Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Sorry To Interrupt Your Regular Scheduled Programming....

Know those moments where you feel you could die happily? Yeah......

It's High Time I Got My Butt Kicked

Yes, I realize that this post is coming a bit late. But, in my defense, you're not my Mother. Thusly, I present to you this week's post. 

Weird title, ain't it? Yep, took me all of three seconds to come up with it. You know why? This week has been a week of learning for me. I literally thought of five different life lessons I'd learned from this week to write about before I thought of this post. That's how busy I've been. Yep, busy busy busy. Seems like all I do now is work. And I could go into detail about why I am so very busy, therefore boring you, the  Monkey, to death and effectively wasting more of my time. I'm not going to, however, because there's a more important lesson to be learned here that requires the immediate attention of all us young people. (And maybe a few old people too. Hey, I don't claim to know you. I ain't your Ma.) Well, actually, it's more of a tip then a lesson. Ah, no. It's more a lesson-ception if you know what I mean. What do they call it when you're thinking about thinking about something? Meta... meta-cognition! Yeah, it's something like that. 

Getting to the point, the topic of the week is, learning how to learn a really hard lesson!

Or, if you prefer, learning how to take a good swift kick in the pants. 

As I mentioned before, this week has brought me a many lesson, too many really. It's painstakingly taught me patience, the value of up front work, the fact that teachers are not to busy to email your parents should they think you are in trouble in your class (when really the morons don't know how to collect a freaking homework assignment). And through and through I've moaned, and I've whined, and I've half heartedly prayed that the Lord give me patience when really all I wanted was to break some sophomore's jaw. And it feels like this week will never end. But these little lessons God has planted for me, whether bluntly or subtly, are lessons I intend to take seriously. Don't get me wrong, right now I hate them and think that they're total malarkey, but let me check back with you in the morning with that. 

And there in lies my first point. It's okay to get mad at first. 

Whoever said that being angry is wrong is stupid. Anger is an emotion. Emotions are not wrong and emotions are not right. They are inevitable and a fundamental part of the human experience. Like death, anger is widely misconceived and more importantly neutral. It's what we do with anger or what we get from anger that ultimately decides what is good or bad. (Or, in my case, what is Godly and what is Ungodly, which I'll get too in a later post.) In this particular situation, my anger sends up some red flags for me. Is this really a lesson, or is this just the Universe being a meanie? It's later when I think on this thought and decide what is right that calms me down. See? Productive anger! Who knew, right?

Don't worry, everything's according to plan. 

It is so easy to blame every little thing in your life on the forces that may be conspiring against you. Fate, God, The Universe, Bad Luck, you name it. These are distractions, ploys, devices created to steer you away from any experience that could craft you into a better you. Believe it or not, everyone indeed has problems. Problems that hinder their lives and suck away their happiness. There is not a person on God's green earth who will not have something they are struggling with. However, much like humans, no two struggles are alike. Problems are tailored specifically to everyone's lives so that they might be able to become the best person they can be starting from birth and ending with death. So while you are different, you are by no means more or less then the person standing next to you. Every situation you encounter slowly shapes who you are and you are the decider of whether you use that to your advantage or not. This is where anger can go wrong. You can use anger to say this is terrible, why would this happen to me, this is totally unfair and spend time meditating over such thoughts rather then looking for the silver-lining, the way this benefits you. I can say today that I would not trade a single struggle I've had in my life because my struggles, as much as my happiness, are who I am. I do not like the struggles I've faced, and if at all possible would not like to relive them. But that does not mean that I am not grateful for them. So, when something goes wrong, relax. You're life isn't broken, it's just getting an update. 

Find the lesson, and make sure it sticks! 

When we were young, we were taught through punishment and disciplined what is right and what is wrong. In any story, the hero needs to go through a great many struggles in order to make it to the ending. We are taught that anything in life of worth is worth working for. In order to continue surviving in life, we need to strike a balance between happiness and pain and own this. But in order to move forward in life, we need to know what the motivation is and how to achieve it. Believe it or not, that is the tricky part my friends. And, unfortunately, I do not have the answer. How you find your lesson to be learned is entirely dependent on the situation. Sometimes there are many lessons to be learned, sometimes there's only one. And the point of an experience, whether it be good or bad, may never be something so easily defined. More often or not you won't even notice it happening. However, every human being is innately able to see the point to whatever trial passes in their life, just so long as they may have their souls tuned in the right place and channel their anger or despair like wise. 

Wow, that was a pretty heavy post. Well, that was basically my week. 

What's your thoughts? Ever seen a trial of your life work to your benefit?

