Hello again

Hey there, readers!

 

It’s been a while since my last post and I’m glad to say that I’m back! It’s been a crazy summer filled with ups and downs, but now I’ve sort of (notice I said sort of) settled into the swing of things. I’ve started college class online and have those balanced with working on my writing and other things. I’m hoping that I’ll have more time to post on here now. I’m going to be posting either today or tomorrow so watch for that. 

If anyone has any topic ideas, or things they’d like to hear my opinion on, feel free to leave a comment! I’ll see what I can do. 😉

 

See you around,

~M+W=L

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OYAN

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but I’m a young, aspiring, teen author. Now if you would have asked me if I liked writing five years ago… Well let’s just leave it at I would have thought you were crazy. Then my mom and I were at a homeschool conference picking out curriculum for my freshman year. One of the booths caught my eye. One Year Adventure Novel. That’s when it all started. Long story short, I conned my mom and dad into buying this writing curriculum for me. My parents still don’t know what came over me that day. I hated writing and I was asking for them to buy a writing curriculum?! What was up with that?

Well, now I’m so glad that I did. It’s been the biggest thing in my life since then. Hey. I can make up people in my head without my friends calling me crazy! And you should see my search history…

But that’s not why I fell in love with writing. (Okay, so I do like making up characters in my head…. But that’s beside the point. xP) I fell in love with the fact that I could create something from my imagination. I’ve always been one of those people that loves art projects and making things from what you have around the house. Writing didn’t require anything besides a paper and a pencil, or a blank document on Microsoft Word. 

The OYAN curriculum came with access to a forum, too. At first I didn’t understand it; I’ll admit. I thought these people were insane. They put their imaginary characters into what they called lounges and made them talk. Weird. I didn’t get on the forum much until a few months later. I tried one of the lounges and found them to be pretty helpful. Yeah, they’re fun too. 

Being the introvert that I am, I didn’t talk much with the other people on there. I just let my characters talk to their characters. I didn’t want to start a conversation with other people. Well, that changed. I started a lounge with another girl. She lived halfway across the U.S. Slowly, we talked more and more. Then I started staying up late just to talk to this person who was a lot like me. Not too long after that I started lounges with some other people. Again, I couldn’t help myself from staying up to talk to these people. They were awesome!

I struggled with planning out my first book, but I wrote a short story that I loved (and still love to this day). The more I talked to those people, though, the more I liked writing and working on my book.

I started attending the crazy webinars with the teachers (I hate missing them if I have stuff on those nights) where I could chat with my friends. (Of course, we always talked about what the teacher was talking about.) The people on the forum, internet avatars and authors of the characters I loved, became friends and forum siblings. 

Then came the Summer Workshop. In 2011, I went to my first one. I actually met the people I knew online! They were real! There were also speakers there that taught me so much more about writing. There were critique groups, too. Intimidating, but oh so helpful. It was wonderful and amazing.

Since then I’ve attended the Summer Workshop last year and the one a couple of weeks ago. Again, I got to meet and hangout with people like me. People that are my family. I also learned so much as to fill a notebook with notes each year.

To sum up, OYAN and the Summer Workshops are such a big part of my life and I can’t imagine life without it. The people and characters I’ve met, along with the stories I’ve read, are so amazing. I’ve grown as a writer through my short stories, songs, poems, and stories. I’ve finished my first rough draft and am editing it at the moment. OYAN has taught me so much.

 

~M+W=L

Make it special again

We just got back from our vacation to Disney World. It was my graduation/18th birthday trip. Now you have to understand that we’ve taken at least one trip to Disney World, Disneyland, or taken a Disney cruise every year since around ’03 or ’04. Sometimes we take two a year. So when we figured out we were going to Disney World again I was excited, just not that excited. Until the option of my best friend going became available.

My best friend has never been to anything like Disney World before and the only roller coaster she’d ridden was an old wooden one on a boardwalk one time. Which of course has no comparison.

My family and I were so excited to show her around the four parks, two water parks, and DisneyQuest. For about six months we’ve been talking about that trip. Finally, it came.

The first park we went to was Animal Kingdom. Not too many rides(except for Mt. Everest which I got her to ride twice), but she wanted to build up to the big roller coasters. We went to all the rides, did the shows, showed her all the cool spots, and everything. That’s when I realized how cool it was to see it like it was your first time. Of course I was pointing out all of the hidden things you find out by Googling or in books and articles online, but she kept pointing out all of the obvious things that (and I hate saying this) had kind of become normal to me. 

I didn’t realize we’d been so many times it was just like going to a regular amusement park. It started becoming a whole new experience again as she pointed out the things that I saw, but didn’t really pay attention to. It was so neat to actually stand in line with someone rather than getting a Fastpass and coming back later (cause my parents don’t like waiting in lines for stuff we’ve already done). I mean we did get Fastpasses for lines that were two hours long, but we waited 30-45 minutes on some things which I haven’t done since the first and second times we’ve gone.

It was also neat seeing her different perspectives on things. For example the shows, the rides, the characters(she didn’t even know what to do with them where as I go right up and start conversations with them xD), and just everything in general. Seeing the Tree of Life for the first time, the Epcot ball, Mickey’s Sorcerer’s hat, and Cinderella’s castle. It really made me stop and think every time she pointed something obvious out.

