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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In Which I Get To Talk About My Novel

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Spotify playing “If I Could Tell Her”.  Check.

Four scoops of Dutch chocolate ice cream. Check.

An evening of hanging out with the best people in the planet despite having been with them in person for so long a time it’s an injustice. Check.

No writing. Check.

April Camp NaNo is going wonderfully. And I mean that, when you compare it to last year, when  only started seriously writing three days before Camp ended, not too bad! I think. 😀

Just Come Home is on hold for now, which is great, ’cause I get to talk about my new WIP, which you definitely can’t copy or steal because I will find you. And I will exact a heavy revenge.

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Introducing my WIP, under the working title of….

The A’s & B’s of Normal!

*slow claps* *very fake claps*

The A’s And B’s Of Normal
not the final cover so don’t get any ideas

But, uh, what on earth is The A’s & B’s of Normal?

Thus the brief description. (I have a description! An actual description! BEHOLD!)

Synopsis

Ricky Kisame isn’t your normal 13 girl- but she really means that when she says it. She has an attention span the size of a gnat and an unidentified adverse reaction to classrooms and anything remotely resembling four walls enclosed and with no windows. Add that to her perpetual hyper-excited nonstop energy and talkative self, brothers that have their own quirks and not-normal selves, parents who are practical geniuses and believe the best in their kids, her homeschooled brain, and the fact that brain can answer Algebra 2 questions and college level stuff in all the ways nobody expects, and you have the makings of an almost genius.

Oh, did Ricky mention she has ADD? She can’t concentrate if her life depended on it.

But snap, if she isn’t gonna try!

The Story Behind The Story

If you don’t know, April is not only the month of pranks, the first Camp NaNo, and the month of the earth warming and changing from snow to grass in two seconds flat. It’s also Autism Awareness month. (More on this in another post… maybe. :P) At the time this story was created though? I didn’t know that.

I’m hyperactive. That goes for my head and my mind and my tongue and my arms and all of me. Fidgeting in my seat is essential to being able to concentrate, and a million tabs in my brain are open 100% of the time, and at least 75 are blasting music that I can’t shut down. Writing this post took me forever because I literally pushed aside my laptop to walk back and forth a couple dozen times.

And apparently, that isn’t normal.

But that’s okay.

If you know my brother Jacob, you’d know he’s the sweetest, kindest, selfless, quiet guy anywhere, and when he smiles you can’t help but smile too. You’d also know that he doesn’t talk much, is on the timid side, and when other kids his age are off driving and getting jobs and being independent (TM), Jacob’s still trying to figure out freshman year.

But that’s okay.

My other brother may have a little hard time interacting with people, but he can look at a computer and see new things to figure out and break and put together and technical stuff is right up his alley, even if asking someone how their weekend was is a tinge harder.

But that’s okay. 

They have a name for people like us. Neurodivergents. Basically, some people’s brains are different from other people’s brains. It’s a pretty simple (and fancy sounding) definition, huh?

There’s just a slight problem.

And that is that people tend to look at the label and forget the thing labelled is not a thing.

It’s a person. And that person isn’t some case subject thing, another number in the statistic of people who think differently. That person is just another kid with hopes and dreams and ideas and thoughts and God made them. God made everyone equal, but equal never meant the same. Every mind is different. And that’s okay.

And… I mean.. y’know.. people don’t really get that? There’s a TON of stuff on autism and dyslexia and ADD and ADHD, but not very much on the people who have all of these differences.

So in a way, I guess, The A’s & B’s of Normal is an attempt to say one thing:

God made you special, and He loves you just the way you are.

Trust me to ramble on for 50k or less on just one thing. 😉 Say hi to Ricky, you guys!

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Ricky, Ricky, Ricky. She is crazy. And that’s probably why I love her so.

It’s been a ton of fun to get into Ricky’s head and writing out her thoughts. She’s a riot in the funniest ways possible, and I hope I do her justice. 🙂  Along with this crazy are Lute, Natey, and Jose Kisame, and the 4 of them wreck havoc in their world.

Well, Ricky does plenty of that on her own, but the guys help some.

Right now she’s stumped, as you would be, at a rather long test. I got some work to do.

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Will this be a flop? Probably? Will I mess up a lot? Guaranteed. But is it worth the research and time spent to learn even more about this so called “disorders” and what they really are?

