Saturday, November 27, 2010

In honor of turkeys everywhere...

I was planning to post this on Thanksgiving, but I forgot.  This is an essay that I wrote several years ago, but I thought I'd re-post it for all of my newer followers. It's a true story. Enjoy!

Meal or Menace?

First they attacked my aunt.

She was strolling down a deserted gravel road with her sister-in-law, hoping to enjoy the nature and maybe catch a glimpse of the wildlife that lives on the 200-acre farm. Neither of them knew that they were being trailed. The stalkers prowled on stealthy legs through the nearby rye field, their savage eyes never leaving the two walkers. They snaked their way through the swaying rye and at last darted in front of the startled women. With a scream my aunt and her sister-in-law turned and dashed back up the road toward the safety of the farmhouse. One of the group still pursued them, and his powerful legs kicked up a small sandstorm behind him. He only halted when they had reached my grandparents’ mailbox near the house. With a cluck of satisfaction and a rustle of feathers, he sauntered away.

Who were these attackers? Thugs? Gangsters? Robbers? No. My aunt was attacked by wild turkeys.

These once-rare birds had first been spotted the previous Thanksgiving, when we all gathered at my grandparents’ house for the traditional family feast. The turkeys lay low in the woods, only daring to make their appearance after we had filled our stomachs with one of their unlucky cousins. Nobody knows where they came from or why they suddenly appeared.

My grandma, delighted with the huge birds, adopted them as her feral pets (to join the bunnies and the deer). She dotes on them with corn and birdseed, and she worries about them when it gets cold. Plenty of hopeful hunters have come up to ask if they could hunt on the property, but my grandma won’t allow it. “No one is going to shoot them!” she says fiercely. “My poor babies! Mommy’s looking out for you!”

However, since she started feeding them, they’ve come back every day looking for more. And they’ve gotten pushy about it, too. If you don’t have any food, they chase you. If you don’t come outside, they peck at the house and peer in the kitchen window. Many times my grandma has been startled by a “peeping tom.”

The turkeys’ appearance alone can intimidate a wildcat or send a Rottweiler running off with his tail between his legs. Their heads look like they were dipped in lard, then stuck crudely on their scrawny pink necks. Most of the males have “beards” in the middle of their chests, which they puff out while they strut about, giving the impression of a pompous judge or a wealthy businessman. I don’t know why my grandma keeps feeding those fat old vultures.

Ever since that first incident with my aunt, the turkeys have chased everyone from the mailman to the meter reader. Whenever someone comes over to my grandparents’ house, my grandpa tells them, “Watch out for those turkeys.” Oh, and I would like to add some of my own advice: don’t hang around in your car too long. The bloodthirsty birds will attack your vehicle.

However, there are some advantages to having these crazy birds around. The turkeys keep away trespassers, door-to-door salespeople, and other unwelcome intruders. When I’m safe in my bed, I can sleep peacefully knowing that a rafter of wild turkeys is patrolling the block. I almost feel sorry for any prowlers out there. Almost. I have to say I would love to see those vandals who break the windows of my grandpa’s barn screaming in fear as they run from a pack of man-eating turkeys.

© Rachel H.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Sorry! I'm writing a novel at the moment! Please leave a message and I'll get back to you in December.

It's National Novel Writing Month! (aka NaNoWriMo)
So, you probably won't see much of me for awhile. I do this every year (hopefully, this will be my sixth "win"), and I absolutely love it. If you've ever considered writing a novel, you might want to check this out.

I'm writing a YA Christian fantasy novel again. The title is Greenheart, and it's the prequel to last year's novel, Bluewillow. I'm writing by hand, so I haven't had any time to type up any excerpts yet, but I'll be sure to do that... in December. :)

Here's a (rather lengthy) one-sentence summary:
A curious orphan who talks to trees learns that he is one of the Flickerfew, and struggles to master his strange talents to save his world from genetically engineered wild beasts and the evil that controls them.

At the librarians' request, I made a display about NaNoWriMo at my local library, which you can see in this picture (go ahead, you can click it if you want to):

And of course I couldn't resist making a web banner for my novel:

That's all for now, folks! See you in December!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Some Autumn Poetry

I tend to write more poetry in the spring and fall than during any other time of the year. Here are some of the songs and poems that I came up with these past couple of months.

