Friday, December 18, 2009

thoughts on movement

"And so my prayer is that your story will have involved some leaving and some coming home, some summer and some winter, some roses blooming out like children in play. My hope is your story will be about changing, about getting something beautiful born inside of you, about learning to love, about moving yourself around water, around mountains, around friends, about learning to love others more than we love ourselves, about learning oneness as a way of understanding God. We get one story, you and I, and one story alone. It would be a crime not to venture out, wouldn't it?

It might be time for you to go. It might be time to change, to shine out.

I want to repeat one word for you: Leave.

Roll the word around on your tongue for a bit. It is a beautiful word isn't it? So strong and forceful, the way you have always wanted it to be. And you will not be alone. You have never been alone. Don't worry. Everything will still be here when you get back. It is you who will have changed."
- Donald Miller

Thanks, Sarah Rhoads, for sharing this. I can't eloquently explain right now why this touched me so much today when I read it, but trust me when I say it's important, and not just for me.

For a couple of years now I have had this expression that rolls around in my brain at random (or perhaps extremely pertinent) moments:

You were created to move, so move.

We can't get anything done if we just stand still. We certainly can't accomplish our purpose if we never work. And we'll never get anywhere in life if we don't start walking.

Maybe someone else who sees this needs that encouragement to start moving; to leave; to explore. Maybe it's only me. But I encourage you to walk anyway.

" will not be alone. You have never been alone."

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

a snag in the road

Here's the rub: I hate this "novel" that I'm supposed to be writing this month.


I've discovered that the only way that I can make myself keep going on this challenge is to change direction completely. So, I'm keeping the 7,200 words that I've put in, inserting a page break, and starting a different story!

Yes, I realize I might be crazy, but I've had a story sitting in front of me for months now that I feel NEEDS to be told. And it's my job to tell it. Why not start now? :)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

a charming snippet

Okay, here's my proof that I've actually been working on my novel. =) My total word count at the moment is approximately 6650. I'm making progress, but if you care to do the math, you'll find that I'm decently behind schedule. However, I'd like to point out that this is easily the largest block of fiction I've ever written, so that's an accomplishment in itself.

Below is the opening of Chapter 2. Yes, 2, just because I like to keep you all on your toes. ha. It's completely unedited save for spelling errors, so beware of utter stupidity that may seep in from time to time. Enjoy it. Or don't. But if you don't, please don't tell me that you hate it until December, because I can't do revisions until then, anyway! =P

Raelah Taryn Arabella
Ides: Month of Flowers (May)
Day 1 Notes

The last thing that I ever wanted was to marry for anything other than love. And for me to sit there and listen to my parents tell me that they had already selected my husband, and that there was nothing I could do about it, just about broke my heart. It may be true that I didn’t have anyone particular in mind yet, but I’m only seventeen years old, so is that really expected? Why couldn’t they have promised Celia to this Prince Athan? I know that sounds terrible that I would be willing to sacrifice my sister, but I actually wouldn’t do it. I’m just curious why no one thought that she would be a suitable match. After all, she was twenty-one already, and no one other than I was aware of the fact that she was preparing to run away with Count Orion once the summer came.
I had allowed the news to sink in, however, and like any good princess I had resolved to honor my parents’ wishes. I would leave with Prince Athan of Greater Pontleroy when he arrived, and I would marry him when the time came. And after that, I would do my best to serve the people of Pontleroy as their future queen, even though it meant leaving my family and my people behind. Because that is what a princess must do.
That resolve existed a fortnight ago. Today, I am not sure that I will survive the evening, now that I have met him. I saw him from my window when he first arrived, and I knew immediately that this was bound to go poorly. He was the most handsome creature I had ever laid eyes on, with hair as black as midnight – so dark it was almost blue – and bright brown eyes that would have been fantastic if he hadn’t also been the most dejected man who ever lived. The task that had been set to him weighed on his posture and his features like he had been sentenced to death. It was in that moment that I realized he had absolutely no interest in me regardless of the type of person I was, and it was also then that I decided to become as undesirable as possible. Why, if he didn’t want me, I would make sure it was for a reason. And I’m sad to say how stunningly I succeeded.

Sunday, November 1, 2009

it's all about that first step...

I did something a little crazy today - I signed up for National Novel Writing Month.

