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!

Ricky's Mood board

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.

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Seeking The Truth And Smallfoot

**If anyone throws out the Zendaya is Meechee meme. I will end you. :)**

**There are spoilers**

**sorry**

**not really**

**oh well**

Yes, I was so taken by the theme of a (good) animated film that I decided to do a blog post on it. Honestly, movies maybe not be the best kind of media, but there’s some seriously good things to get from them, just saying.

Family movie night has always been and will always be a thing in our family. Smallfoot was a recent  (*cough cough* like since January recent) watch, and I found myself commenting so much on the theme and characters and idjit humans (yes, I said that and if you watch the movie, you’ll get why) so much the first 30 minutes in my exasperated dad told me to sit down and just watch the movie. Which I did.

So glad I did. Because Smallfoot addresses something very important that people seem to forget- okay, scratch that, it address so many things that gives me some hope for animated films. And people should not forget these things. Not in the slightest. Le’ go.

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Theme 1, asking questions and being curious

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For those who haven’t seen the movie, basically yeti with very human cultures don’t believe in smallfoots (hint hint: humans) and are promptly shook when the MC, Migo, says he found one.

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Chaos ensues.

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Why? Because the stones (some weird rock thingies with pictures that are supposed to be translated into rules for living) say there are no smallfoot! *crowd gasps*

Anyway, the good citizens of yeti-land (not real name) are told time and time again not to question the stones- or question in general, because questions are bad. And Migo is fully heartedly behind that, no questions about it. Until he gets kicked out for defending what he knows is true and therefore has to ask a question which isn’t the ultimate question but which leads to the ultimate question: Questions are bad?

Meechee, the Stonekeeper’s daughter (more gasps) and her rag-tag bunch, the SES- Smallfoot Existence Society- think differently. That’s why everyone except Meechee was expelled, of course. Because they.. well. were thinking differently. And by differently, they believe that smallfoot exist and have evidence to prove it AND have actual working theories to show for their crazy (in Migo’s eyes, anyway) idea.

“All these questions that we always have/ all we are is curious/there’s nothing wrong with that” Meechee explains in song form (how original)to Migo a few minutes later. The SES soon convince Migo and later, everyone else, that asking questions is the way to knowing the truth. Which is 1. not very mentioned in stories, especially not a girl, let alone a princess, as her motive for science, and is therefore applauded by moi and 2. the next theme in this unusual mix of themes.

Theme 2, seeking the truth

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Truth is hardly ever mentioned in kids’ stories, let alone stories in general, so it was really refreshing to see it mentioned and portrayed. (Also, geek self insists on mentioning that I was studying the Age of Reason at the time, and was irritated that Smallfoot managed to compress and explain the concepts of the Enlightenment while my history teacher took like 4 hours. Which is my way of saying they taught some pretty weighty concepts)Anyway. Poor old Migo knows he saw a smallfoot, but according to the Stonekeeper, he didn’t. Why? The stones say there are no smallfoot, duh. And the stones never lie. Right? I mean, like, they’re the stones.

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It might pass by a little kid’s head, (which I am, but let’s ignore that) but Smallfoot’s message was wonderfully clear: Truth. is. important. Even if someone says it’s true, you must find out for yourself. You can’t just take it on someone’s word. Migo, our good yeti homie, has some problems with this because.. well, when you know the truth, it has consequences on everything else. Such as, what, the sun isn’t a giant snail that comes out when you ring a gong? Why do we need gong ringers then?

The truth is, the truth changes your life. And for these uninformed furries, that’s a rather drastic change. Why?

Theme 3, people are gullible and tend to believe whatever a higher trusted source says is true

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Smallfoot took a real life phenomenon in our culture and portrayed it for little kids so perfectly it’s a wonder that we “older and wiser” can’t see it for what it is: if you just get the right people an the right audience, people will believe anything you tell them. Case in point, the furries yeti. It’s shown in a humorous way (and even better, a great plot point), but it shows something that’s true: we humans tend to rush in headfirst toward opinions and things we believe are true, just because someone/thing/yeti says so. Which is terrible, because even though the yeti started asking questions, even though the truth was right in front of them, they were still persuaded by the Stonekeeper, simply because he was right. Right? Wrong. And it led to more chaos.

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Theme 4, Integrity

And here I must actually write a paragraph about the idjit humans.

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Well, just the one idjit human. This guy, who *used* to be a naturalist who was all about saving extinct animals by filming himself talking about them, but now just does it for the ratings- and money, of course. Which makes him so desperate he buys a yeti suit for the sake of one epic YT video.

