Monday, October 10, 2016

How to Be More Creative in Your Everyday Life // my guest post for Life as a Dare

You guysssss!!! I'm very excited to say that I got to do a guest post on integrating creativity into your daily life over at Life as a Dare. Even if you aren't interested in my opinion on creativity, you should totally check out Rebecca's blog and her new Youtube channel  because she is incredibly talented and fabulous.
Having a hard time figuring out how to be more creative while also juggling a crazy schedule? Here's how to be more creative while juggling real life!
Isn't her design so cute and professional?!
Ima let you guys go read her amazing blog now.  You're welcome. (-;

What's one of your favorite ways to keep your creativity flowing?  What cool blogs should I go follow?  Let me know in the comments below.

Monday, October 3, 2016

why do we capitalize 'i' and not 'you'? // a poem of questions

question mark graffitti
via pinterest

they say we are made up of nearly 70% water
but i think i am made up of nearly 70% questions...


for example i wonder the little important things like

why do we capitalize 'i' and not 'you' or 'we'?

why do we laugh less when we get older?
is life just less funny?

are we just less sensitive to the funny things?

is there really such a thing as soul mates?

and then there are the big important questions that keep us up at night like

what is success really?

will i succeed?

am i egotistical or am i right?

will i ever change?

will everything be okay in the end?

what if i never know?

but there are much worse questions


what if i find out the answer and it shatters my foundation?

because sometimes the pain of ignorance
is easier to accept 
than the truth


is it not?


I know, guys, I know.  After my last post this probably seems totally emo and existential crisis-y, but I've been feeling a little bit this way recently and decided it was better to write about my questions than to smother them. But don't worry! It's not a huge deal.  I'm not depressed.  I'm functioning like a semi-normal human bean.  I just have a lot of questions.  And also I wanted to experiment with a new style of writing because YOU GUYS!!! I haven't done any creative writing in SOOOO long, and it's been really cramping my life, so I'm actually feeling pretty good now. Ya hear that? (-;

But enough about me, I have questions for you guys too, because as you now know, I'm FULL of questions. What's something you want to know the answer to?  What's something you don't want to know the answer too? And last, but most definitely not least, CAN YOU BELIEVE IT'S OCTOBER ALREADY?!


Wednesday, September 28, 2016

filled with wonder // 7 ways to restore your sense of wonder

I think that as we grow older, it is easy to lose our sense of wonder and to become disillusioned with the world.  We change; we see more things, good and bad, and find the things we once were inspired by to be ordinary.  I often go through a day, only focusing on the things I need to get done (and how much I don't want to do them) and then bury myself in Netflix and social media.  I'm not going to lie; I can be pretty cynical sometimes.  I feel like this past year I've found I have more questions than answers, more doubts than beliefs, and probably a ton more fear than love.  That's one of the dangers of growing up, you experience frightening things and you put up walls to protect yourself, but at the same time, you shut out a lot of people and things and experiences.  As someone who is still trying to figure everything out, here are a few things I've found that really restore a sense of wonder and faith in humanity.

