In Which I Write A Blog Post In My Journal (Or a journal entry on my blog…)

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Deery, 

 I has redeemed myself. And it is quite the nice feeling to redeem yourself, lemme tell ya. 

Mom cut back my curfew to 9 pm, deery. 9. Stinking. PM. WHY. 😥 she says it’s to make sure my mind is properly rested, but I think it’s unfair, I do. 

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Although, if I’m gonna be completely honest, *whispers* I’m kinda grateful that I have a curfew? ‘Cause now I am forced to prioritize and pick what’s really important and that’s a good thing. So curfew doesn’t really stink. I guess. It’s cool for the most part. 

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I got to video chat J and R this afternoon, so that was really, totally 110 percently,  a TON of fun. I wuv these weirdos a lot. We were *supposed* to be doing Bible study, but we ended up fangirling– personing over His Story the musical. We could literally talk for forever and there was would be no way on earth we could stop coming up with things to talk about. But we had to stop, of course. Because I had (have, still) a book to finish.

_Um....._ The problem doesn't seem that hard, just move that number here and put this here-- In my head, the numbers are animated and Larry the Cucumber is narrating how to solve the equation. But in real life, I'm a.png

Anyway, J’s nagging cough cough death threats actually paid off. I wrote 4k today. 4k!!! That’s the most I’ve ever written. EVER. How awesome is that? 4 more k to go, heh, but I got this. God’s got me. It’s not over til it’s over. 😀 

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Mom heard some of the songs I was playing and asked if I could play them at dinner time. So I did. Guess what? Dad now likes His Story the musical. HEHEHEHEEHEHE. HEH. 🙂

I’m kinda scared that at the end of all this, something bad will happen, but like I told J, I just gotta keep trusting God. Where is He gonna take me? I don’t know. 

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And I can’t wait. 

 

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Back Again, An Explanation

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I saw Jo stab the ancient 1994 modem with her usb, eyes flashing. She blew the dust off the old keyboard and started typing. I grinned. Jo was back! Doing her whole torturing of my poor sis-

ZEKE STOP MESSING AROUND ON MY BLOG.

But JOOOOOO I haven’t been on here since like, October!

And I would like to KEEP it that way Zeke!

*huffs* I’m older than you, by, like, 2 years, so you really should cut me some slack.

Shut up and go. Shoo! This isn’t your blog!

Fine, but don’t come crying to me when everyone demands my triumphant return!

Nobody will demand any return from you, and I don’t cry. Shoo. You’re bothering me.

*slinks away from laptop* *muttering* *accidentally tripped on laptop charger*

Well, now that Zeke has ceased and desisted (phew) I guess you’re left with me. And *maybe* just maybe you’re wondering, “why did you leave for almost a week Jo?” Aw, how kind. To be honest, I bet zero people have asked that. And I wouldn’t expect them too. It’s normal to leave. And that’s what I did. Not by choice, however.

This week has possibly taken the world record in hardest weeks. I’m sure it will be topped, eventually, but it was hard. And dark. And even, well, hopeless. To paraphrase Maggie from Dreaming Of Guatemala, it was so dark I almost forgot the light.

Thankfully, God didn’t forget me. And neither did the people He put around me. 🙂 I’ll explain… Sometime. If I remember to. 😛 I tend to forget, y’know, I’m a Jo of very little brain. And a middling sized heart. *thumbs up*

But again, we’re not here to talk about that. It’s with a happy (really, extremely, all the “ly” words) pair of hands that I type the words I AM GLAD TO BE BACK HERE AND WHAT DID I MISS? XD

Let’s see.. where do I pick up after I left off?

Oh. I discovered cookie and ice cream sandwiches. Behold.

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So that was a plus. A tiny and delicious reason to smile. Anyway.

Zeke was right about one thing. And that would be that I’ve been writing. Like a lot of writing. Which may probably lead to burnout with NaNo and all, but hey, I got a chapter down- and a little something that I keep hinting at, but am actually close to mentioning. 😉 I will tell you this though, it’s kinda something I’ve never done before. And I’m almost finished. >:) But yes. Anyway, here’s a snippie from Just Come Home, because I miss sharing my writing. 😛

” My phone rang suddenly on me and serving Miss Addy and a bunch of her shopkeeper friends that day,  much to Miss Addy’s consternation and her friends’ delight. “Whups,” I apologized, slamming an order down on the table. I quickly fished out the source of the Lion King opening and hastily pressed the decline button mid “naah!!” “Sorry about that,” I said awkwardly, passing the drinks down.