Yeah, not much integrity. And his assistant leaves him because of it.

Aw, hand me a tissue, what a down-on-his-luck- charrie- not. And he knows it.

This character who shall go unnamed because I’m too lazy to actually google it grows a lot through the movie- and learns, as well as the audience, that integrity isn’t about making sure you’re on top. Sometimes you must put yourself out of the way for others. A good lesson for everyone to learn.

And thus concludes this ridiculously long post, for a movie that was as meaningful as it was ridiculous. And while I still have a bone to pick with some elements (such as the challenging of the stones, namely, that just like in the Age of Reason, people decided to question and eventually walk away from the Bible because, like the stones, it mighta just been a wonderfully concocted and too well trusted set of rules. Post for another time.) I popped the movie out of the dvd player surprisingly refreshed by the lessons Smallfoot teaches- and related to Fleem on a personal level.

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the tiny dude.

life is a highway, Jo

A Quicky Q&A and Random Updates

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

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

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

2. How would you describe your sense of style?

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

3. What’s your favorite season?

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

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

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

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

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

6. Which Marvel death broke your heart the most?

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

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

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

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

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

 

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This is where we’re at, people.

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

It’s not even Monday anymore. smh

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

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

So why on earth am I writing this post?

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

I  don’t know.

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

Seems.

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

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

It. is. not. the. end.

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

But it isn’t too much for God.

Nothing is. Nothing.

So give up. XD

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

life is a highway, Jo

How Comic Books Helped Me Understand Real Life

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**WARNING: While this post puts comics in a good light, I am in no means encouraging you to check any out or saying that they’re pure goodness and are essential to a person’s TBR. They’re not. There are much better books to read XD We good? Great!**

I’ll say it once, and by good gracious I will say it again. Fantastic Four was better in the comics than in the movies.

Fight me.

I have no clue where on earth our FF copy went- but I do know that it, along with a number of others- was picked up and read by a rather naïve little reader who wanted a good story. I was a little too young to get all of it- just like I was with the others taken home and pored over- but looking back, there’s some connections made that have actually been influential in helping me understand things? Which is weird, I guess, but it really did.

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*sighs* I remember being squished with four other people over a copy of Civil War- or at least I think it was Civil War. We had ZERO clue that not only would we have to read Cap and Tony fighting- but only a few years later, we’d actually see that play out. We didn’t even know Spiderman could be that deep. That comic taught me something that’s stuck: that when you give the power to any one person, it can affect millions more. Nobody here on this earth has the ability to have all the power and use it for good all the time. No one government, no one union, no one thing. And that trying to take away the freedoms of those who fight for freedom to fight for it- that takes away the freedoms of those who can’t fight for it too. That was a tongue twister but it’s true. 😛

So fast forward a few years later, heading about stuff like trade wars and borders and what country is doing what, and what comes into my head is Spiderman trying to revoke the Registration Act. My brain is weird. But it worked.

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Heard on the news about overpopulation and euthanasia and how the world is following a path of destruction and pain, and Reed Richards’ attempts to change the future make sense now. I get why he tried to do that.

But I also get why that’s wrong.

I learned how to be brave from Peter Parker. That sometimes in the fight for good, you will lose, and lose, and lose what you love and it will hurt. Bu you gotta do it anyway.

I learned that more lies and more deception NEVER end up good. Seeing Black Widow and The Winter Soldier trying to sift through what’s real and not real- watching as people in real life had to do just that- as I had to do just that- it clicked. I got that.

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I learned that what makes you a hero or a villain is your heart. We could all be villains deep down. Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, and even they fail. Even Captain America, supposedly a foundation of truth and everything good- he’s human. He fails. In the end, there is one Hero, and He never fails. (And yes, I just said that. Because it’s true.)

You need to work as a team. Squirrel Girl was enough lesson for me. Kamala Khan, Miles Morales, and T’challa taught me the importance of family. Iron Man taught me to concentrate on today. The Avengers as a whole taught me that life is so much more important that any “greater good”. Life IS the greater good.

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I learned that you are gonna have to find a standard. You’re gonna have to find your code of life, conduct, your reason for why you do what you do, your morals, what you absolutely will not cross and what you might have to. You’re gonna hafta be brave.