Let go
Spin away from the others
Let them follow
Together twirling
To the rhythm of the wind.
Pirouette with me
A whirling cyclone
Sail along the ground
Never touching it
The wind slows
     and drifts away
My friends whisper farewell
     and settle down to sleep
Only I remain
     carried by the echoes
Far from the tree
from which I fell.

Jumbled thoughts
can steal the day
When your mind is lost
Imagination will play
But it won't get you anywhere
Until you let go
Of the thought of controlling air
And follow the flow...

Soar with the butterflies
Through the ever-changing skies
Drop down sparks of inspiration
The world needs to catch some imagination.

A bit of fun
can banish the pain
When your heart is broken
See the sun through the rain
You can get about anywhere
If you let go
Of the thought of controlling air
And follow the flow...

When one spark finds a home
      in an open hand
When a free and roaming
      wandering band
With a shout the rising sound
      will command
A movement beyond that which you
      can imagine...


Follow the flow
Let the air currents hold you
The stars all aglow
Let the melody mold you

Soar with the butterflies
Through the ever-changing skies
Drop down sparks of inspiration
And the whole world will catch some

I wrote this last one while we were driving through Illinois farmland, and thinking about our own family's farm back home, as the soybeans were getting harvested. (I'll put some pictures of the harvest on my photo blog as soon as I get a chance)

Harvest Song
Flat, flat farmland
Stretchin' to tomorrow
The beans are gettin' combined
I know that this land is mine
The dirt is turned
The sky is clear
No rain until next week I hear
Gotta get the crops in store
I only got one field more
And I'll be ready for winter's roar.

Friday, October 22, 2010

Psalm 139

Psalm 139 has been on my heart and mind a lot lately, so I thought I’d share it with all of you.

1 O Lord, you have searched me and known me!
2 You know when I sit down and when I rise up;
you discern my thoughts from afar.
3 You search out my path and my lying down
and are acquainted with all my ways.
4 Even before a word is on my tongue,
behold, O Lord, you know it altogether.
5 You hem me in, behind and before,
and lay your hand upon me.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;
it is high; I cannot attain it.

7 Where shall I go from your Spirit?
Or where shall I flee from your presence?
8 If I ascend to heaven, you are there!
If I make my bed in Sheol, you are there!
9 If I take the wings of the morning
and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea,
10 even there your hand shall lead me,
and your right hand shall hold me.
11 If I say, “Surely the darkness shall cover me,
and the light about me be night,”
12 even the darkness is not dark to you;
the night is bright as the day,
for darkness is as light with you.

13 For you formed my inward parts;
you knitted me together in my mother's womb.
14 I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.
Wonderful are your works;
my soul knows it very well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you,
when I was being made in secret,
intricately woven in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed substance;
in your book were written, every one of them,
the days that were formed for me,
when as yet there was none of them.

17 How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!
18 If I would count them, they are more than the sand.
I awake, and I am still with you.

19 Oh that you would slay the wicked, O God!
O men of blood, depart from me!
20 They speak against you with malicious intent;
your enemies take your name in vain!
21 Do I not hate those who hate you, O Lord?
And do I not loathe those who rise up against you?
22 I hate them with complete hatred;
I count them my enemies.

23 Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
24 And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Compass to Point the Way

For my birthday, my parents gave me this lovely brass compass. Cool, huh? It came in the mail today. Now my head is full of exploration and quests and sailing ships and steampunk-ish adventures. 

These words were in the card they gave me:
"You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart." Jeremiah 29:13

May this gift always remind you of your true compass, the Word of God.

It's a good reminder.

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Turning Twenty

Today is my last day as a teenager.

It's hard to believe, even for me. I certainly don't feel like a twenty-year-old. I've often felt that I don't fit my age, starting way back when I was eleven years old. I realized then that in many ways, I was both older and younger than other kids I knew. Here's why:

I felt older because I read so much and was well-informed about a wide variety of subjects (I think a lot of it came from being home-schooled, but that's another topic altogether). Also, I wasn't swayed by most of the fickle notions of my generation.

But at the same time, I felt younger. I didn't feel the need to grow up fast and be burdened with the cares of adulthood. I spent hours climbing trees and exploring in the woods with my siblings and the neighbor kids. My brother and I played with our Beanie Babies and created a world for them to inhabit in our imaginations (we continued to do this even through most of our teenage years). I was content to be a kid and let the adults deal with logistics and issues that came up. Many of my friends were eager to grow up, find new acquaintances, get a job, start a family, etc, but for me, it was enough to read and play.