1) Think good thoughts: Sometimes I let the littlest annoying moment in my day affect the rest of a perfectly good day.  Have you ever had a morning where you woke up late for school, and you burned your espresso because you were stressed, and then you snapped at your sister for something that was mostly your own fault.  And then, even though your teacher let you off easy on a late assignment, and there was ice cream for lunch, and someone complimented your outfit, and the sky looked gorgeous, it was a perfectly horrible day?  I'm pretty sure everyone has had a day like this, but I think the amount of days I've ruined for myself this way is inexcusable.   And really, the power of a good thought is very strong!
Roald Dahl:
2) Be Genuine: I don't just mean telling people that they look bad in yellow, or blurting out whatever you think.  I mean telling other people, and yourself, the truth about who you are.  There is nothing more damaging to a friendship than trying to be someone you're not to fit in, and then having your 'friends' figure out who you really are, and shunning you for it.  Believe me, it happened to me once before when I was about ten.  The thing I didn't realize at the time was, I wasn't just deceiving others, I was deceiving myself.  I made myself think that I wanted to be like them, to have their mannerisms and airs.  Honestly, now that I look back, it makes me laugh to think what a pretentious peacock I was trying to be.  If I hadn't been lying to myself I would've seen that that wasn't me, that wasn't who I wanted to be; I just wanted to be accepted.  You may wonder what being genuine has to do with regaining a sense of wonder.  It has a lot to do with it.  Do you remember when you were three and you weren't scared to express yourself as you really were?  Do you remember knowing that someday you would do the impossible?  By trying to be someone else, you diminish the possibilities within yourself. I think that in order to fully enjoy the world, you need to see it through your own eyes, by being genuine.  
You are unique and wonderfully made! Anything that tells you otherwise is a lie. You are created in the image of God Himself and there are parts of Him that can be seen in you and only you. When we discover who we really are and live it out we show people the truth about God. When we live genuine as children of God people take notice and want to be around us. You dont need a special anointing or to be called a pastor or evangelist to minister to people. Your life lived authentically will ministe:
3) Do something nice for someone else... and then forget you ever did it: Nothing takes the joy out of giving of yourself as much as a sense of waiting for something in return.  When we think of it in a sense of something for something, we don't really think of all the amazing things we receive as gifts, but rather as our due payment.  It's especially sad since what we receive out of life in return (in my personal experience) is so much more.  Which leads me to my next resolution.

Because: | Here's Some Uplifting Graffiti If You're Already Having A Bad Day:

4) Say 'Thank You': I think that part of losing our sense of wonder happens when we start to take everything for granted.  That verse about counting your blessings isn't cheesy, it's pretty legit when you actually try it. Someone told me once that when you thank God for all of your blessings, he increases them. Maybe it's true, but one thing I know for sure is, the more you are thankful for, the more blessings you realize you have. Maybe you say thank you out of politeness because it's been instilled in you from a very young age, but when was the last time you said it genuinely?    I dare you to say a genuine thank you everyday to someone, whether it be your mom, or the lady who opened the door for you at the store, or God, or anybody.  Just mean it.  

Gratitude Chalk Art and a Free Printable Version:

5) Say 'I Love You': I know I don't say this enough.  Just like 'thank you' it's sort of become a way to end a phone call.  Do you ever have those moments when you look at your Mom and think, 'Wow, everything she's done for me is unbelievable'? Or do you ever have a conversation with a friend or partner where they're so supportive and helpful? Or maybe you just randomly want to give your sibling a hug.  Don't pass up these opportunities to say I love you.  I think that sometimes, just like other blessings in our lives, we take the people we love for granted.  Life is short and it's better to risk being vulnerable than to risk not saying all the things you wanted to say.  Vulnerability is hard, but it makes life all the more wonderful.

"Cuando abrazo a otras personas, el cielo es claro; pero cuando te abrazo a ti, salen las estrellas.":

6)Do something that scares you: When we're little, there are all kinds of scary rites of passage that we have to do to make it in life.  Like riding our bicycles without training wheels for the first time, or talking to strangers, or even just difficult things like learning to dress ourselves or make a PB and J sandwich. I think the fact that little kids are always trying something for the first time gives them a sense of awe that we often forget when we get old and wise in the ways of the world. A lot of times we make the decision to stop taking risks because we no longer have to to survive.  The sad thing is, it can lead to a sense of lost wonder.  If we continue to ask questions and push our limits and learn new things, I believe that sense of wonder will continue to grow.  You know, I don't think it's a coincidence that the verb to wonder can mean the desire to know more as well as to marvel at something amazing.


7) Take a walk, read a book, bake some cookies, jump in puddles...:
And last but not least, slow down and do something old that you haven't done in a while.  Dance in the rain. (It's okay if the neighbor's laugh, they're missing out.) Try making your mother's oatmeal cookie recipe or read your favorite picture book from when you were a kid.  It's surprising, what a sense of wonder, nostalgia can bring back.  You'll probably wonder why you stopped doing those things...


If you've made it all the way through this post, phew, I applaud you. (-; This is actually a post I started working on ages ago, but pushed to the back burner because I felt uncertain about it.  I wouldn't say I'm suddenly confident, but I feel like this is something close to my heart and I just wanted to share it with you guys.

