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

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

I just have one question.

WHERE DID THE TIME AGO?!?!?

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

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

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

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

OH AND MITCH

I STARTED TO LIKE MITCH

HOW COULD YOU MITCH

LEAVING CONNIE FOR BUDAPEST

Ahem.

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February- THE WORLD CHANGED!

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

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

If I only knew, you know?

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

At least for the most part.

Not this time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But it was also awesome.

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

It wasn’t all easy.

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

But I wasn’t alone. That helped.

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

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

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You’re not the only one, kid.

Not by a long shot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bacon crumbles exist. You’ll love them.

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

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

It does get worse.

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

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

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

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

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

Okay admit it, you like that person.

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

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

Run for your life!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t be creepy about it though.

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

…and you’ll find your way.

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Love,

Jo

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

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

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

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

 

A Wee Chat In The Wee Hours

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Happy, happy Friday people! I’m tuckered out, who on earth are you guys?

So far I’ve read a whole book *gasps* finished a chunk of homework and now have a dreadful bunch of tests to take (and most likely flunk!), project to finish, wordcount to hit, late nights to stay up on (such as this lovely one) BIBC to participate in (Megan’s hosting this contest for the sixth time- and I’m so joining!) Life refuses to slow down, which is sad and stressful.

I’m also finding myself thinking harder about my faith, life and the future. Don’t ask why, my poor explanation will come jumbled and broken, and mixed with AIO references. And permanently having my hair held by a jumbo clip. Also don’t ask why.

Therefore onto the point of this whole post.

GASP I actually have a point. *mindblown*

Now, see, whenever I have to do something like listen (think live lecture or something equally boring) I have got to write something. Other people may need to doodle, still others knit, still others practice jiu-jitsu. We all have our quirks. Last night I began writing some poems on an old church program and thought they were worth a rewrite.

Poems are tricky things. They show more of one’s heart than a post such as this ever could. So sharing them is kinda like sharing my heart. But maybe someone will be encouraged by it, realize that they’re not alone. I think that’s worth it then.

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There Was A Day

There was a day when people thought

Of others and not just themselves

When they preferred to look you in the eye

Instead of text you on a phone

 

There was a day when nature was

A common beauty and not

The occasional entertainment we choose

As opposed to dinner or a show

 

There was a day when people knew

How to converse at suppertime

The worth of doing things yourself

And the value of books down that library shelf

 

But there was a day

It lives in history books, in the rings of the old oak tree down the street

In the ice blue eyes of a old man, wrinkled hands clutching armrest, 

Mouth wavering as he whispers to the air, saying

“There was a day..”

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Bus Window

Raindrops patter down the glass

I look out of as my dry hands

Curl up on the cold leather seat

 

The man next to me

Is far too eager to tell me of

The wonderful amazing things Above

 

I’d listen but

I’m alone

It’s dark

And I want to go home

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Family

Fear of my uncle tickling me is

good thing to have because I could die from laughter while

My cousins look on in amusement, and after, they and

go to scare our aunts from behind and get scolded. They really do

Love it though- and threaten to 

Yowl like cats, and eat all the rice krispie peanut butter squares.

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I’m not very good at poetry, but I do enjoy it. I hope y’all did too- and that you’re not staying up ridiculously late like some blogger typing this right now is. *whistles innocently*

See ya!

 

Scribble Scrabble, Life Update, And All That Comfty Stuff

 

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This ole’ town of WordPress seems to be on the quiet side these days. Either everyone is at work, cramming for finals, or furiously typing before NaNoWriMo is done- I mean, we are like 1/3 done with the month. But I happen to be in the mood for a post, and I’ve missed copying and pasting pictures, XD so here goes.

Heya! How’s all out mundane lives coming along?

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My mundane life is rather.. mundane. But good! I guess.

-I’m actually keeping up with NaNo and not stressing half as much as I did back in Camp. And my wordcount goal was bigger than last time. Huh.

– School is always there, you cut off one assignment’s head, two more take its place. (Yes that was a reference)

-Speaking of references, Stan Lee died yesterday. For those who don’t know, he co-created, and carried Marvel Comics to where it is now, impacting a lot of people with his stories and themes and characters- heroes. We’re gonna miss him, and I say that with all seriousness.

– Jamming to a lot of playlists with some awesome artists: Skye Peterson, some guy who goes by eaglewingsandguitarstrings on Soundcloud, Taylor Davie and her mean rendition of the Avengers theme, the MCU themes themselves (which are amazing!) and Disney songs. 😛 *whisper-screams The Hunchback of Notre Dame*

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-my church had their 11th anniversary last last week, and I switched from photographer to media manager more times than I care to count XD There was too. much. people. Which isn’t good for introverted me.