The goal? Write a 50,000-word (approx. 175 pages) novel from scratch in 30 days.

So far, I have a plot line, a tentative title, two main characters who can't stand each other and about 130 words. I suppose that's a good start, considering I started working on this about 5 hours ago, and it took an hour and a half of that to decide on names. What can I say? I'm particular about names.

You may be wondering what possessed me to sign up for a month of insanity. Well, the best conclusion that I've come to is that I've all but stalled out on my writing out of fear, and that's not a good enough reason to stop working. If you never take the first step, you'll never walk anywhere. So this is my step out the front door.

A real challenge. A real deadline. If I don't make it, it's only because I didn't put forth the effort to succeed, and that's no way to work or live.

So, I'd love it if you ask me for updates on my progress, because I'm going to need my friends to spur me on - that's why I'm putting this out there in the first place. If I have accountability, I'll be that much more encouraged to finish what I've started.

If you have any interest in the story I'm working on, let me know, and I'll send you a bit of it, because knowing that I'll be sharing it with someone will help me make it as good as possible. It will be unedited for the most part, though, so please bear with me in love (especially if it's not Dickens quality!). ^_^

So here's to November, and the completion of Charming!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

challenge time!

This was fun. I dare you to do it and post it on your own blog for others to enjoy.

Using only song names from ONE ARTIST, cleverly answer these questions. Try not to repeat a song title. It's a lot harder than you think. Have fun!

Pick Your Artist:
John Mayer

Are you male or female?

Describe yourself:
"Bold as Love"

How do you feel about yourself?
"In Repair"

Describe where you currently live:
"Covered in Rain"

If you could be anywhere, where would you be?
"In Your Atmosphere"

Your favorite form of transportation:
"Stop This Train"

Your best friend is:

Your favorite color is:

What's the weather like?

Favorite Time of Day:
"Wait Until Tomorrow"

If your life was a TV show, what would it be called?

What is life to you?
"Only Heart"

What is the best advice you have to give?
"Say (What You Need to Say)"

If you could change your name, what would it be?

Thought for the Day:
"No Such Thing"

How would you like to die:
"Vultures" hahaha

My soul's present condition:
"Bigger Than My Body"

My motto:
"Good Love Is On The Way"

Wednesday, October 7, 2009


I hate that I hide so much of myself from the world. I hate that I hide so much even from the people who think they know me best. The people that I feel closest to.

I wear a mask. Sometimes my quirks slip around it, but once someone notices that they're there, I reign them back in. One strange look from another person and I run for my shell. I don't know why it matters to me so much, but I crave acceptance from people. I crave love.

The funny thing is that I'm content with who I am at the core. I'm pretty weird, but I don't mind when I'm by myself. It's just that I wonder if anyone will ever really see me for all that I am and be okay with it - like it, even. Then I wonder if I'll ever let anyone get close enough to actually know the inside me. I want to. I'm just afraid.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


Like an old pair of jeans.

Like a memory that used to be so clear, but when you pull it out now to look at it, not all of the pieces fit together anymore.

Like the last time I was sure which direction I was headed. Now I can't even remember why I was going there. Or why I thought it was such a great idea in the first place.

The pain of past hurts is dulled significantly like those old jeans as they go through the wash. I am thankful for that element of memory - if things didn't drift away from us with time, I don't know how anyone would ever move forward. And we become more comfortable (or I guess that's the hope) with who we are because of what we've been through. Each wash, each trial makes us a little stronger, a little more resilient, a little more open to love.

Thank you, Lord, for washing me again.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

oh, snap.

I've been looking at so many things incorrectly for a while now. Do you ever have one of those moments that feels like a sucker punch to the stomach of realization? I hate those. But most often, it's those moments that actually make me sit up and listen.

I think sometimes (ok, a lot of the time!) I find it easier to perhaps 'misinterpret' information because the direct truth is unpleasant, or too challenging at the moment to digest. For months now, maybe even years, I've been hearing one thing that's been spoken to me over and over again that I've heard solely as something other than what was intended by the speaker. Why? Because maybe it was easier to 'hear' what was being said and get angry at that person for saying it than to take ownership of what was being given to me in those words and make something of it.