Stay wonder-ful!


What's something that never fails to fill you with wonder?

Monday, September 19, 2016

Y'all Got a Special Mention in My Latest Odyssey Article...

So I recently started writing weekly articles for a website called Odyssey, which allows students to create and share media with potentially thousands of viewers.  (BTW, if you're interested in something like this, you should check with your school to see if they're involved, it's a great program.) Anyhow, the reason I'm writing about this is to tell you that the last article I wrote was about what blogging has taught me about friendship (y'all got a special mention).  I guess it's kind of to make up for the fact that I totally missed my blogiversary... Oops!
If you recognize this from my first post, you rock!
What have you been writing recently?


Saturday, September 3, 2016

saturday reflections

I poured milk in my tea this morning and watched the creamy clouds billow up from the bottom of my cup, stormy at first, and then placid and uniform like a lake.  It sounds weird, but it's the little things like these that keep me going. 
 During the week, life pushes me along in a swift current of sound, and light, and social interaction, and deadlines.  It's all hurry, hurry, hurry, don't forget, hurry.
via pinterest
And when the weekend comes, I withdraw into my shell and avoid human interaction. I watch my tea while I pour milk into it and I revel in the hours of freedom from duty.  A pile of books.  My latest knitting project.  A story plot waiting to hatch.  My latest wild idea forming in the back of my brain.  It's one of the best feelings in the world.

It's not that I don't love my crazy life, my classes, my friends.
It's just, the day isn't long enough to write for an hour, to read for an hour, to sit on the hammock and stare up at the light filtering through the leaves.

via pinterest
And by the end of the week, I am exhausted, not physically really.  It's more like my soul needs a vacation from this concrete, rushing, unyielding world.
Before it fades into a shriveled shell.  Forgotten and abandoned.

But sometimes I feel bad for retreating and hiding.  This is a rare opportunity to spend time with friends and family.  To catch up on assignments from the week before.  To clean my room and make dutiful phone calls to people who don't know my name or that I might literally die without books.  
And I feel like a bad friend for making up excuses for not going out and avoiding conversations with strangers and not wanting to leave my cozy little den.
via pinterest
Sometimes I wish I could split myself into two people.
Me, and the person people expect me to be--the person I need to be for other people.


Tuesday, August 16, 2016

5 things this summer has taught me about writing and life

omg, i made this thing, so that's something i've never done before...

YOU GUYSSS!!! I'M HOME! *does a dorky little dance and flails*

If you've read my last few blog posts or know me well, you'll know that I've been away for most of the summer in Oregon.  I've written a novel and survived torment at the hands of my own indecision. With a lot of angst and some overdue prayers, I decided that it wasn't yet time for me to leave home for good.  Despite the fact that Oregon potentially held a lot more opportunities than the tiny town in Arizona where I've spent the last six years of my life, I realized that there were still opportunities here that I hadn't explored to the fullest.  But I've already written about that, so I won't bore you to death with the narrative of my indecisive life.

What I really wanted to write about were the things that I've learned this summer, both about writing and life.  I guess when you look at it, they're pretty much the same thing, aren't they? They sort of morph into each other until they are disseperate and indistinct. So without further ado, I present my list of five things I've learned this summer.

1) Worry about character, plot will follow: 

 I think that this applies to both writing and life.  When I'm writing I get stressed about what's going to happen next.  Will the plot work?  Will my story end the way I want it to?  Why won't my characters behave the way I want them to?  My life is no different.  Will everything be okay?  What if I make a mistake?  What if ten years from now I'm living in my mom's basement and I still haven't done anything with my life? What if this stupid pie crust doesn't turn out and there's nothing to eat when the guests come over? *cue internal screaming for an indeterminate length of time*

Sometimes I worry too much about how things are going to turn out in the long term that I hide in my room and watch Netflix instead of taking care of the problem. Instead, I should take things one moment at a time, and do my best and what I think is right with each moment as it comes.  What happens next happens and I've got to deal with it in the same way.  I need to do the same with my writing.  I need to form the plot around the characters and worry more about whether they're realistic than if the plot is fascinating or full of catches.