My phone rang again.

With an even more obnoxious “nahhhh!” ” — Just Come Home

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Hand lettering helped so much during the tough times, kinda like a coloring book, but you draw as you color. So I’ve gotten into that, and ended up with a bunch of different quotes cursive-fied and pasted onto my journal. “Thank God It’s Friday” was the one yesterday.

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And this was one for another day. It’s one of my favorites. 🙂 Remind me to stop by the dollar store and pick up markers. And maybe more cookies. XD

I keep mentioning food in these posts. Send help.

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My headphones have practically been glued to my head (with good reason) and won’t leave (with VERY good reason), and the songs I end up muttering turn out to the best kind. I’ll talk about them another time. They, along with a billion other things that you don’t really notice at first glace, were little lights that shone rather brightly in the dark. 🙂 (Also, Rend Collective came to Toronto recently and I’m rather sad I missed them. XD)

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As for reading wise, I’ve pored over the Bible, and when it wasn’t the Bible, it was Ms. Marvel: Mecca, Black Widow: Shield’s Most Wanted, and this really weird and sad book called Cat’s Eye. It’s sad. I hate Cornelia (at least I think that was her name) and also, Toronto was weird in the 90’s, apparently. Who knew? Oh, and I almost died over Love To Everyone. That book gives the feels. It’s so good, ah. XD So that’s what I’ve been up to book wise. Not that it matters, but it’s fun to talk about, so, y’know, why not? 🙂

Oh, and if you caught the Winnie The Pooh  reference, then I suppose it’s relevant to mention that my family got and watched Christopher Robin last night, and I finally, finally, finally got to comment on the whole beautiful story plot wise without anyone giving me weird looks.

winnie the pooh GIF by Walt Disney Studios

 

The comments mostly consisted of things such as “THIS PLOT IS SO WELL DONE” and “Awwwwww, look at that character development” and “the animation asfghjkhjhgdfa wowowww”- I loved Christopher Robin.

winnie the pooh GIF by Walt Disney Studios

 

Loved it.

And there, dear people reading this, is a recap of everything. For the most part.

Also to the Eugene who contacted me, thank you so much, you recognized genius of Campbell County Community College you. 🙂 Also to Penny, I died laughing at your posts.

Also, glad to be back.

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You can tell, I’m sure. 🙂

Hey, maybe I’ll actually record with the Patrie. Maybe.

*accidentally breaks a string* O_O

I’m glad to be back.

winnie the pooh GIF by Walt Disney Studios

 

life is a highway, Jo

It Isn’t The End (Never Is, I’m Just Being Dramatic Per Norm)

 

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This is where we’re at, people.

Mondays are hard, math is brutal, and people can be jerks.

It’s not even Monday anymore. smh

Today is just one of those days that you want to end as quickly as possible. Work has gotten 10 times stressful, the people who I’m supposed to be collaborating with ended up dominating  what we were doing and now I’m just another go-get-this and go-do-that. School is crushing- even more so when people demand things that just can’t be met. I have zero time to write, it’s increasingly hard to be with people simply because they don’t really.. I don’t know, recognize that I have feelings? It’s hard. Send me coffee. XD Oh, and don’t forget to add that the fleshly part of me is a horrifying monster that I swear, I wish I could kick out of existence and burn. to. ash. I’m with Paul on this one. I do exactly what I don’t want to do and I don’t do what I want to do.

I’m not looking forward to anything right now. There’s no tangible or intangible prize I can think of for sticking out another day (i.e. this day).

So why on earth am I writing this post?

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Why do I feel the need to reveal that it’s a terrible, horrible, no good day and I’m feeling about as energetic as Eeyore and I’m kinda broken right bout now? Why do I bother writing a personal post that I’m not sure even I would enjoy reading? Why am I being so petty and writing who knows how many words of drek about bad days like it’s something so bad and hidden when it’s common knowledge that some days are good and every other day is.. bad times a hundred?

I  don’t know.

I joked to my mom a day or two ago when she was questioning my all-black wardrobe  that it matched the color of my soul. Which, now that I look back on it, seems accurate right now. Life seems a little darker, not enough to grab a flashlight, but not light enough to feel safe either.

Seems.