-it SNOWED. Actual real wonderful snow. Sadly it melted, but hey, here’s hoping it sticks around next time.

-We’re one month from Christmas, and I’m slightly disgruntled that the stores are putting up so much Christmas decorations so fast. Oh well. The good news is Christmas music’s starting to play, which means I can fiddle all the Christmas carols I can think of in the street without too many weird glances.

-you guys Adventures In Odyssey’s latest album is coming up soon and I have scared my family twice by squealing at 11 pm. On the same night. Yes, I’m weird.

-I’ve read a bunch more books and they’re awesome. The book reviews should be coming annnyytime soon XD

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-I’m already thinking of the next books for Zeke and Jake and MJ. Problem? I haven’t even finished Gale’s yet. *facepalms*

-There’s a lot of wanderlust (i.e. Pinterest searching even though I swore that off) going on.

-I tried drawing Eugene. Needless to say, it didn’t go well.

-The tight-throat bug is catching. Hpmh!

*sighs* And that’s pretty much it when it comes to my life. Now, I better get back to writing. But talk to me guys, hearing from you is awesome!

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A New Month- Torture, Suffering, Pain, Brownies

 

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And just like that it’s November.

Which I refuse to believe, because I swear it was just New Year’s. Where on this earth did the time go? Someone explain. Please.

Am I suppose to recap this month? Probably. So here goes.

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I have 10 crazy assignments and half of them are due tomorrow and I need caffeine of some sort on a daily basis or I will go insane and it’s hot and then it’s cold and I think I’m supposed to be doing NaNoWriMo but school is being mean and I really can’t figure out what Jillian Marshall is up to.

There you have it.

We had thanksgiving, we laughed, we cried, we had pizza, life’s been good, life’s been tough. So lots of stuff going on.

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Been very grateful for good friends who care, and spent hours laughing our heads off. 🙂

Worked and released Izoria’s Choice- which is the start of something that I won’t mention but feel free to wonder XD.

Wrote a retelling, then stopped it, simply because I have got no time.

Got lost on a Saturday and jumped off a tree.

Joined a pretty neat blog tour.

Started waking up early to spend more time with God (Can’t tell you what a blessing this is)

Went skating for the first time in a long time- and managed to borrow 5 wonderful books- 4 of which I managed to finish within 2 days of borrowing it.. 😛

Blogged a lot. More than I normally do.

Ranted quite a bit.

Was a good fangirl and stayed in the loop of every fandom (which is crazy because I spent hours on history and messed up the dates but have no problem coming up with a theory about Connie Kendall’s age)

Listened to some awesome music.

Got homework.

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Life goes on. I am a tired person. 😛 Sometimes it gets really tough, y’know? But there’s grace and there’s chocolate (which I’m certain is an edible form of grace) and we’ll hang in there.

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And well, for this entire monthish, I have picked out, once again, the favorites. You’re welcome.

Playing Faves…

Favorite Song:

Even If by MercyMe

My sister sent this to me on a not-so-good day of mine and.. man. It was, to understate, “my” song. Got me through a lot of hard and easy times.

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Favorite Book:

Again, I hate choosing when it comes to books. Also note that I would gladly pick an alpha-read book but I can’t find the covers 😛 For this month, however, it would have to be…

Anne Of Ingleside, by L.M Montgomery.

See the source image

I’ve heard a lot about this book, especially after the trailer for the movie came out, and I finally read it.
To put it simply, it was a heart toucher. Reading how August lived his life, feeling with him as people were the mean hurtful selves they sometimes are- I can’t think of much to not like.
(I was highly tempted to put Anne of Ingleside and talk about how I’ve changed my opinion on the Anne/Gilbert ship but considering how I skipped half if the chapters because it was too wordy, I don’t think I’d do it justice. XD)
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Favorite Quote:

Weeel, to be perfectly honest, there are a bunch of quotes I could come up with, but I’ll just leave you with this one because it means the most. 😉

Eugene Meltsner: He did not die to remove our sufferings. On the contrary, He told us to pick up our crosses and follow Him. In that command, He was telling us that we will indeed suffer, but the suffering could lead us back to God in the same way that His suffering led us all to God.

*nods* Amen, brother. Amen.

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Now. November. What on this earth shall you bring on me? Probably NaNoWriMo. Probably finals. Probably a trip to the library to pay that fine I didn’t have enough change for in July. 😛 Probably a real snow.

And just maybe some extra hope. 🙂

And what with school, a lot of dark nights, and The Ties That Bind, I can use some of that. XD

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Though rest assured, one way or another, you’ll see more of these lens. These slightly skewered, smudged lens.