No one cares about a really amazing plot of the characters are bland.  The riveting tale of your life and success isn't going to matter and might not even happen if you don't take things one step at a time and do your best to be a decent person.  Chances are, if you write a story that works out exactly as you planned, your readers will see every plot twist and be bored. The same goes for life.  Wouldn't it be boring if you knew exactly what was going to happen next?

2) Enjoy the process:

I don't believe in chance, but I do think that if we look at a little bit of data, we can tell that I am probably never going to be a famous New York Best Selling Author or a winner of the Newbery Medal.  (Although, I am very open to a miracle if anyone is wondering.  Let me know if you know how to contact Miracle Max.)

As such is the case, I realize that I'm going to have to have a better reason for writing than becoming famous.  Okay, I've always liked writing, so that isn't much of a problem for me, but I've had a lot more challenges and run in and insecurities with my writing than I've had before.  I need something more than impossible looking goals for motivation.  I need see my writing career as an ongoing learning process where there's always more to learn and the challenges just mean greater victories.  I think it's almost impossible to be successful at writing, or anything else for that matter if you aren't positive about it and realize that the process is just as important, if not more important, than the result.

About Erin:

3) Don't take yourself so seriously, but dream big:

I think fear is the enemy of success.  Self doubt is a product of that fear, and procrastination is a product of that self doubt and a sub-product of that fear.  My fear is only as big as I let it grow, and sometimes, I think that sometimes the size of my fear might have something to do with the size of my ego.  Why am I scared to look like a fool? Because I'm worried about what others think of me, about how cool I look. Well, no one ever got anywhere by looking cool all the time.

I think one of my favorite examples of this was a tumblr post I saw comparing two of Lin Manuel Miranda's performances of  "Alexander Hamilton." The first time time he sang it, people chuckled, years later, they were cheering wildly.  He took his big dreams seriously, but he didn't take himself so seriously that he couldn't risk having people laugh at him. See for yourself:
This is a true testament to the evolution of writing. In fact, seeing people laugh at Hamilton back in 2009, makes me laugh at them in 2016 now that it's a Grammy winning, Pulitzer winning, and world movement today. WutUP! #riseup:
seriously tho, I just wanted to sneak Hamilton into this post

4) There's no place like home:

Seriously, though, being on your own is over rated.  I'm 95% I'm an oversized hobbit.  There's nothing like going on an adventure and then coming home to your own room and the people you love most in the world.  No matter where you are in life, there is nothing more important than your close knit community of family and friends.  Who knows, someday I might make millions, or become a world famous writer, or become a successful professor, none of that is going to matter as much as the people I love most and being able to spend time with them.  People are important. Need I say more? #waxingeloquentlikeaLaconian

also, homemade pie and ice cream...

5) Pay attention:

There are two rules of writing that everyone always insists are the most important.  1) Read, read, read. And 2) Write, write, write.  I've done both, and I still find an important element missing in my writing.  A flatness, a blandness.  My writing seems false to me.  And that is one of the worst things writing can be.  I wasn't one hundred percent sure what was missing until I read Bird by Bird by Anne Lamott.  She talked about how she would pay attention to everything and take notes about it, and then I realized what was missing from my life.  I don't listen enough.

I think it's a common downfall for writers.  We are writers, we're expected to have something to say.  What I haven't realized is this.  In order to have something to say, we need more than just what we read and gather from that.  We have to experience life.  Pay attention to the way the old lady at the cafe drinks her tea, and the way your friend reacts to your stance on abortion, and why do they do those things?  For once, I realize, I need to be silent, and listen.  And if I must talk, let it be to ask questions.  Why? How? Tell me... And then when you write, tell the truth.  This has been one of my greatest writing struggles.  I'm not going to lie, I'm self centered, and I don't think outside the box as much as I would like to think I do.  I'm still learning to realize that there is more for me to learn than I could ever tackle in one-hundred life times. Guess that means I'd better get started. So I'm adding one more rule to the list.  Number 3) Listen.
* * * * *
*drops mic and walks away fabulously with my hair blowing in the wind* In all honesty tho, I didn't realize that I was going to talk that much... *ahemitrunsinthefamilyahem* *I think I'm going to sign out now...*
Do you agree or disagree with my ideas? (It's totally okay to disagree BTWs if you're wondering) What amazing things have you recently learned about writing and life?  Did you miss me? Also, did you get that reference?