Stats Of The Week

Song: Spontaneous Me by Lindsey Stirling
Book: Ruby Holler By Sharon Creech
Word: Meta-Cognition
Quote: "The difference between genius and stupidity is; genius has it's limits."
~Albert Einstein 

Friday, February 22, 2013

My Younger Brother (The Ongoing Epic of the REVENGE of the Princess Faith Post)

So, if you've been keeping up with this continuing battle between me and fellow alien overlord Princess Faith (you seriously need to get a life because honestly, there are better things to do. In the words of my very cuban friend, YOLO) then you will know that so far we are two for four. Out of my very normal amount of siblings, I have written about Jenny and Alex. And from her kingdom of siblings, Princess has written about Dayle, Gordon, Noah and Anakin. (Just so you know, she is yet again cheating because she went ahead and did two siblings before I could respond. Just keep that in mind when you read her blog, you're reading the blog of a cheater. A cheater with seven hundred thousand siblings.) But, what ho? What manner of being is this, appearing over the horizon just as dawn breaks? It's Becky Starrson from Thoughts of A Vintage Teen! Yes, it seems that she too has jumped into the fray. So be it, so be it.

*A Note to Princess Faith*
You best call an ambulance, because you're about to get burned. #Inferno

*A Note to Vintage Teen*
Remember that you choose this, because you will not be spared. #NoMercy

At last, onto the post.

My Younger Brother-Sean

He's a very prestigious young man.

Those of you who follow my blog regularly, you will recognize this sibling. I mean, seriously, he's only appeared


And here...

Add here...

Also here...
And yes, here too.

This blog will be a long one, because honestly I'm closer to this one than I am to the rest of them.

A Few Things To Note About This Youngin'

First thing to notice, he looks like he's fourteen. He is not. He is eleven. I'm still trying to track down the scientist who gave him that insta-handsome potion, my older bro could use some. I know it seems like I'm just saying this because I'm his sis, but this is the truth. Sean is freaking smart. Not only that, but he's down right evil. Like, seriously, he is old school Imma-take-over-the-world-someday evil. He's in all advanced classes and when he's tired of doing all the extra work he knows how to fail in a believable way so that he doesn't get extra homework. Not only that, but he's a major player. He's already been "married" to three high school girls and is now in a three year "marriage" with a girl going to U of I right now. He's also very quickly inherited the classic trademark sarcasm that my family all share. He's, like, eight different kinds of funny. I don't know how the kid does it. Oh, and other than his "wife", he's in love with our dog Desi.

For real love.

They are true brosephs.

None of these traits are why I'm so close to him.

Sean And Me

I feel a bond with Sean that's different with my other siblings because I can actually remember when he was born. I've known him since the day he was born. I remember Jenny and I watching him sleep in his crib, arguing over who would marry him some day. And because of our age gap, I get to be a big sister with him, not just an annoying housemate. Back when I was in middle school, incidentally one of the hardest parts of my life, Sean would yell my name and run to hug me every day after I got home from school. Whenever we see each other we give each other a hug. (And now that we both "rule the school", him finishing elementary school, me finishing high school, we also give each other high fives.) Not only that, but we have a lot in common as well. He loves the video games I get, we play them together. He's the only other one in my family that loves reading as much as I do. We watch the same TV shows, movies, YouTube videos, the list goes on and on.

In conclusion, Sean, you rock little man. You da bomb. 

Well, that concludes my biological siblings. But, as long as we're turning this into a blood bath, I'm going to go ahead and tag my cuban friend, Eilobell (her brothers crack me up), and new too blogging Jo5y (the 5 is silent) because not only are her younger brothers like INSANE but I'm hoping that if I can convince her to write good about one of them then he will no longer want to pie me in the face. 


Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Conferences And Stuff

*Takes break from fighting with Princess Faith*

HELLO MY NERDMIGAS!!! (If that Spanish is wrong, I apologize. I only went to the first day of Spanish Class.)  So, as I've mentioned here and here, I have been planning quite some time to go to the Jerry B. Jenkins Writing For The Soul, and now this past weekend I've attended it. Let me just say, this conference was an experience I'll never forget.

This conference was vastly different from the AWP Conference I attended the previous year for many reasons, all of which can be boiled down to a couple of categories. Atmosphere, Structure and Content.


One of the things I'll always remember about this conference was the orientation. The minute C. McNair Wilson walked up to that podium and opened his mouth will be forever burned into my mind. Why? Because one of the first things he said was "Raise your hand if this is your first conference."

And you wouldn't even believe how many hands went up.

This set the mood for the rest of the conference.

All the sudden everyone was being honest about what place they were at in their writing. We started feeling safe about braving the conference because we knew we weren't alone. Personally, I felt it was so much easier to approach people, finding people to stick to and be confused with. Before we knew it we were all talking about our writing, our hopes for the future, stories from home, I swore at times I felt like I knew these people my whole life. (Is that weird? Let's forget I said that. Try not to think about it.) I just remember when going to the AWP Conference being so intimidated, scared to even be honest about my age. And, as another gauge to measure how awesome this conference was, let me present to you the following statistic.

