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

DSC_0211 (2)

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

*sighs*

Image result for flynn rider hi gif

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

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

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

DSC_0258

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

“But she wasn’t really.”  I tell Dad.

“No, no she wasn’t.”

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

“Not a lot of people understand.”

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

Related image

 

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

DSC_0257

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

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

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

 

Cause if they did they did a lousy job.”

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

DSC_0256

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

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

But that’s to be expected, is it not?

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

Oh wait.”

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

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

DSC_0243

I think that’s it ladies and gents.

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

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

 

Advertisements

Julia Nelson Blog Tour Launch! Thing! Interview! *thumbs up*

Whatever day this is, hopefully you’re enjoying. Because if not, then.. Uhh, I’m sorry.

There goes my attempt at a catchy intro.

Today I get to help out with a blog launch for a growing teen writer and blogger: Julia Nelson! 😀 So without further ado, Julia Nelson everyone!

cropped-b9ef66fa-b504-491b-a2bd-b0e1a3ecde3b

Hi Julia! 🙂 Thanks for letting me interview you! So to start this off, when did you start writing, and when did you start writing seriously?

Hi, Jo! Thank you so much for doing this! 🙂

I’ve been writing for as long as I can remember. I started writing seriously when I joined the Young Writers Workshop in January 2018. It’s been a terrific and life-changing experience!

*nods* That sounds wonderful! So since last year. Now, how did you decide, “alright, I’m ready to do this, let’s start a blog”?

I remember wanting a place where I could share my writing with the world. After joining the Young Writers Workshop, I realized that starting a blog is important to start growing my platform as a writer. So a few months later, I started my first blog, Willowcreek Pines.

Julia NelsonNow, as I’ve continued to improve in my writing and blogging, I’ve realized that my current blog needs an update. So I’m launching my new blog, Julia Nelson! I believe I will be able to better serve my readers with this new blog.

That’s really cool! 😀 What are you looking forward to through writing and blogging?

I’m looking forward to serving, helping, and encouraging fellow writers, bloggers, and Christians. I love posting every week and using words to tell a story or a message that God has laid on my heart.

DSC_0181

Stories are beautiful. And so are words. XD It’s a funny thing with writers- if you had to choose between reading or writing, which would it be and why?

This is a tricky question, Jo! I know that you can learn a ton from books, but to be honest, I don’t make reading a priority (like I probably should). So I’d probably choose writing because I love making stories and characters come alive. It’s just something inside of me that I can’t get rid of. Even if I couldn’t read and didn’t know how to make a great story, I would still be able to write my own stories–even if I was the only person who liked them.

 Oooh, I so get that! Writing your own stories is something pretty special. Uh. Anyway. What’s your opinion on YA books- and do you hope to write one in the near future? 😀

I don’t think I’ve read many YA books, so I’m sorry that I can’t give an opinion. And no, I don’t plan to write YA in the future. I enjoy writing books like Lynn Austin (one of my favorite authors)–Christian, historical fiction novels.

Those are lovely genres too! I always like reading (or writing) these with food, since for some reason I work better with sugar. XD All that to say, what’s your favorite writing snack? 😉

I like to eat all sorts of things. Here are a few of my favorites: chocolate, dates, apples, peanut butter + honey, and sparkling water + juice. The latter two are delicious combinations, and if you haven’t tried them yet, you should!

DSC_0022

Ooh, I think I will! That sounds really good and now I’m hungry. XD. Anyway, back to topic. Are you a fan of writing to music, and if you are, what’s your favorite songs?

I love music, and I can’t concentrate on my writing when there’s music in the background. It’s distracting, so I end up paying attention to the music instead of writing when I should be XD

XD I do that too! I think it’s a thing- but it’s a ton of fun nonetheless. Music helps me with ideas. Oh, speaking of, where do you go to for inspiration?

Great question! I actually wrote a guest post on this very thing, which you can find here. In this post, I tell you of three things that keep me writing when my “inspiration well is dry.”

Neat! And even neater you wrote it as a guest post! 😀 So you have some pretty good experience with writing. For the newbies (and for all writers, to be honest), if you could pass down a piece of advice about writing that’s helped you in huge ways, what would it be?

Never give up. Three small words with a huge meaning. Whenever I’m in a slump, I need to remember that every writer has gone through this. Every published author has had fears and struggles, so it’s completely normal–and completely okay–if I also have writing struggles.