Excuses, excuses. And I'm tired of them. Finally I've been able to realize the true content, and decide with a level head what action to take as a result. I feel so much more stable and coherent now. And although the path in front of me is a rocky one, I'm ready now to take it.

So, thanks to those who've kept hitting me over the head with persistence. And thank you, Lord, for opening my ears and heart to receive it. The sense has been knocked into me now. :)

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

i love you, you're perfect, now change...

First, credit goes to Joe DiPietro for coining such a wonderfully terrible sentiment.

I often feel like this is my life. Not because people actually say this to me, but simply because this is so much the culture that surrounds us. It becomes ingrained whether we are inclined to believe it or not. And for me, it tends to be a bit of a driving force.

It seems like every time I turn around, I hit a wall. Whatever progress I might make in a particular direction, I always come upon that sign that says, "Nope. Not good enough."

Okay, when is 'good enough' then? How do we get there? And what standards are we going by here, anyway? Should we not be striving for God's standards, rather than the standards of the world? Easier said than done, I know.

It's so easy to be consumed by what outside sources are feeding us, and it makes me so frustrated that I fall victim to it all time and again. Where does it stop?

"Be still, and know that I am God..." Psalm 46:10a

It's funny, that's not where I was planning on going here, necessarily, but it's so good. Step back, shut up, calm down, and listen to the One who has things under control. I think I'll try that, but I'm do you deal with the "I love you, you're perfect, now change" mentality that we live with? I know I can't be the only one affected by this.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

radio silence

I've spent a lot of time lately thinking instead of writing. Sometimes I think that holding back my words does more good than letting them loose before they're ready to fly.

August 2-7 was a life-changing week for me. Why? To a lot of people, it could have been considered an average week, but there was something key in it for me.

I spent the week as a counselor/team/small group leader at Christian Youth Theater's Resident Teen Camp. It was probably the weirdest experience I've ever had as a leader at a camp, but it was amazing. I've not been stretched like this in years. I spent the entire week completely out of my comfort zone, and I grew so much. Every moment was a challenge for me to be outgoing, and worse, myself! (I know, it's a strange concept to actually be oneself!) I had a lot of awkward moments where the Enemy tried to make me feel like an idiot, but God helped me get through it by reminding me over and over again that who I am is right because that's how He made me, and if other people can't accept that, that isn't my problem.

I also was reminded that that is how I'm supposed to view and accept and love others: just as they are - the way God made them. What a humbling, awesome experience.

Beyond that, I had one of the most fun weeks in several years. I am a theater person, much as I sometimes try to quiet that part of my personality. I hide it not because I'm ashamed, but because others in my life don't always deem it acceptable. How sad, that I should deny who I am out of fear of rejection? If people are rejecting who you are, find other people! Find your tribe!

I've found another piece of my tribe, and I'm so happy. I met some new forever friends last week, and they experienced me both at my craziest theatrical self, and my most insecure. I've always found it hard to make friends, but these people took me at face value, and don't treat me like I'm weird. It's refreshing.

I also spent a lot of time with some AMAZING teens. Most of my time was dedicated to my cabin/small group of 15&16 year old ladies, and my Pink team that I co-led. Even without their ridiculous gifts in musical theater, these are some of the most incredible, God-loving, funny, kind teenagers I have spent time with. I love them so much, and I've been going through withdrawls over the last few days!

I'll stop blabbing now, and post a couple of pictures. :) I borrowed them from Bethany Larson unless otherwise noted.

Part of the Pink Team (my co-leader, Tyler, is to my left in this picture, wearing the pink shoes)
Some of the other Counselors: Annalise, Jesse, Sara, Larry, Aaron, & Samantha
My girl Jenna was the counselor next door (photo by Jenna)
Annalise and I (photo by Brandon Angelo)
More of the Pink Team!

Sunday, July 5, 2009

time warp

I realized today that I am *not* seventeen years old anymore. I understand that, to some of you, the gap between 17 and 23 doesn't seem like it would make that much of a difference, but let me tell you, it's stark. 

I am actually quite disturbed by this realization. I understand that I am not physically a teenager, but that's the easy part. I live very much like a seventeen-year-old. My "space" (no pun intended) in this world consists of a messy bedroom in my parents' house. I own an old car and I work part-time while pretending that I'm working on a novel that I will one day finish and therefore make something of myself. 

