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


Monday, June 20, 2016

spinning : a spontaneous decision // in which i open up about my writing and my life

Ever since the Spring semester ended in May I've been spinning.  At least that's how my mother describes it.  I finished my novel, I've been working in my family's bakery, and I've been reading more than I read during the entire semester, but I didn't feel like I was really going anywhere.  I've been doing things, but they haven't been moving me forward in life, if that makes any sense.  I haven't been experiencing and learning new things, I haven't had any major life changes or great goals I've been working for.
So reminds me of her! A beauty dancing around in her little world of innocence~
Days come and go.  I write.  I read.  I work.  I see my friends occasionally.  I watch too much Netflix and spend half of my life on Pinterest.  I'm doing things (sort of) but if life is an adventure, a journey, it feels like I'm standing in the middle of the path, twirling around.  I'm moving, but I'm not going anywhere.  Or, if you will, it's like a hamster wheel.

So the other day my mom basically said to me, "What if you stayed in Oregon with your grandmother after vacation and just came back in August? She needs someone to help out and you need something to do.  What do you have that's keeping you here?"
It was really out of the blue, about two weeks from the day we leave.  I thought about it for a minute.  "Nothing, really.  Why don't I just stay?"
We talked it through, made  a few phone calls, and now I am moving to Oregon for the summer.

This year I prayed that God would help me take the next step in my life.  I was feeling really stuck, and scared about the future.  Like I couldn't see the light at the end of the tunnel.  I think this is an answer to my request.  Even yesterday I was feeling really down in the mouth.  What have I done in my life that is of any worth?  What am I even good at?  What am I meant to do with my life?  What if I've messed it all up already?  How badly are my irresponsible past decisions going to affect my future?  What if my biggest project, my writing, the only thing I've been working on everyday seriously, isn't even any good?  That was kind of the biggest blow.
What if I'm no good at the thing I've put my heart and time and tears into?  What if I'm wasting hours and years of my life on something I will never succeed at?

{Saturday's} working on another degree

Yes, I cried about it.  And then I decided not to be defeated.  To try something new.  I've decided that my writing sounds like I'm tiptoeing around, trying not to disturb anyone or say anything overly controversial or potentially offensive.  It seems to me that every good writer has at point, been shunned or criticized because they were fearless in their opinions.

 My mom found me writing with tears still drying on my face, clinging onto that little piece of hope. Hope that I could amount to something if I stopped trying to please people and wrote what I cared about and believed.  I'm not a very open person around the people I love the most.  (It's ironic, I know.)  But we talked, and she told me that perhaps I needed to try new things, to take make sure that writing wasn't the only thing in my life.  

You know what's funny, I think the fact that I've been focussing so much on my writing has actually been unhealthy for my writing life.  I've been taking it too seriously instead of living life to the fullest and using my writing as a tool to talk about life, to explore things that I've learned, and to share experiences in a creative way with others.  And yes, I do think I need to be honest in my writing, no matter whether it offends some people or not.  My writing needs two things: life experience and honesty.  I think that leaving for a month and a half will really help me with that.

Deep breathe in, deep breathe out. Ahhh.
all pictures from pinterest
So I'm going to end this post in all honesty.  I have no idea whether I have potential to be a good writer or not.  I still have no idea what I'm doing.  I have so many questions and so few answers.  I am super nervous about my future, but I've decided to stop just going where the tide will take me and make some decisions of my own.  My opinions and dreams, inexperienced though they may be, need to be explored and expressed more than I have been doing, so they can become stronger.  I think I need to develop my voice and become a stronger person.  I need to take responsibility for myself and my future.  I need to face my fears.

There may be a bit of a change in my blog this summer.  I want to write posts in which I can talk about my new experiences, and express my thoughts and feelings without feeling like I have to please and appease certain people.  I feel like my blog is one of the best places to do this, as it's one of the places I feel I can be most myself.  I think that I have all of you, my followers, to thank for that. Okay, I'm going to publish this before I overthink it and delete this post...

In all honesty, what are your opinions and experiences of this topic? Do you have any life or writing advice for an adventuring young writer? What do you think has been your greatest epiphany as a writer, or just in general?


