January 2011 - further up and further in

Monday, January 31, 2011

A Skyline Faded Blue

Monday, January 31, 2011 1
A Skyline Faded Blue
It's extremely rare for me to find a song that sums up exactly how I'm feeling at any given moment. But if I did have one for today or even recently, this would have to be it.
Not much for conversation
I still find need to pray
Sometimes I get tired of walking
Through these ordinary days
If nothing else I get to see you
Even if we never speak
The harm of words though sometimes
We don't quite know
What they really mean

So let me lay down in this field
And stare up at the sky
I hope the days and clouds turn into something as they pass us by
And maybe you could settle for a skyline faded blue
I hope that you might settle for this love I have for You

I don't know where
I don't know how
I don't know why
But your love can make
These things better
Your love can make these things better
Your love can make these things better
Your love can make these things better
[These Ordinary Days, Jars of Clay]
This song has consistently remained one of my favorites, and like a lot of other songs, it represents a certain moment in my life. It represents the moments where I don't necessarily feel close to God, or worthy of him, but where I know he loves me all the same. It's the moments where I'm in the valley but I'm still holding onto hope. It reminds me of the days where the skies may seem gray but in reality, a skyline faded blue isn't far away. And through it all, His love can make these things better.

When I listen to this song, I picture Jesus and I lying on the grass, staring up at the sky. Simply being together. And sometimes I picture myself alone; dreaming of the day when we'll be together. Forever and ever.

I can't wait for that day. But for now, I'll continue to walk through these ordinary days, with my head up in the clouds, dreaming of the day when every moment will be eternity. I'm looking forward to it.

(The pictures aren't mine, but I made them look awesome. In other words... I found the pictures here, and I edited them. ;)

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Problems of the Two-Dimensional Variety

Thursday, January 27, 2011 3
Problems of the Two-Dimensional Variety
(The classic writer's face.)
Lately I've been having problems of the two-dimensional variety. Any writer would know what I'm talking about. They're called characters.


After NaNoWriMo, I couldn't figure out what I hated most about my novel, called Chandler and Paislee. The plot was amazing, at least I thought so. Even though it had taken a few detours, that could easily fixed and put back on track.

I didn't think the plot was too bad. I tried writing on a daily basis so I could get my free CreateSpace proof copy of my novel. But I was running into walls every time I sat down at my keyboard. And then it hit me.

The problem was my characters.

I thought I had them figured out, but somewhere along the line they surprised me. They surprised me in that I didn't know them as well as I thought I did. I had barely developed them before diving into the story, and in the long run, they ended up fake. Boring. Two-dimensional.

So, I have no idea what to do. Honestly, I have no interest in the story. I want to pitch it out the window and forget about it. For now. I do believe God gave me this plot, and it has potential to impact many lives. But I think this story needs some time to ripen and simmer in my mind until I have the maturity to handle the deep concepts this novel involves. I'll let God impress on my heart the need to write this story - when it's time. But for now, I'm not ready.

As far as my CreateSpace novel goes, I'm going to get it. Just not with Chandler & Paislee. I have a story (Reese's Pieces, for those who've read my writing projects page). I've been writing it since August, and it has made me smile, laugh, and cry. Compared to C&P, my characters are real. Three-dimensional. And the story means a lot to me. I'm currently at about 56k, and I'm reaching the end. And I'd love to have a real, honest-to-goodness copy of this book to hold my hands. A copy that's three-dimensional.

Just like some of my characters.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Heart Update: Part 2

Tuesday, January 25, 2011 2
Heart Update: Part 2
As some of you may know, my grandpa had his heart surgery on Monday. I am so glad that I get to tell you things went really, really well. They had no complications that I know of, and all the hospital staff say he's very healthy. As of today he was awake in the ICU and talking softly, although he's a bit sore and in pain. Please be praying that his pain lessens, and that his recovery process goes well.

Thank you so much for all the prayers already. I can't tell you how much they mean to me.

*group hug!*

Friday, January 21, 2011

Heart Update

Friday, January 21, 2011 1
Heart Update
So, I woke up this morning, anxious to hear news about my grandpa, and the first thing my mom said to me was, "The surgery's been postponed till Monday."

My reaction: WHAT?!?!

Turns out, it's an amazingly good thing, and God is really working here. Grandpa was in pre-op when they checked his blood platelet count and found it was too low. The normal is 150,000, but he only has 80,000. So, his surgery will be on Monday.

If they HADN'T ended up checking his count, well... I shudder to think what could have happened. The platelets allow your blood to clot, and when the count is too low, your blood isn't able to form clots. Well, with heart surgery, that is a very bad thing. So I'm thanking God that this was taken care of.