I'm not saying this just because I feel like getting down on myself. I'm saying it because maybe putting it on "paper" will spur me on to actually do something about it. 

It's time to grow up mentally and emotionally. Any suggestions on how to do that?

Monday, June 8, 2009

Psalm 126

When the Lord brought back the captives to Zion,
we were like men who dreamed.
Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
"The Lord has done great things for them."
The Lord has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.

Restore our fortunes, O Lord,
like streams in the Negev.
Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.
He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him.

This is the song my heart is singing now. The Lord has done great things for us - He has set us free from captivity, and He had a plan for what He would have us do before He even formed the earth. We were chosen and sent for a purpose. We are meant to fulfill the work that God set for us to do. And even though there are those periods of weeping, we will come out singing songs of joy!

I have been set free from my chains and I am now a slave to goodness! Even though I sowed with tears, I am now dancing and dreaming and laughing. 

The Lord has done great things for us!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

wedding season

it has officially started! yesterday, my lovely friend and former youth leader, Jessica got married to a great guy named Doug. those two are so cute together, and it was such a nice afternoon. 

I love weddings. have I mentioned that before? well, even if I have, I'll say it again. I love weddings! there's just something about them - maybe it's the combination of making such solemn and important promises and a huge party with all the people who matter most. I can't think of much more fulfilling than that.

and with that, my countdown has started for the wedding of two of my best friends - Heather & Casey - just under 3 weeks now. I'm so excited that I don't really have words for it. but that doesn't mean I can just stand around being excited...oh, no. lots to prepare for, and so much celebrating left to do! 

now, if I could just find my groom, we'd be good to go! ah, well. all in good timing. :)

*photo is of my lovely cousin-in-law, Abby, on her wedding day

Sunday, May 24, 2009


I'm finding it's way too easy for me to curl up in my shell and just shuffle through life alone, and I hate that. I love people, and I have an honest need for them, but at the same time I often find myself trapped in my fears of being unacceptable and unloved that I sometimes physically stop myself from being with people. 

Why do I do this? I'm only just scratching the surface in realizing that this is what I've been doing to myself. The psychosis must run much deeper, but I haven't gotten there yet.

Why am I telling you this? Because I want someone to know, and I want someone to help me out of it. I can see myself letting life slip by and that scares me more than the things that are stopping me from living fully. I feel paralyzed by this.

Monday, April 27, 2009


But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart. Luke 2:19

I'm pondering treasures myself right now. It's a wonder to me any time that I have a conversation with God, and I always walk away so changed. I don't wonder at being changed, I'm just always amazed at the experience. 

My heart has been changed in a big way, simply because when God asked me a question, I answered "Yes" this time. And now I'm seeing amazing things as a result. Things I never expected.

Thursday, April 9, 2009


I want to meet someone who makes it so that I can't stop smiling.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


"When we are created by the ultimate creator, there are no boundaries or barriers, the sky is the limit."  
- Promise Tangeman

i love making discoveries. promise tangeman is my new favorite. i found her on the blog of photographer extraordinaire, sarah rhoads

both inspire me to find an outlet for my creativity. and since i was created by the ultimate creator, i should be exploring far more than i do.

maybe they'll inspire you too.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009


i am now what middle schoolers think of as old. i know this because i've heard them say it. 

i think that change can be a good thing, in proper amounts. i think change is necessary for me this year. 

i think too much.

i need to stop thinking so much, and get up and do something.

my theme for this year is 'get ready'. yes, like the song. partially.

get ready, 'cause here i come. 

Thursday, March 19, 2009

fresh start

As scary as change can be, I love new beginnings. I think that is what has kept me going in the years since high school, where I've been flung from situation to situation. I don't love change, but when it brings something unexpected, there's this incredible feeling of hope that charges through me.

This last month has definitely had a fresh start or two. I started a new job that I never saw coming, and it's proved to be the best job I've had. I love it. It's almost like a dream, because I get to do what I'm good at (admin work) for people who love Jesus, and I get to do what I love, which is theater. I've met some incredible people already, and I'm so excited about everything I get to do in the coming months.

