For The Rare Who Care, A Tiny Update (with pictures) (I heard those make these kinda things more interesting)

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Alright, let’s see how far I’l go before the internet goes. This should be fun.

*sighs*

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I kid you not, I spent, legit 30 seconds trying to plug in my USB. 30. seconds. Hello from the land of writing, adrenaline, and algebra. I’m tired, it’s nice to meet you.

“Surprisingly, all of these teachers-  from Algebra (a very intense and scary kind of algebra) to English, to Being And Knowing In The Digital Age (something I can’t believe needs to be a class since memes exist and I am very knowledgeable in such matters) follow a pattern.”- The A’s & B’s of Normal

The past 22 days have been forever, and yet, no time at all- and for some reason, I deem those experiences worth sharing. Guess misery loves company. A wonder I don’t take to my blog more often then not. XD That’s all I’ll say on the nonexistent topic of this blog, which, as you all know, is dead! For now. I’m active on certain sites and notsomuch on.. well.. this one. With good reason. It’s winning week of NaNoWriMo, you guys.

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I’m glad to say that I’ve learned a lot from each NaNoWriMo over the events, and this one has taught me a TON. Mostly cool things, like conserving mental energy (i.e. late night stuff) (i.e this post technically should not be written at this time) (but I had a dash of inspiration so I figured why not), that wordsprints are the best thing to exist since laptops, the importance of cultural appreciation, hOw tO wRiTe dIaLoGuE, and to not give up on my story, cause I’m just going through that “it’s utter junk” stage. Which is exactly what happened to my other stories, hah, fancy that?

“But she wasn’t really.”  I tell Dad.

“No, no she wasn’t.”

“She just didn’t understand.”
“Sadly, no.”

“Not a lot of people understand.”

Difference between those and this is now I have a number of people who care (almost unhealthily) and one of them could literally kill me for not writing. It’s very good encouragement, I’m telling you. I’m almost at 50k!

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See? That right there, folks, is your local insane photographer/writer/weirdo in a gif. How accurate. But pretend that’s a glass of iced tea, we’re a family friendly blog over here.

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Also, I’m just really, really glad it’s spring because LOOK AT THAT BEAUTY OVER THERE. For once I’m not being frozen to death- I can sit and write outside in God’s beautiful creation, the way it’s meant to be enjoyed. With the sky and the sun and the clouds and it’s a sometimes beautiful world we live in, as messed up it mostly tends to be.

“Oh. That’s what they mean when they say they’ve had “squirrel” moments. I see how it is.

But then, who’s they and why did they make the rules to say that? Are they the same people who defined normal?

 

Cause if they did they did a lousy job.”

Honestly, sticky your head outta the window. Jack Kelly wasn’t kidding about the fresh air, Santa Fe or no Santa Fe.

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Lately I’ve started seriously thinking about the future, and more importantly, how am I growing as a Christian and as a person and..

I’m kinda scared. Still. There’s a lot of things coming that I’m not sure of, and a gazillion things I’m guessing I’ll probably never see coming. And then the hopeless task of making choices. That’s another thing on my mind.

But that’s to be expected, is it not?

“And I did. Dun dun dun! I swear, the way things go in my world, maybe I’m just another character in someone’s story, things just happen. Like wow. I should write this down and put it into a book.

Oh wait.”

Some choices could be fun- like publishing. Maybe. Picking electives. Hopefully. And then others, well, they’ll keep me on my toes.

The future is a lot of things. Maybe what I need the most is to keep reminding myself Who’s in charge of the future.

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I think that’s it ladies and gents.

Sorry for not being more active. But then also not because otherwise I’d never have gotten far on my wordcount. xD And then you wouldn’t have gotten these snippets which I probably shouldn’t have spoiled! 😀

NaNo ends this week. Endgame comes out on Friday. We got this.  Happy Monday and to all a good morning!

 

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This Is The Moment You’ve Waited For (April’s HEREEEEEEEEEE!)

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Mm, I made two references to two pretty great musicals. 😀 Y’all should be proud a me. But guess what guys? It’s a new month- and it’s a new camp NaNoWriMo *cheers lustily* And I should also mention that pranks are present, roll your eyes and deal with it. (Like I don’t have one myself, eheh.) Quicky recap because those are fun, and we’ll get on with this. XD

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March was hard. Goodbye March. But some of the greatest stuff happened that I’m grateful for.

-My family saw Captain Marvel. Admittedly, it wasn’t the greatest- but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t a great movie! Really enjoyed it. 😀

-I wrote for my life even though it wasn’t NaNo, just to see if I could. 15k in 3 days!! 😀 That’s a record. I’m sure at least a quarter is junk, but I did it. I actually genuinely did it.