Hang on while I grab a Nutella sandwich so we can talk about this some more, because I have to believe I’m not the only one out there. Surely there’s someone somewhere and this is where they’re at. Maybe it’s you.
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It isn’t the end.

I’ll say that again, not because you have bad eyes, but because I need this hammered into my numbskull of a brain.

It. is. not. the. end.

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Sure, maybe it looks like whatever rut you fell into, you can’t climb out and maybe it seems like there is no light at the end of the tunnel, and maybe it’s too much for you and it’s hard and you want to give up.

But it isn’t too much for God.

Nothing is. Nothing.

So give up. XD

Yes, give it up. Give it up to God, because we were not meant to face the darkness alone. Probably the first thing I’ll say, no matter how preachy it sounds, because it’s true.

Tomorrow is not quite the same as today. The Maker of days has all of yours planned out, and you can trust them into His hands.

Sometimes what you need is to get back into the Word. Read a Psalm. Memorize something. Listen to a praise and worship song. It’s not a wish-and-problem-gone, granted, but you can never go wrong when you draw near to God and His Word.

“Hope is not some vague emotion that comes out of nowhere, like a stomachache. Hope is the confidence that the stupendous future promised to us by the word of the Spirit is going to really come true. ” -John Piper

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While we’re at it, laughter is a literal lifeline, lifesaver, and it’s beautiful. Use often. XD It’s easier to see things on the bright side when you forget that things aren’t for just a little while- when you look at the lighter stuff. And trust me- laughter is contagious and everyone should be infected, in my opinion.

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As previously stated, you. were. not. meant. to. be. alone. kay. The hardest thing about feeling down is that sometimes nobody could care less.

In that case, please know that there’s always someone. God, a cousin, a sibling- sometimes you have to reach out and take a change. Sometimes you’ll be hurt. But please know that no matter what, someone loves you. Always.

I guess when I try to sum it up- don’t give up hope. Grasp for it, step out for it- but don’t give it up. It’s there for you. For me.

Man, I need to take my own poorly hashed advice.

But there it is. 🙂 I’ll be at the thrift store looking for lighter shirts. Because it ain’t all dark. As the wise foolish Poe Dameron once said, “as long as there is light, we still have a chance!”

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

Flipping Burgers Is A Noble Profession

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We were talking about this article, my brother and dad and I, that talked about this lady who had been working on McDonald’s for over like… 20+ years? Don’t really remember- but she was in her late 90s, and she’d been one of McDonalds’ longest workers- which is really impressive.

But I’m ashamed to say that after reading the article, my dad and brother laughed. As if working at McDonald’s was an easy job that shouldn’t even be considered a job, and that that lady (who kinda really deserved that recognition?) musta been bored outta her brain.

I’m even more ashamed to say I laughed with them. Just like an ignorant kid who didn’t really know.

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(Gah, sometimes I wanna slap past me. That extends to from 2 years ago to 20 minutes.)

The thing is, I was so, wonderfully, hugely wrong.

Really wrong.

I wish I could find that lady and apologize. For thinking so little of that hard earned role I didn’t think to remember her name.

Fast food workers. Homemaking. Maintenance crews. Bus drivers. School bus drivers. The janitors who clean up the big city stores. Window washers.  These are jobs people need done but don’t think it worth doing. “see this? You don’t do your homework, you’ll end up here.” Like the people who do these jobs are on some bottom rung, and everyone who doesn’t is on one higher. 

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See, last summer my sister starting working in the fast food world- at the ultimate (and superior, tbh) fast food place, Tim Hortons. A few weeks in was all it took to know it wasn’t a walk in the park- and I wasn’t even the one working. It was hard and it was tiring, and ya know what- it was work. Actual. hard. work. It wasn’t like waiting at a lemonade stand waiting for people to show up.

So here’s why flipping burgers is a noble profession. Actually, scratch that. Here’s why the professions we deem “what happens if you don’t study in high school” are noble.

God says so. 

HA. And yes, I can prove that.

1 Corinthians 10:31 31So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

Notice the words, “whatever you do, do it all”? It didn’t say “whatever you do that’s in a nice office with plushy swivel chairs, do it all” or “whatever you do that’s in a comfortable work setting, do it all” ” or even, “whatever you do that pays well and has a lotta people seeing the good stuff you’ll do, do it all”. No, it’s whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.