What's weird is that I'm discovering that I don't know how to express on the outside how great I've been feeling. I've lived like a stoic for a long time now, trying to keep a positive attitude when I didn't feel like it. I think that's translated to my countenance becoming relatively steady -- I don't show a lot one way or another. (This is a kiss of death to an actor, by the way!) I didn't even realize this until my friend Chester looked at me yesterday and said, "Smile more, Dana!" 

Odd. I was definitely smiling in my head. In fact, I've felt full to bursting lately, but I guess I haven't given anyone reason to believe that! I think it's time for another change. 

This is me smiling out loud. Get used to it. =D

Friday, February 27, 2009

the sun is getting stronger, and the world is green again...

i love spring. and i am so excited for march to come this weekend. it seems to me that this march is going to be exceptionally good, because, for some reason, it is holding a lot of hope. everything is new in the spring, and the sun attempts to make a comeback (if you're somewhere besides the pacific northwest, it actually does make a comeback!), and things come to life...and it just feels like God is breathing on everything and making it shine.

the last couple of years i have really struggled through the winters, for a variety of reasons...the largest being an exceptionally bad job, tough times for my family, a second mediocre job, and an unhealthy amount of stress from doing way too many things half-heartedly. 

this year, the winter hasn't been like that. i'm looking to spring this year not as an escape from winter's pain, but as a continuation of the things that are building. i am so excited about the future, and even though i really don't know what it looks like at all, i am not afraid of it for once. it beckons me with a smile, and i want to run to what God has for me. i can feel it like the promise of the sun on my arms when i'm driving. it's teasing me...summer is coming! get ready for it! 

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I'd like to thank the academy...

so, my lovely friend amy b. posted this little quiz on her blog, and I thought it sounded fun, so I took it too. and lo and behold, I got the same answer she did. I think that's a good sign for both of us, since we once wrote and directed a one-act play together. =) and it was awesome. so maybe, amy dear, we should start writing screenplays, since they are obviously waiting to give us oscars for our brilliance! 

oh, and if you decide to take this, blog friends, please tell me what you will be winning for, since we will obviously need talented actors and crew members to make our award-winning movies! 

You Would Win Best Original Screenplay

You are insightful and expressive. You've always been a natural storyteller.

You know how to hook an audience, entertain them, and surprise them at the end.

Where people see everyday life, you see an engaging plot with interesting characters.

You notice details that other people ignore. People you've only met once or twice live inside your head.

Friday, February 13, 2009


amy tagged me, so I followed the rules, and here's what I came up with:

This is the view of my bed from my desk in my college dorm room, circa September 2004. The green bedding you see belonged to my freshman year roommate, Sarah. A couple weeks after this was taken, Sarah and I bought new posters for our walls, and she made me take Frodo down because it "creeped her out!" I don't know why... =) It was replaced by a "Friends" (TV show) poster that I didn't really care about at the time and a giant calendar where I attempted to track my homework assignments. 

I now tag:
1. Merilee
2. Jaynie
3. Colin
4. Heidi
5. Linda (mom)
6. Kim

Okay, so here's what comes next...
Go to your Picture Folder on your computer or wherever you store your pictures.
1. Pick the 6th Folder, then select the the 6th picture in that folder.
2. Post that picture on your blog and the story that goes along with the picture.
3. Tag 6 other people that you know or don’t know to do the same thing and leave a comment on their blog or an e-mail letting them know you chose them.

Sunday, February 8, 2009

caution: construction zone

I had a conversation with my brother today, and he said some things I really didn't want to hear. I can honestly say that I've never been more insulted in my life. Because he was right. I hate it when he's right. 

So I'm going to change some things. I am under construction. You might need a hardhat to hang out with me for awhile. Prayer would be appreciated.

I'm in repair//I'm not together but I'm getting there
-John Mayer "In Repair"

Friday, February 6, 2009

book friends

as you may well be aware, I love books. sometimes I even find myself a great deal more invested in a character's emotions than I am my own. perhaps it's the writer in me that makes me more aware of the humanness and personalities of fictional characters. perhaps it's something else.

it's just a bit of silliness, really, but my 'book friends' are Ginny Weasley from Harry Potter, Laurie Holbrook from Miss Match by Erynn Mangum, and most of the characters from Robin Jones Gunn's books.

but what I want to know is, if you could be friends in real life with a character from a book, who would you choose to know? who are your 'book friends' now? 