They're bringing in a doctor to figure out why his count is so low, so please pray that:

  1. They figure out why his count is so low, and that they'd be able to fix it.
  2. That his surgery would go well on Monday.
Thank you so much, everyone, for your loving comments and your support. It means a lot to me, and I feel at peace even in the midst of all of this.

On a random note, my aunt posted pictures of where my grandparents' have been living/working - up until now, I had no clue what it looked like. Let me just say, I am jealous! *whimpers* ;) It's a warmer climate than what I'm used to, so they are soaking up the sun... in January. :P Here, the snow STILL hasn't melted from our storm a few weeks ago.

Anyway, please continue to pray. Thank you so much!

And finally, I just had to share this picture I found from 2009. It's of my bedside table, and in case you think I'm the cleanliest person on earth, allow me to prove you wrong.
This is what my bedroom looks like 90% of the time. >.<
As the caption to this picture says: YES the clock says 12:52, and YES that is PM, and YES I need to clean off my nightstand. What of it?
And guess what sign I have on my door? A slogan I came up with myself.

My room isn't messy. It's just LIVED IN.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

Exhaustion.

Thursday, January 20, 2011 4
Exhaustion.
Well, it's been one of those days. Playing with kids, babysitting, and going to important meetings. I am pretty much brain-dead, so please excuse this post's lack of content.

I wanted to ask you all to pray for my grandpa. He's going to have open-heart surgery tomorrow because he has 90% blockage in one artery. It's a good thing they caught it now, and I'm so glad they did. He's out of state, which is hard because I want to be with him, but he's in good hands - God's hands. And it's not over yet.

I called him on the phone, literally crying my eyes out, and he goes, "Why are you crying? I'm not dead yet! Don't throw flowers on my grave when I'm not dead yet!"
Things were better after that. It was so good to hear his voice.

God told me, "it's not over." Which is amazing because this is one of my absolute favorite songs.



I remember all those nights
Your voice would shake from
The tears you cried
What's the meaning of this life?
Guilt can bring you to your knees
You can't escape the memories
When shame is all you feel inside

Don't look back
(Don't look back)
Leave what's broken in
The past, take my hand
(Take my hand)
And understand

It's not over
The best is yet to come
For us
Come for us
Night has faded
A brand new day has come
For us
Come for us

A million miles from
Where we've been
Hope's a road that has no end
I pray to God that we would make it through
Forgiveness always finds a way
A loving love that fears no pain
Just take a look at me and you

Don't give up
(Don't give up)
We've only just begun
I believe
I believe
I believe

It's not over
The best is yet to come
For us
Come for us
Night has faded
A brand new day has come
For us
Come for us

It's not over
The best is yet to come
For us
Come for us

It's not over
The best is yet to come
For us
Come for us
Night has faded
A brand new day has come
For us
Come for us


It's not over.

Friday, January 14, 2011

Things I've Learned at 2 a.m.

Friday, January 14, 2011 5
Things I've Learned at 2 a.m.

What I do when

I'm too tired to fall asleep...

I write lists. About things I've learned at 2 a.m.

1. Sleep is elusive
2. It's probably dumb to drink even a small cup of caffeine before bed
3. Snoring can sound like multiple things, including a duck, a nasally voice, and a buzzer on one of those TV game shows.
4. It is extremely fun to sing and play guitar at the top of my lungs at 11 p.m.
5. Inspiration visits late at night, I've noticed.
6. I'm tired. Very tired.
7. Robes look a lot scarier in the dark.
8. If you scare yourself when you look in the mirror, it's probably a bad thing.
9. It's possible to be tired but simply unable to go to sleep. Believe me, I know.
10. Fuzzy pink reindeer pants are cute, but do not guarantee sleepiness.
11. Blog posts should not be written after 10 pm.
12. I should go live in Owl City. Get it? Night owl? Owl City, where all the owls live and everything? Oh never mind.


But when I look at the stars,
I feel like myself...

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

1.11.11

Tuesday, January 11, 2011 2
1.11.11
Guess what? It's 1/11/11. Days like this make my... day. :P I have a bunch of quirks like that. I wasn't going to post two days in a row, but in honor of today, I'm going to post 11 of my main quirks.

1. One of my main jobs around the house is unloading the dishwasher. We have a lot of colorful cups that I stack when I unload them, and they always, ALWAYS have to be in a pattern, no matter what.

2. I really don't care what my socks look like. I really don't. I will often wear unmatching socks if I can't find a complete pair.

3. I have worn my black and white Converse as dress shoes to special occasions. Twice. With a skirt. Apparently I have weird fashion sense.
(I wore them at a speech performance and our Christmas Eve service.)


4. My brother had told me multiple times that we should start a webshow called "Kylie in the Kitchen." Let me just say it would be a disaster, because...

5. I have blown up eggs in our microwave, broken more than a few dishes, put a mountain of sour cream on my brother's enchilada, and microwaved butter for a good minute too long (subsequently breaking the glass bowl it was in).