Sunday, August 7, 2016

what's happening now? // an update on my latest adventures

I know I didn't post about this yet, but yes, I did win Camp NaNoWriMo with a couple thousand extra words and a couple days to spare. To be honest though, I think I bragged about it enough on social media to make even my dearest friends want to throttle me, so no, this post is not entirely about my Camp NaNoWriMo novel.
Only one picture, I promise

So, besides completing Camp NaNoWriMo and silly things like starting a second pinterest account and frequenting the library and Starbucks, I've been up to some other slightly bigger things. (A.K.A. life decisions.)

At the beginning of last month, I thought that I would be staying in Oregon with my Grandmother for at least a whole semester.  That I'd be transferring schools, getting a job, making friends, adulting, starting a new life here.  I was really excited about it and I was applying for all kinds of jobs, getting my paper work in order to transfer, thinking about auditioning for the community theatre, etc... It seemed like a really great plan, and it still does, but I think God has other things in mind for me.  It became more apparent after a couple of weeks. 
25 Inspiring Quotes for this Week:
via pinterest
The transfer process was not going as smoothly as we'd hoped.  I wasn't getting any calls back for jobs, and when I did, there were always problems with the fact that I'm not eighteen yet or something like that.  On top of that, I was really missing the rest of my family.  Let's face it, I may be seventeen, but I still get homesick after three weeks.  I'm a hobbit.  I may love a good adventure, but at the end, I just want to go home and eat second breakfast with my family and closest friends.  I don't know about you, but I'm pretty sure that home isn't just a place, it's a feeling unlike any other.  It's people you love and traditions you grew up with and the smell of that bread your mom always makes at Christmas.  That feeling when you're all sitting around the dinner table together and you don't have to say anything, you just understand that mutual connection and memory that stretches back further than you can remember.
via pinterest

Okay, now that I've finished my tangent about the universally acknowledged truth that there is no place like home, let's move on.  Instead of staying here, I'm flying back to AZ shortly.  (In time for three of my sister's birthdays. Yay!) I'm going to continue going to the same little community college I've been going to for the past three years.  I'm going to keep working in my family's bakery and anticipating the dinner gatherings we have with our friends and drumming out scales on the piano in our little library and dreaming of someday writing something that's somewhat fabulous.  And things won't always be the same, they will change.  Soon I'll have my licence and a sense of independence.  Soon I'll be taking new classes on subjects I've always wanted to learn more about. I'll be living each day like it's a beginning, because it is.  I'll be trying and failing and succeeding and either way, learning something. I am not finished there.
You Don't Have to Have Your Life Completely Figured Out Right Now ...:
via pinterest
I don't know why things weren't supposed to work out for me here.  But one thing I know for sure is that God has a different plan, and it's better than any plan I could have come up with even in my craziest dreams.  The reason I'm not upset about going back to the Podunk town that I've always complained about, is that I know that there's a reason for it.  I just don't know what it is yet.  I'm still learning that it's okay to not always know.

I've been terrible keeping up in the blogger world and I miss talking with you guys! Leave me a comment to tell me what you've been up to.  What have you learned recently? How has your summer been thus far? What kind of posts would you like to see more of on this blog? Also, important questions, favorite ice cream flavor(s)?


Wednesday, July 27, 2016

What is a Plot Even??? : Weeks 2 and 3 of Camp NaNoWriMo Explained in Gifs

Let's be honest, the second week of NaNoWriMo is no piece of cake. It's around this point that pantsers like me start to grind to a halt and realize we have no idea where this story is going. We feel stupid for even trying to write this novel, and we moan and slam our heads on our keyboards.
tumblr_miem2ojqof1qd6yx6o1_250.gif (245×175)
After a moment of heart rending aggony and dispair, we finally consult the revered and magical books of our craft.  The problem has been revealed! We need a plot. What are these dull technicalities you speak of?
television reaction celebs jimmy fallon fallontonight