So again, never give up on your writing dream. Just because you aren’t a “perfect” writer, doesn’t mean you can never get published.

*sniffs happy tear* That was.. beautiful. 🙂 And I’m bookmarking that and looking at it whenever I’m tired of writing next month. XD To end, lastly, if you could go to any fictional world, but had to stay there for the rest of your life, where would you go?

I would go to Narnia. 😀

DSC_0091

A very wonderful answer. 🙂

*applauds* I had a great time Julia, and I can’t wait to read more of your writing and your blog! 😀 Thank you so much for letting me interview you!

Follow Julia here: JULIANELSONAUTHOR.COM

And catch the rest of the blog tour here! I’m happy to be a part of it.

life is a highway, Jo

 

A Bit Of Flash Fiction- 1, 2, 3, 4.

IMG_2053

Before I begin, who wants to have a victory cry because Spiderman: Into The Spiderverse won best animated film? Anyone? *cheers* YES YES YES. you have no idea how happy I am about this. YES. YES. HUZZAH!

Also, I had a post ready. I was gonna have this great, important topic and it would be weighty and important but then I ended up writing a short short short story and decided it was good enough to be published onto here. *facesmacks*

I would have you know- it’s completely fiction. That means everything is made up.

I would also have you know that is based on something real.

Have at it!

IMG_0537

1, 2, 3, 4. Thud. Thud. Thud. “Sit here!” they order, waving their hand about with all the force of their position. My head pounds. No. No. No. No. I don’t want to- 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 5, 6, 7, 8. The walls seem to close in on me- I need to get out- I need to get out!

“Come on!” they yell. Their eyes are demanding and expectant. My heart beats faster, my throat feels tight, the world is blurry. 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 2, 1, 2, 3- No, no, that’s wrong. 1, 2, 3, 4, 12, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3-

“Come on!” I clutch back a shriek and shuffle to the lone chair. It’s against the wall. There’s a table in front of it. “Sit,” they demand, snatching my device to look through it for themselves. I feel robbed. 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4- the numbers are supposed to help my heart calm down. It’s still beating heavily, it still hurts, it’s being squeezed. I don’t want to be here, I don’t want to be here, I’m so nervous, I can’t sit long. I want to run, I need to run, I have to run!

My feet don’t curl up like they normally do- they stiffen and flatten against the rough carpet. I can run faster than anyone here, must go, must go, must go. I don’t want to be here- I have to go!  A screen, a pen, I can’t think, I can’t speak, they don’t like me, they only want me to listen and obey, not to feel. I want to run- help, help, help! 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4. “Listen and understand.” They pull out a Bible as they talk. My heart sinks. Oh no, oh no, now I have to stay whether I like it or not, please- the walls feel even more enclosing- I’m trapped! Trapped in a jail that’s built to free people. But I’m not free to begin with. 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4. Can- want- can I go? My leg starts to bounce in my chair, and I stand up.

IMG_0480

” What, you’re not listening?” They jeer. “Sit down and listen!” No, no. I can’t sit back down- I need to go, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4,. “Answer the question, come on, why aren’t you answering- do you even understand the question?” 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2. I can’t talk, I can’t talk, I don’t want to talk, my heart races, my chest feels tight. I want to run, I’m gonna shriek, I can’t- I can’t be here! I can’t sit! Please, please, I didn’t know not talking was a sin. I want to go- no, no, I’m not fine, I won’t talk, please don’t make me, please. the accusations hurt and the words- hurt- and I want to go, please, no, no, no, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4,.

“Say something.” Oh no, no, no, you’ll make fun of me, you’ll mock me, you’ll laugh at me, please, no, no! I duck my head and say nothing. They keep talking, they ignore me. my foot taps against the ground- I need to go, I need to go. Maybe they have some food here, maybe- 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3- “Come on! Answer! Answer! Answer!” The words seem to echo over and over and over and over and over in my head. Here, they have some cheese, I like cheese, it’s firm and yellow and it’s 2. 2 means it’s good. 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4.