That’s a tall order, ‘kay? And yet, that’s what we should strive for in whatever we do. Peter and James and John were fishermen. Paul was a literal tentmaker. Jesus was a carpenter. Dorcas was a tailor- they and many more people, not just from the Bible, but from the rest of history proved that it was indeed possible to do everything to the glory of God. So why people all looking down on these jobs like “seriously, that’s the best you can do?”

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A similar thing kinda happened, but about people in the ministry and everyone who wasn’t in it, that somehow pastors were the ones God deemed saints and regular common people weren’t- that’s messed up and also, not true. *nods head like I know what I’m talking about*

Society needs these jobs, but they’ll never admit it, because society is a weird thing that likes to admit it’s all that when it’s really not.

Imagine a world where the garbage wasn’t taken away from your house every day and you had to get rid of it yourselves. Or imagine a mall you walked into and the halls were muddy from the feet of whoever walked there last night. Or imagine the whole fast food thing never existing. Or imagine going to take a bus, but there wasn’t anyone behind the wheel. Chaotic. Why? Because there aren’t any workers doing the jobs. I mean, don’t get me started on if your mom wasn’t there managing things- and we’re homeschoolers, for the most part, so we should know what that looks like. Oh, and should I even mention moms who work part time? They manage two jobs AND their kids. That’s hard.

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The fact is, we depend so much on the people we deem have “lesser” jobs without even knowing. They’re the engine that keeps things running but isn’t heard if you don’t think about it. These people aren’t paid much to make sure that everyone else has a comfortable time. The least you could do is respect ’em a bit and not talk trash about their job while they’re doing it.

Serving is one of the greatest things you can do, and one of the hardest.

Hey, this can come in all sorts of ways, but how come the commonest ones are hardly ever appreciated?  Garbage truck drivers, bus drivers, teachers, fast food workers- could use a little more appreciation and respect. They’re doing the work so you don’t have to.

They’re people too, y’know. 

My sister and a couple friends I know all ending up working in different places because college is ridiculously expensive here and because experience is a lot and because money is tight. But nobody really cares about that though. Nobody cares that behind the counter is another person trying to make ends meet, just like you. But for you, as soon as you get your burger, you’re outta there. For them, they have to do the same thing all over again for the next person in line. Also, to be honest, some people are really just jerks. A person can only handle so many jerks, y’know?

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Okay, okay, we get the point, whadya want us to do now?

Maybe just to realize this:

I’m not saying just stick with your job, whatever kind of job you have, because it helps society or whatever. If you wanna quit working at a diner to start up a company- go for it! If you think you would rather create music than be an engineer or a welder, do it. if you wanna work at McDonald’s just to save up money to buy a truck and travel cross country around North America taking pictures of everything and falling off cliffs so you can send your pictures to National Geographic, go for it! (Don’t fall off a cliff, but yeah!)

Just don’t look on people who do these jobs. Or who’ve struck a cool balance between them. Fo’ example, there was this infuriating poster once which read, “why be a scientist when you can raise scientists?” and it showed a mom with a couple kids.

Woah.

That’s just broke.

Stay woke, you guys. Why not do both? *gasp* Is it entirely impossible for a mom to *gasps even more* actually do something not kid-raising related while raising kids?

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Uh, no. *shoves Hidden Figures in your face*

*mini rant about moms over*

So here’s to the ones that aren’t in the spotlight. Here’s to the ones who have to clean up even after everyone’s gone. Here’s to the janitors, the late night crews, the bus drivers who have to put up with people and traffic, the moms who stay home and run things, the moms who manage both, the kids who need some money for a future, that lady who worked at McDonald’s for longer than most kids have been alive.

Cause even flipping burgers is a noble profession, whether we realize it or not.

life is a highway, Jo

Even The Sky Cries

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She couldn’t stop herself, and truth be told, she was glad for it. Even if they looked at the one tear rolling down her cheek with disdain. “You can cry all you want, but it doesn’t really matter,” they said.

Her eyes narrowed, and the light from above glinted  like fire. “One tear is all I want? really? You underestimate me. I don’t cry. ” she replied, her voice both steely and breaking.

Even if she wanted to. Even if she felt her heart being stabbed over and over by a mindless sword that didn’t care if it was beating and feeling still. 

Well. It would feel no more. 

Excuse her for breathing. 

Storytime: Once upon a time, a long long time ago, my siblings and I watched this movie called Song of The Sea.