Goodbye October. It was nice knowing you.

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Scribble Scrabble- The First In A Long Time

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I haven’t done an official real Scribble Scrabble in forever. Maybe cause I haven’t been random enough for one. Life and all. But now I am! *cheers* Don’t blame me. Blame my very slow laptop. It’s a little long, so get comfy.

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Last Sunday it wasn’t too cold to take a walk, so I dragged my brother to the park and thought I could take a few pictures of it.

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Thankfully it was sunny, despite the cold. Which kinda makes it better. 😛

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It was unusually quiet and empty, which was a little bit sad, but probably for the best, cause my poor camera wouldn’t survive. 😛
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Huh, now this slide reminds me of the time I fell off on and scratched my face. I was five and at church camp. Good times.
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Fall really became fall recently. All those colors everyone keeps talking about burst into view.

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And then the weather froze over, it snowed. *nod nod* Yes, there was white stuff on the roofs. It melted though, so I couldn’t cop a plea for a snow day. Moving on.

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Early this week, I did something pretty stereotypical I guess I probably should be ashamed. XD But I’m not.

I took pictures of my dessert.

Okay, but to be fair, it’s not every day one gets a full on glass of halo-halo.

What is halo-halo?

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In Tagalog, “halo halo” literally means “mix mix.”

I prefer to think of it as pure goodness.

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Basically, it’s like bubble tea. Sorta. There’s some strange things in it. Mungo beans, shaved ice, ube paste, coconut gel, and lecheflan, not to mentioned condensed milk. It’s weird, but it tastes so good.

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I guess it’s kinda silly, but hey. It’s beautiful. XD

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*sighs happily* That stuff is good.

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What else? Well, I’m not sure if you’ve heard, but Megan makes inchworms out of polymer clay. And they’re really sweet too! So I thought I’d try making them. The thing is, I didn’t have polymer clay. I had homemade dough with green food coloring. So… you can see for yourself what happened.

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LOOK. LOOK AT DAT HORRIBLENESS. 😛 XD

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It looks like such a messed up pair of inchworms XD XD But I guess they’ll do fine? There’s also a snake to this odd group of salt dough animals.

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And then there’s this.

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*dies laughing* This is me, trying to be creative at 10 pm on a school night. Good heavens what on earth is this weird creature??? Guess for me, will ya please?

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Ehm. So that was more of a photo dump. I hope ya enjoyed that.

Update on the trying to get out of an unproductive rut: I’ve found that cutting off the unnecessary stuff has really helped me! 😀

Also, you might be wondering where on earth is the next part of The Ugly Ducky. (Actually you’re not, you’re glad it hasn’t appeared since because it’s so loooong) Weel, I have to admit that I’ve put it on pause. Why?

😉 There’s something I’m working on that’s much better.. I hope. Stay tuned. This one, I’m dead serious about.

And that wraps up Scribble Scrabble for today! Have a great rest of the day. 😛 Tune in next time for How To Befriend A Writer.. or something like that.

 

Give Thanks

 

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Cacophony. That’s all I could think about. This huge big blur of noise, people talking and eating and drinking so loud I couldn’t hear myself think.

It was Thanksgiving at a friend’s house, and I didn’t feel the least bit thankful. It was foggy and grey, the beautiful colors that were supposed to be the landscape failed to show, and tensions between people just added to my not thankful list.

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You see, where I come from, we celebrate Thanksgiving a month early, for probably the same reason we have bagged milk: we’re Canadians. Yet for many of us, its’ just another day to rest, sleep in, and eat. Sadly, and not rightly, myself included. It’s easy to be jaded by everything, it’s easy to not give thanks.

But that’s just plain wrong. There is so much to give thanks for, even when it doesn’t seem like it. So. Here goes.

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1. for the grace of God to make it through each and every day.

2. for music which keeps me tapping my feet and putting a smile on my face.

3. for family, though as broken as it is, is still together and held by God.

4. for people who truly, genuinely, despite all common sense, care. The ones who sit by you on the curb, text you at midnight because they thought of you, and aren’t scared of calling you out on something. It means more then they’ll ever know.

5. for cameras, for devices that can capture memories for life.

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6. for the Bible, because thriving without God’s word simply is not possible.

7. for prayer, that we can talk to the Creator of all life.

8. for coffee, because coffee is awesome.

9. for the amazing invention that is writing, for books- I MEAN BOOKS YEET.

10. For fandoms and whole franchises and worlds you can spend hours in.

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11. Speaking of franchises for Adventures In Odyssey, because it’s helped me through so many tough times and has just been awesome nuff said.