IMG_0534

It’s nice. I like cheese. “Answer- and you are a Bible student, really?” they say. The words swarm my head Oh, no, I can’t, I can’t. I take a bite of the cheese. I say nothing. I want to run, I want to run- I don’t belong, everyone knows that I don’t belong, I can’t sit down-

I finished the cheese. 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4. “Get into the conversation, why don’t you?” Why don’t I? Because just like that I was asked and I answered and they were mean and very mad, they are scary scary, and they wield a Bible, which makes them scarier in my opinion- no. I’m not allowed to talk, no, no, no, no, I’m not, they always say I’m wrong. 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4,  1, 2, 3, 4. I want to run, to shriek, dear kind sweet Lord please, I just want to be understood- please no.

IMG_0470 - Copy

“Come on.” No, no, I can’t just come on, it’s not easy like that, it’s hard just to breathe and you won’t– no, please, no, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4. I stand up. I walk around and stretch. They don’t like this, they give me dirty looks, I know. they told me I should sit down properly and pay attention but I can’t do either and most definitely not in that particular order, no, please, please! 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4.

“So what can we take from this?” they say. I want to take away. I want to take myself away and never come back. They don’t like me, they just look at me wrong-

I see a widow is open, the windowsill lined with snow. It’s such a long way down.

But the window is open.

“Are you alright?” They do not ask, but someone does.

“I’m fine.” 1, 2, 3, 4, 1, 2, 3, 4.

1, 2, 3-

life is a highway, Jo

 

 

P.S. That mighta been sad.

Mighta not.

Either way, sorry.

 

 

 

 

Flipping Burgers Is A Noble Profession

DSC_0154

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.

DSC_0147

(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. 

dsc_0112

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?”

DSC_0456

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.

DSC_0455

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?

DSC_0122

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?

DSC_0124

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

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

 

DSC_0271

(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. 😀

cropped-b9ef66fa-b504-491b-a2bd-b0e1a3ecde3b

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. 😛

cropped-b9ef66fa-b504-491b-a2bd-b0e1a3ecde3b

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!

.

..

..

.

.

..

*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

Canada & America- A Comparison: A Collab Post By Meredith And Jo

 

2019-02-03

Hello wonderful people of the earth! Or Narnia, Asgard, the Death Star, Middle Earth, whichever you come from. Hi. 🙂 First and most importantly, GET OFF THE DREADED READER IF YOU’RE ON IT AND GO CHECK OUT THE ACTUAL SITE THANKY YOU.

(I told myself I wouldn’t change my theme ever anymore, but.. well, it was Friday, and I finished my homework (ish) and I was bored and well. CHECK. THE. BLOG. OUT. It’s a drastic (and hopefully much better XD) change. So go and please, please check it out and I’m done sounding like a hopeless blogger even though I am XD)

Alright. On with this post. *plugs in Infinity War* *cracks knuckles* *dies*

B9EF66FA-B504-491B-A2BD-B0E1A3ECDE3BRight, so by now you’ve heard of Meredith, right? She’s the sweet and awesome blogger behind Artsy Arrow which, if you haven’t heard of before, you really should check it out. I’m so glad I got to know Meredith and bond with her about AIO, books, homeschooling, and, well, that’s she’s also in Ontario, Canada! 😀 Fancy that. We thought it would be pretty great if we could  share our experiences about the other’s country, since we both lived in the US/Canada for a time.

IMG_3073

I first went to the States when I was five for a family reunion, and to be perfectly honest… it feels like home. So I’m more than happy to talk about the differences between two countries I love. Hopefully y’all like it. 😉

IMG_9287

People are just kinda a notch or two warmer and friendlier, for some reason. 

If you’re scoffing at this, blame the fact I’m Canadian and wouldn’t really know what it’s like to be American. XD But Americans are just really friendly people! Sneeze in Walmart? Someone says “bless you”. Wait in line at a McDonalds? Any random person could say hi. Stop at a rest area at 2 am on a Friday night? You’ll find yourself being asked how your trip is. Canada is friendly.. but not in every part of the country like that. XD It’s nice.

IMG_3151

Patriotism’s really strong. 

I kinda grinned one time pulling up to my aunt’s neighborhood and seeing so many American flags from the windows and everywhere. And not just the flags- like seeing little “God Bless America” signs and just the.. vibe. Correct me if I’m wrong. 😛

IMG_9433

People say “you’re fine” when you say “thanks”.