Monday, June 13, 2016

the update with gothic dragons and #allthehashtags

It's funny, I thought that with the arrival of summer, I would be blogging all the time, maybe as often as twice a week, but for some reason, I haven't had a ton of inspiration, which I think is key to blogging.  I was feeling really badly about this, but then I read Abbiee's post on her blog about this, and it made me rethink my approach to blogging.  I was stressed out because I didn't have material or inspiration that felt original, and every time I started something, it just didn't feel genuine.  I think I have two problems here. 1) I'm stressing about having blogging material, which really takes the joy out of blogging, and 2) Let's just say, being open and genuine can be difficult for me because of my own self criticism.  I know that the blogging world is really open and generous in sharing love, so that must mean I'm the one holding myself back, right?  Not once have I received a rude or judgemental comment. So first I want to say a big thank you guys for being such supportive blogging friends.  Secondly, I don't know how regular my blogging will be but I am not abandoning my blog altogether.  Thirdly and lastly, do you guys have any tips for not being so self critical of your own writing?
a random, angsty picture just 'cause i like it, also i've been thinking about
the ocean a lot recently (-;
Okay, now that that's out of the way, I have a few things to tell you guys. *drumroll*

do cardinals never sit on gravestones, or do people just not photograph that?:
Because it reminded me of A Murder of Crows (my book).
No, for reals, this isn't a joke, after a year of procrastination and a few occasions of almost giving up like I did on the past three novels that I started, I decided to hunker down and finish it before my 17th birthday.  It is the messiest, ugliest, most plot-hole filled, and vague first draft in the history of first drafts, but it's my first brain-child and I'm so proud of my completed draft. And let's be honest, newborns are hardly ever beautiful, they just need a bit of growing and training (aka a ton of editing) to do before they're ready to be released into the world.  So that happened at the beginning of this month, and now I'm working on a new novel that's kind of a gothic fantasy with a touch of steampunk in a Jane Eyre-esque universe with dragons.  That totally wasn't confusing...
SS-Sanctuary at night. More dangerous than you may think; it being a Sanctuary of peace. But at night you can lose a finger or two due to rebels:
Just throw in a few dragons and a dash of whimsy and magic, and you've got my WIP
Oh, and just a reminder, Camp NaNo is coming up in like two weeks.  I've started a cabin, but so far, only one lovely person has joined.  If you're doing Camp NaNo and still haven't joined a cabin, feel free to share your username in the comments below, and I'll send you an invite.
Reading her textbooks near the window......:
A sneak peek of the pinterest board for my Camp NaNoWriMo project..
2) I TURNED 17?!?
Well, that happened...  It feels weird to think that a year from now, I'm going to legally be an adult. Say what?!  This feels like a joke.  Who am I kidding, I'm pretty sure I'm still eleven sometimes. Or four.  Excuse me while I just crawl into my blanket fort and turn into a burrito of avoidance and blankets...
burrito blanket meme - Google Search:
While I've been absent on my blog, I've been keeping a fairly updated Instagram with lots of pictures of #books, #food, and the occasional picture of #yours-truly.  My username is @e.a.dannenbrink.
Tell me what your Instagram username in the comments and I'll follow you. (-: #iuseallthehashtags
When you have random photography inspiration in the middle of studying French. .. . . . . . . #bookstagram #pastels #typewriternotebook #lepetitprince #french #tintin #jeparlefrançais #unpeu #booklove #pinksandblues #livres from my instagram @e.a.dannenbrink:
one of my favorite posts
My family and I are going to spend nine days in the Pacific North-West at the end of this month!  This was actually a pretty spontaneous vacation that we planned this week.  It started out that my younger sister was going to go for a music event, but then my mom was like "Why don't we all go and make a family vacation of it?"  So now we're all going on an adventure! I am SO excited. I don't know if I already mentioned it, but we used to live in Oregon, so it feels a bit like we're going home, and I can't wait to be in that green, beautiful, seaside country... My exuberance may be somewhat fueled by the fact that it got to 108 degrees fahrenheit here last weekend... Anyways, I am so excited, and I promise I will share pictures on Instagram and do a post about it when I get back.

In dreams I caught sweet glimpses of You, on glassy vibrant shores, I awoke to find that it was true, and yet You love me more//s. Dear One Your love is beyond the hearts of this world:
Can we just a take a minute to appreciate the beauty that is the Pacific Northwest?

Well, that's it for today, to all of you who made it through yet another post of my ramblings, I applaud you and send you all virtual lemonade.

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