-I’ll be honest, a ton happened that I wish didn’t. A lot of times I just wanted to curl up into a ball and hop into the Pacific Ocean and drown away. Thank you to the friends who convinced me otherwise. (And for the memes. You know who you are. :P)

-us Audiosmithers released one of my favorite dramas. ❤

-I discovered Newsies (I think this one is obvious, you guys.)

-And Hamilton (that’s another post in itself)

-and the sweetest movie that ever was

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me realizing it’s April
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my first reaction

-Spring came before Winter crashed right back onto the scene so that was rather nice

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-Crushed Algebra (and in return, got crushed myself)

-late nights became my best friends

-as were snickers bites

-I may or may not have done something to my blog. I think I should fix it, but ah.

-Arya Stark is surprisingly like one of my characters, and now I’m having an existential crisis trying to figure out if GoT stole from me, or I stole from GoT O_O

-ended up with some rather interesting scenes and plotted for my new novel at church. On notebook paper. In smudged writing. For about 25 minutes. 🙂

March, you marched on. Good for you.

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Favorite Song

Ben Rector is a master of using common words to write priceless gems, and Brand New was probably one of his bests. (They’re all good though. XD) Up there with this is Winners Don’t Quit by Owl City, and Little Things by Maddie Poppe. 🙂

Favorite Book

Love to EveryoneAlso known as Love To Everyone, this book hit me right in the feels as I was reading it. Clarry is such a well written character, and the setting- the setting is just so real. And it’s sad. And heartbreaking. And just- ahh what do you say about a book that’s so good you can’t just say it?? *dies*

 

 

 

 

 

 

Favorite Quote

 

I WILL BREAK OUT INTO NEWSIES SONGS! BE PREPARED!

This.

Rend Collective - “Counting every blessing”

And this.

Listen to the song "Joy" by Rend Collective. Fits this quite perfectly

And most importantly this.

So all that to say,

LET’S GO, APRIL. 

Oh. That prank.

It’s actually not a prank.

It’s a parody. A NaNoWriMo parody.

Enjoy!

(yes, it’s cringey and bad and my voice sounds terrible but I had a ton of fun pretending to be a Broadway singer and altering the lyrics so please laugh as much as you want and I hope you enjoy 😀 )

 

 

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.

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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.

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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

A Quicky Q&A and Random Updates

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

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

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

2. How would you describe your sense of style?

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

3. What’s your favorite season?

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

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

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

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

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

6. Which Marvel death broke your heart the most?

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

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

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

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

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

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

Per week.

heh.

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

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

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

We had 3 snow days. It was wonderful.

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

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

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

I FIGURED OUT HOW INSTALL DESIGNER FONTS ONTO MY LAPTOP AHHHH

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yeesh, picky old duck.

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*passively-aggressively shows fight stance*

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And this is what happened when he tried attacking me.

Ducky: Medic!

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

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Got stuck halfway though.

Ducky: NOT. NICE. JO.

What, I’m just saying!

Anyway.

Favorite from this month.. Hm…

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Favorite Book

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

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

 

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Favorite Song

This one is almost pretty obvious.

 

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

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Favorite Quote

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

I think it speaks for itself. It really does.

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

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Yeah, Ducky didn’t really like that.

*muffles his nonliving beak*

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

life is a highway, Jo

Grate(fullness)

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

life is a highway, Jo

January’s Over And I Dunno How

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

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

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

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

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School started and we all collectively died.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interviewed a bunch of kids and failed dramatically.

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

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

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

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

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

I think this post is done.

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

Favorite Book

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

 

 

Favorite Song

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

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

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

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

Favorite Quote

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

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

Life is a highway,

Jo

Hard Stuff: Don’t Call Yourself Dumb

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

“you live in a dumbed-down society.”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

With all the love I can muster, ouch.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Everyone gets the chance to grow from their mistakes.

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

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

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

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

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

So why you doing it to yourself, huh?

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

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

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

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

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

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tl;dr:

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

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

Life is a highway,

Jo

 

Letter to my future self

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

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

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

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

Dear future Jo,

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I kinda wonder.

I wonder about what you will be.

If you’ll be different.

The thought’s scary.

But kinda cool, too. 🙂

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

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

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

Or like finals?

Because I’ve been wondering.

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

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

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

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

He didn’t die right?

I mean, he can’t.

I sure hope not.

Ahhhh if you find the answer, please lemme know.

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

Did anything change?

And are you okay with that now?

Because I’m still trying to figure stuff out.

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

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

Jo

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

P.P.S. Now I got nothing.

P.P.P.S. Byeeeeee!

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Y’know, I still wonder.