I think so.

Is it worth getting into someone’s severely disorganized head and writing my own off? To get into a dozen different characters and settings I will never get to step foot in?

Yes.

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 😀 )

 

 

Why Willabeth is a power couple, mostly according to Enni :P

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Is this post late? Yes.

Am I sorry? No.

Should I be? Probably. But uh, I just finished watching Incredibles 2 with my family, and as I always try to say “life before blogging,” I don’t regret a thing. And trust me, I’ll be talking about that soon. TRUST me. But for now.. da post!

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Hey-lo! A happy mundane Wednesday to you.

I mean, you have school, don’t you? Mundane it is.

As such, here’s hoping this crazy unfortunately mushy post will crack a grin on your face, as I present the next part of mine and Enni’s duology! Which was in the title! Because I definitely gave it away with the jar of dirt gif! 😀

And ehhh, most of my reasons are actually Enni’s, because there’s no way I’m this mushy about a ship, so if any of these appear to a. have CAPS LIKE THIS b. the word love, or c. an overall aura of hopeless mush, don’t blame me. Go check out Enni’s post, she has the cooler reasons XD

(Also E is Elizabeth, W is Will. But y’all know that already. 😉 )

1. THE WAY THAT W LOOKS AT E WITH PUPPY DOG EYES

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My fine mate, you’re looking at Elizabeth,  not the horiz- oH.

You hopeless romantic.

What is it with people looking into someone else’s eyes? I could write a whole paragraph about starting into someone’s eyes and it still wouldn’t be enough to describe it.

2. E isn’t some useless love interest whose purpose in the story is fulfilled once W comes in, she’s in every right her own character. 

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YES. YES. YES.

I don’t know about you, but I hate it when any character, girl or guy, exists solely as a love interest- when they could be developed and rounded out and deep and impactful and when they do not need another person to make them a good character, they’re good on their own. And that is Elizabeth.

I mean, have you noticed her arc? Elizabeth starts off as a girl in high society, tries to help kid Will Turner so he won’t be mistaken for a pirate, accidentally triggers a bunch of problems, has to deal with Norrington (at least I think that’s his name), has to get used to pirates and fighting and all that, and then finally becomes a pirate in her own right. And fights and leads an armada.

What an arc. And yet, she’s still in love, but still strong.

*mindblown*

3. W genuinely supports and cares for E without being creepy HE LOVES HER

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Unlike *cough coughs* Norrington and like a bunch of other people I could mention right now.  No offense to James. He’s a good guy- helped the right side in the end. It’s just that… do you remember that scene where Elizabeth’s fainted because her corset is so tight, and when she mentions it to Norrington, he mentions how nervous he is? Cause.. I do. 😀

Anyway, Will is pretty great. He doesn’t assume Elizabeth can’t do anything by herself, he doesn’t feel the need to rush to her aid whenever fate would have her stumble, he fights with her and backs her up and I mean.. he said so himself, he’d die for her. He’s doesn’t hesitate to stand in harm’s way while knowing Elizabeth can protect herself. And that’s pretty nice. Scratch that, it’s really nice.

4. W and E are SO DEDICATED TO EACH OTHER IT’S NOT FUNNY
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So, uh, spoiler for those who haven’t watched it yet (but if you haven’t, well, this whole post is a spoiler) William and Elizabeth uh– get separated. And to top it off, they can’t see each other for 20 years.

20.

20.

I’m not sure I could handle not seeing my best friend for 20 months, let alone years. But they chose to do that. They knew it would be hard, and still, they decided being apart together was better than being apart period.

I don’t understand these weird people. But dedication. Wow.

5. Their wedding is the best wedding in history, and I will never take that back.
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Correction, Enni might never take it back, but I sure would. Because I’ve seen other– that spoils this section so nevermind. XD But while I wouldn’t go so far to say that it’s the best wedding in history, it’s one of the best fictional weddings.

They get married in a STORM.

With some creepy monster.

And people attacking them.

AND THEY SAY THEIR VOWS WHILE STABBING WEIRD CREEPY BAD GUYS.

oh, and need I mention they fight in sync— holding hands?? Now when’s the last time you saw a couple do that- much less fight, period? Hats off to these two. They have better fight choreography than my left feet. XD

But seriously. It’s pretty great.