Business Cards Given @ AWP: 1
Business Cards Given @ WFTS: 10

That, my friends, is staggering.


The way that the conference was structured gave a great benefit to extroverts and introverts, beginners and professionals, and writers editors and agents alike. The way the schedule went, it started with an optional devotional at 6:45, followed by breakfast at seven. After breakfast, along with each meal, we'd have a lecture given by a keynote speaker. After that, we'd go to a continuing class that lasted both days or we'd go to appointments we'd signed up for with agents editors or mentors. Then lunch with another keynote speaker, only at lunch there was each editor and agent was assigned to a specific table and you could sit with which ever one you wanted. It was a great way to connect agents and editors with authors on a more personal level, getting to know more about the industry without the pressure of having to present a pitch. Then back to classes or appointments. And the day would end with another meal with agents and editors and one last keynote speaker, followed by book signings from whoever spoke that day. And while this took a whole day and a whole lot of energy, I had to admire the organization that let attendees gain more familiarity with other attendees. Kudos, Jerry B. Jenkins.


Writing For The Soul gave a unique opportunity that other conferences, in that they allowed for attendees to sign up for 15 minute appointments with editors and agents in order to pitch their book and possible get a partial or full request (or, in some cases, going straight to the book deals). This, I feel, is a way to make something everyone hopes to do at a conference fifty bazillion times easier. I mean, seriously, why hasn't anyone thought of this before? Not only were we allowed 15 minute appointments with agents, but we were also allowed a 15 minute appointment with a mentor and a 15 minute appointment with former Disney Imagineer C. McNair Wilson to work on our pitch. Along side those added perks we also were discounted half-off for a room rate at five-star/five-diamond resort hotel The Broadmoor.

All-In-All, The Christian Writer's Guild knows how to do a writer's conference.

Stats Of The Week

Song: And Run by He Is We
Book: Hatch! By C. McNair Wilson
 Word: Menagerie
Quote: "There are two things that are infinite, the universe and stupidity, and I'm not sure about the universe."
Albert Einstein  

Monday, February 18, 2013

My Older Brother (The REVENGE of the Princess Faith Post)

Alright, day 2 of the I-Love-My-Family-So-Eat-It challenge. For those of you just tuning, I challenged my friend Princess Faith to write about what she loves about all 2534678 of her siblings and do it better then me. So far Princess has posted about her sister Dayle and her brother Gordon. (But, see, Princess is cheating by using Gordon next because she know's I'll have to say that his post is great because he's on my youth group team.) I've already written about my sister Jenny. Today it's my brother's turn.

* A Note to Princess Faith*
I'm on too you. (In the words to your older brother Shane) #ILLEGAL

Day 2-My Older Brother Alex

My brother has something of an odd role in my life. He's there and he's not. While we aren't all that close we still care for each other like we are. My dad has described it as him "hard wiring" Alex to always protect and stick up for me. Not only that, but he's been a great role model as well. He's a good friend, not afraid to tell someone what they're doing is wrong, been more sympathetic then most boys I know. All-in-all, he's pretty good at being a big brother.

2008-2009 Christmas/New Years Vacation
Along with being a Class A older brother, Alex also happens to be extremely funny. First off, he's a master at keeping a straight face. Seriously. He kept a straight face during a whole dinner at Ed Debevic's. (For those of you who don't live in Chicago, Ed Debevic's is a burger joint that pays actor to wait on you and be extremely sarcastic and mean to you while you eat. Now, in theory, this seems like a terrible idea, and yet...) And while Alex can keep a straight face he also does the weirdest stuff he can think of. He's a classic goof. 

Four Years Later....And now he's showing off the guns...
Another thing I admire about Alex is his passion for Christ and his willingness to serve. He's volunteered at Camp Awana every summer and almost every winter weekend since he got into high school, he's been a founding member of a college aged bible study, and recently (literally the day after I got into Columbia College) he was admitted to Bethel College. He's a brother easy to be proud of.

He later told me he was considering pushing Sean in....

Guess who's idea this was.

He was so proud of me for graduating, OH WAIT...

Now these few short paragraphs cannot hope to begin to describe what Alex means to me, but with any luck it's a decent start. And all there's left to say is that I love you Alex, thank you for being a great brother. 

Saturday, February 16, 2013

My Sister (The REVENGE of the Princess Faith Post)

So, all you Monkeys, recently my good friend and fellow writer (who sometimes part times as a Jedi Master) , Princess Faith, posted a wonderfully endearing post about her younger sister Dayle. I'm looking at this thing and thinking to myself, yeah, okay. That's all well and good, but don't you have two billion other siblings too write about? And while I'm at it, you can do better then a video and a couple of pictures of her. Come on Princess, take this to the next level! So, as a service to my dear friend princess, I'm going to go ahead and show her how it's done, one sibling at a time. For each day of the week until I get through all of them, I'm going to write an awesome post displaying the love I have for my family.

