2013 - further up and further in

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

snap back, here we go again

Wednesday, October 30, 2013 5
snap back, here we go again
we break just like it ain't nothing
we're riding on a boomerang
our love is like a rubber band
snap back, snap back, here we go again

Note: The song lyrics have absolutely nothing to do with this post or my current life. Except for the "here we go again" part. Which applies, as we are now gearing up for another NaNo.

This post also is very image-heavy; I apologize to those with dial-up or those who are using mobile.

Here we go again, indeed.

I actually considered not doing NaNo this year, but for some reason, I just accidentally started planning for it. Whoopsie. Old habits die hard, apparently.

The reason I almost didn't do it was because of being incredibly writer's blocked. I've hardly been able to write since Camp NaNo--a hundred words there, a thousand words there, but nothing at all consistent. (And, obviously, the blog has suffered. I'm sorry for disappearing, guys.)

I'm not sure if the writer's block is because of feeling inferior in writing (it might very well be), or genuinely being burnt out. I don't know. However, I thought and prayed about it and I felt like maybe running from writing because I feel I'm not good enough would really... not do anything. I felt like God was saying that to keep writing, to get past this writer's block, especially during NaNo when everything that comes out of your fingers is crazed and frenzied, would be the best thing.

So this year, I thiiink I'm doing it. I have about a day to decide. :P I most likely am, but the possibility exists that I'm not.

I don't think I could stay away, though.

This year, I'm writing my novel Petrichor. I don't remember exactly when I came up with this novel--two or three months ago, maybe? Since then, I've been pinning pins and coming up with ideas.

My first character was Astrid.

Her name came about as an inside joke. (Which I'm beginning to realize are PREVALENT in my writing. I should just expect all of them to flavor all my writing in some way, shape or form.)

I'm really excited because she's logical and thoughtful in most of her thought processes, and yet she's incredibly spontaneous and free-spirited.
And a total dreamer.
It's my first time blending these personality qualities, so I'm really excited.

I also have Cobie and Ryker.

This is Cobie. She's a free spirit, like Astrid--except Astrid is a free spirit in a "I'm going to write poems and quietly be free" way. Cobie, on the other hand, is a free spirit in a "I really dON'T care what any of you think so oh well" kind of way.

And then Ryker is her boyfriend. He's quiet, patient, and pretty laid-back, and yet he's simultaneously edgy and absolutely loves motorcycles. I don't have many pictures of him, but I do have one. Excuse the fact that he's practically changing on the windowsill.

There's also this guy. 

He doesn't have a name yet, but he's been abbreviated by my friend Rose to... GQSNB? Gorgeous Quiet Slightly Nerdy Boy, I think. :P Basically he's gorgeous, quiet, and slightly-nerdy. Self-explanatory nickname, right?

So there's a little bit on them. I'm sure you'll hear much more about them in the days to come.

I have a few other character ideas. Like an Adam Levine character (maybe???) that would have the possibility of tying into another novel of mine, and Trev, who was originally in the novel but gave me so many problems, so I'm currently letting him sit out for a bit. Also, Bianca, the retro librarian. We'll see what happens in the next few days and the month of crazy writing I have ahead of me!

novel playlist

Hey Brother - Avicii
Something In the Water - Brooke Fraser
Red Hands - Walk Off the Earth
Smooth Criminal - Glee Cast & 2Cellos

Fourteen is an age far too young to be handed a gun for self-defense, but in Oakridge, Oregon, the stakes are different. When danger roams the streets and crime is at an all time high, you're expected to be prepared.
Five years after her father gave her her first gun, nineteen-year-old Astrid has learned to use it. Though she is prepared at all costs to defend herself, she's a realistic dreamer. She hopes that things could someday be different, though logically she hasn't ever expected that to be true.

 Oakridge has fallen into complacency, but secretly, Astrid longs for something more. So do Cobie, a young, beautiful spitfire; and Ryker, an edgy teen with a penchant for danger and motorcycles and pushing all limits. They're an unlikely pair to be matched with the logical, levelheaded Astrid, but maybe they're just what she need. Together, they are made aware of the spark sleeping in all of them.

 With a handful of others, Astrid and Ryker and Cobie decide it's up to them to purge the crime from the streets of Oakridge and defend their home, as well as wake up the unaware citizens and bring them something more.

 It might just wake all of them up in the process.