What was even cooler was when we made it to Typhoon Lagoon. That’s one of the water parks; the one I hadn’t been to yet. She was really excited that both of us had something new to do.

We also did some other things we did that my parents wouldn’t do besides standing in lines. We had really bad rain while we were there. We took our ponchos most days, but after going to the water park we might have forgotten to put them back in our backpacks… Heh. So the next day at magic kingdom it started to rain pretty bad. We ducked inside and rode the Pirates ride but after that we had Fastpasses for Big Thunder Mountain Railroad, which was probably her favorite ride. Well we started over in the rain, running from cover to cover to make it half way across the park to Frontierland. By the time we got there we were soaked and honestly didn’t care at that point. So we rode it in the rain, in the dark. That was the best ride we did.

But the best thing we did overall was go to all four parks, both water parks, and DisneyQuest in one day. With as many times as my family has been there, we’ve never done it and I finally had someone to do it with. We started off at a rope drop in Epcot, wearing our bathing suits, and then went to both of the water parks. After that we went back to our resort, changed, and then headed to the other parks. We worked our way through Animal Kingdom, Hollywood Studios, and last Magic Kingdom. Of course that was the day the tropical storm started to hit us and we got soaked all over again at Hollywood Studios and Magic Kingdom, but we did it! After finishing the parks we went back to the resort to dry off again before heading to DisneyQuest. In all, we rode a ride in each park, water park, and spent about an hour and a half at DisneyQuest.

So next time you go somewhere special that doesn’t seem special to you anymore, try to see it from that new person’s point of view. Get scared when something pops out at you. Put your hands up and scream like you’re going to die on a ride. And most of all, make it special again.

 

~M+W=L

That one song that relates to everything

Have you ever found that one song that describes you perfectly? Well I think I found that song tonight. It’s pretty old and most of you probably haven’t heard it unless you’ve seen Treasure Planet (the animated, steampunk, space adventure based off of Treasure Island from Disney). The song is ‘I’m Still Here’ by John(or Johnny, depending on the site) Rzeznik.

The chorus and bridge go like this:

“And I want a moment to be real,
Wanna touch things I don’t feel,
Wanna hold on and feel I belong.
And how can the world want me to change,
They’re the ones that stay the same.
They can’t see me,
But I’m still here.

They can’t tell me who to be,
‘Cause I’m not what they see.
And the world is still sleepin’,
While I keep on dreamin’ for me.
And their words are just whispers
And lies that I’ll never believe.”

Haven’t we all wanted a moment to be real and touch things we haven’t felt? Or to hold onto something and feel like we belong? And there’s always those people that want us to change. 

I’ve been dealing with a lot of that lately with graduation and choosing college classes and everything. Everyone is telling me what I should do because they think they know best. “Oh don’t go into that field, it’s terrible’. ‘Don’t go to that college for this teeny tiny reason’. There are a lot of times when I just want to hide away in my room and forget about it all by writing or editing pictures. A lot of times that’s what I did and still do. Whenever a subject comes up that I don’t want to talk about I tend to tune out(which really is a bad habit, I know). There’s also that feeling of ‘what if I did that instead of what I’m going to do?’. I think that’s the worst part. I’m not going to do it, but I still want to know what it’s like. I think everyone does that at some point though. We make choices and wonder what life would be like if we had chosen differently.

Feeling like I belong? Well let’s just say, outside of online friends, I have one real good friend. Everywhere I’ve been I’ve always wanted to ‘belong’. If I was just one year older or younger or came from here or did this I would fit in. It honestly doesn’t feel too great when you’re everyone’s friend and but never invited anywhere. You want to hold onto those ‘friends’ and belong even when you realize it’s not going to work out. But you know what? It makes it so much better when you find a group of people that you do get along with. Aside from my best friend, all of my friends are from an online forum and I see some of them once, maybe twice a year if I’m lucky. But they’re the best kind because I know that even after a year of only talking online, we’re still going to freak out when we finally see each other in person and that’s one of the best feelings ever.

As far as the world goes? Who really cares what the world thinks? By the time they settle on a standard it changes, even though they don’t. I don’t want to be constantly changing for someone else. If I’m going to be changing, I want it to be for myself.

~M+W=L

Why do you do the things you do?

I attended a webinar tonight about writing and publishing. The teacher brought up a really good point. Why do you write? Is it just to get published and famous? Do you want people to remember you? Do you have something important to say? Or is it because you like doing it?

That made me start thinking about all of the things I do. Why do I do them? Well in my case it’s a very simple answer. I do them because I like to. Not because I have to or because other people want me to, but because I like to do them.

Over the years I’ve gotten involved with a lot of different things through 4-H and local organizations. I’ve looked into careers of (and these are only the ones I can remember) veterinarian science, biology, and marine biology before settling on graphic design. Believe me it wasn’t easy making that choice. I’ve turned down a couple of full-ride scholarships to be able to do what I like and I’ve gotten a lot of flack for it too.