See the source imageThis amazing beautiful sweet story, which I’d love to talk about another time, is about a great many things. But in it, the MC meets an old owl (the bad guy) who takes away emotions so that they don’t feel. Consequently turning the people whose emotions are suddenly drained, into rocks.

Bad right? But it turns out the bird’s just trying to help. See, her son lost a lover (or something like that, don’t ask me) and he cried so much he filled an ocean with his tears. (Again, don’t ask me, it’s animation, anything’s possible.) So to relieve his pain, his mom, who happens to be the weird owl, took away his ability to feel. She offers that same choice to the MC, saying that feelings are baggage and they hurt and stuff like that. But the obvious problem is that when you don’t feel, you become hard and well, very similar to a rock. Dead. Cold. Unfeeling. You know the type.

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Next case in point:

If you’ve ever watched Inside Out, and seen those very confusing little animated emotions try to manage their human, there’s always one who’s trying to manage everyone else, isn’t there? And that would be.. Joy.

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This bean. 

 

She’s kinda a lot like the owl from the first movie, except instead of locking up all emotions and bottling it away, Joy (the sweet naïve personified emotion) tries to make sure her human only feels happiness. All of her coworkers agree- except maybe Sadness. Because she’s too busy being sad. And in Joy’s little head, NOBODY needs Sadness. Sadness is a burden, the emotion you need to push away. Right?

Mm…no. Just no.

I know Song Of The Sea and Inside Out are only movies, but the thing is they kinda have a point. The same point this post has (*gasp* it actually does!): Happiness is not the only emotion you have to feel, and you can’t just bottle up your emotions, neither.

You need to let yourself feel Sadness sometimes. Or Fear. Or Anger. And hey, this isn’t just movie characters- (going preachy, sorry about that) a ton of people from the Bible are recorded to have more emotions that just happiness.

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Read the Psalms. Some of David’s writings are brimming with sadness and pain and guilt.

Elijah had to run for his life from Jezebel and wanted to die on a number of occasions.

Paul mentions the Corinthians being in sorrow because of what he said.

Jesus was so mad at the priests turning the temple into a marketplace, He overthrew the tables.

Also, Jesus wept at Lazarus’ tomb.

Want me to say it again?

The Son of Man, the Son of God, the Savior of the world, the KING, wept at the tomb of his friend.

Wept.

Down with that “big boys don’t cry” now, okay? It’s wrong and not true. Thanky ‘ou.

Why did Jesus cry? Weep? Even though he knew that he would raise Lazarus from the grave? I don’t really know. And if anyone does know, please tell me. XD My point is, Jesus Himself felt sadness.

Which is weird, considering Paul (at least I think it was, those NT writers sometimes sound similar) told us, “Rejoice, and again I say rejoice!”

How can you have joy when you feel sadness?

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Maybe…  because joy does not equal happiness.

People have written books about it, and songs and plays and have spent their whole lives trying to find it, but the actual working definition seems to be elusive. Sometimes you can find joy even in the hardest circumstances. Sometimes it’s easy to find it. Sometimes you can’t be brought down because you have it, and sometimes the world comes crashing down and you can still have it.

Joy comes from the only true and lasting source: God. Everything else fades eventually. And God isn’t just there for your joy, He comforts in sorrow and in grief, He forgives you and helps your guilt, it’s not like once you’re a Christian you’ll be a hundred percent happy. Just that whatever you’re going through, you can draw your strength from Him. 🙂

I could be wrong (well, not about where joy comes from). Don’t ask me for advice on anything, and don’t take whatever you read here as truth. But that’s what it seems to be like. And I’d know.

See, I’m one of those rock people. Many times I’ve wished that I couldn’t feel, it hurt too much and I didn’t like it. I forced myself to be dead to anything remotely sad, just because I couldn’t handle it.

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Still kinda struggling with it, to be honest. By the time my wish came true, I’d already had a thick shell I didn’t want anyone to touch. A tough face. A comeback for every insult.

Yeah, don’t try that.. it’s just… kinda..don’t.

What I eventually learned? Those walls only keep you in. Sadness hurts. And sometimes letting it out can help. If you keep it in, it’ll fester.. kinda like a nasty blister. It hurts to feel. But it hurts more to not feel. Even if it’s only joy you’re trying to feel.