I'm not sure how other pantsers react to this revelation, but my solution to this grave problem was to give my characters a taste of hellfire and brimstone. The first week we already had one character (Yoru)  in the emergancy room with two broken legs, bruised ribs, and a heck of a lot of community service looming over his head for graffiting a school.
AGONY! - Into the Woods

But that wasn't enough to make stuff interesting, so I had to go and get his sister, Akira, fired from her job by her evil employer.  Dante's father has told him he's on his own financially until the end of the semester.  Dante was not expecting that. Bear with me though, it's not all about money! Lavender finds a boyfriend who ends up being one of Dante's worst high school enemies, and there's a lot of angst and sad midnight guitar solos.

And while my characters are freaking out, my evil cackles are turning into panicked giggles as I realize I have no idea how I'm going to get my characters out or the mess I left them in. But despite the fact that I'm freaking out I also feel proud to be able to walk around like the majority of fiction writers out there like:
I've often planned the murder of friends and colleagues.  Of course you have, you eccentric and lovely man.

Now, just take the last two steps and repeat, and there you have week three. Just toss in a bit more panicked procrastinating.
Post a GIF showing how you are feeling today about your wedding planning - Weddingbee | Page 7
Pinterest is currently your best friend. You spend hours doing research, just to find that you don't know how you got to a pinterest board full of hilarious Sherlock memes. Oh well, it's good for inspiration, am I right? Of course I'm right.
Every time I spend the day watching Doctor Who... - Imgur
You're also throwing in pieces of backstory that you hadn't forseen or had forgoten entirely until this point and now your story is super random.
The League of British Artists: The Sherlockians Assess Benedict Cumberbatch
I'm sorry, I just had to share this gif.
Finally, just as the world looks like it's about to crumble, it's suddenly the dawn to week four. And this is where I leave you guys until the end of  July.
Don't just stand there! Halp!

Okay, is it just me, or does anyone else feel this way about Camp NaNoWriMo right now? How much time do you think you've probably wasted spent doing research on Pinterest this month?
    <3 Lizzy

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Camp NaNoWriMo Has Devoured My Soul: Week 1 of My Camp NaNo Experience Explained in Gifs

Yes, you guessed it from the title, this is about Camp NaNoWriMo.
And, I am happy to announce, it is going pretty well. Considering the last time I attempted to do NaNoWriMo in 2014, this comes as a bit of a surprise. I have reached 30K+ words today, and I'm trying to finish the novel itself by the last day of July. It will be hard since I have a feeling that this novel will be a bit longer than 50K words... But before I bore you to death, allow me to share some of the awesome (and...interesting) moments I've had in my first week of Camp NaNoWriMo. Be ye warned, there shall be an overabundance of GIFS!

Week One:
So, like most NaNo-ers (is that even a thing?) I was  ahead of my word count goal for the week, writing and average of 2K+ words per day and reaching a total of 14,552 words by day seven.
And, if period literature taught you anything, the right person can come along at any moment and under any circumstances! | 15 Signs You Belong In A Period Piece Romance

Maybe that's not a ton for you, but that was probably one of my best weeks as a writer. 
But in my defense, it was kind of a weird week.

~First off, we were traveling/doing touristy stuff for the first three days, and is it just me, or is writing in a hotel room crammed with five other noisy people hard or what? #thankgoodnessforearbuds
Funniest skit of life. Look it up. Watch it. Laugh hysterically. Love David and Catherine forever.

~Secondly, July kind of happened a few days before I was mentally prepared, and I honestly hadn't the foggiest idea what was going to happen in the first few chapters, so day one I was just sitting in front of my computer screen just like:
Im Yoona of Girls' Generation. Clueless.
'cept I didn't look this cute
~ And then one of my main characters decided to fall in love with another main character at first sight...
That´s not supposed to happen.
I feel like this is my reaction to the majority
of my writing process..
~And apparently said love interest looks like Ben Barnes according to my bff.
Welcome Back, GIF Party

~And an other main character (there are 4, I know, it's confusing) is now a rebelious punk/emo kid who has a skateboard and graffities stuff. And this is basically him most of the time.