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

sunshine and shadows

my lovely annaliese issued a challenge today to write a post on 'sunshine and shadows,' so here's mine.

the moment I saw her title, I thought of one of my favorite songs by switchfoot, aptly titled the shadow proves the sunshine. I love that line, and that idea. it's like when we are asked to compare good and bad. 'good' cannot exist without 'bad' because there is nothing to measure good with. without shadows, we can't tell that the sun has any effect. darkness proves light. 

speaking of sunshine, it's that time of year when I am absolutely craving it. the sun has been hanging around this neck of the woods for a few days now, but for whatever reason, I haven't been venturing out to enjoy and consume it. why is it that we sometimes hide from the things that we really want, even when opportunities present themselves to us? perhaps the cool of the shadows feels more comfortable, even when in the back of our minds we know that the sunshine will make us happier...

Saturday, January 31, 2009

last ditch

I've been thinking all day about how I wanted a new post before the month was up. But...I couldn't come up with anything I really wanted to write about.

I've been thinking a lot about a lot of things recently. For example, I've been trying to figure out why I didn't get hired for a certain job when my interview went really well, and I felt like they were really interested in me. No answers come, except that maybe that was God closing a door. I'm okay with that as an explanation, but I'm now trying to locate the window he left open...and not quite seeing it. Yet. That doesn't mean he isn't doing other things for me in the meantime. 

I got my tax return two days ago - what a blessing right now, let me tell you! It wasn't a huge amount, but it will definitely keep me going for a bit longer. The first thing I thought when it came was the phrase "The Lord will Provide." I knew from some distant memory that that was the definition of one of God's names. So I went searching for it and found it in the Hebrew to be Yahweh Jireh

God provides. But he needs us to trust him. It's hard, but I'm finding that it's worth it. 

Goodbye January. You were interesting, and I liked that.

Thursday, January 22, 2009


No matter how long it's been since I gave my life to Jesus Christ (in case you're super curious, it was almost 18 years ago), I am constantly floored by the beauty of my Savior and his Awesome power. 

We sang this song at church last night, and while it wasn't my first experience with this hymn, I was struck by it in a new way and I had to share it. I think what hit me hardest last night was the verse that goes "From life's first cry to final breath/Jesus commands my destiny/No power of hell, no scheme of man/Can ever pluck me from His hand" because it's such a great reminder that I'm not trying to do life on my own. Thank goodness! Jesus has me by the hand, and if I'm trusting in him, nothing's going to stop him from doing the work he has planned. What a wonderful promise!

In Christ Alone
In Christ alone my hope is found
He is my light, my strength, my song
This Cornerstone, this solid ground
Firm through the fiercest drought and storm

What heights of love, what depths of peace
When fears are stilled, when strivings cease
My Comforter, my All in All
Here in the love of Christ I stand

In Christ alone, who took on flesh
Fullness of God in helpless babe
This gift of love and righteousness
Scorned by the ones He came to save

'Till on that cross as Jesus died
The wrath of God was satisfied
For every sin on Him was laid
Here in the death of Christ I live

There in the ground His body lay
Light of the world by darkness slain
Then bursting forth in glorious Day
Up from the grave He rose again

And as He stands in victory
Sin's curse has lost it's grip on me
For I am His and He is mine
Bought with the precious blood of Christ

No guilt in life, no fear in death
This is the power of Christ in me
From life's first cry to final breath
Jesus commands my destiny

No power of hell, no scheme of man
Can ever pluck me from His hand
'Till He returns or calls me home
Here in the power of Christ I'll stand

Words and Music by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Desert Island

In honor of a crazy interview I had recently, I think we should play Desert Island.

So, here's how it works (I'm sure you know!):
If you were stranded on a deserted island, and you could only have a handful of things with you, what would you bring? You can have 3 books, 3 movies, and 3 CDs. This is a tech-savvy island, which allows you to play movies & music I guess, but it's just how the game works, so deal! =)

I'll start with my list according to how I answered my interview questions (although we didn't talk music, so I'm making that list now):

The Bible
Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince
Chronicles of Narnia (they make a version that's all seven books in one)

Pride & Prejudice (starring Keira Knightly)
The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope (although now that I've had a chance to think about it, I'd trade this one for the newer live-action Peter Pan starring Jeremy Sumpter and Jason Isaacs. Sorry Mr. Lucas.)