So there you have it. My reasons for why Willabeth is a power couple. Is it kinda weird that this is coming from me? I guess. But I stand by it the same. While I can’t fully support everything in the POTC movies, I do want to point out the good parts it has- and Willabeth is one of them. 🙂

tl;dr: Willabeth is a great couple because they are equally strong characters, and their being in a relationship is tested over and over, yet they refuse to let go- even if it means they will hurt.

*bangs head* I’ve had it with mush for one day. Goodnight! 😀

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

 

Fauxthors Prepare For NaNoWriMo

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Hey everyone! Having a great day? I sure hope so! If not, well, maybe this will make you cheer up. I’m doing a collab with Tess, from Steeplechase (that kinda sounds dumb since there’s only one Tess and Jo on the blogosphere as far as I know but yeah XDD ) And we’re the fauxthors (faux authors) who’s getting together to talk about NaNoWriMo. After some late late laaaaaaaaaate night planning, we got enough questions for both of us to answer. So now, please welcome Tess! (Or you’ll wish you did…)

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One more thing. What Tess doesn’t know is that I am not going to be interviewing her. Gale Darn, one of my charries is! (Her name before has been Durnham, but I changed it) Being the doublecrossing sneaky writer I am, I kept it a secret til now. Take it away Gale!

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Gale: Heeya, people reading Jo’s blog! *waves* This is the first time she’s ever invited a charrie by special request, especially after my brothers hacked her blog.. twice. I guess I’m the good child. Anyway, let’s start before Jo changes her mind!

Gale: Bold

Tess: Italics

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

What’s a writing snack you refuse to part with?
Cookies. And cheese sticks.

Yumm! I love whatever’s in the fridge XD Mostly cookies.

Where is the place you feel safe to write in?
I feel safe to write wherever people are not looking over my shoulder? And I love to write in public. #extraverted

*shudders* You’re brave. I can’t do anything without crazy Zeke yapping me about it. I hope Jo kills him off. 

What’s your #1 writing music?
DON’T MAKE ME CHOOSE probably Adam Young Scores BUT THERE’S SO MUCH MORE

Ooh! 😀 I like Country Hymn, it’s awesome!

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When is peak writing hour for you?
I would love to say that it’s first thing in the morning. Because that’s when I have time. But I really write best at night. So….11pm?

That explains a lot of things… hm.. all my cool photoshoot ideas are at 11 too! I have no clue why. 

Biggest distraction from prep/pep?
Youtube. Chatting people. Little Alchemy. Literally anything but writing. OH LOOK A DOG

Oh, that’s Lola! Come here! Ak! HELP SHE’S ON MEEEEE *is squashed* *comes back*

Have you ever handwritten something sizable?
I wrote…some essays. I haven’t.

I haven’t even written any essays if I can help it they’re terrible.

What’s something you wouldn’t normally do but did anyway merely because that’s what a charrie did?

I started saying “Sweet cheese and crackers!” simply because I made Sasha say it once. No regrets tho.

Hee, that’s funny. I remember someone told me I should stay in the kitchen and bake cookies cause I’ma  girl, so I took a cue from Connie Kendall, baked bad cookies, and gave it to him.. where was I going with this?

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When do you sleep during Nanowrimo?
In four-hour bursts, especially toward the end of the month.

O_O That’s long naps. Then again, I go in five hours per day cause that’s life. Can’t judge.

How important is worldbuilding?
Ummmm worldbuilding is EVERYTHING. What good is a play without any set? Seriously tho.

You should totally come to Rocky Road, we’ve got the craziest world! Like we have a bookstore/diner, an old barn that’s a lab, and this weird shop I haven’t snooped in since I was 7. I dunno what Jo was thinking..

Who’s your favorite charrie you’ve ever created?
This is SUCH a hard question! If I had to pick just one, then probably Sasha Sokolovsky. She’s really unique, in my opinion.

Aw, I’d love to meet her! I think we’d be good friends. I think I know Jo’s favorite charrie… anyone other than Zeke Darn. *glowers*

Have you ever made yourself cry with your own writing?
Once, when I was a little writing potato. It was the first time I killed a character. And it was sad at the time, but it really isn’t that sad anymore.