6. I name things. My bass guitar is Ben, my guitar is (tentatively) named Grant, my laptop is Lavender Boy, my old mp3 player is Pansy, and my new mp3 player is named Djaq.

7. I have so many nicknames, including but not limited to: Sky, Skylee, Kylila, Scarlett A Dale, Sam, Sammy, Charlie, Will, Kylie Bird, Goose, Ky, Ky-Ky... the list is endless.

8. I have an unexplained fascination with the following: olive green vans, old-style VW bugs, and Seattle.

9. I like chick-lit AND fantasy. Yep. Both. Sometimes at the same time. Aaaand... I just happened to like Camp Rock 2. Yep.

10. I have written stories about the following: Meeting all four of the Narnia actors; traveling on a tour bus with my favorite band; being Robin Hood's sister; and becoming famous. It shouldn't surprise you that...

11. ... one of my favorite sayings is, "I reject your reality and substitute my own!"

The end. :D

Monday, January 10, 2011

A Little History

Monday, January 10, 2011 4
A Little <i>History</i>
Greetings, reader. I'd like to take you on a little trip.
What kind of trip?


A trip back in time. 
What do you mean?

A journey through history.
What kind of history?

The history of Further Up and Further In.
Ohhhh, okay.

Once upon a time, I started blogging at the ripe age of ten. 
No, no, no. You've got to start sooner than that! Go farther back!

Farther back? Okay... fine. Once upon a time, I was born. How's that? 
Better. Just skip all the details.

Skip all the...? Oh, never mind. 
So you started blogging at the ripe age of ten, right?

Yep.
Aaaaand...?

And, that's it. 
No more details? No more story? I thought this was a journey!

It is...
Okay, then. Give me more details.

But you said to skip all the details.
I didn't mean literally.

You're confusing me.
Sorry. Just carry on. 

Oookay. So, I started blogging at the age of ten.
You said that already. Did you start blogging here, on Blogger?

Actually, no. I started blogging on a site called HSB - HomeSchoolBlogger.
That's interesting. So how did you get here on Blogger if you started over there?

We'll get to that. My first blog was called NOT called Further Up and Further In.
But this blog is called Further Up and Further In!

You're good.
I'm confused.

Hang in there. My very first blog was titled "Kylie's Klubhouse." Now bear in mind, I was 10.
*snort*

But somewhere along the line, I decided I wanted my blog to have a Narnia theme. So I changed my username to Narniagirl, and my blog title to Further Up and Further In.
Oooh. Creative. Where did you get that?

Well, I got Narniagirl from combining Narnia & girl. :P I got Further Up and Further In from The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis.
I haven't read that book.

You should read it. But have no fear. I have a quote for you.
"I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!" (LB, Ch. 15)
Ooh. Snazzy. 


I actually like to say that God named my blog, because the title was completely random. But it stuck. Obviously.
So is that how you got here, on Blogger?


Hang on. I officially started blogging on October 5, 2006...
When you were ten.


...Right, and stopped blogging in January of 2010.
What?! You're making no sense. If you stopped blogging, you wouldn't be here typing this, right?


Right! So I guess I should say I stopped blogging on HSB in January.
HSB? Oh, right. HomeschoolBlogger.


Yes. They had an upgrade in which they moved to a WordPress platform. Now I had already tried WordPress and decided I didn't like it at all.
So what did you do?


I moved.
Here?


Exactly! Now you're catching on!
It helps that YOU'RE starting to make sense... finally.


My apologies. Now, I had already had this blog - the one on Blogger. It was my private blog I had started in late 2009 to share my thoughts with a few selected friends. I gradually made the switch to Blogger, and by 2010 this blog, Further Up and Further In, was my one and only blog.
And then what?


And then... well, here we are. With a new design and everything!
Wow! I love the purples & blues. So that was your blog history?


Yep. All of it. You can go here to see my old blog and all the archives.
Fascinating. 


Well, as fun as it was, it's time to conclude this journey through history. I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did.
I loved it once I figured out what in the world you were talking about.


Good. And guess what? Now you know what I do when I could be writing!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

My Fandoms

Sunday, January 02, 2011 5
My Fandoms
No matter how long you've been reading my blog, there is something you need to know.
I am an utterly devoted fan of many, many things.



I'm a True Narnian.
"Courage, dear heart."

This goes deeper than just a fandom, I think. It all started when my dad read the books to me. I was probably five or six, and the magic of the stories enthralled me from the very beginning. After that, there was no turning back. I love the books and the movies both equally and differently, and I am a huge admirer of Jack Lewis. He's one of the people that I CANNOT WAIT to meet in heaven, and one of my inspirations.
Aslan has always had a special place in my heart. He has shown me the meaning of true sacrifice; a vivid picture of grace; and the beauty of who Jesus really is. The Chronicles of Narnia have shown me that here, Aslan has another name, and I must learn to know him by it.
Actually, my blog title is from the Chronicles of Narnia - the Last Battle, to be exact.
"I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!" - Jewel the Unicorn in the Last Battle, chapter 15
This blog is about my life, as I go further up and further in, exploring my life and the life to come.