>> in summary << 

I'm probably doing NaNo. I have characters and a novel. And I'm   v e r y   excited. If you're doing NaNo and would like to add me, my username is ScarlettGamgee--just be sure to let me know who you are! :) 

So... yeah. Let's do this, guys.  NaNo 2013,   here we come!

Are you doing NaNo? If you are, I'd love to hear more about your novel and characters!

Tuesday, July 16, 2013

what happens when you go away to camp

Tuesday, July 16, 2013 4
what happens when you go away to camp
No, no. I'm not actually gone. I am, however, doing Camp NaNoWriMo for the very first time.

... No, of course I'm not addicted to NaNo! Why do you ask?

Anyway, I started out the month with the plan of winging my way through my angel novel. (Pun not intended.) This angel novel started out as a Pinterest board and has slowly grown its wings. (Oy, I'm so sorry, I can't seem to stop with the puns here.)

It just... didn't have a plot. But no problem, right? Last year, with Broken Wings, I created a whole novel almost entirely from scratch in the few days before November.

But things don't always go according to plan.

Not even two days into NaNo, Beau arrived.

 He was intended to be the older brother-type character. He was not supposed to be the love interest. Still isn't, really, but my mind had other plans. (I think my downfall was looking up Sebastian Stan pins. On the right, I give you Exhibit A.)

I decided--no, more like was forced (by my characters, of course) to scrap my previous plans and thus, the Incredible Ship of Beau + Violet was born.

At first I felt really bad for Ethan (who was the discarded love interest) but then I got more ideas on how to turn it around, and Ethan became ten times more multi-dimensional and I decided that the Great Beau Change of 2013 was for the better. (He was quite happy about this.)

So I kept plugging away, inspired by another idea I hadn't expected to happen. And for a while, Beau... I mean, my nonexistent plot, kept me going. Until the words started to feel like slogging through acorn butter. (Or peanut butter,  if you don't live in a fantasy world. Which you probably don't if you're reading this.)

I spent a few days not touching the angel novel at all. Then, inspiration hit for a different novel. I spent the morning writing out the outline in a One Direction notebook and after that I think I was doomed. (Mostly because of the outline, not the 1D notebook.)

This novel is Because We Can, the sequel to Because I'm Irish, and I officially have switched over to that for Camp NaNo.

I didn't intend to, really. I meant for BWC to be a diversion. A little break from the angel novel.

Ha. Ha. Ha. We all know that's not how it works! *shakes head at self*

So after I wrote 5k, I realized that this novel was coming out much more easily than the angel one. And when I tried to watch Star Trek: Deep Space Nine and reruns of Suite Life on Deck and yet I still couldn't focus on anything but my book, I realized this was what I might need to be writing instead. When I'd rather write instead of watch TV, something is really going right. That's when you know it's serious.

It took me a few days to acquiesce, but I finally just decided that I was going for it. Since then I'm sitting on 13k as of today in BWC, and almost 35k total. (Yes, I added my BWC wordcount to my preexisting wordcount from the angel novel. I feel like such a cheater. But I'm trying to be okay with it.)

As for writing, it's going pretty well. I'm writing a court trial right now, so that's pretty boring, but I am happy with myself with not stressing about getting every detail right and, instead, just plowing straight in. (I mean watching Legally Blonde has to count for some sort of research, right?)

But it's kind of funny. I thought about doing BWC for Camp, but I didn't because it "wasn't ready." I kept resisting it. But now I realize that BWC is perhaps the most ready novel that I have right now. It has preexisting characters that I already adore and it's just like returning to an old friend.

Not to get all philosophical, but each NaNo I try to look at what that experience has taught me about writing. And for this round, I honestly don't know. O_o

Probably this quote by Madeline L'Engle best sums up how I feel about it at the moment.

“If the book tells me to do something completely unexpected, 
I heed it; the book is usually right.”

And other than that, just don't worry about it too much, I guess. The words will come. As well as the characters. (No. I'm serious. They do come. With a vengeance little known to mankind. And just when you think that you know what you're doing, they whack you over the head with a frying pan and snatch away any control over the story you thought you had.)


Happy NaNoing! Good luck!

(And, as Beau would say, just wing it.)

(I love angel puns.)