Plans by Death Cab for Cutie
Amy Seeley (I'd compile call it life, the trees are glad you're back, & eight belles onto one disc. Thanks iTunes!)
         ...and I'd have to flip a coin between 
Continuum by John Mayer and Mmhmm by Relient K

Okay, now it's your turn. Feel free to comment on my nerdiness - I have no problem admitting how goofy I am. But I want to know your answers too!

Have fun!

Monday, January 12, 2009

proof that I'm going crazy...

...or that I'm doing something right.

I spent a solid two hours writing this afternoon. It was surprising to me that my attention span lasted, but also that I made real progress. My male lead is developing his character, and I'm prepping to nearly completely rewrite the first section that I wrote today. Yeah, I know...I made progress and now I'm changing everything. That is part of the proof that I am doing something right! 

Proof that I may be going crazy: one of my minor characters (or so I thought!) decided that she wanted to be someone else. She told me. And she wouldn't let it go until I made the change in my notes. Like I said, I may be going crazy. But I know that I'm not the only writer that this happens to. Stephenie Meyer, for example, tells a similar story about one of her minor characters in the Twilight series. On her website, she writes, "Jacob's development into a major character was a strange journey. Originally, Jacob was just a device. ... Something happened then that I didn't expect. Jacob was my first experience with a character taking over—a minor character developing such roundness and life that I couldn't keep him locked inside a tiny role. (Since Jacob, this has reoccurred with several other meant-to-be-minor characters. I really love it when this happens, though it often destroys my outlines.) From the very beginning, even when Jacob only appeared in chapter six of Twilight, he was so alive. I liked him. More than I should for such a small part."

Granted, I haven't gotten far enough in my story to have what happened to me tonight be monumental...yet. Although I'm already seeing changes just from this one thing. A few hours ago, Elizabeth was just a name I had written down to fill out a family that was functioning as backstory. Now, she's editing the plot! 

I think that I am really starting to love the writing process. Bring on the insanity! =)

Wednesday, January 7, 2009


What is inspiration? Is it just one of those fancy words that artistic people use? You know how those interviews go; "Who or what inspires you?" and the response that comes after, "You know, I'd have to say Van Gogh (if the artist is a painter) or Jimi Hendrix (if the artist is a rock guitarist)." 

That isn't to say that I don't have an appreciation for Hendrix, or even a sort of awe when I look at "Starry Night," but what does it really mean to be inspired? I like words, so let's go visit for a definition, shall we? 

According to the entry for inspire (verb), "to inspire" is:
1. to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence: His courage inspired his followers.
5. to animate, as an influence, feeling, thought, or the like, does: They were inspired by a belief in a better future.

Okay, now we have something to work with. What animates you? What brings the life out of you? 

Here is a list (in progress) of what stirs my heart to action or reflection. These are the things that make me want to create something of beauty in response to what they have done in me.

*stars: the heavens never cease to amaze me and remind me of God's majesty

*dreams: daydreams are the best because they stay with you longer

*lyrics: the kind that mean something...not manufactured for an audience, but a piece of the writer's heart (an excellent example: amy seeley)

*photography with soul: if a picture really is worth a thousand words, what happens when a photo renders me speechless? 

*creativity that serves: there is little more encouraging to me than seeing someone use their talents and gifts to make the world better for others

*color: that certain shade of aqua or coral that can just make my day brighter 

*love: pure and unselfish love is somewhat harder to come by these days, it seems, but when I see it, I can't help but be moved to rejoice

*design: true, the clothes don't make the man, but the design says a lot about the man (or woman!) who created the clothes. Somewhere in that expression is the key that makes me want to create things myself.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

"so this is the new year...

...and I don't feel any different."
-The New Year by Death Cab for Cutie

Actually, I do feel different. This year holds all sorts of hope and new possibilities, and I am determined to start it off right. My goal is to maintain a positive outlook and a prayerful attitude. I want to make loving people a priority. I want to not only start things, but also finish them, and put my whole heart into whatever I'm doing.

These are not resolutions. They are simply things that I would like to see grow in me this year.

Happy 2009!