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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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 😀 )

 

 

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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

See the source image

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

Invincible (BIBPC Cat. 7, A Wee Post, And An Explanation)

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I’ve committed the unforgiveable sin of posting twice a day and for that, I must apologize. XD But since technically this is a BIBPC post, it doesn’t count, right? 😀

Well, sorry anyway. 😛

And now for my final picture for Megan’s awesome contest!

It’s weird, I know.

For the prompt invincible…

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An.. ant.

And not in the best lighting too.

Way to go, Jo.

(If any of you makes a joke out of the words “go” and “Jo” I will find you and you shall feel my wrath.)

(ish.)

Anyway, I *wanted* to take a picture of my mom, since she’s the living embodiment of invincible, but Mom didn’t agree and told me to think of something else. So oh well. 😦 Antonio will have to do.

I’m always surprised by how strong these little guys and gals are. They carry stuff more than a hundred times their size with little to no problem. And they’re seriously hard-working. No wonder we’re supposed to “go to the ant, sluggards.” XD And props to Antonio. If I was that small and some giant girl with some weird black box kept poking me around and large clicky sounds came out of the weird big black box, I’d scream my head off. Remind me to save up and buy a micro lens.

Moving on. Here’s my poster for the seventh round of BIBPC- one I hope to join again, because BIBPC is awesome!

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And now the explanation to cap off the second post of the day, which I’ll try not to let happen again! 😛

I’ve kinda been posting a lot this week. O_O

And I blame that midnight bloggie brainstorming session a week ago. -_- Too many ideas.

As a result, my schedule’s outta whack, but I’m working on it! So thank you for putting up with post after post. XD I’m cutting it down to every other day, which hopefully will be better for you and for moi.

So yeah, to sum up, I’ve been posting on a weird scheduley, I’m gonna try to fix it, and thank you all for putting up with me! 😀 Have a great weekend!

Life is a highway,

Jo

Scribble Scrabble: BIBPC Cat. 5, Slgiht Life Update, And Drabble

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Hello there, I’m tired. Who on earth are you?

Well, whoever you may be, thanks for coming over here. This won’t take too much of your time.

So for the fifth category of BIBPC, which has the ridiculously tricky category “disguise”, here’s my lame attempt and showing that in a picture.

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It’s terrible. But I can explain. When I was trying to figure out this prompt, I remembered the one time me and my brother switched DVDs to trick our brother into thinking he was watching Cars when in reality he was getting The Avengers or something. Which I thought was funny. And thus translated onto this picture. Antman and the Wasp is disguised as Pete’s Dragon. Sneaky. And seeing that the deadline for Cat. 5 is today, I didn’t really have a choice. XD I’ve been busy!

Thanks for reading. See you for the next drive.

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-Okay, if you scrolled this far, thanks for sticking with me. Because I shall now unload tragic backstory (TM) update on your poor brains. XD

This first week of January has been tough but good. School’s.. school. Slowly conquering that. Can’t complain.

I’ve gotten to read all the way to Luke in my Bible reading, and I’m really happy about that. Who knows, maybe I’ll read the whole New Testament before the summer! 😀

Look at that. The Piano Guys’ version of Rewrite the Stars came on and I’m energized now. The power of music.

Anyway. So a few days ago we got to watch Antman and the Wasp, and– I’m not sure if you’re into movie time with your family, but I am. It was so hilarious and good- actually it would be good if there was no swearing. Just saying. Anyway, it was hilarious, and the concept and the plot and the characters- my dad and I are now part of the “Give Luis his own movie” movement. The man is so great. I will probably love Scott Lang because he’s not an Enhanced. He messes up. He’s normal. He’s a dad. What makes him a hero is he wants to help. So yeah, I got character research done.

I haven’t touched Just Come Home in ever.

Yeah, I’m terrible.

But I HAVE been doing research for it- so if any of you guys are farm people, or live in small towns, or have family in the army CALL ME- I just found out my mom’s best friend lives off base during deployment, so I’m pretty excited to ask her some questions.