Friday, June 21, 2013

movin’ right along :: the switch to bloglovin’

Friday, June 21, 2013 2
movin’ right along :: the switch to bloglovin’

Rumor has it that Google Friend Connect is going away... and unfortunately the rumors are true. If you don't know what GFC is, that's the handy little Followers button on my sidebar. Google is retiring it--and yes, it stinks. However, my solution is a handy little platform called Bloglovin. If you're not familiar with it, it's basically a feed reader that pulls the posts from all the blogs you follow--pretty similar to GFC, right? I don't know much about it, but I love what I've seen so far and highly recommend it as an alternative to following blogs through your Blogger dashboard!

Would you do me a favor and go follow my blog on Bloglovin? I'd love it a lot! I'm sad about GFC being retired, but I hope you'll follow me onto our next adventure! ;) Just click the link below.

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

cake and rain (aka the great gatsby)

Tuesday, June 04, 2013 6
cake and rain (aka the great gatsby)
i haven't seen the movie yet, but i like this shot.
“And so with the sunshine and the great bursts of leaves growing on the trees, just as things grow in fast movies, I had that familiar conviction that life was beginning over again with the summer.” 
 ― F. Scott Fitzgerald 

It’s raining right now, and rain and books have infamously gone perfectly together, which leads me to say that I started reading The Great Gatsby last night. Three chapters in and I’m already loving it.

His descriptions. He described the celing as a cake. Who does that? And he describes the
stars as a “silver pepper across the sky” (major paraphrase, but hopefully you know what I mean). That’s just beautiful, my gosh.

It’s masterfully written and I can picture it perfectly. I can’t say how much I enjoy being swept away to Staten Island during the roaring twenties, a place with big mansions and lavish parties and hot summers. (Summer is beginning in real life, which makes this book even better.) I don’t think I realized books could be this vivid. Or at least, it's been a long time that I read one as vivid and easy-to-picture as this.

I don’t normally like most classics, but this is one I’m beginning to fall in love with. Have you read it?

P.S. - my copy has a picture of F. Scott Fitzgerald on the back. When I first saw it, I freaked out because it looked so much like Tom Hiddleston. True story. (I see why he played Fitzgerald in Midnight to Paris now! Although, I haven't seen the movie. But Tumblr and gifsets can tell a girl everything.)

“That is part of the beauty of all literature. You discover that your longings are universal longings, that you're not lonely and isolated from anyone. You belong.” 
 ― F. Scott Fitzgerald

Sunday, June 2, 2013

maybe i’m dreaming

Sunday, June 02, 2013 3
maybe i’m dreaming

I’ll bet a sleepy girl somewhere in the world closed her eyes last night and suddenly found herself twirling. — Adam Young

One spark of an old story idea I’d had years ago. That’s all it took to send me on a raucous, determined quest into the depths of my closet to find some of the very first words I ever penned. That wasn’t what I expected to find, of course. A lot of what I found there wasn’t what I expected to find, but isn’t that the way quests are?

I pushed through the clothing and curled up on the wooden floor, sitting Indian-style, and I sorted through pages and pages of my history. My words were there, written for all eternity, preserved in the spaces of paper and time. I went away to another world there.

I found my dreams there.

I found a stapled-together sheaf of paper. Four pages filled with some of the most beautiful words I’ve had the privilege of reading in all my life. But they weren’t written by me. I had forgotten about this blog entry; I forgot that I had even printed it out. I had forgotten how much the words made me soar and made me feel alive.

I can’t believe words can do that. A collection of words, stapled together, hidden in my closet for who-knows-how-long, until just now. That was all it took for me to come alive.

It was a story about a prince and a princess, and for a moment I was swept away into a sparkling night on the other side of the pages… and it was so, so beautiful. As I held the dusty paper in my hands I realized how grateful I was I’d printed this out, because the internet doesn’t always last forever. These words—I wanted them to stick with me always.

This blog post was written by Adam Young for those curious (I can’t find a link because his blog seems to be down, but it was the entry titled I’ll See You In My Dreams). Regardless, the effect of these words still lingers, which is that in my closet I found a world again (not unlike Narnia), and I found some of my younger self, and I remembered what I was like one summer not too long ago when I dreamed and dreamed about all things bright and beautiful.

I remember it now. I remember that summer filled with life and light and exuberant joy. I want to have that summer again, but maybe that’s not important. Maybe what is important is that I’ve remembered what it’s like to dream.