33 INFP Problems
And I just realized that this is kind of like him too...
When my toddler isn’t given the aforementioned items and proceeds to begin an object-throwing tantrum as a result:

~ But there were also some really awesome things like random show tune duets, and k-pop dance partays, and food. Lots of food.
Sir Gwaine, ladies and gentleman...
Because Gwain..
~ And here's a selfie I took on the road while procrastinating from writing. For your amusement I have decided to humiliate myself. You're welcome.
Hawt dayum...

IDK, I guess I'd have to say that my first week of Camp NaNo was actually pretty fabulous. And because you had the patience to read a post where I mostly rant about my characters, here is some virtual ice cream and the synopsis of my WIP.
You'd need somewhere cool to keep the doggie food. A vintage ice cream truck would be perfect!:
Akira: Responsible, control-freak, performer and biology student, older sister, afraid to let go. 
Yoru: Rebel, loner, artist flunking high school, younger brother, afraid to stay. The Yin to Akira's Yang. 
Lavender: Unsure, curious, nerdy, hopeless romantic, English Major, full of wonder. 
Dante: At his parents' mercy, mysterious, passionate, musician, a secret dork, takes things for granted.
Four students, thousands of questions, even fewer answers, one house, and one long semester.
And that is all for today, expect three more Camp NaNo posts consisting mostly of gifs and me ranting in the near future. (-:

Tell me about your Camp NaNoWriMo! What crazy things happened? Do you have any gifs to go with? 'Cause gifs are life...  Also, what is your opinion of Byronic Heros? (There will probably be a post about that sometime soon.) Are you a plotter or a pantser or something in between? Tell me ALL about your cool and crazy Camp NaNo adventures. (-:

Monday, July 4, 2016

how lucky we are to be alive right now // a fourth of july post

i've never been much of a patriot, i've never been very political. i've don't think i've ever said:
'i'm proud to be an american.'
Need these for 4th of July!!:
i see a collage of contradictions. this land is your land this land is my land and this land is suffering and neglected by us.  our government is a work of genius and our government is corrupt and selfish. believe me, i could go on all day. we could argue the fine points of politics and rights and wrongs and keep running in circles and pointing fingers and going now were. but today, i choose not to.
today is a day that i realize is only worth celebrating if we celebrate God's hand in creating this country and aiding our forefathers.

'nations rise, empires fall'
and they will keep doing so until the end of time, but there is only one Kingdom that will last.  that is why, today i don't want to go around proclaiming that america is the greatest land or complaining that it's headed downhill to ruin.  i want to thank God that i was born to live right now, that i am lucky enough to see the world changing by the second.  that i have the opportunity to be part of a changing world.  i will not lie, it has its wounds, but from the ashes, rises the phoenix, and We are that phoenix.  in the ashes of ruin and despair, We rise the more glorious, because We have God, and God makes beautiful things out of the most horrible situations when we trust in him.

in church yesterday, the priest pointed this out, and my mind was blown. how God has always revealed himself most fully in the darkest of hours, when hope seemed lost.  and now, once more, hope is a thing that is forgotten, unspoken of, a thing of the past, and people are preaching fire and brimstone and destruction, but i believe that God has something great planned, something we can't even imagine, and We are lucky enough to be alive right now and full of hope.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

west coast, best coast // allll the photos and some random thoughts

photography credit for this one goes to my sister, Sarah
Can I just say, I MISSED YOU GUYS!!! After my last post, I think I owe you all an update on our trip. We arrived in Oregon on Saturday (that was an adventure of it's own that deserves a whole post to itself!) and we spent the night at our grandmother's house.  The next day we all took off to the beach for two days. The following are photos of our adventure in (semi)chronological order interspersed with snarky comments and reflections of an intermediate depth.

Why do I always take pics at odd angles?
I'm super excited about my stay here.  The weather has stayed below 90 degrees fahrenheit for the entirety of our visit so far, it's green, the crowd of people here is vibrant, and there is so much more to DO.  Even though I'm staying with my Nana, I think I'm going to miss my family quite a bit more than I'd expected.  Gosh, I miss them already and they're still here in Oregon.