At first I was real leery about who I told what I was doing. I’m not getting a degree and a lot of people just couldn’t understand that, especially with my background. (A lot of people think of me as the good girl and straight A student.) But I realized a few things. 1. I was trying to go to college, get a job, and do things that would please everyone. 2. Pleasing everyone would never happen. 3. I wouldn’t be happy with other people’s plans for me. So I decided to throw all of that out the window and start from scratch.

That’s when I decided on graphic design. I’ve always loved creating things and working on the computer and there they were combined.

I’ve also developed a passion for writing fictional stories. Which is quite funny because I started out hating writing. Now look at me. Two short stories, multiple songs and poems, a blog, and three novels-in-progress later and I love it.

So all in all, I know why I do things. Because I love them. What about you? Why do you do the things you do?

My ramblings on turning 18

So I just realized something over the past week and I needed to tell someone. Y’all seemed like a good audience. So here goes. (Didn’t proofread so sorry about the mistakes. :p)

 

18. Such a wonderful number. The age where you become an adult in everyone else’s eyes(supposedly). You can vote. You’re not a minor anymore. You get more freedom.

But sometimes things aren’t always what they seem. Being 18 is the hardest thing so far and I haven’t even been 18 for a month.

Once you turn this magical age everyone starts asking you questions, almost like an interrogation. Where are you going to college? What are you majoring in? What are you going to do with your life? Are you moving off? Are you staying here? When do you officially graduate? When are you going to get a boyfriend(or girlfriend)?

You are constantly being asked these questions over and over and your response just become automatic. Oh I’m going here, moving in in this month, majoring in this with a minor in that, and after that getting a job here.

Of course things don’t always work out that way do they? Test scores aren’t good enough, you don’t qualify for scholarships, or someone comes into or leaves your life.

Not everyone treats you like an adult, especially if you look younger. It’s going to happen. People will think ‘Oh it’s that 18-year old that thinks they know everything in the world’. At which point they’ll either tell you nothing or tell you everything they know about everything to make sure they know more than you.

One week ago I had my last 4-H meeting. A friend of mine and I realized it very well might have been the last time we see each other in person. He’s going off to college or joining the reserves and I’m staying in my hometown. This guy that I’ve known for nine years suddenly won’t be around anymore. I won’t get to see him at the monthly meeting, or the project meetings, or see him show at the fair, or stand next to him waiting to find out our team’s score at a competition. I won’t be on the rocket team with three guys that I’ve come to know so well over the years. I won’t be going to shooting practice every Saturday morning in between rocket launches with them and my other friends that shoot. None of us are going to do that next year and half of us might not even be here.

My best friend already graduated. She graduated a year early and already it’s been hard finding time to do stuff together. Thankfully, she decided to stick around and get her two year degree locally, but what happens when she’s done after next year? Not to mention when I want to go apply for a job on a ship that sails between North America and Europe. What happens then?

18 is really the age when you figure all of this out. You hope and pray that you’ll stay in contact with your friends that you’ve known for almost ten years, but will it really happen?

I do have some long distance friends. One that I’ve known for about five years. We’ve stayed friends over the years through email and social networking. That’s pretty cool. But I can’t help but wonder if that what my current friends will become when they move off? Internet pen pals? It’s cool when you don’t live by each other. But when you’ve lived by someone and seen them so often that you can hear their tone of voice and see their facial expressions in their texts… You’ll start to lose their voice after a while. And what happens when you lose it forever and they just become memories and friends on social networks you never talk to?

I guess my point is don’t take those friendships for granted. Spend as much time with them, having fun, just talking, just doing something with them as much you can. Even if it’s having a conversation of quotes from songs or movies or arguing over which movie character is yours or maybe arguing over which soda is better. Just spend time with them and have fun. Squeeze as much time as possible into your schedule for you to hang out. ‘Cause all too soon it might be the last time you’ll see them.

The Great Gatsby (Movie)

As humans we long for the past and for the things we can’t have. We spend most of our lives trying to get back to where we were five or ten years ago. We wonder at what could have been if we changed our decisions in the past.

“‘Can’t repeat the past?’ he cried incredulously. ‘Why of course you can.'”

The Great Gatsby captures the theme of this longing. The story is about a man, Gatsby, who puts on the grandest of parties and has everything anyone could ever want just to impress the girl he loves, Daisy. Sadly, she is already married to another. So he comes up with a plan to win her over and have her tell her husband that she never loved him and that she is going to go away with Gatsby, her first love.

I just saw the movie earlier today and I must say, from a cinematic point of view it was an absolutely beautiful movie. The way it was filmed was amazing. The sets and props that they used fit the time period perfectly. As did all of the clothes and costumes. Even the acting was great. I love how everyone acted like a gentleman back then. Everything was spot on for being a movie set in the Roaring Twenties. The only thing I was disappointed in was the music. Most of it was music from today, which is nothing like the twenties. But overall I thought it was one of the best movies I’ve ever seen.

Now, I haven’t read the book yet. I didn’t have time to read it before going to see the movie, but I plan on reading it during the summer. I’m very interested in seeing how close the movie was to it.

~M+W=L