This isn’t the first time I’ve gotten lost and found my way back again—it seems to happen over and over again. But each time it does, it feels amazing when I wake up, back into the reality, or not-reality, as it were. And it’s wonderful and it feels just like coming home.

Thank you, Owl City. But… this almost feels like it extends far beyond Owl City, into the world of beauty and wonder and everything bright and beautiful. Regardless, I’ve returned to the ranks of dreamers all over the world. And it’s good to be back.

If the green left the grass on the other side 
(I would make like a tree and leave) 
But if I reached for your hand 
Would your eyes get wide? 
(Who knew the other side could be so green?)
(honey and the bee, owl city)

Friday, April 5, 2013

Winner of the GTW Giveaway

Friday, April 05, 2013 4
Winner of the GTW Giveaway
The GTW giveaway is now over, and with Rafflecopter's assistance, a winner has been randomly selected. (Rafflecopter is one of the most handy things in the world. Just sayin'.)

As Shawn Spencer would say: wait for iiiiit...


And the winner is...


Bailey, go ahead and contact Stephanie Morrill and she'll get you set up with your prize. Her email address is Stephanie [at] goteenwriters [dot] com.


Thursday, March 28, 2013

How to Give a Good Critique

Thursday, March 28, 2013 33
How to Give a Good Critique
I found the Go Teen Writers blog by chance on my friend’s blogger dashboard, and I immediately fell in love with the idea. Now I’ve been following the Go Teen Writers blog for about a year, and I’m so glad I found it. GTW is amazing. It’s filled to the brim with helpful advice, all geared toward teen writers, and it’s an amazing support network.

As of this month, Go Teen Writers now has a book, titled Go Teen Writers: How to Turn Your First Draft Into a Published Novel. The authors, Stephanie Morrill & Jill Williamson, are having a blog tour to celebrate, and I’m participating! Today I’m hosting one half of the GTW duo, Jill Williamson (on the left in the picture below). She’s here to discuss how to give a good critique. I found this article extremely helpful, and I hope you do too! Stay tuned for a giveaway at the end of this post.

How to Give a Good Critique
by Jill Williamson

One of the best ways to become a better writer is to learn how to critique the work of others. It can feel strange at first, especially when you can’t seem to find anything negative to say, but do your best. It will get easier.

Ask the author what kind of critique he wants, then do that. Don’t point out every negative thing you can. If you do all the hard work for him, he’ll never learn. Point out things once and suggest he make the change throughout the manuscript.

Here are ten tips for providing a good critique:

1. Read the chapter without marking anything. As you read, ask yourself: Am I confused? Did the beginning hook me? Is this realistic? Am I bored? Do I like the characters? Is there a problem the main character is facing? Do I feel drawn into the story?

Write down your overall thoughts at the end of the chapter. Point out positives first, then negatives. You can be honest without being cruel.

2. Go back and read the chapter again. This time make notes when thoughts come to you. Again, make positive and negative comments. Even if the story is horrible, you can always find something positive to say. We all learn a little at a time, so overwhelming someone with solid red marks isn’t necessary.

3. Consider not using a red pen. Pick a friendlier color like blue or green. If you’re using Track Changes, you can choose a color, but it never seems to show up the same on someone else’s computer.

4. Mark misspellings, grammar errors, and punctuation mistakes, but only if you’re certain you know the correct rule.

5. Word use. Does the writer use too many passive verbs (be, is, are, was, were). Advise him to use action verbs instead. Does he use vague or bland words over the more specific? Ex: “Walked fast” instead of “ran.” Note where the writer’s words stood out, good or bad. If a metaphor confused or impressed you, say so. Point out when you didn’t understand the description or when it hooked you into the story.

6. Dialogue. Does it sound realistic? Do character conversations move the plot forward? Does the author use too many said tags or action tags? Not enough? Is the punctuation correct?

7. Viewpoints. Can you understand the point of view? Are the transitions from one point of view to another smooth and clear?

8. Did the author use the proper manuscript format?

9. When you finish, edit and proofread your critique to make sure it’s clear, kind, and doesn’t contain typos.

10. Remember whose story it is. He doesn’t have to accept your advice. Be careful not to critique personal writing preferences or life beliefs. We are all different. We don’t want to critique each other to the point that we strip the personality from each other’s writing. Our unique way of saying things is part of our budding voice. So don’t squash that out of each other.