Maybe from all the comics, something that resounds loud and clear is that it’s not about you. It. is. not. about. you. Steve Rogers gave his life- many times- for his country. Nat went back to the Red Room, where she’d been broken and torn and made into an assassin, to end it so no other girls would have to go through what she did. Spiderman loses a lot. He loses Aunt May. He wears a mask and fights and still manages to crack a joke because it’s all part of making sure his city’s safe. Need I say more?

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Comics are not perfect. Comics are not clean. There are some really bad things you shouldn’t see, bad elements that are wrong, yes, that’s true. Definitely read with the critical(est) of minds. Marvel isn’t perfect. Far from it- Marvel, DC, and other great comics come from fallen studios churning out stories about fallen people.

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But it’s not fair to say that you can’t learn something from them. You can. Maybe it ain’t in clear black and white, maybe it doesn’t need to be. It’s not fair to say that they don’t teach important lessons. It’s not fair to say that valuing life- at no matter what cost- isn’t a theme worth portraying. Because it is.

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Maybe some of the most important things are displayed in 24 panel art with people wearing Spandex and throwing shields.

I know that’s how I’ve found them.

(not all most important things, mind you, just some. 🙂 )

life is a highway, Jo

 

 

 

Flipping Burgers Is A Noble Profession

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

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

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

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

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

Really wrong.

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

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

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

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

God says so. 

HA. And yes, I can prove that.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They’re people too, y’know. 

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

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

Maybe just to realize this:

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

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

Woah.

That’s just broke.

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

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

*mini rant about moms over*

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

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

life is a highway, Jo

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

What This Blogger Was Up To In The Past (And what she’s up to in the present…)

 

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(Also known as roasting my first posts..)

Was I gonna post this early and be all nice and productive? Yes.

Did I accidentally spend a bit too much time trying to figure out a schedule for life and having “I’m Not Here” playing on repeat because it’s like the exact representation of a charrie but in music form? Yes. (Don’t get me started on this because the song fits this scene I’m writing to the minute details. And it’s a sad song. And this scene is heartbreaking. *dead*)

Did I post this early and be all nice and productive? no. But time’s a constrict, so.. XD

Hiya and welcome to another couple hundred words with the absolute waster of words, me.

It’s kinda funny how time just goes by. You blink and it’s New Year’s Day, blink again and Home Improvement is having its occasional marathon, blink again and the kids are taller now, and they can talk, and blink again and you’re writing this very post.

2 person POV was never my strong suit. XD Anyway, in an odd celebration of sorts that my blogsiversary is next week (and that has yet another mundane celebration of its own) I’m rounded up only the best of my worst first posts, and well.. roasting them to a nice crisp black. 😀

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What you’ll see here

Are words. That’s pretty obvious. Sometimes it will be in essay, or maybe I’ll write a short story, or a poem.  What ever is typed will go either here or In Another World Much Like This One.

Pictures will go here too. It depends on what pictures I take. One day it might be close-ups of a flowers, or a beautiful  landscape. You never know!

So take a scroll through The Lens & The Hard Drive.

*smh* Jo, dear, have you not read the definition of the word, “rant”? You’re listed under the example section of the word in the dictionary. Also In Another World Much Like This One is gone XD I’m much more comfortable saying what I need to say without the pretense of fiction. XD
At least you got one thing right! You’ll never know what I put up here. 😛

LOTR Rant: Books For the Win!

Is your interest peaked yet? Those are just portions from one part of the book! How about characters? Farmer Maggot, Elbereth, Gil-galad aren’t there either.

Perhaps you’ll want to take a peek into the books as well as the movies now?

All I’m saying is, for the avid fans, the books are just as thrilling. Of course, you’ll have to use your imagination…

 I’m actually proud of this. My first real post was a fandom post! 😀 Honestly though, everything else is terrible. Who uses exclamation points like that anymore? Also, “Perhaps you’ll want to take a peek into the books as well as the movies now” assumes they watched the movies, and then who’s in a pickle if they don’t know of the fandom? You. Very smart, kid. Very smart. Also, thanks to you, LOTR hardly sounds barely interesting. Step up your persuasive speech game.

Also, after this it’s like I shut up and posted nothing but pictures. *facesmacks*

Life: An Update (Once More)

Folks, friends, countrymen, this week has been a blustery, windy week– weather-wise, of course.  Here we go!

April 4, so far, was the windiest day of the year. Trees were swaying, lampposts were shaking, signs were knocked down. The wind was whistling past the windows, throughout the street, and practically everywhere.