I tested this at a store once. Approximately everyone I interacted with said “you’re fine” whenever I said “thank you”. It’s awfully sweet of them to confirm my emotional status, but, uh, I don’t think I can get used to it. XD

IMG_9573

You say “sir” and “ma’m” and not “tito” and “tita”.

Ah. Double culture. XD um, well, in Filipino culture, the equivalent of sir is tito and for ma’m, tita. Add in the fact that most of my Canadian world is Filipino, and I don’t get to say the English versions much. 😛 Although I did get to going to Ottawa, but yeah. I find that interesting.

IMG_9533

A lot of my family’s on the other side of the border.

Does this make a ton of difference? It kinda does for me. After people find out I’m “the cousin of so and so’s friend’s sister-in-law’s brother,” they just start asking questions and being friendly and I’m not very much used to that, because I’m a sheltered homeschooling bean. XD No, but really, I went to a Sunday-school once, and after my aunt told the teacher who I was, Mrs. Iforgotyournamebutthankyouforputtingupwithme just beamed. “Oh, we’ll make sure she has a great time!”

I really did. XD

Maybe that’s why I feel at home. Huh. Dunno.

IMG_9556

American sweet tea is sugar water with a weak strain of some powered Lipton tea! 

*gags* I’m not sure I like this part of American culture once. I tried Chikfila sweet tea and.. wow. That’s my sugar intake for the day. Finished in one sip. *shudders* How can anyone handle that sweetness? Someone help and explain. Anyway, our sweet tea’s really tea. XD Probably flavored with maple syrup. 😛

IMG_9559

SMALL TOWN AMERICA IS THE STUFF OF LEGENDS.

I’ve yet to really be in small town Canada (somewhere on the bucket list), but if it’s like small town America, I’d die of happiness. Again, I can’t say for sure what it’s really like, but my family walked into a Taco in Ohio somewhere once. There were like 2 people working the counter, and one was spoon-feeding her grandkid, who was eating there, there were two girls in the corner booth just talking. Then, one guy comes in, doesn’t order anything. I’ll never know why he came in, but everyone in the restaurant except for my family immediately shouted, “DON’T GIVE HIM HER NUMBER.”

Dorky me: I WANNA SEE THE REST OF THIS. AND WRITE IT DOWN. *dead*

I wish I could remember that town. I’ll go back one day.

I kinda wanna ask if he got her number, but I suppose that’s a mystery for the ages.

IMG_3080

America has the best franchises. Ever.

Chikfila. Cracker Barrel. TRADER JOE’S. We don’t have these wonders in Canada (except Chikfila’s coming here and I couldn’t be happier) and the obvious need for them SHOWS. I’ve been to Chikfila tons of times but I haven’t gotten to try a Chikn mini. I think that needs to change. Also, have you ever heard of Trader Joe runs? Yes, well, they’re part of the reason my family tries to road trip once a year- COOKIE BUTTER. *dies* I’d cross the border once a week for it. XD And Target didn’t even last in Canada like a yearish. 😦 Wah. I kinda miss it. Ish. It’s like Walmart but red.

IMG_9548

I hope this post wasn’t too cringey XD I had a ton of good memories writing it, and now I really wanna dash across the border to say hi to everyone I know in the states. 😛 All my friends are on the other side of the border, why is that? 😛  I had a hard time bottling up my wandering self in the pictures and I’ll probably do a wanderlust post of some sort sometime- but yeah.

IMG_3054

America is a beautiful country. It’s not perfect- no country is, but God’s really blessed me through the people (the ones I know, of course 😛 ) living there, and I hope what the wonderful U.S of A stands for doesn’t change. Even though it kinda already is, but that’s a topic for another time. As Thor said, “Asgard isn’t a place. It’s a people.” And so is America.

I wish I knew why God put me in Canada- apparently, if things had been just a tad different, I’d be an American. But there’s a reason, I suppose, why both countries feel like home, and until I figure it out, I’ll just enjoy living in the true North- or so they call Canada. XD Besides, if I hadn’t been living here, I’d never have gotten to really get to know Meredith! Go check out her post about Canada’s differences- sums it up better than I ever could! 😀

life is a highway, Jo

(me makesy new signoffy- does you likey? 🙂 )

I Call Myself A Writer

DSC_0276

Today, or at least this month, marks an entire year I started to write seriously.

One year of looking at screens and seeing my story come to life.