I always try to end my critiques with a statement like: “These are my opinions. Use what’s helpful and ignore the rest.”

When you give your critique back to the author, let it go. And don’t be offended if he chooses to ignore some or all of your suggestions. The point of a critique is to give your honest opinions and advice. What the writer does with that information is up to him.

Stephanie Morrill and Jill Williamson have written a combined two dozen speculative and contemporary novels for teens. They also blog obsessively at www.goteenwriters.com. When not writing or blogging, they can be found at the teen table at writer's conferences or wherever chocolate is being given away. Come hang out with Stephanie at www.stephaniemorrill.com and Jill at www.jillwilliamson.com.


Stephanie & Jill have generously offered to give away a copy of the Go Teen Writers e-book to a blog reader!

Here are the ways you can enter:

Leave a comment on this blog post. This is mandatory.

There are also additional ways you can enter, such as following the GTW blog, liking Jill and Stephanie's FB pages, and Tweeting about the giveaway. Once you've left a comment, these entries will unlock in the Rafflecopter below.

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, March 23, 2013

the story we must tell

Saturday, March 23, 2013 6
the story we must tell

I've been falling in love with writing again. Recently I realized how grateful I am for this gift, and how I feel so incredibly... privileged, I guess, to be a writer. It truly is amazing. Not everyone gets to make worlds with our fingertips. Not everyone gets to have a cast of varied friends to carry with them wherever they go. Not everyone gets to do this, and that's okay, because they have their own talents, and not everyone has to do this. But for me, I am so glad God decided to put me on this path of inkstains and starlight. I will forever be grateful, because writing is one of the best gifts I've ever been given.

Being able to order words and letters to form sentences and express my feelings has helped me cope through life in ways I never expected nor imagined. It's one of my favorite things about life--being able to clatter my fingers over the keys and disappear into another world for a little while.

I've been working on Broken Wings again, my NaNo novel, and this novel's goal seems to be to break my heart over and over again. I haven't caused characters to go through this much pain, ever, and it hurts. But it's also beautiful, in a weird sort of way. It's beautiful because the harder the story, the more beautiful the redemption is in the end. At least, that's the way I'm hoping it will be. I'm pretty sure Broken Wings has to have a beautiful ending. I've put Rane and Lynx through too much for them not to end up okay in the end.

Not only that, but I now have a fantasy series. I'm super excited because series don't really come naturally, and for years I've been wanting a fantasy story--well, saga, if you will--in which many of the characters are interconnected.

Some of you may remember my posts from 2011's NaNo about that year's novel, Silver Tears. Some of you may also remember that Broken Wings is a prequel to Silver Tears, which it is and happily will remain. Unfortunately, due to Broken Wings crashing the scene, Silver Tears is desperately in need of several rewrites and perhaps a complete overhaul, though I'm trying not to think about that.

Anyway, so we have Broken Wings and Silver Tears, which were already connected. (Yay, me!) But now that series has two more books. (Again, YAAAY!)

It happened by accident, when I happened to give Rane the same last name as my character, Captain Silverthorne. Captain Silverthorne is in By a Thread, which takes place in the same world as Broken Wings and Silver Tears, except earlier. I wasn't planning on or expecting them to have interconnected characters, but with the appearance of Rane, and the need for Rane to have a last name, Captain Silverthorne and Rane suddenly became related. (I blame Facebook and my writing friends for this. If I hadn't been creating FB profiles for my characters, like my writing buddies were doing, Rane would probably not have had a last name and this whole thing wouldn't have happened. THANK YOU, Facebook! For once you are making a difference in the world.)

So now we have By a Thread, Silver Tears, and Broken Wings, and I wish I could tell you all the ways these are gloriously connected. It's so exciting, guys. But as if that wasn't enough, Rane and Lynx had children.

Yes, that's right.

I have never, ever completely been aware of the future life of my characters after the novel's doors are shut. I know perhaps a year or two into the future, but never more than that. Until now. Broken Wings has brought so many new aspects into my writing life.

It started when I found this pin, and somehow I just knew that was Lynx and her boys. You know how something just makes sense? Well, this did. It made a lot of sense--arguably more than anything makes sense in the real world. :P

Over the past few months this inkling has grown, and Rane and Lynx have two sons: Kian, and Will. (Will's name may change; you have been warned.) The fourth book in my fantasy series will focus on a bitter and strong Kian, and war, and a wispy, willowy girl named Ivana.