 

Jo, honestly, there’s no need to sound so dramatic. Is this an opening to a mystery novel? (not like you know how to write one) No. For goodness sake lighten up! 😛

Also, in one post I take pictures of the sun’s rays hitting a mirror. -_- smh

Last night, very late, my entire neighborhood had a blackout. All electricity was shut off for all of 15 minutes.

Let me give you a small piece of advice. Nobody cares. It’s boring hearing about you for a thousand words on end. (even though that’s what I’m doing right now… :P) Come up with something more original.

Here is a picture of night driving gone wrong. The picture, that is, not the night driving. The camera shook just when it took the picture and led to this atrocity. Somehow, it looked pretty interesting, so I kept it.

*snorts* Ain’t that the truth.

 ” “You know, if they do show up, that means they completely disregarded my talk about trespassing.” he noted. “What about us?” I mischievously asked Mr. Horace. “We must do what’s necessary to prevent possible danger.” he said as solemnly as he could, popping some popcorn into his mouth.

What’s happening? Why? Sorry, you can’t find out! The novel, however is going quite nicely. *rabbit trails* To you who are doing Camp NaNo, don’t stress! We can do it! To the rest of us who aren’t doing Camp NaNo, we can still do it! *ends rabbit trail*

You NAIVE child. Don’t stress? That was legit your first time doing NaNo, how can you go and tell seasoned pros “Don’t stress”? You have zero clue what on earth you’re talking about. Hush.

But that snippet. Yes. I’ll forgive you. Barely. 😛

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I’m happy to say that I’ve grown. Minimally. Barely. But I’ve grown.

What better way to grow than you soundly bash myself for being so cringey? 😀

So now that you’ve survived dying of second hand embarrassment, on with the present part of this post!

*drumroll*

I’m doing a Q&A for the 19th of February!

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..

..

.

.

..

*crickets*

Yeah, no biggie, I know. 😛 I *wanted* to do a giveaway, but what I have to giveaway is not quite ready 😉 so well, here we are. Hit the comments with every question under the sun! (except personal stuff such as home phone, place of birth, do I ship Jasonnie. If it’s a question used by the NSA, don’t. ask. it. >:) )

I’m kinda actually looking forward to the Q&A! hopefully it won’t be as bad as my first posts. Because it would be hard to roast a Q&A.

The more I say Q&A the more it sounds weird.

life is a highway, Jo

A Scribble Scrabble On Life: Laughed At A License Plate (And Other Mundane Things)

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Well this one time we were driving and some black sedan whizzed by and the license plate read something along the lines of GANDALF.

You won’t believe how disappointed I was. There was no pointy gray hat. SACRILEGE.

I’ve always been interested in license plates. I even had a collection of the weirdest ones. I think my favorite was FLYAKITE. Mom didn’t get the reference.

Welcome back to another post of the mundane with your not favorite mundane person. 😀

The past two posts have been unusually deep, for some strange reason.  Not sure why. My brain is funny sometimes. Anyway, I’m breaking that streak because I couldn’t post stuff like that on a regular basis if my life depended on it. 😛

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I dunno what I was doing here, but I definitely thought it was funny. XD

How are you, huh?

Ooh, looky- it’s SNOWING.  The sun was shining a few minutes ago. I wish I had my camera, but there’s no way I’m stepping out in in 10 degree weather. And that’s in Farenheit, too. It’s cold. It’s beautiful. It’s cold. I’m shivering. XD

Library stuff. The other day Dad was free from work, so the reprobates that were us kids drove to the library to “work”.

HA.

Work.

*dies* That’s kinda funny. XD As if I could actually get work done in a library. Leaving me in a place of books is like taking a two year old to a candy shop- you won’t emerge unscathed.

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I actually did get some homework done though- the nice librarian who knows me as “The girl who’s almost always asking for the obscure American titles” showed me to the encyclopedias, and I think I walked back and forth from my desk to the shelf like…. 20 times? Per hour? SCHOOL. WHY.

Came back home with…. um.. tenish books? Does one count comics? And I owe 2.80 to the library now. Oops. And my card expires in 30 days. *sobs* The injustice.

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I’m not sure whose blog I saw it on, but the book Because You’ll Never Meet Me caught my eye, and I spent an hour or so reading it. Mini review- the POVs are really great, the characterization is well done, the concepts are seriously cool, but as for the other elements, I’m still deciding. XD It’s a pretty good read though! I also read Girls Can’t Hit and it’s a surprisingly good read as well. *nodnod* Makes me wanna pick up a set of boxing gloves. 