Why did I take almost a thousands words to say this, I don’t know. But I guess what I’m trying to say is: It’s okay to cry. No, you shouldn’t be driven by your emotions and have a sobbing party every other Wednesday afterevening because someone hurt your feelings, but you can’t go to the other extreme and bottle all those feelings up and toss ’em away.  Reach out to someone who might really need a friend. Let your heart beat again. Let go of the idea that you’re not strong if you cry. It takes great strength for a person to share their feelings. Even Jesus cried.

Even the sky cries.

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

*gasp* A Blog Tour! You Don’t Say! The Daily Life Of Hailey Grace blog tour: interview with the author!

 Happy last day of January, everyone! It’s the 31st day of the year. Can you believe that? Cause, no, I can’t. It seriously feels like I was still binging on The Two Towers ridiculously late at night, and now, here we are. Doing a blog post.

I’m honored to be one of the last in a long line of bloggers for The Daily Life of Hailey Grace blog tour- huge thanks to Livy Jarmusch for reaching out! Livy’s a YA author herself, and she’s organized a group of people to help promote a newly published author, Beloved..

Beloved is a ministry leader and Christian Romance Author born and raised in Miami, FL. She spends much of her time studying the scriptures and has a gift for sharing the Gospel. Through her debut novel, Beloved hopes to inspire youth to seek God whole-heartily, knowing there is nothing impossible with Him on their side! 

And her novel!

For Hailey Grace, birthdays suck! She hopes with all her heart that her big day passes without gifts, or even a birthday wish. But with loving parents and two witty best friends who keep her on her toes, there’s no telling what adventure Hailey Grace will be forced to explore this time. Unexpectedly, her best friend Alex challenges her to do something she’s never done before. With that comes a whole new set of rules, and another life Hailey isn’t sure she’s quite ready for. Now questioning all that she has ever believed, she takes Alex up on the dare by asking for something that no one but God can give her. Her request also comes with a twenty-four-hour deadline. As the minutes slowly but surely tick by, Hailey’s life shifts into overdrive and she wonders if she has asked for too much too soon.

· Now, if you’ve seen the whole schedule, you might be expecting a book review as well as an interview. Due to some (technical) difficulties, and some confusion with links, I wasn’t able to get a copy to review in time for the post. 😦 But I’m looking forward to reading it nonetheless!

And now, please welcome Beloved up to the imaginary stage! 😀


So, to start things off..What’s the best thing about being a writer so far?

The best thing about writing is creating a world that readers can escape into to make their life that much more enjoyable.

·  That’s so true! I think that’s the joy of fiction, escaping. Uh, anyway..Where did the inspiration for this story come from?

The inspiration for The Daily Life of Hailey Grace came from Jesus. I remembered Him giving me this image of this little girl and the name to call her. I fell in love with the story, and the setting. There’s so much more behind that, but overall I just had to tell Hailey’s story.

·  That is so awesomely cool! I’ve heard people gain inspiration from like, looking at  random people, but never one like that. So what do you hope your readers will take away from this novel?

I hope readers will take hope away with them. I know everyone is coming from different walks of life, and we’re not all in the same place. But I believe everyone can use a little bit more of hope to get them through every day. I pray readers will draw such hope from The Daily Life of Hailey Grace.

· Amen. everyone can use hope. 🙂  Favorite ever writing snack? 

My writing snack is potato chips! All kinds.

· Ooohhh, chips! I’m hungry now. 😛 Who was your hardest character to develop?

My hardest character to develop was Prince, because of who he represents.

· Sounds like a character I can’t wait to read about! Are you planning on publishing any more novels?

Oh yes! I plan on publishing many novels. There will be two more in the Hailey Grace Series. And I have quite a few things in the works that will follow afterwards.

·  Eep! Looking forward to it! How’d this writing journey start? When did you know you wanted to write a book?

I knew I wanted to write books for years now. Probably since I was a teenager, but only seriously pursue it about three years ago.

·  Ooh, that’s great! I’m glad you got to achieve that goal! 😀 Alright, was wondering, if you had an audience full of people and you could only tell them one thing, what would it be?

I would tell that audience that Jesus loves them and there’s nothing they could do to ever change that.

·  And that’s probably one of the best things you can say. 🙂 What did you do when you were so tired of writing (if you were)?

When moments of weariness occur, I would take a little break and pray and read my bible. It never fails to ignite my passion again to write and lose myself in the story.