It's going to be beautiful.

So I'm plugging away at Broken Wings, and By a Thread and Kian & Ivana and Silver Tears are all wedged tightly into my brain. (Three out of four books in this series focus on the various generations of Silverthorne men. My writing group, The Tea-Spitters, has dubbed this series the Silverthorne Mafia.)

I'm writing late at night, every few days, as much as I can manage, when I feel up to it. I really feel the need to finish Broken Wings, guys.

It's funny. When I started out with NaNo, I didn't have much of an attachment to Broken Wings. It just seemed like one more novel, one more group of characters to claim my affections. But over the past few months, I've grown to love it fiercely, perhaps more than I've loved other stories... but almost in a different way. It's wrapped itself around my heart and it won't let go.

I'm in love with these stories, I'm in love with these people, because it's almost like they exist and they are urging me to write their stories down. I know it sounds crazy, but hopefully there are some writers out there that understand. It's almost like these characters and these stories are bigger than me. I'm just the one who gets to tell them.

I love writing. I love writing. I love writing.

p.s. - the aforementioned writing buddies of mine and i are now blogging. check it out at Tea-Flavored Insanity.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

a terrible privilege

Wednesday, February 20, 2013 8
a terrible privilege
So. It's been a while since I last blogged.

I'm currently sick, and this is going to be a bit of a rambly post just to get back on the blog again. To break the ice, so to speak.

Be right back. I have to grab my tea.

Too many thoughts started pouring through my head so I grabbed my laptop and brought it to the kitchen so I can type while I wait for the honey to uncrystallize. Is this what they call liveblogging? Live, from the kitchen, Sky reports.

So as I mentioned, I've got a bit of a head cold that materialized last night. Pesky thing, that. It kept me up for quite a while and I generally didn't sleep well. I love being sick.

However, I've found a remedy that I haven't previously had: peppermint tea with honey. It works wonders to soothe my throat.

Speaking of which, I'm going to go finish making it. Be right back... again.

I'm back. With tea.

Everyone deserves tea. - Jane Bennet

So, that seems to be a good transition into my next point: The Lizzie Bennet Diaries. It's an online adaptation of Pride and Prejudice--told vlog style. It's creative. Funny. And I'm afraid I've gotten hopelessly, irrevocably attached to the characters. The story is playing out in real time in front of our eyes, so it's almost like these are living, breathing characters. The characters themselves even interact with the fans on social media. It's bringing breaking the fourth wall to a whole new level.

In addition to The Lizzie Bennet Diaries, I've been falling head over heels with The Avengers. Seriously, guys... I think I've got it bad. The other day I was completely unsure how to explain to my mom why I wanted to watch it again after watching it only a few weeks before. And a few weeks before that. I think I'm becoming addicted, and I am wholeheartedly in the Avengers fandom. (I even put a few Marvel comics on hold a couple days ago. THIS IS BIG, PEOPLE.)

The reasons for my love for the Avengers are many, but the main one is Tony Stark. I can't express how much I love him. For one thing, he's sarcastic and funny, but it's not portrayed as a bad thing like it is in so many other stories. It's portrayed as what makes him Tony. Without his sarcasm and sass, he wouldn't be Tony Stark. It's refreshing to see that sarcasm, and snark, and wit can actually enhance who we are, and doesn't necessarily have to be written out of us entirely. I can't tell you how much I appreciate that. It's made me feel like having a sense of humor is okay, and I don't have to change who I am.

I have connected with Tony Stark on a deeper level than I've ever connected with any character before, it seems. After watching Iron Man for the first time last year, my dad remarked to me that the reason Stark probably resonated so deeply with us is because he, too, is a wounded warrior. (Both my dad and I struggle with chronic illness and disabilities.) Since then, I've never been able to shake that.

There's a part in The Avengers where Tony is talking to Bruce Banner, aka The Hulk. I can't remember exactly what was said (the dialogue is too brilliant to remain in my head at all times) but I believe that they're discussing how much Bruce dislikes his "the other guy" -- aka the Hulk. He doesn't think it's a good thing, and he honestly hates it.