One year of playlists.

One year of bacon crumbles.

One full year since Gale Darn became Gale Darn.

One year of hopelessly wanting to meet characters.

One year. 75k worth of words total.

In all honesty, it all started way before last year.

cropped-b9ef66fa-b504-491b-a2bd-b0e1a3ecde3b

I think I first got into writing by peeking over my sister’s shoulder. I dunno if I was five or six, but I do remember hearing the worst shriek ever heard in real life, and that I was promptly booted out and placed in the hall for an indefinite period of time.

It mighta been an hour later, but eventually I got invited back in and was allowed to take a sneak peak at my sister’s WIP.

If you’re reading this, Ate, thank you for putting up with me. It means a lot. 🙂

Like a lot a lot. ❤

Anyway, that was my first introduction to the wonderful world of writing: characters, theme, bad guys who were really just overgrown kids, laughing over dialogue, it was awesome. And now that I look back, I’m surprised my sister even let me know her WIP existed. Huh. I mean, I wouldn’t have told my five year old self I had a WIP. But anyway, the whole idea fascinated me for a couple weeks.

Aaaand I forgot about it.

DSC_0182

Fast forward a few years later, and I was 7, puzzling over my first poem. Which was a terrible epic about a Loyalist in the Revolution whose greatest secret was a wig. Yes, no kidding.

My first plot bunny was a crazy tale of a girl who was forced out of her home and roamed the streets of 1950 New York. Again, no kidding. 😛 That particular story begins with a flashback. How entirely original.

All that to say, stories have been in me for a while. I guess now I just decided not to bottle it up anymore.

Or rather, a year ago.

How was it a year?

I’m gonna be honest (which I try to be, for the most part, sometimes painfully so) sometimes I look back and groan. I’ve been writing for a year and I haven’t finished a single draft? I haven’t edited a single complete book? I didn’t even submit any of my stories to anything?

I thought I was a writer.

And while some of that doubt is thanks to nosy people that are also known as family and friends, a good deal of that is thanks to myself.

Publishing would mean the world to me.

And I’m nowhere near that.

Maybe I’m not cut out for this kinda thing. Maybe I should stick to my comfortable old self, the one that daydreamed her stories instead of writing so others could see them too. Maybe I should just let it go. Leave the doc open, but never read through it.

Because if I’m a writer, why on earth am I not writing anything worth writing?

DSC_0101

Thing is… publishing is not why I started writing.

Writing is why I started writing. XD I write because I love to write, because I love putting words on paper.. on or a screen. Whichever I get my hands on first. 😛

So I think I’m done mentally beating myself up over not being a published author of a great series of novels yet. I’ve only been writing for like a year and 6 more years. XD Writing shouldn’t feel like a chore, but something fun, new, something completely the opposite of school. Unless you like school. Then it’s very similar.

But yeah. Here’s to one year, and hopefully more coherent posts to come. 😀

DSC_0308

 

*coughcough* um, at the same time, I’ve been working on a project that’s been under wraps for a while. 🙂

Life is a highway,

Jo

 

 

Letters Arranged Into Words Arranged Into Sentences Arranged Into Lines

 

DSC_0181

Or in other words, a post of poems. XD Hope you enjoy this drabble of words!

*********************

C5D2D1AF-C820-45DC-9806-BA683DB2D0CE

Ice Cream

Too sweet

Tastes like summer and winter and spring all in one

Too cold

A heap of freshly fallen snow

Too soon

It gets smaller and smaller until

All gone

A cone to remember

*********************

DSC_0126

The Night I Was Gone

Gone, gone, gone, that’s what I was

Grab a bag and don’t look back

Just gone, gone, gone

Stuff’s in the truck

Truck’s filled up

Gone, gone, gone

By midnight

I’ve crossed state lines

The gas stations

Are little lights

Gone, gone, gone

Darkness was an old friend

I’d come back to visit

I could never leave for long

Gone, gone, gone

My phone’s dead

The radio’s playing

A song and I’m

Gone, gone, gone

Then the red light

My alarm rings

And gone is the night I was gone,

Gone, gone.