Day 1
We drove to Lincoln City.  The towering pines, rolling hills, and lush ferns were breathtaking.  It made me think, everyone thinks of places like England being ancient, magical places, but if you think about it, Oregon is just as ancient as any other place in the world.  The vast expanses of overgrown trees and uncultivated wilderness leaves so much to be imagined.  It's just as magical as someplace like England, but a different kind of magic.  A kind of magic that not asleep, but just alive today as it was three-thousand years ago.  A kind of magic that is not hidden in the barrows of dead kings and warriors, but growing with the rest of the wild world, a paradoxical harmony of the ancient and the new. 
I'm not sure whether that ^^^ was poetic or pretentious, but it's me, so I'm just going to leave it.

We walked on the beach that evening after dinner.  I think I took more pictures of the waves than anything else.  There's something about the white caps and the seafoam that's kind of entrancing and impossible to truly capture in a photograph.  
Or perhaps it has something to do with the fact that my photography consists of me trying different stuff on my my camera and sometimes it works... IDK

It's at moments like these that I'm jealous of how cute my younger sisters are.  #ineedtostopeatingallthecarbs #situpswouldhelp #nevermindtheresanewkdramaonnetflix #thestruggleisreal #thiscallsforapostonpositivebodyimage

Sometimes the pictures you take while trying to get people to pose are even better than the staged photo.

Not gonna lie, the fam is pretty fantastic...

The sun didn't set until about 9:00.  You can't see it in this photo, but the moon was rising in the light of the setting sun, and it was absolutely gorgeous...

A gorgeous view in Newport

Day 2
We all drove down to Newport after breakfast the next morning.  It's such a touristy spot, but it's one of my favorite places to go on the Oregon Coast.  From the ocean view to the salt-water taffy, it's a fabulous spot.

Dear Siblings,
Please don't kill me for posting this goofy photo.  a. It's priceless, and b. I've already proven that you guys are very attractive people.

The fox on those socks was wearing socks. I know...

If you've never had salt water taffy before, you poor child, and also, you need to go to the Oregon Coast and buy a bag with a custom mixture of all of your favorite flavors.  I highly recommend the cinnamon.  I haven't tried it yet, but my family is in love with the licorice flavored kind.

Ohhh, look at the pretty shiny glass!!!  I took a test for what my spirit animal was once for fun and it said it was either a hummingbird or a butterfly.  I'm starting to think it might be a crow.

What can I say?  They love wild socks and Birkenstocks.
(TBH, I'm seriously thinking of getting a pair of Birki's myself)

The shopfronts were as vibrant as our new socks.

Sarah took most of the photos here.

We drove down the coast a little way to Yaquina Head.  It was kind of awesome, 'cause in the story I'm working on while I wait for Camp NaNo has a lighthouse.  It also has dragons and an all girl gang kind of like the Merry Men...

Just doing my signature dance move.  We don't have to talk about how it's the only one I'm actually good at...

Me attempting to do the tree pose.  My arms were all wrong, but hey, I didn't fall down!

The starfish in its natural habitat.

My fabulous mother...


me:*enjoying the view*
me: *oh no is my sister taking pictures I'd better not look weird*
me:*stares off into the distance angstily*
me:*nailed it*

We had a bonfire on the beach later that night.  It was legit.  TBH, it felt a bit like one of those music videos where the squad is having a really ideal bonfire on the beach and everyone is laughing in slow-mo and looking fabulous.  Except it was the fam, and we were all wearing towels because it was cold, and there was no pressure to look amazing, so that was nice.

#delish #iateliketen #noshame
This was only the first few days of our vacation and I already feel like a new person.  Gosh, I haven't even shared my West Coast shopping haul yet... That'll be another post. Surprise, surprise, I bought some books already...

You know, I'm pretty pumped for my stay here.  I think I can see a lot of adventures in the near future.

Have you had any adventures lately?  What is your favorite flavor of salt water taffy?  Also, can I ask a favor of you guys?  If you've been following my blog for a while, please let me know what some of your favorite posts have been;I may blog for myself, but I like to keep my fabulous followers happy. <3


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