’s less, because 1. I’m homeschooled and 2. taking advanced courses. So I’ll still have school, but less of it. It’s a win!

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Plus, this wonderful stress-giver known as Camp NaNo is going to start in less than a day! Being in the same cabin with some other great bloggers and writers is already a ton of fun. Which proves the age old truth: it is better to stress over a deadline with a friend, then to stress over a deadline by yourself.

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Ok, it’s not age old, but still pretty accurate, am I right? 🙂

Anyhoo, I thought I might recommend some favorites from this month, so if you’d like to stick around, keep scrolling!

Favorite Song:

Here Be Lion’s Only A Holy God.

Who else commands all the hosts of heaven?
Who else could make every king bow down?
Who else can whisper and darkness trembles?
Only a holy God

What other beauty demands such praises?
What other splendor outshines the sun?
What other majesty rules with justice?
Only a holy God

Come and behold Him
The One and the only
Cry out, sing Holy
Forever a holy God
Come and worship the holy God 

Any words I would have for this would only make it less.

There are also Owl City’s Not All Heroes Wear Capes, and 5th Of July, but they don’t really compare to this.

Favorite Book:

The End Of The Spear, by Steve Saint

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Again, what words do you have for this book? The true story of what happened after the killing of the five missionaries in the Amazon jungles of Ecuador by Waodani warriors is amazing. Not just because of the brave men who gave their lives for Christ, though very much so; but also because of how those same warriors turned to Christ, and how Steve Saint, whose father Nate Saint was among those killed, grew up loving the very same ones who killed his father. Only God could make that possible.

My words don’t do it justice, no matter what I say. If you can, go read this book- and be blessed because of its story.

Favorite Bible Verse:

Well, you see, the whole Bible is my favorite! It’s hard to just pick just one. But I will give out one for this month!

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Bible Bee has been a real blessing.

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Looking back over the month, it’s pretty surreal to think that just like that, the year is halfway over. Life is moving at a faster rate then we can register. So this month, let’s make the most of it.

Thanks for reading! Have a happy National Camera Day! (I think that’s a thing.)

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