12. for my violin, for just being there and stringing along.

13. for early mornings that are just havens of silence and thought and leftover chicken.

14. for air conditioning and heating because man it can get reaaally hot.

15. for the blessed blessed gift of sleep.

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16. for the end of a long hard week when you can crash and burn.

17. for epic soundtrack music (i.e. Wonder Woman/Avengers) when you absolutely must get back up on your feet.

18. for the Marvel universe, because sometimes you need a hero. Then for the unshakeable fact that God is the ultimate Hero, and nothing can ever bring Him down.

19. for boots, especially cowboy boots. 😛

20. for glasses, because I would go blind without them.

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21. for the Internet, because it has just been so helpful, and things would be so different without it.

22. for hugs, cause hugs are hugs.

23. for my sister, because I know I would not be who I am now without her. I love ya!

24. for my amazing Camp NaNo cabinmates, some of whom I’ve been real friends. I’m so grateful for them.

25. for little kiddos who just make your day brighter.

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26. Also falling in the make your day brighter category are puppies. Puppies are adorable.

27. for training and exercise, and that you can make yourself stronger from what you are now.

28. for learning new skills, such as changing a tire or painting a wall or deactivating a bomb. You know the kind.

29. for imagination, very strong and well used ones such as mine.

30. and for creativity, which uses imagination and makes interesting things, like washi tape, and books, and avocado lattes.

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40. for characters, which are basically imaginary friends, both your own, and both not.

41. for laughter, the kind that’ll make your sides ache but have you feeling better in no time flat.

42. for late night talks under the stars, just enjoying the evening and enjoying the discussion.

43. for that space of time just before your plane leaves the ground.

44. for seeing relatives you haven’t seen in 4 years, and for meeting new friends.

45. for this blog, for blogging in general, for you awesome people who actually read this stuff.

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46. for earphones, so you can blast that lovely music to yourself.

47. for late night wordsprinting, racing to finish a deadline.

48. for finishing that deadline, duh.

49. for seeing God throughout your life, even if you don’t notice Him at the time.

50. for the little blessings that make life better.

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Well, I guess maybe I do have things to be thankful for. Because God gives good gifts to His children. 🙂 Have a great week, people.

And if you’re wondering where on earth The Ugly Duckling went.. 😉 Wait and see!

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Sa Wakas! (Or, In English, At Last!!!) (Random Photography+ Summer Recap+ Boring Plans Nobody Wants To Read)

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First off, I am really, really, reaaaaly glad my pictures are visible again.

Also, second off, if it seems I’m using a lot of Tagalog phrases, there’s a good reason for that. One of my charries is a second generation Filipino, which I’ve been wanting to write for a while.

Anyway, how are you world?

Not very good, I know, I know. But you’re still spinning and coping, and inching away from summer all the same. Take a break, why don’t you?

(Actually no keep spinning, we’d be in huge trouble if you didn’t!)

Summer’s officially over.

And I– don’t mind?

How odd.

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It’s been a great summer. A hard one, but a great one nonetheless.

Let’s see..

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May was a happy month. May was when my sister flew back home, we drove to Buffalo, the cherry blossoms bloomed, and I started working on Mirages. May was a giant birthday prank, with lots of secret texting and emailing. May was joining Bible Bee, not realizing how much it would change my life. May was when summer warmed up, May was when it was all okay, May was the calm before the calm before the storm.  (That’s intentional)

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June was a whopper.

Lemme just say that.

In June, I got to fly out and see family. Family. And my folks’ definition of family extends to the inlaws’ inlaws. Somehow we all fit and it’s awesome. I got to hang out with cousins I haven’t seen in 4 years. And steal donuts. June was heavy plotting month. PLOT PLOT PLOT. It was fun. June was when I first met my Camp NaNo cabinmates, some of whom I’d just met and quickly became close friends.

And June was when I got my DSLR and life through these lens has never been clearer.

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July was HARD.

Yet somehow it wasn’t quite the storm.

Still, it was HARD.

July was Camp NaNo. July was Niagara Falls and Royal Ontario Museum and deep downtown Toronto and fireworks and late-into-the-night-discussions.  *gulps* July was typing away for dear life, blasting music at 100% at 1 AM, July was gulping all the bacon crumbles, July was all the “nobody asked you to join Camp NaNo” and the “you spend too much time writing” and the “do something more productive with your time” and the “go read a book” and pushing and failing and giving up and not giving up.

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July was cabinmates who were really friends who knew me too well and yelled at me not to give up. July was a caring, interested person who thought I was a hard worker and treated me like an equal. July was a sticky hot summer day spent under the shade of a tree. July was a surgery, anxious waiting. July was all the accusations fired and finding solace in the Word.  July was dreams refusing to be dashed.