That’s sad. Deaths hurt.

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Have you ever written a bilingual charrie?
This is a tough question, because my characters tend to sprinkle in foreign words in their dialouge. (It makes it richer.) But technically, the race of wolves I was writing about were Russian (and spoke it) so…Kseniya, Sanya, Pyotr, Nikita, and all the others. I haven’t thought about that in so long, wow.

Ooh, that’s fascinating! I have a neighbor who’ll whip out the most confusing Gaelic I’ve ever heard. He keeps trying to teach me but I can’t get it. Anyway..

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What’s the stupidest/most annoying character you’ve ever written?

Oh boy. There was this character in my noveldraft Brother Robin named Clive Clithertoe. You know it’s bad when I hate him. And I’m writing him. And supposedly sympathetic toward him. Spoiler alert: I hated his very soul.

I KNOW HOW YOU FEEL I HATE THIS GUY’S VERY SOUL.

Zeke: Are you talkin’ trash about me, Gale?

Nonsense get lost! Anyhoo, it was nice interviewing ya, Tess! Bring Sasha next time!

And hey, you can see Jo’s interview part on Tess’s blog Steeplechase. Catchy, Tess! Though I’ve never ridden anything but Western. 😛 See ya!

Zeke: *muttering dark threats*

Well, that went well. See ya here next time.

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It Be August. I Be Tired.

Hi everybody. *waves feebly*

Yes, this is my end-of-the-month post. Only it’s the start of a new month: August. It’s actually, really, truly August. O_O Yes, time has flown by yet again. It’s surreal to think about everything that happened in this month alone. There has been so much God has done for me, and it’s a lot to process.

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Anyway, the reason I didn’t have an end-of-the-month post by the end of the month was because of camp. Camp NaNoWriMo, that is. I know that probably a good amount of bloggers around WordPress (and Blogger) have been panicking over not finishing their goal, and trust me, I was one of them. Not to mention feeling like a failure, having other people tell me what I should be doing instead with my time, and lots of criticism. It hasn’t all been daisies and roses, and frankly, I wanted to quit.

Why didn’t I? Thank Enni. Over our cabin and during wordsprinting she yelled at me (via words, of course) to stop being so down on myself and actually write. So did Tess, Rebekah, Julia, and my mom. XD Let me tell ya, you do not want to be scolded by Enni, Tess, or any of the lovely ladies I have mentioned. At all. You will be scorched. I have warned you.

So struggling for dear life, I wordsprinted, plotted, finished off bars of chocolate, and complained.

Also, to my cabinmates, I am very very sorry I spammed you with dozens of notifs!! Y’all are the BEST CABIN IN CAMP NANO EVER. EVER. I’m not joking when I said I was the worst writer, I really meant that. But you helped me get on, and continue writing. Thank you so much. ❤

I finished the almost complete draft of Mirages at 25,000 words at 10: something PM. You cannot know how relieved I was.

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What else happened in July? Well..

-My family went through this horrible, terrible, thing called renovation. I strongly advise you not to go through it if you’re not willing to put in blood, sweat, and tears into making your home great.  That being said, my brothers were amazing, and our house looks a lot better. 🙂

-our church had a picnic. It rained, but we got to walk and eat hot dogs. It was good.

-an almost tornado formed, I have photographic evidence (somewhere in my thumb drives..)

-I got to read some fascinating books! (Reviews coming.. when I have time)

-We got to see places I haven’t been to since I was 4.

 

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-I got to spend time bonding with friends and family.

-Obviously, more writing! I wrote more last month than I have before. And it’s still not finished. *facepalm*

I could say more. I could tell you about the amazing things that I’m learning (yes, learning can be amazing), the hardships that God’s helped us through, the beautiful views I’ve seen, and the smoke that came out of the lovely grilled chicken today. It smelled good. But that would take up a lot of time, and time’s flying too quickly already to allow me to snatch up some of yours. 😉

Anyhoo, let’s get to the proverbial nonexistent business, shall we? And that’s… Playing Favorites!

Wait, what, you don’t get it? Playing fav- I’m picking some of my favorites for this month! Pay attention!