"I'm not being funny, but..."
I'm a Hoodie.

It's the new craze sweeping the nation - Robin Hood, the new TV show by BBC. The legend of olde is now back to captivate all audiences, no matter what their age!
Do you think I make a good narrarator? ;)
Okay, so, seriously... the BBC Robin Hood show rocks. That said, it bombed due to several changes the writers decided to make that should NOT have been made. Despite this, like it or not, I am still a fan.

It all started a year and a half or two years ago when my Pip got hooked on this new TV show called Robin Hood. She told me all about it, and I thought it looked like a great show. Nevertheless,for one reason or another, it was still took a couple months before I watched the first episode on July 27th, 2009 (I remember the date because that's when Pip & Ebee came to visit). Sadly, Ebee's computer shut down three-quarters of the way through, and we didn't get to watch the end. (Talk about a cliffhanger.)

Believe it or not, it wasn't until a year later that I finally got the urge to watch the first episode again. And after that, there was no going back. I was hooded... er, hooked. I got my brother into it as well, and together we spent the summer watching Seasons 1 & 2 (my personal favorites). Season 3 is something I prefer to block out of my memory, but 6 months and two fanfics later, I am still a Hoodie.

I enjoy the show because it satisfies my inner fantasy geek in bite-sized portions, yet is much longer and more interesting than a movie. Clear as mud? I thought so.




I'm a Hobbit.
If hobbits aren't real, then what am I?


Amin mela "Lord" en' i' "Rings".
Apparently, according to an internet translator, that's Elvish for "I love Lord of the Rings." And it's true.
I've always known about the Lord of the Rings movies, but I wasn't allowed to watch them for a long time. That is, until last year or so. My dad told my brother and I that if we read the books, he'd let us watch the movies.
The race was on.
It took us a while (I mean, come on, those books are huge!). I went through periods where I'd soak in the books and couldn't get enough of them... aaand periods where I didn't want to go anywhere near them at all. I still love those manuscripts and I'm thinking about reading them again. Every time we finished a book, we'd watch the movie.
We ended up getting to Return of the King at the same time, and that's when competition ensued. I remember clearly when my brother challenged me to a duel. I accepted, and for one Saturday all we did was read. We read as much as we possibly could, and then we got to the end. Well, my dad decided to read the last chapter aloud to the both of us, and we crossed the finish line together. ;)
I'm really glad I read the books before the movies. It made it totally worth it, and I probably wouldn't have ever read the books if I didn't have the movies as motivation.
My favorite characters are probably the hobbits - especially Samwise Gamgee. He's the one whom I'm most like in personality (and maybe height too), and in fact, many people call me Sam. My Pip nicknamed me that, and it just kind of stuck. She's most like Pippin of course. ;)
I also really like Aragorn. Someday I'll write an epic character like him...someday.


I'm a Trekkie.

Okay, so blame my Dad for this one. He was the one who played Star Trek: The Next Generation for me when I was but a wee lass. It wasn't until I got to be an older, more experienced Starfleet officer that I actually began to appreciate the aliens with strange heads.
All kidding aside, I do love this show - The Next Generation in particular. However, I still do love what I've heard about and the few episodes I've seen of The Original Series.
I just love how these shows explore the human condition, and how the characters, despite being futuristic, are not that much different than ourselves.
My favorite character is Data, followed up by Captain Picard and Dr. Crusher, and Will Riker, and Deanna Troi, oh, and Worf!
Okay, okay... I love them all. :P


I'm a Dekkie.

Black.
Red.
White.
No, I'm not just naming random colors. I'm naming books. Ted Dekker books to be exact!
I read Black last year, and it was my first Dekker book I've ever read. I haven't read all his books, but I really love the way he incorporates fantasy and "adrenaline-laced plots" together to create one epic novel.
I'd probably say I like his Circle Trilogy best, and my favorite out of those would have to be Black or Red. The analogies in Red are beautifully heartbreaking. Thus, I cried.
I definitely liked the books Showdown, Sinner, & Saint, although not as much as The Circle Trilogy.
I also did get Chosen for Christmas, which I'm looking forward to reading again. Another book I really liked of his was Blink of an Eye, which probably is a close second to the Circle Trilogy.
I have both Pip AND my dad to thank for getting me hooked on Ted Dekker. ;) Now I find myself picking up on his writing style and using it in my novels sometimes.
Thanks, Ted Dekker. You are inspiring.

Finis... sorta. ;)