It was a precious time for me, and I'm glad that I had such a great family who encouraged me and loved me all through my childhood.

It's weird to think that I'm leaving that era behind me now, as I make the transition into adulthood at last. I still don't feel ready to step out on my own, but I need to trust Jesus to guide and protect me as I follow his call for my life.

God willing, I'll find a college that feels right to me and I'll start the next stage of my education surrounded by Christian peers and mentors. I'll always love my family --they're my best friends-- but I know that I'm destined to eventually follow a new path, perhaps I'll start my own family someday (although that's really hard to imagine right now!)

So, as I take a deep breath and step into another year of life and growth, I'm turning my thoughts to the future and how I can use these next years to glorify God with my life as an adult.

Soli Deo Gloria!

Friday, August 27, 2010


This is a brief message to say...
Thanks to my newest follower, Lizzy, I now have 50 followers on this blog! A great big THANK YOU to all of you!

And this is my 80th post.

When I reach my 100th post, I'll do a giveaway. Just to get some ideas, what kinds of things do you like in a giveaway? (Please, nothing too elaborate here-- I'm not going to buy something like a horse or a submarine and pay to ship it across the country!)

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Good News

My computer is fixed! Yay! Hopefully I can do some more blogging now that I have it back.

Other news:

- I finally bought myself a recurve bow, and I'll be competing in the Renaissance Festival as well as the 4-H State Shoot in September! It's much harder to pull back than the 4-H bows I used, but I love it.

- We brought my younger brother to college about a week ago. It's weird to have him gone, but it sounds like he's having a great time.

- I've been starting to apply to colleges. Yes, me. I've been realizing lately that I do indeed want to go to college, especially now that my brother is away at college. :) More on this in the coming weeks...

- Next Sunday is my Mom & Dad's 25th wedding anniversary party, and right afterwards we have to race to the State Fairgrounds for our 4-H judging. (I'm going to be performing my piano solo, and I'm rather nervous)

- Finally, I'm thinking about revamping my blog(s). This will probably take some time for me to get straightened out, but I'm brainstorming for a better title (Evergreena's Journal just doesn't cut it anymore), and I'm thinking about making the focus more clear. I'm also thinking about combining my photography blog with this one. These are all just random thoughts for now, but keep an eye out for changes in the future.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Bits 'n' Pieces of Random Poetry

My computer is sick.
I'm taking it in to the Apple Store this evening. Hopefully they can fix it (cheaply and quickly!)

I thought I'd share some of the poetry and song lyrics I've been writing lately. A lot of it is about strange topics, like Antarctica and flipping pencils. Some of these are incomplete. Some of them have tunes that I'm in the process of composing. All of them are random.

First of all, a rumination on poetry itself:

Poetry is what pours forth from your head, your heart, your hand as you sprawl on a window-seat and watch the world change colors and live, live like a sunflower and age as a stone and laugh like a toddler who has found a Daddy Longlegs in a crack in the wall, flow like clouds in a sunset or maybe it's a sunrise but it doesn't really matter, who cares, because your poetry belongs to you, not the library, not uncle, not the public unless you shout it from the rooftops in bold letters earning the right to call yourself

The Dancer
I lift my hands to the sky
Around and around I fly
My bare feet in the flowers
As my shadow cowers
But I am free,
Free, free.

My eyes are raised to the sun
As I twirl around and run
My heart soars as I leap
Though my shadow fear will keep
But I am alive
Alive, alive.

Kicking up Dust
On a summer Sunday -afternoon-
When I was only six years old
My mother sent me out to play
I went peacefully
But when I got outside
-and this was a sunny day-
I went out to the driveway...

Kicking up dust
Shuffling my bare feet
Kicking up dust
   as I danced in the heat
Kicking up dust
I played and had lots of fun
Kicking up dust
   and dirt and sand in the sun.

I was very dusty -it covered me-
Of course I had to have a bath
My mother sent me to the tub
I went peacefully
But when I got all dry
I dashed right back out the door
To the driveway for some more...


Now that I am older -all grown up-
I know that I should not kick dust
My mother will not clean me up
I walk peacefully
But when I see a dirt road
'specially when it's sunny
I suddenly get all funny...