And I’m so being biased here. You’re welcome. XD

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Favorite Song/s:

Writing has a veritable soundtrack. Don’t argue. Songs have helped me to stay awake and keep at it. Piano Guys’ It’s Gonna Be Okay, Adam Young’s soundtracks, and Andrew Peterson’s My Love Has Gone Across The Sea. <– I’m not one for romance, or anything love-related, but this– listen or else you will be trampled on by toothy cows. It’s awesome!!! (Uh, the song, not the getting trampled on.)

But the ultimate one to be embedded is Jubilate Deo, a concert where the song is Psalm 100, in different languages. This is the best. ever. (It’s also almost an hour long, so keep that in mind.)

Favorite Book:

I  dislike picking only one good book, when there are so many others out there! Alpha reading for different writers, and reading for reviews has been pretty fun! But… if I had to pick one, it would probably be:

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On The Edge Of The Dark Sea Of Darkness, The Wingfeather Saga, Andrew Peterson

Yup! This is my favorite of this month! And.. Andrew Peterson wrote it XD which might explain why.

What’s the Wingfeather Saga?

It’s a series of four fantasy-adventure novels about the three Igiby children, Janner, Kalmar, and Leeli. At the beginning of the story Janner is twelve, Kalmar (whose nickname is Tink) is eleven, and their little sister Leeli is nine. They’re accompanied by Leeli’s dog Nugget, their mother Nia, and their ex-pirate grandfather Podo Helmer.

They live in a world called Aerwiar, which is exactly like our world–except they don’t have electricity or gunpowder, and there are all sorts of creepy animals, like sea dragons and toothy cows. Janner, the eldest, is about to discover that the ordinary little town where they live is anything but ordinary. In fact, he and his family are at the center of a great mystery that will change their lives forever.

I hope you’ll get your hands on a copy of the book and join the adventure. But beware of the toothy cows. They’re horrifying. – Andrew Peterson, from the Wingfeather Saga website.

If you can’t tell, I really love this series. Now, go read it or be eaten by a sea dragon. And tell me what happens in The Monster In The Hollows, I’m dying to know.

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Favorite Quote:

Ha, just change that to quotes, because I am going to convince you all to read the Wingfeather Saga if it’s the last thing I do.

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In the words of Edna Mode, you may now thank me. XD

So anyway, *kicks Wingfeather Saga obsession to the side*, that’s been my month. It’s been one of the most memorable I will ever have, and this post would be loooooooooong if I showed you everything. And it is already looooooooooong.

Don’t worry, I’ll be around with some tags, some reviews, and some pictures. 🙂 Thanks for reading!

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Oh wait, I’m not done after all! I shall now spend a minute telling you that I am extremely excited for Adventures in Odyssey’s Album 65!!!!!! I’ve heard it’s epic, and I gotta hear it! So comment if you’re a fan, I need to rant about how crazy Jay is. 😛

Summer + Camp NaNo = Memories to Treasure

It is just me, or does anybody else think the summer is flying waay too fast? But, as they say, time flies when you’re having fun!

Let’s change that: time flies when you’re doing things you love with loved ones, because that’s been my summer. 🙂

Which is interesting, because before I used to lament the fact that we couldn’t do as much as we used to. I’ve learned to take any opportunity that comes my way, and it’s been a blast.

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Niagara Falls is probably the ultimate place for anyone in Canada to see, and as it is, we visited the falls last week. Let’s just say, that in the few years since our last visit, it hasn’t changed a bit.

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Before actually seeing the falls, we usually stop at the Dufferin Islands. Or at least I think they’re called the Dufferin Islands. It’s either much smaller than I remember or I grew up since the last visit. Hm..

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There’s always a mass of people at the falls, and that day was no exception. it was pretty hard to keep up, since I kept stopping to take pictures. XD

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No matter how many times I visit this place, I always have to stop and marvel at this beauty, only one example of God’s creation.

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After dodging tourists other people taking pictures, I started changing up the perspective. Again. 😛 What can I say, I notice different things!

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Not to toot my own horn, but I do like the pictures of the falls through the railing. It was fun to look down- if you’re not scared of heights, and I’m not. Much.