July was no sleepy month.

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August was a downpour.

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August was me wrestling with a lot of questions, hoping to find the truth. August was rest from Camp NaNo. August was bonding with friends I didn’t know cared. August was baseball, and the smell of leather.

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August was the crickets chirping late at night, August was reading past nonexistent bedtimes, August was re-reading my stories and making new ones. August was silent stares, and earphones on almost perpetually. August was being up at 7 am washing dishes and belting out songs that surprisingly didn’t wake anyone up. August was watching the sunrise. August was intense Bible study that I loved and memorization and Greek words and the joy of knowing God more than I ever did before. August was teaching an eager girl how to secretly take pictures, and helping kids climb and swing from bars and block punches. Don’t ask. August was music, and words, and pictures. August was trying to find a safe place.

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It still is.

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It’s only at the end of summer we’re grateful for it, why is that? 😛

And that’s been my summer.

Before I’d be griping that we couldn’t go camping or to an amusement park or hiking or to the fair, or any of the other things I saw other kids doing, and I wanted to but never did.

This summer I wanted to take every opportunity that came my way. I wanted to take it, no matter what.

And I did.

And for that, I am grateful.

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And now September’s coming and the recap is done and I’m left asking myself something.

Now what?

I know I wanna continue growing in the Lord. I know I wanna write my stories.

But I don’t know much else.

I don’t know how I’m gonna commute to my first job, if I get one next year. I don’t know if my stories will ever be good enough. I don’t know how I’m gonna handle school. I don’t know what will happen during Christmas break. I don’t know how the year will end, or the next year begin. I don’t know and all these speculations are filling my head too much.

I know God does.

And that’s enough for me.

All the intricate details of my life, I can leave in His hands.

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But I do know that writing is gonna level up. I love my stories, and maybe they’re worth being told.

Maybe after I finish Mirages, I can finish What Goes On In A Small Town, and polish those. Maybe I can start Remember Me, and maybe I can write Skirt Girl And The Hockey Rink.

I can’t wait.

So goodbye summer. I won’t forget you anytime soon.

 

 

 

 

Day 6 & 7 of Photography Challenge: A Portrait and Children

Well.

I’m not very punctual, am I?

*winces*

Oh well. Happy Sunday, everyone. I hope you’re all resting well today. 🙂

So, without further ado…

Day 6:

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A portrait of a bouquet of roses.
Oh, and speaking of roses, look out for a review on a book concerning them sometime soon.. 😉
Day 7:
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 😉 This made my day when I took that picture.
Well, there you have it. I’ll be around for the next one. See ya, and have a great Sunday.
UPDATE: So the pictures haven’t been showing up like I hoped.. is anyone else having that problem?

I’m Doing Just Fine

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Hey everyone. Don’t worry, I’m alive.

And I’m not doing *that* fine. I’m struggling with a lot of questions, and thoughts, and trying to make sense of things I don’t understand. Writing these days are filled with questions, and wondering what’s going on. But, I’m not down, thankfully. I know that whatever happens, God is in control, and I just have to trust Him. 🙂

So, yes, I am fine. Busy, but fine.

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Days now are spent studying, and to be honest: it’s. so. fun.

I know, I know, you’re giving me that weird look. Studying is fun? Well, I’ll have to show you what I mean.

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I’ve been studying God’s word more than I have before, and it’s– wonderful. Which is strange, coming from a kid who never really liked long Bible studies and always talking about the Bible too much. Now, I can’t believe I actually thought like that. Can you talk about the Bible too much?

But it’s… more that just that. I’m finding that you can study and study the Bible all you want, but if you’re not gonna live it out, what use is that? And…I’m finding that God’s changing my heart, and making me want to learn His word. Which may sound weird, but if  you were to ask how I’m doing, this is what I’d say.

Not that you asked.. 😛

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Anyway, that’s how I’m doing. I’m growing.. kinda slow, but I’m growing. And speaking of..

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May I present Julie. My bell pepper.

I’m also kinda stressed. When I’m stressed, I knit. It’s very relaxing.

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I’m also geeking out because The Green Ring Conspiracy is on the air and I LOVE IT!!!!! It’s almost as good as Novacom, and if you don’t know what I’m talking about go search up AIOWiki. XD I mean.. come on! Monty and Jason and Penny AND Buck??? Awesomeness.

Ok, I’m done ranting.

Have a great weekend, y’all. You know where to find me.

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(Seriously, this is where 95% of my day is spent. 😉 )

I’m done.

🙂