*********************

IMG_2129

Blue Eyes

We both knew you liked her

But never a word you said

You seemed to sink into her

Blue eyes

And everything left your head

That explains your face

hitting the door

of our Algebra 2 class

 

At lunch we sat together

Cause you were scared to go up

And tell her hi

You were okay

With catching her

Blue eyes

and smiling back

And I groaned behind my tea with ice

“stop being scared and just do it”

I told you every time

 

Like the good friend you are

You ignored me

Because blue and brown don’t match, you said

It was that way until at last, we graduated

And you looked into her

Blue eyes

For the last time

At least until

You somehow applied for the same job

And both got it

Don’t ask me how that happened

 

And now that this thing is over

I can finally crumple this poem

And say to all these people

who are laughing at your red face

And gazing at her

Blue eyes

None as much as you, duh

I crinkle my stone blind eyes

Feel for the microphone

“My ship has sailed at last.”

***************************

DSC_0141

Papers

I saw them

on the kitchen table

your coffee was there too

cold

black

boring

16 year olds shouldn’t drink coffee

 

But you wouldn’t listen

Because Mrs. Secil expected

Nothing but the best from you

at 8 am tomorrow

It’s 11 pm now

So you groaned from your rickety chair

picked up your pen

cold

black

boring

hunched over the kitchen table

I saw them

papers

******************************

DSC_0271

Another 

Another family

Another finally

Another forever

They were nice

They were kind

Just like the ones before them

She gripped her suitcase

And sighed

And smiled

She wouldn’t stay very long

It was just another another

 

But they were there

When the mares of the night

Came to steal her away

On another night

She held her screams

Shut her eyes

And faced it all alone

Until two pairs of arms

Wrapped around hers

And stayed

They were the first

Just like the first smile

The first laugh

The first cry

 

She didn’t know how

She didn’t know why

It took time

For her to see

First family

First finally

First forever

Not just another another

But she saw

Gripped her suitcase

And sighed

And smiled

***********************

I really need to get back into writing real stuff soon.

Life is a highway,

Jo

 

New from the Audiosmiths!

First and only order of business:

After hours and hours of excruciating (read: 12 hours of splicing) work, there’s a new audio drama out on the channel, and we’d be seriously eternally grateful if you could give that a listen! And a like, but that’s not really necessary. XD Watch it here:

 

 

I tried to fix the editing, but like everything, this kinda thing gets better only with time and experience. So. Hope you like it! Also I put up a page where you can listen to previously released shows, so hopefully y’all are reading this on the actual blog and not on the dreadful reader. XD

And here’s the script if you’re interested. Actually please read it with the script. 😛 It’ll be much better.

******************************

Script:

 

SFX: Chimes sound, the sea calls.

 

Narrator (in memory): He always walked with hat in hand, his gray hair was smoothly combed to his skull and drawn together behind in a queue- this must have been one of the last queues in Prague.

 

SFX: footsteps, dull rain.

 

Mr. Rybar (musing, happily): Zhaw, the sea! Why don’t we live by the sea!

 

Stranger (sighs) : This is a lovely chapel. And these stones!

 

Mr. Rybar (continues to muse): You know what I think? Here in Bohemia a shepherd throws a stone after his herd, and the stone is often worth more than the whole herd!

 

Stranger (taken aback): I beg your pardon?

 

Narrator (voiceover, laughing slightly): He never made any other observations to them. (serious, deep in thought) He would know about such stones. It was rumoured that Mr. Rybar was immensely rich, not in money, no, but in jewels. There were people who had seen them, square black boxes divided into squares. Every square held a jewel, gleaming. They said he had found and collected them all himself on Mount Kozak.

 

SFX: footsteps walking, people murmuring, street sounds.

 

Canon Fat Man 1 (loudly) : Indeed, France is pursuing liberty- fancy ever getting it!

 

Canon Smaller But Equally Fat Man 2: Is that even possible?

 

SFX: a person whistling, rustling.

 

Narrator (explanatory): Mr. Rybar would whistle whenever he spoke, and he loved to exchange friendly words with anyone.

 

Mr. Rybar (whistling, then clears throat): Zhaw, I hold with Rosenau!  Rosenau says:(tries to remember) Ah, Rosenau says, Liberty is like those rich foods and..potent wines, yes,I remember, wines on which strong natures that are used to them thrive and grow stronger, but which only debauch, intoxicate, and ruin, utter ruin! Feeble constitutions. Good day! (walks off)

 

SFX: footsteps, street noise

Canon Fat Man 1 (startled and confused):Uh, who’s this “Rosenau” he’s always talking about?