That's when Tony says this. This thing that really hit me hard. "You know, I've got a cluster of shrapnel, trying every second to crawl its way into my heart." He points at the mini-arc reactor in his chest. "This stops it. This little circle of light. It's part of me now, not just armor. It's a... terrible privilege."

And that's made me tear up more than once. Because this fibromyalgia, this thing I have, the thing I struggle with every day... it's terrible. But it's also a privilege.

A terrible privilege.

I've kept this with me close to my heart. And I just want to say thank you to Tony Stark for expressing something that has touched me so very deeply. Even though he's not real, I wish he could be. And if the opportunity ever presents itself, I desperately want to give him a big hug. Whether it's in this world or the next.

So anyway, I'm in tears now, but in a good way. I think I'll send this off now, and finish my tea, and go to bed. 

Not to completely ruin the mood, but down to business--this post will be published using Blogger's post-to-email feature. I'm writing this in Gmail Offline and hopefully this will send tomorrow once the internet turns back on in the morning. Because this is the first time I'm using the post-to-email feature, I hope this works, and I apologise for any technical difficulties or problems. (I love spelling apologize with an s. My Canadian friend has ruined me for the better. Hey, Micah!)

Another thing I wanted to mention, now that I'm not as emotional: I was able to go shopping the other day, and even though it completely wiped me out and I ached for days afterwards, I enjoyed getting out to Wal-Mart. I bought an Avengers poster and Mockingjay earrings. Proof that even outside the house, fandoms (and Tumblr) never die.

And they especially don't die on Blogger.

\\\\///// Live long and prosper, friends. Love and hugs to you all, and thanks for reading this. ♥ Don't forget to be awesome.

(AH, YES! That's another huge fandom thing I forgot to mention: I am now officially a Nerdfighter. I completely love this community and the people behind it. More on that sometime, perhaps.)

Where was I? Ah, yes. \\\\///// Live long and prosper, friends, and I shall see you soon.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

the world is too big to never ask why

Sunday, January 20, 2013 3
the world is too big to never ask why
the world is too big to never ask why.

honesty is hard to find in the Christian world as we know it. i’ve noticed this even more lately. oftentimes we rely on appearances only, not daring to dig beneath the surface of things.

why do we do this?

is it because we’re scared? that’s a fair reason, of course, but i don’t think we should let it define us or hold us back from the hard questions. and too often, we do.

is it because we don’t care? sometimes, but not all the time. i think we’re just all so busy, wrapped up in our own lives, tangled in our own emotions. {i know this feeling. i don’t condemn you since i'm there too.}

but honestly i think it’s the first reason: we’re scared. we’re scared to go deep because we don’t know what we’ll find.

in his most shallow and basic form, God is safe. he is familiar to us, he is not scary. he is safe. but i think we’re scared that, if we delve deeper, God won’t be safe. it’s the unknown, and it scares us. {trust me, i’ve been there, too. i am there right now.}

but i think i finally understand what c.s. lewis meant.

“who said anything about safe? ’course he isn’t safe. but he’s good.”

i know it’s scary, dear one. i know you’re scared of what you’ll find. so am i. but let’s go deep together, okay? let’s ask the hard questions, let’s try to understand, let’s admit that there is pain and suffering. let’s try to understand the world and God in a way we never have before. i think that, once we take this jump into the unknown, we’ll realize that our Jesus is much safer than we think.

let’s ask why. why do we believe what we do? why is there pain? let’s confront God with the hard questions; i’ve learned that he’s not afraid of them. i think he welcomes it. the deep questions strengthen our roots, and deep roots are not touched by the frost, as tolkien said.

there’s this quote i read somewhere that says, “there is a certain darkness needed to see the stars.” so in the midst of our quest for why, let’s ask God to show us the stars, too. he made them for us, you know. there are still stars, even in the midst of darkness. life is hard, but i still believe that at the core, life is still good, and more beautiful than you can ever imagine.

in the past year, this has become all the more clear to me: we have to ask why. we have to challenge our beliefs and confront God sometimes, because we can’t get just by living on the surface. it’s not possible.

instead, ask why. because the world’s too big and cruel and deep and beautiful to let such a question go unanswered.

the world is too big to never ask why // the answers don't fall straight out of the sky
i'm fighting to live and feel alive // but i can't feel a thing without you by my side
oh, send me out a lifeline.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

forget about logic

Wednesday, January 09, 2013 8
forget about logic
forget about logic.