But I guess time will tell. 🙂

Life is a highway,

Jo

I Got Lost On A Retreat (But I survived! :D) And I Have Pictures To Tell The Tale

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Well, this is gonna be a random typical post with a random typical person and random typical pictures, glad you could stop by! 😀 Heya everyone! Happy Monday and the start of a long painful slow death.

I don’t know if you guys like travel posts, but I sure do! So, here goes before my brother finds our DVDs and I have to start school. XD

Anyway, last weekend was a pretty amazing weekend, one being that it was the weekend and two being that I got to go on my church’s youth winter retreat, which is a big deal considering there’s only like 10 of us and the last retreat was way back in 2008. And I fell hard for the whole thing.

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The world was quiet there. Still. Cold. Welcoming. The roads just stretched on and on and if I had the wheel, I wouldn’t have stopped driving. I also woulda crashed. 😛 But thankfully, neither happened. What did happen was a staying up late Bible study wherein we talked about the Rapture (still trying to figure out why), pizza, worship, and goofing around. Oh, and playing cards past 2. And than sharing our testimonies til 3.

I dunno, it was weird, but it was nice, too. 🙂

But forget that- that’s not the best part. XD

I’ve been trying for weeks now to practice shooting in manual- which is so stinkin’ hard at night- and when we came there I immediately let everyone know I wasn’t gonna follow lights out because the stars were there and who needs sleep when you have the stars?

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So while everyone was playing cards, I walked around the place. Quiet. Still. Semi-creepy. I like to think I got better at night photography.

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As for the stars themselves… I TRIED KAY. I tried.

Also, it’s humanly impossible to rewrite the stars friends. They’re too far up.

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That was… pathetic.

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Also pathetic. I can’t believe I took this at a shutter speed of 30 seconds, and this was all I got. *facesmacks* Someone give me tips or something please.

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Slightly better.

I was so excited when I took these photos though- I actually laid on the ground and raised my camera up- remind me to bring a tripod next time. XD I’m pretty sure I left tons of room for improvement- but hey, I walked around in the cold air by myself and had my lens fogged up. It was worth it. 🙂

And then I did the same thing again after like.. 4 hours of sleep because I was busy muttering Galatians at 3 and insomnia wasn’t a friendly, but it was morning, the sun was coming up, and there’s a part where Gale convinces her mom to let her stay up early to shoot the sunrise.

I wasn’t gonna let the opportunity slip by my window!

I even got two very groggy friends to come with me at 7:14 AM. And we set out in jammies.

No sun.

Nothing. Nada.

Rats!

Again, though, it was worth it- no regrets here. 😀

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There’s a lot of good memories.

Jogging to the lodge for breakfast and covertly sneaking bacon.

Feeling silly because we had to sing  really upbeat version of Jesus Loves Me.

Spending the morning reading the Word.

Scrambling to the gym and playing volleyball. Losing. I can’t serve- my dumb fist can take a punch, but not a spike. -_-

Playing ball hockey with a friend (also dude, thanks for not rubbing it in my face that I’m bad at it)

Trying to reach a ridiculously high curl up bar.

Giving up and heading outside where it was quiet and still and peaceful.

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Laughing at the poor unfortunates who trapped themselves in the cycle of fear that was the see-saw, and vowing to post their reactions online. I didn’t because I’m nice.

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Walking to the tiny lake and skipping rocks over the frozen surface. It made a satisfying thud sound.

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Scaling a tree and staying there while everyone was busy trying to throw a rock to the other side. And failing. I have a lot of blackmail to use now.

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Walking around, laughing with friends, forgetting that I’m not 10 and school starts day after tomorrow and so much is depending on me not messing up. Enjoying fresh air and being goofy. (Well, I’m always goofy but you know what I mean)

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Eating lunch and not caring about the lack of internet or that I didn’t bring my laptop, because who needs a screen when there a people around you and you’re here, aren’t you? 🙂

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Getting lost and just taking picture after picture because finally, manual works, hooray! I also really like these pictures. I got something really close to a sunflare. 😀

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Just enjoying being alone and happy because I could walk wherever I wanted and not worry about my parents being worried I’d be kidnapped and taken to Budapest to work for the FBI. XD When you’re close to the city, everything’s gotta be worried about.

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Hammering out tunes on the old piano in the corner.

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Driving away and just staring at all the farms and barns and horses and honestly, the scene reminds me of Just Come Home and now I really wanna finish that book XD Who knew two hours of fields was the push I needed? Not me.

I think I’ve rambled on long enough- but I’ll finish with saying that I’m grateful I got to go. I was planning to grumble about it to myself, but I guess God changed my heart because I have so much to be grateful for about that. For bacon, duh. For wandering. For the woods. For that guy who believed I could jump a fence if I tried hard enough. For friends. For family. For being challenged to love the Bible more.

What did I just say about rambling XD

Alright. Get to work guys- have a great Monday!

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