 

Canon Smaller But Equally Fat Man 2 (struggles to come up with something): a writer! Most probably a writer. I think.

 

Narrator (voiceover): (musing) I remember that sentence as the sum of entire higher wisdom! Yet later found that it was Rousseau, not Rosenau who had first uttered that esteemed quote. A pity that a slight printer’s error had mis led Mr. Rybar so. But he was good. A very good man!

 

SFX: street noise, louder, heavy footsteps.

 

Stranger (exclaims in surprise): Mr. Rybar’s marching down the hill!

 

SFX: slight crowd gasps

 

Mr. Herzl: Ah, he’s gone to show off his riches! Look, he holds a box full of his jewels!

 

Mr Vitous (laughs bitterly): Well, I declare! Things must be going bad for him, he’s going to sell his precious stones.

 

Mr. Herzl (accusingly): So says the only nearly bankrupt shopkeeper of Prague.

 

Mr. Vitous: Hpmh.

 

SFX: a bell rings, foot steps walk, and a door creaks.

 

Narrator 2: Mr. Rybar is at the professor Muhlwenzel,expert in geology.

 

Professor Muhlwenzel(laughs): Mr. Rybar! How good of you to come. Sit, sit! What can I do for you?

 

SFX: a box being placed on the table, someone sitting

 

Mr. Rybar (stammers): I should- I only- these things, about what would their value be? The jewels?

 

SFX: a rock being picked up.

 

Professor Muhlwenzel: Hm. (picks one up) This one is moldavite.

 

Mr. Rybar: (confused) What?

 

Professor Muhlwenzel: (as if it’s obvious) Moldavite.

 

Mr. Rybar:(pretends to know what it is) Zhaw, moldavite.

 

Professor Muhlwenzel: That would be a good item for our school collection, you know. They’re rather scarce now. You could sell it to us.

 

Mr. Rybar: (short laugh) Well, we’ll see about that. About how much?

 

Professor Muhlwenzel: (matter of factly) We could give you three zlatkas for it, in twenties.

 

At this, Mr. Rybar is shocked, and dismayed, throat tight.

 

Mr. Rybar: (shocked) Three zlatkas! (breath shaky) And the rest?

 

SFX: rocks being moved around.

 

Professor Muhlwenzel: Eh, chalcedony, jasper, amethyst, smoke-quartz.. There’s nothing of value here.

 

Mr. Rybar: (gasping) Zhaw, nothing of value..

 

Narrator: (sadly) he did not go out of the house again. Or to Bruska, or the ramparts. (regretfully) And it was such a beautiful day!

 

SFX: sea calling, winds chiming, door creaking.

 

Mr. Rybar: (to himself, bitterly) The sea- why have we no sea! (picks up box of rocks) (louder) Pebbles- just pebbles! (flings rocks through window)

 

SFX: rock being thrown, glass breaking, footsteps walking in)

 

Mr. Sajvl: (suddenly, amidst the stones being thrown) Uncle! Whatever are you doing?

 

SFX: a man sighing, door creaking

 

Mr. Sajvl: (gently) Uncle, surely you don’t want to throw out all those beautiful stones?

 

Mr. Rybar: (softly, sadly) They’re of no value- mere pebbles!

 

Mr. Sajvl: But they have a value all the same, for us and for you. You collected them all yourself, at the expense of a great deal of effort- Uncle, please leave them for my children. They’ll learn from them, you can explain all about them, and how you gathered them-

 

Mr. Rybar: (bitterly) But perhaps you were thinking that I was rich- and indeed, I thought-

 

Mr. Sajvl: (pleadingly) Uncle,do you think we’re not rich in you? My children would have no grandfather, my wife- fatherless! Surely you see how happy we are with you, you are our blessing around the house-

 

SFX: sudden footsteps, window being opened, air swooping through.

 

Mr. Rybar:(in tears) The sea! Why have we no sea?

 

Narrator: I won’t tell anymore. I can’t.

 

SFX: Chimes sound, then the sea calls.

********************

Hope you enjoyed! 😀

 

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

dsc_0162

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.

jo-team bear- category 5

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.

cropped-b9ef66fa-b504-491b-a2bd-b0e1a3ecde3b

 

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

 

-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 🙂