~* A Note To Princess Faith *~
I dare you to do better then me. #beatthat

Day 1-My Sister Jenny

Only natural that sister would be the start of this mini-project, seeing as Princess had started hers off with hers. Don't be fooled by the picture above, there is a fierce intellect at work behind that monkey face. Ladies and Gentlemen, I present to you my younger Sister, Jenny.

(Stole Her Pictures From Facebook)

Jenny and I, as you can imagine, have had our rough patches. That much is to be expected from sisters. But I can't tell you the leaps my heart does whenever we are getting along, or when she shows interest in what I do. Not only that, but do you see that face? She is beautiful. Guess what world, I get to wake up every morning to that face! Be jealous. Not only that, but she has a very...unique sense of humor. She's one of those people who owns whatever she does, whether good or bad. Beautiful and funny, it all comes in one package.

Nothing like a sister to show you just how pale you are...

If there were a word to describe my sister, it would be strong. So strong. Like, if-you-got-into-a-street-fight-you'd-want-her-in-your-corner strong. She's got a defense system like no other. She will stand up for what she thinks is right like no other. I don't think she even knows how to back down from a fight. (You laugh as if I'm joking, but I'm not...) Now, me, I'm not an argumentative person at heart. (This is the part where anyone who lives with my snorts and adds in some sarcastic comment about why that's so very far from the truth.) In all honesty, I have a hard time asserting my will into anything. This, as you can imagine, does not do wonders for my social skills. But, whenever I needed stick up for myself or try to persuade someone, I'd think to myself what would Jenny do in this situation? (Does not help when she is at the other end of the argument, you don't mess with the master.)

Keep being silly Jenny, I love ya!
~ Love Your Sister <3

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Repetition Can Kill

Repetition can kill.

It comes in all shapes and forms, whether it's a repeated phrase or a word used too often. Repetition dulls your words and subconsciously causes a reader to glaze over your work as you read and easily bores them. It's the sign of an immature writer and it can be freaking annoying. It's that one friend that only has that one story to tell you when you get together, it's that song on the radio that they play over and over, it's that three hour movie that your just so sick of but you can't turn it off, it' get the idea.

And on that note, repetition can kill. 

And it's sneaky my friends. It's not just words themselves, but how you word things as well. Sure, when you use the phrase It was so unbelievable that I gave a origami frog to my squid over and over again, people will get sick of it. (Aka-the reason why the latest draft of Scrapper is thirty pages shorter.) But the ways you write things out, such as listing them in threes or always attaching an adverb to the start of a sentence in which an action takes place, is also monotonous and bland.

*Just a little added tip here guys, repetition can kill. 

Sometimes repetition, if cleverly used, can be an effective way to foreshadow and bring your manuscript. Enter the catch phrase, the nervous habit, the lovable little quirk. Repetition used in characterization makes your characters more familiar and also establishes that the absence of said repetition means something is not right. So do not despair, because repetition can be put to good use.

But, staying on the safe side, always remember that repetition can kill. 

Did I mention that repetition can kill?

Stats of the Week

Song : Hello Sunshine by BarlowGirl
Book: The Giver By Lois Lowry
Word: Ostentatous 
Quote: " It is better to remain silent at the risk of being thought a fool then to talk and remove all doubt." Maurice Switzer

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

A Letter to Whoever I Become

Dear Whoever I Become,

To you I disclose the thoughts of the future. It's my hope that this letter find you well, that Whoever you are is someone I want to be. But even if not, to your credit you survived, and I could only dream that you are the type who would keep surviving. 

I must confess I face you with fear, there being no set in stone guarantee that my ambitions should succeed. I'm all too aware of the fact that there's a real possibility my life would take a turn for the worse, my blessings coming with the aftertaste of the knowledge that I could lose them. 

All the same I excite myself with who you may be. You could very well be weaker then me, but you could very well be stronger as well. And whatever happiness I find is happiness I look forward too, I only hope you recognized it when it came. 

Perhaps I idealize you. Maybe I have a specific picture of you in my head. But that picture is mine and mine alone, and I think I wish that you would actually not be that picture. I want to be surprised, I want to see if maybe what I'm doing now is only leading me to what you do. Maybe I'm starting the journey you've already finished. 

But these thoughts of you are trivial, not worth the energy I put into them. Whatever will be will be, and I need to let this obsession go. So I write you this letter in good health and hope to be done with you until such a time where I will be you. 

Yours Truly 
Who You Used To Be