when it comes to writing, don't analyze. don't try to write realistically, because fiction isn't reality. that's why it exists. writing was meant to be an escape, a book full of dreams in the form of black ink and paper. it was meant to be full of things that are almost impossible but not quite. because why else do we dream?

logic inhibits dreams. so why use logic in writing?

yes, there is a time for logic. but that time is the second draft.

until then, go crazy. write your heart out.

one of the things that i did while writing because i'm irish was this: i didn't research. even though i had no clue about ireland and guns, i winged it. if i didn't know something, i skipped it or i just wrote in my best guess. and to this day, i think that was crucial to its success and completion. i rarely finish books, and if i do it take ages. but with because i'm irish, i finished it in less than a year.

was it easy? no.
but it wasn't like slogging through acorn butter.
it was an escape.

i wrote because i'm irish for fun. i was going through a rough time last year in december and around that time i started my infamous novel about getting kidnapped by a boyband. i didn't intend to have a novel, really. i didn't intend it to be anything, really. but it was after that things started looking up. why? because i had something to focus on, something to fangirl over.

and when you're going through this hard thing called life, that means the world.

and someday, when your pages of ink-filled dreams are published, your books will be fangirled over. they will mean the world to someone else too, almost as much as they mean to you.

so don't think about it. don't analyze. just write it out. we were meant to write about the impossible, right?

so write.

dream as far as your mind can dream. write as far and as big and as wide as your mind can write. fill your paper with the breathings of your heart. your dreams. your impossibles. write everything you want your life to be.

please, forget about logic and write.

the world will thank you later.

with the rise of pinterest and tumblr, it's been hard to find the sources to images on the web. unfortunately, i could not find a source for the first picture. if it's yours, please let me know.
however, the second picture actually is an inkwell, which i thought was epic. you can buy it here.

Sunday, January 6, 2013

i was brave.

Sunday, January 06, 2013 6
i was brave.
as you know, some people pick words for their year as the year begins. i'm the kind of girl who gets her word for the year after the year's over, rather than at the beginning. surprisingly, i'm okay with this.

as 2012 drew to a close last week, i wondered how to reflect upon the year that had just happened. it was one of the hardest years i've ever experienced. i was tempted to dwell on the bad things, but so many positive things came to my mind as well.

so, i'm not going to deny that 2012 was hellish at times, but it wasn't a total waste. it was very lovely in several different ways.

and overall, i've decided that my word for last year is brave.

>> in 2012, i...

rode an ATV for the first time
got my first dog
turned sixteen
got braces after a long wait.
received my stuffed Flynn for my birthday.
started the car for the first time. MUAHAHA POWER.
 (still working on the driving part)
grew so much in my writing and realized that i do have a gift.
created Rane Silverthorne and the novel he's in
formed the tea-spitters, who have 
quickly become some of my closest friends.
became addicted to pinterest
watched doctor who and fell even more in love with the stars
realized (again) that i'm a dreamer.
met Celtic Thunder after being a fan for three years.
(blog post to come)
fell in love with a group of Irish boys
(and introduced my friend Tess to them as well)
fell in love with The Avengers
had several mysterious health issues flare up
(that's why i describe part of this year as "hellish.")
did a few vlogs
was so supported and so very blessed.
thank you: Wren, Jo, and Keaghan,
and everyone else who has been there for me
and has done their best to understand my pain.
thank you to those who sent me packages
to brighten up my day.
i met Micah, who told me i was brave.
had many late night conversations with Annah
wrote an alternate universe with 
Caroline and Mary about our characters,
and had several of my characters fangirled over.
(there is nothing like having someone
fangirl about your novels. trust me.)
discovered quotes that made my heart sing.
fell in love with tony stark.
had a visit from my Pip.
saw Brave with Pip.
discovered the joy of having hair 
long enough to put in a ponytail.
fell in love with sweatpants
pulled my first all-nighter due to my health
(it's not what everyone says it is, trust me)
met so many new friends, 
and grew closer to others.
Ashley, and Lia, just to name a few.
dreamed about taking a road trip. someday.

i struggled. had doubts.
went through a long period of time of feeling distanced from God.
now, as 2013 dawns, i feel like i'm getting emotional & spiritual healing
and that i'm back where i belong.

and most of all, i got through it.
i got through 2012.
i was brave.