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I took so many pictures of the buildings, but I think I’ll leave you one from an ice cream shop. It reminds me a lot of Whit’s End! (Uh, if you’re not an AIO fan, just scroll past- random fandom thing. XD )

Later in the evening, we went to Niagara-On-The-Lake, a small little town on the edge of Lake Ontario. It was really fun to wade in the lake and throw rocks. Fun story about the fort you see in the picture: some say that fort is on the U.S side. *nods* One day, I’d love to visit that.

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Yep, Niagara was fun, little tiring, and very nostalgic to visit again. I took a lot more pictures, but those will have to do.

*writer’s block*

I’m having writer’s block talking about writer’s block. Ayayay, what shall we do?

In all honesty, I’m really enjoying the miniscule amount of writing I’m doing. The characters, the setting, everything lines up except for the timeline. *facepalm* I’m getting there, and while I’m at it, I got awesome cabinmates who don’t give up. At all. 🙂

Shall I leave you with flowers? Yes, I shall, because I really need to write some more! And go clear up some challenges for Summer Bored Games. 😉 I’ll be seeing ya.

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Bwahahaha- You Have Entered My Works In Progress- BEWARE!!!!!

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Before I begin, I would like to say that under no circumstances whatsoever is anyone allowed to use any of my ideas. That’s a lovely thing called plagiarism. Also known as stealing. If you want to steal ideas and stories that took me YEARS to make up, go right ahead! At your risk, however. *glares threateningly*

Oh! Hi there!

Now, if you just read that warm and welcoming introduction, you probably know that I’m gonna be talking about my stories. Also sharing pictures just cause.

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My bell pepper plants started flowering! proud micro gardener right here. 

My stories.. oh, my whole brain is filled with them. Ever since I was… a lot younger than I am now, I’ve always played out scenes and met characters in my head and traveled to different worlds.

It’s only been early this year that I finally decided to actually write them.

Thus Camp NaNo.

Correction: Thus the awesome, wonderful idea that pushes you to write more than you have before.

Currently, motivation to write is coming in.. slowly. So, hopefully, I can kick start it by talking about my stories, what made me motivated to write in the first place. So here goes!

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Sparklers.. cause hopefully a spark of inspiration will come to me..

They Called It A Mystery

All budding photographer Gale Durnham wants is for her soldier father to come home to their one- horse small town life. But when three strangers come in, Gale must find out why- or else her father won’t have a town to go home to.

This was my first actually drafted novel, and one of my favorites, despite the fact that this was written completely pantsing. No plot, no outline, nadda, zilch.

Which may have been why I wrote in characters I’m too scared of and crazy ideas and now it’ll be years before I touch it again. It worked in April, my first Camp NaNo, but now? XD You want a snippet? I’m sure you do.

At last, I reached the corner booth. Danielle was still absorbed in Pride And Prejudice, but the men were intently studying a large map spread on the table and muttering some thing about-

None of your business, Durnham! I scolded myself. Plastering a smile on my face, I interrupted their– greeted them again.

Well, here are your orders. One Morning Glory Special and two plates of pancakes with hash browns.” “Thank you,” Andrew said, slightly agitated.

Like it was my fault I kept interrupting his oh-so important business. This is a diner, after all.

Danielle closed the novel and dug in. Andrew did likewise. But the man with the scar was slow to pick up his fork, and before I turned to leave, he asked me, “Have we met before?”

I stopped, startled. Looking straight at his scarred face I told him, “No, I wouldn’t count on it. Have a good day.” I smiled and left. That sense that was bugging me since I took their order came back, and I was left confused.

I came home tired, and mystified at how that man seemed to recognize me. I certainly never met him in my life. I went up to my room, grabbed my camera, and began scrolling through the pictures I took at Pine Hill. I stopped to look at a landscape shot I took. I could clearly see three human shapes in the picture. Could it be the strangers at the diner? I thought.

Turning off my camera, I shook the thought from my head and went to sleep.

Chapter 4

It was a few weeks from that day when my story continued.

This was probably my most favorite, since I drew so many things from real life into this story, and I was free to add whatever I wanted. *pats story affectionally* I’ll get back to it someday.

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May I introduce Machu, a tame hedgehog? He’s a pet of my friend’s. A charming little fellow, I must say!

Mirages

In the Illid, a country attempting to remove any ideas of God, the Penners, Christians, must find a way to escape the land and get past the giant wall. But will Dareine’s best friend Solidan, a trained secret agent to hunt down all Christians, get in the way?