Weird, I know. But.. I want to be as authentic as possible. And I really wanna honor the people who live in small towns, on farms, and with family in the army/navy/marines/country’s defenses. So yeah. XD

I’ve been turning some of my poems into songs, and trying to get used to my voice. For those of you who’ve heard my covers on Welcome To Odyssey, you know it’s kinda on the squeaky side. But here’s hoping I can work on that- and that I don’t like… despise things about myself I can’t change. I have a habit of really really hating stuff about myself, and it’s gotta stop. Except I can still hate my sin nature and my temper and my doubts and anger because those parts of me are bad. Sinful. And since I’m trying to live for God, they have to go. Boo. Shoo. Byeee.

But I mean like hating my voice, or that I’m awkward, or that I get really passionate about my interests. That kinda of stuff. That I’m too skinny or too inadept at volleyball, or that I’m not the best writer or I’m not perfect. There we go. I’m trying to stop hating that I’m not perfect. 😀

I’ve done a post about this before, but basically, God made me, “imperfections” and weird quirks and all. Who am I to say to hate that? To hate what God’s made and is making into something better? Does that even make sense? XD So I’ll laugh at myself singing originals to my camera and do it because I love singing.

Wow. I took 2 long paragraphs to say that? -_- Eh. I rant. What can I say?

Oh- happy almost Friday! 😀

-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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Hopes, Dreams, and Unrealistic Aspirations

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WARNING LONG POST AHEAD PROCEED AT OWN CAUTION

Hi again, lovely people of the internet!

By the time you read this (since I was waay too verbose last time) it’ll be January. 1. 2019.

*screams*

“I wasn’t prepared for this. We can’t let them know anything.”- Kira

Truer words have never been spoken, Kira. But I *am* letting you know some things… not quite sure why.

Ohhh, right! Because I thought it would be a good idea! *facesmacks* It doesn’t seem too bad right now, so… uh…here goes. 🙂

2019 Goals

Life Goals

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  • Get a job. Somehow, someway, I’d really really like to work and save money for even more future stuff- if that’s what God wants. But even not, doing some thing that’s a little more serious than a fandom. 😛
  • Wake up early and get stuff DONE. For Christmas break, my gift to myself was slacking off on everything. Including important, essential things like devotions. And I don’t want to admit that, but I have to. Because starting now, I want to change that, and start being productive.
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With my feet propped up, a’course!
  • Read the whole New Testament and get into Bible Bee’s Summer Study. Last year (which feels like yesterday, probably because it was) I was so blessed by digging deeper into God’s word, and I don’t think I can explain that. It’s so awesome to study the Bible not because anyone says you have to, but because you want to. So I’m looking forward to this!
  • School. Crush it. Defeat the boss villain, move to next level. ‘Nuff said. Oh, and start seriously learning French. And look at ops around.
  • Train.  And by train I mean exercise. Because I’d love to get stronger in that area.
  • Learn as many life skills as I can at this age. They’re life skills. I’ll need them. Some of em are fun!
  • Go to a buskerfest. And get a buskering permit. I doubt I’ll crush this goal, but it won’t be for lack of trying. *grabs hammer*
  • Get offscreen for more than I am on. As much as I love Pinterest, I won’t let it take away time I could use to use other worthy things. Besides, I don’t want to be that kid that never sticks her head out to see the sky.
  • Develop my photography. Compared to my first picture here, I’d glad to say that I’ve grown a tad in the mastery of the lens. But I have a long way to go. So I’d really like to learn to use manual. XD
  • MORE ANDREW PETERSON MUSIC YES BOIII

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Wordy Goals

  • read 100 books. I’m really, really looking forward to this! And I’m counting books of the Bible so technically, I’ve already read four of the hundred I have to read! 😀 But yup, 100 books. Some of which may include War and Peace (HA!) some YA, and alphas. I really love the alpha part XD
  • finish, edit and rewrite Just Come Home. Ahhh, my wittle baby WIP is a year old already! *sighs* It’s gonna take some work, but I’m so doing this. You can’t stop me. It’s not your funeral, after all.
  • look into publishing. O_O WHAT WHAT WHAT WHAT DID I SAY WHAT. I hve no clue where to start, I mean, it’s almost 100% sure I’m self-publishing, because honestly, who would take that? But again, if this doesn’t happen, it won’t be because I didn’t try!
  • write at least 500 words a day. I wish I could be meta and go for 1k1day, but I need to LIVE XD so I’m gonna set a reasonable amount for myself. I don’t know what I’ll write, but I’m looking forward to it! (fanfic, short stories, and poems, most likely *cough cough*) (maybe a novel or two) (I haven’t forgotten you Mirages)
  • actually respond to pen pals. 
  • join NaNo. Crush NaNo. Die in NaNo. 
  • Fill up my old notebooks. I have a bunch of old, good notebooks that wouldn’t be used. But I’m gonna take them. And write. Probably drek like on this blog. But it’ll be better than mindlessly scrolling through the web, right?
  • write in this lovely!