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Speaking of comics, I screamed unnaturally when the A4 TV spot came on during the Super Bowl. I didn’t even bother to stick around for the game. XD It’s coming and I shouldn’t be this excited, but I am. ENDGAME. AH. I’m too excited. 😛 Maybe also because I kinda get to nerd my family out with everything Marvel connect with my family a little more. 🙂 Although I’m not lying about the family part. I got my brother reading 2 comics simply by leaving them out on the shelf. He hates reading. XD I’m counting this as a score. It’s been decided that we’re now pronouncing Tony Stark “Sony Tark.”

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Spiderman can’t be more relatable.

Anyway.

Brief birthday related paragraph. My other brother, also known as the Very Loud And Unusual One Who Plays Electric Guitar And Drives Me Crazy went and decided to get older. Being the good sister I’m not, I ate a slice off his birthday cake. What, he won’t miss it. 🙂

Weather Intrusion. Wait, wait, THE SUN’S SHINING IN THE SNOW STORM *pokes head out window*

*freezes*

*dies*

*wakes up in Budapest*

Well, that was a mistake. 😛 I’m dying it’s cold. Sent hot cocoa over here! 😛

I’ve been desperately trying to catch up school-wise, which isn’t too bad if I just got my homework actually done, it feels like I live at this get up:

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Break down: Tiny black laptop balancing precariously on the edge of the abstract art couch is actually a DVD player. Main laptop is the thing I can’t live without due to its can’tlivewithoutqualites. Papers over there are the evil fatale assignments I had to go overtime to barely finish. 

Which, I gotta say, is really, really nice, but it gets tiring over time. So what better way to switch things up than to say, do the art tutorials on The Art Lab?

Art Dump. *facepalm* Sometimes I question my sanity.

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I spent so long at that paintiiiing- and the marker bled through. 😡  Oh well. It was rather fun trying to be artistic- and my other brother said he liked it. But still. those clouds look terrible.

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See, the marker bled straight through to the next page! (Also, very sorry for the terrible lighting) But I actually kinda like this one. My first decent drawing in a while. I just might redo and frame that one.

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And then I had to go and waste all my ink on trying the spaghetti mountain thing. It was HARD. And I ran outta marker. But it kinda looks like I actually tried! Which is good, because I actually did try. Art is hard.

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*gags* WHAT. EVEN. IS. THIS. ATROCITY.  YUK. My eyes hurt right now. I was trying Buttercup’s hair tutorial and thought, “ooh, this isn’t too bad, let’s try the face!”
What was I even thinking?

This offends everything in me that has an inkling of art sense. Why. Be-yuk. I suppose I’ll have to keep practicing to be remotely good. But that’s okay. Nobody’s an expert at first try. Take this as proof what whatever you’re doing is ten times better than whatever I could conjure.

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Conversations. I kinda wish people would take this mug at their words. Lately I’ve discovered that many times a lot of hurt can be avoided if someone just takes the time to listen. Many of the hurt’s been caused by myself too, which I hope to end. Tea doesn’t hurt. 🙂

Audiosmiths’ Release! We’ve been working very, very hard on this, and it’s finally out! Big thanks to Rebekah for taking on the editing work ❤ (also: was it hard getting an annoying Scottish accent that was probably incorrect? Answer: YES. VERY. ARGH.)

To sum up. Sometimes, random posts are really just random. They don’t make an ounce of sense, and honestly, you gotta ask yourself what’s the point.

I guess I don’t have any other than that after a long hard week,  people need a reason to smile again. If my recaps of an otherwise mundane life can do that, than I’ll consider this successful. XD It’s easy to look at the news and have your heart sink. But as Thor said:

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I’m telling ya, these comics have more insight then they let on. Maybe go read one sometime. 😉  So here’s your funnies for the week. It made zero sense, but hopefully.. I dunno, maybe it got you to smile. 🙂

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Have a good one, okay? 😀

life is a highway, Jo

Even The Sky Cries

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

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

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

Well. It would feel no more. 

Excuse her for breathing. 

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

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

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

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Next case in point:

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

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This bean. 

 

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

Mm…no. Just no.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Also, Jesus wept at Lazarus’ tomb.

Want me to say it again?

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

Wept.

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

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

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

How can you have joy when you feel sadness?

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Maybe…  because joy does not equal happiness.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Even the sky cries.

life is a highway, Jo