My current work of art- I mean, in progress. This story has been in my mind for maybe 3 years now, and it’s only now that I’m putting it to words.

After the dreadful happenings to They Called It A Mystery, I PREPARED for this one. Every free template from Evernote, every article I could get my hands on, on worldbuilding, characters, the whole 9 yards plus a foot.

So why am I stuck?

Maybe it’s because the more I read it, the worse it looks. Maybe it’s because I haven’t got any feedback. Or maybe (and most likely) I need to JUST DO IT.

Very motivational Jo. Why thank you. *bows* Let’s put up a snippet shall we?

The sky looked as threatening as the thunder sounded. A chill was in the air, sweeping through and settling in. Lightning crackled, giving the 20 foot wall an intimidating look.

Then again, it was intimidating enough without the lightning.

People hurried home through the pouring rain, dodging the falling drops of water. Water was sprayed from speeding cars, drenching whoever was in its wake.

Through it all, Jakob Penner slowly made his way home. Work for the government was no easy task, especially if staying late was required of him. But Illid needed the work, and Jakob Penner needed the money. Jakob took a glance at the huge white office building where he was employed. It stood like a beacon, of, well, everything Illid stood for.

What they stood for was so different from what he did.

It was a long walk from the office building to home, for a car was out of the question. The rain was merciless on those whom it fell on, and Jakob’s coat, durable though it was, could not stop him from shivering in the cold. As he walked the lone streets, a light shone brightly despite the others. It was the light from Jakob’s home. With a smile on his face, he hurried up the porch. Shivering, he went in.

Instantly, Jakob was refreshed by the warmth of the Penner household. And by the sounds of a loudly humming lady banging on what sounded like a pot. With a grin on his face, Jakob peeked into the kitchen.

“I’m home, Esther.” he said gratefully.

Esther didn’t hear him, unfortunately. Her earbuds were playing on full blast as she hummed and stirred something in a pot, blissfully unaware that her tired wet husband was home from work.

Jakob stepped into the kitchen and gave his wife a hug. Quickly, the hum turned into a shriek as Esther ripped her earphones out and, in self defense, whacked the poor man with her sauce-covered spoon.

“What in the world- oh! Jakob! Ayayai!” She exclaimed, setting her spoon down and giving the slightly shocked Jakob a hug. “You should’ve warned me!” Esther scolded, stuffing her earphones into a pocket.

“And spoil the singing?” Jakob retorted.

“Humming, dear one. Very different.” Esther corrected, going back to her sauce.

Jakob smiled, then looked around contentedly at the small place they called home. It was snug and cozy, though terribly cold in winter, and terribly hot in summer. Books lined the shelves and were scattered on the floor. A little table, one clearly meant for a child, was covered with drawings. Which reminded Jakob that something was missing.

“It’s unusually quiet here.” Jakob commented. Esther gave him a look.

“If you’re wondering about our kids, they’re here alright. It won’t stay quiet for long.” Esther jokingly warned, then raised her voice louder. “Phil! Callie! Your father’s here!” The announcement probably wasn’t necessary, for the moment she uttered the words a loud bang sounded, startling the parents. The sound of pattering feet echoed through the house as booms banged each step on the small flight of stairs.

“Dad! Daddy! Hi! You’re back!” A pair of little voices chirped as two children ran to their father, who received them with wide open arms. “Ah, I’ve missed you both so much!” Jakob said, holding them close.

“But Daddy, you only were gone for the day. How could you miss us?” Callie, a happy six- year-old asked, puzzled. Phil groaned.

“You’ll get it when you’re older, Cal.” Phil said with a slight superiority. Jakob shook his head at them both.

“Well, hon, Phil’s right in a way.” Jakob said gently. Callie frowned.

“I never get to be right.” she pouted. Phil started to laugh, but stopped at a stern look from his father.

“Uh, well, maybe one day you will.” Mr. Penner comforted. “Phil, have you seen Dareine?” he asked. Phil shook his head. “Nope. She had a study hall and stayed after school.”

“I see.” Jakob said. He glanced at Esther, whose eyes mirrored the slight fear that was in his own. “She’ll be fine, Jakob. We can call her at anytime.” Esther spoke reassuringly. Jakob nodded, and as he turned his attention back to the two, he prayed. “Please, God, bring Dareine home safe.”