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The cover the cover da coverrrrr yay!

I can’t wait to write in it!

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Blogging Goals

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“Awwww yay!” you cry. “The actually fun stuff!”

Ha. Well, what do we have here…

  • have a blogsiversary.  >:) *laughs evilly* I’ve been blogging for practically a whole year, how?? But I know what I’m doing to “celebrate”. And it will be fun. 😉
  • start writing quality posts. I’m the lord of the random, and everything on this blog and this blog itself, is a result of that. So I wanna up the ante and make it a tad more purposeful.
  • enter a few contests and challenges. Like BIBPC. Ohhh and speaking of, Megan, I GET TEN EXTRA POINTS BWAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAH Because this is my picture for Category 4!

Jo-Team Bear- Category 4

I couldn’t change the file name.. but THAT IS A DONKEY. And I’ve saved that just for you since March! 😛 HA! HA! HA! *is so happy right now*

Ahem. Moving on.

  • Design some blogs. If you’re interested, I put up a Services page, so if you want to redesign your blog or need a new button, header, signoff, widgets, or whatever, I’d love to work with ya! And Rebekah’s helping me out too, so I won’t mess anything up! 🙂
  • Keep things running at Welcome To Odyssey. As you know, AIO is my fandom and my fandom is AIO, so I love ranting about everything under the sun that even remotely has something to do with AIO, so I’m looking forward to this!
  • figure out my YT channel. It’s pathetic.

 

B9EF66FA-B504-491B-A2BD-B0E1A3ECDE3BRandom Fun Goals (we’re almost over, hang in there :P)

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  • record more songs and make more audio dramas as part of the Audiosmiths. As bad as my voice is, I love singing.. and I love acting, so win-win! XD
  • beat someone, ANYONE, at checkers! My good friend Denise gave me this awesome set for my birthday, and then proceeded to beat me at checkers.

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WAH.  But ahem. Learning, and playing more offscreen games in general is a plus I’m looking forward to. 🙂

  • go outside more. 
  • dream. 
  • try to keep a thankfulness journal. 
  • eat bacon.
  • make someone smile. 

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Yesterday, I got this framed from a friend.

And I think that’s gonna be my… quote of the year, or whatever.

Call to Me and I will answer you. And show you great and mighty things which you do not know. -Jeremiah 33:3

From the looks of everything, I have it all under control (HA!) But the truth is, I don’t know just what’s going to happen. But God does.

I’m looking forward to the great and might things He has for me, and until then, I’m gonna trust Him and keep driving this hard drive. It has some awesome views along the way.

May the roads be as bumpy as you can handle, that you’ll find rest, and you’ll be fueled up for a hard- but joyful drive. 🙂

 

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

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

I just have one question.

WHERE DID THE TIME AGO?!?!?

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

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

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

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

OH AND MITCH

I STARTED TO LIKE MITCH

HOW COULD YOU MITCH

LEAVING CONNIE FOR BUDAPEST

Ahem.

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February- THE WORLD CHANGED!

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

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

If I only knew, you know?

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

At least for the most part.

Not this time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

But it was also awesome.

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

It wasn’t all easy.

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

But I wasn’t alone. That helped.

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

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

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You’re not the only one, kid.

Not by a long shot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bacon crumbles exist. You’ll love them.

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

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

It does get worse.

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

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

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

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

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

Okay admit it, you like that person.

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

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

Run for your life!

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

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

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

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

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

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

Don’t be creepy about it though.

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

…and you’ll find your way.

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Love,

Jo

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

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

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

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