·  *claps* Wow. It’s kinda funny, I don’t remember to do that until like, editing. XD But you do it throughout writing too. That’s.. pretty inspiring. 🙂 Finally, what’s the first birthday you remember? 

I would say my 17th birthday, when my mom surprised me with having balloons delivered to my high school with gold fish crackers inside the gift bag. That was like one of my favorite snacks in high school and one of my favorite memories.

DID SOMEONE SAY GOLDFISH YUM.  That is a pretty sweet birthday! Well, thanks for letting me interview you, and I can’t wait to see where writing will take you! 😀

Concluding remarks:

Check out Beloved’s weblinks here!

Website: www.belovedauthor.com

Facebook: belovedchrist

Instagram: @belovedforever2018

Twitter: beloved4jesus

And if you’re interested in The Daily Life Of Hailey Grace, you should get the book from Amazon, and mark it on Goodreads if you can. 😉

Ooh, oh, there’s also a giveaway for an autographed copy of The Daily Life of Hailey Grace, as well as a $10.00 Amazon Gift Card! There will be 3 book winners, and one Grand Prize Winner will receive the Gift Card in addition to their copy.  Excited yet?

*****ENTER THE GIVEAWAY HERE :D*****

Go. and.  join. and read! ‘Nuff said. 🙂

Life is a highway,

 Jo

 

 

 

I Call Myself A Writer

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Today, or at least this month, marks an entire year I started to write seriously.

One year of looking at screens and seeing my story come to life.

One year of playlists.

One year of bacon crumbles.

One full year since Gale Darn became Gale Darn.

One year of hopelessly wanting to meet characters.

One year. 75k worth of words total.

In all honesty, it all started way before last year.

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I think I first got into writing by peeking over my sister’s shoulder. I dunno if I was five or six, but I do remember hearing the worst shriek ever heard in real life, and that I was promptly booted out and placed in the hall for an indefinite period of time.

It mighta been an hour later, but eventually I got invited back in and was allowed to take a sneak peak at my sister’s WIP.

If you’re reading this, Ate, thank you for putting up with me. It means a lot. 🙂

Like a lot a lot. ❤

Anyway, that was my first introduction to the wonderful world of writing: characters, theme, bad guys who were really just overgrown kids, laughing over dialogue, it was awesome. And now that I look back, I’m surprised my sister even let me know her WIP existed. Huh. I mean, I wouldn’t have told my five year old self I had a WIP. But anyway, the whole idea fascinated me for a couple weeks.

Aaaand I forgot about it.

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Fast forward a few years later, and I was 7, puzzling over my first poem. Which was a terrible epic about a Loyalist in the Revolution whose greatest secret was a wig. Yes, no kidding.

My first plot bunny was a crazy tale of a girl who was forced out of her home and roamed the streets of 1950 New York. Again, no kidding. 😛 That particular story begins with a flashback. How entirely original.

All that to say, stories have been in me for a while. I guess now I just decided not to bottle it up anymore.

Or rather, a year ago.

How was it a year?

I’m gonna be honest (which I try to be, for the most part, sometimes painfully so) sometimes I look back and groan. I’ve been writing for a year and I haven’t finished a single draft? I haven’t edited a single complete book? I didn’t even submit any of my stories to anything?

I thought I was a writer.

And while some of that doubt is thanks to nosy people that are also known as family and friends, a good deal of that is thanks to myself.

Publishing would mean the world to me.

And I’m nowhere near that.

Maybe I’m not cut out for this kinda thing. Maybe I should stick to my comfortable old self, the one that daydreamed her stories instead of writing so others could see them too. Maybe I should just let it go. Leave the doc open, but never read through it.

Because if I’m a writer, why on earth am I not writing anything worth writing?

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Thing is… publishing is not why I started writing.

Writing is why I started writing. XD I write because I love to write, because I love putting words on paper.. on or a screen. Whichever I get my hands on first. 😛

So I think I’m done mentally beating myself up over not being a published author of a great series of novels yet. I’ve only been writing for like a year and 6 more years. XD Writing shouldn’t feel like a chore, but something fun, new, something completely the opposite of school. Unless you like school. Then it’s very similar.

But yeah. Here’s to one year, and hopefully more coherent posts to come. 😀

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*coughcough* um, at the same time, I’ve been working on a project that’s been under wraps for a while. 🙂

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