Outside, the rain hit the roofs, the thunder sounded, and the wall loomed over Illid.

 

Jo, that was a chapter, not a snippet. *facepalms* Oops! Hope you don’t mind, everyone. Hehe, don’t worry, this will be heavily edited later on.. like after July.

Last one, y’all! Please bear with me!

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And now I present another long group of flower photography.. you’re welcome. XD

Remember Me

Ten outta ten, I’ll be changing this title. For now though, this is something to look forward to after a while.

Remember Me is the story of a young girl, who is struggling to help her family out and doing, what she loves the most, wondering if she can do both without hindering either of them.

And the reason why that was so short was because I just thought of it a few days ago. *facepalms* But I did write some for it- of course you’d like to see?

Rachel walked home in the pouring rain, in her coffee shop uniform and hoodie, carrying large bags of groceries. Her thrift store sneakers weren’t waterproof, but at this point, it didn’t matter. She crossed the large bridge over the highway, stopping halfway to glance down at the traffic below.

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And that’s the gist of it! Phew, that was a long chunk. And that’s what’s been in my mind for a while. The day I actually write them all out will be a long time coming, but hopefully it will be a literal day.

Life however, hasn’t exactly given that day yet- maybe thanks to writer’s block. We’re doing a paint job, for one.

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And- oh, there’s things here and there. 🙂

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So to sum up, there are so much stories on my mind, my DSLR is lovely, it’s hot outside, I’m stuck with writer’s block, and Enni, Tess, and I are running for Queen Of the World. I beg you people, please do not pick Enni! Contrary to popular opinion, I actually am sane, half of the time. And I work hard, sometimes. And I’m just downright honest! 😉

Well, if you’ll excuse me, I must go burn the midnight oil and write some more. See ya!

It Started With A Bang

Hello world. I am dying.

Of writer’s block, for one. And of laughter.

It’s only been 4 days and already this month has been so rich.

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 My bell peppers are showing signs of fruit!

July the first was the start of one of the funnest, stress-giving ideas ever conceived: Camp NaNoWriMo.

Lemme just say the girls in my cabin are awesome, and wacky, and it is great.

I forgot just who I wordsprinted with. I know I stayed up late and laughed and laughed some more. I also ate a teaspoon of bacon crumbles. Watched the fireworks.

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 Some bad pictures of the fireworks. 

July the second: The air conditioning died. And I died, of pushing around writer’s block.  So I gave it up for a few hours and helped my sister with the dreaded.. summer cleaning.

Actually, even that wasn’t too bad, because I found this book of speeches from the 1900s and they were so old, and ancient, and I found I can pull off a British accent. My sister and I died laughing. We also have boxes of old notebooks from back when I was in kindergarden. I did not have very good grammar back then.

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For some reason, I thought this angle was interesting.

And I burned the midnight oil wordsprinting. Again. That helped plenty! And also met a very cool character- whom I’m not allowed to talk about, says the author. Very well. And the fireworks were beautiful.

July the third- Summer cleaning is equivalent to torture!! Pained torture!! We had boxes and boxes of junk, books (not junk), and old videotapes from when I was one. I was one a long time ago. Goodbye, Bambi!

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Pictures of flowers because they’re much nicer than boxes. XD

Spent time in the cabin with Tess and Enni, and we were….. well…. Staying up til 12 writing can do things to you. XD Enni, you are the queen of wordsprinting, and ain’t nobody gonna take that away from you!

Exchanged wild comments and tantalizing snippets, and argued over another character. *facepalm*

July the 4th: Happy Independence day, y’all!

We’re almost out of bacon crumbles.

Summer cleaning has reached maximum pressure.

Wordsprinted with Liz and Enni,  and Enni just blew us away, again.

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Also did I mention I died of laughter? I did- again.

Probably the best thing of the month (so far) is being able to connect with people. My family, crazy cabinmates, connecting with them has really been a huge highlight for me/

And that’s a recap of life! Just so you know that I’m alive. XD If you need me, I’ll be typing furiously at my laptop, throwing out ancient toys, or wordsprinting with Enni and losing. See ya!

Don’t worry! I’ll be around.. *chuckles ominously*