Final chorus:
Kicking up dust
Shuffling my shod feet
Kicking up dust
   as I dance in the heat
Kicking up dust
I play and have lots of fun
Kicking up dust
   and dirt and sand in the sun.

South Pole Dreaming
Waiting for the sun to go to sleep
As I watch with bleary eyes
I think I'll be counting sheep
For a really long time, I realize
'Cause this night
is a really long night
It'll last for months, it seems
How I love Antarctic dreams

Stars above in the velvet sky
Time to sit and wonder why?
The sun has gone on his vacation
And I'm here at the South Pole Station
Dreaming of you...
In my everlasting Antarctic dreams.

It'll be a long, cold summer without you
Cooped up in this building with no room to run
I really don't know what I'll do
I really need to see the sun
'Cause this night
is a really long night
It's lasting for centuries, it seems
How I loathe Antarctic dreams.

I walk into the classroom
Take a seat in the back
Wish I could hide in the bathroom
But then I see the guy in a black
   t-shirt in the front row
Showing off how his pencil can fly
Around his fingers
And then I really have to try...

Flippin' it around
It hits the ground
   again and again
What's the use of being prehensile
if I can't flip a pencil?

When you're having a bad day
and the world gets you down
I take a smiley-face sticker
And turn that frown around

Stickers, stickers everywhere
On my wall and in my hair
I gotta have those tacky little pictures
I live in a world of stickers

It's just a small piece of life
To brighten the day and cheer the night
Stickers wait in my drawer
And whenever you're feeling poor
I break out my stickers

I've got 'em for every personality
They come from every nationality
To bring some whimsicality...

Stickers, stickers everywhere
On my wall and in my hair
I gotta have those tacky little pictures
I live in a world of stickers.

Writing songs at midnight
You prob'ly think I'm crazy, right?
But when inspiration blows in
On the evening wind
And I hear the inklings of a song
I know, here I belong.

Whispers of lyrics chime in my head
How could I think of going to bed?
Now is the time for my ink to run
And my eyes both glint with imagination
As I feel the rumblings of a song
I know, here I belong.

This is the time when the world is alive
When the bullfrogs thrum
   and the junebugs hum
   and the sound of the wind on
   the flagpole clanking
And a lonely dog across the lake
I know I was meant to make
   music tonight...
At midnight.

All poems © 2010 Rachel H. Please don't copy or re-post without permission.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Fairies: An Altered Book

I'm just finishing up my altered book project, and I thought I would share some photos. I originally made this book as a gift for my younger sister at Christmastime, but now I'm finally finishing it to enter in 4H fine arts at the county fair this week.

I made the book out of a copy of The Thousand and One Nights.

Here's the title page:

Table of Contents:

Since I made the book for my sister, I tucked a note for her inside a pocket:

This is one of my favorite pages. I used a portrait of Queen Victoria that I had kicking around, and gave her fairy wings. :)

On the side of the page, there's a few tags that can be pulled out of hidden slots:

(You flip the center panel to reveal the rest of the page)
Originally, the rest of the book was blank, so that my sister could add to it if she wanted to. But she decided she wanted me to make a "Fairy Treasures" page, with a niche for trinkets and beads, etc. So I glued together the rest of the pages and cut out a shadowbox. The picture is of Ali Baba showing off his treasure, which was in the book to begin with. I just finished this page today. 

See all those nifty treasures?

That's one full book!

Friday, July 16, 2010

Summer Reading

After another long interval between my infamous sporadic posts, I present you with my summer reading piles.

Yes, piles.

First we have my in-progress pile. These are all books that I'm currently reading. I tend to read a lot of books at once. That way, if I get tired of one book, I can put it down and pick up in the middle of another book. I'm a migratory reader.
Starting from the bottom of the pile:
The Life of the Forest, by Jack McCormick - I'm reading this non-fiction book as research for my next novel, Greenheart, which will mostly take place in a temperate rainforest. I want it to feel real, and this book is very helpful and interesting.

Digital Art Revolution, by Scott Ligon - I picked this book up because I love creating digital art with Photoshop, and I'd love to do more with it. It's got tons of weird artwork in it, but it teaches some great techniques and tricks with Photoshop.

Getting Into Character, by Brandilyn Collins - This book on creating three-dimensional characters requires a lot of thought, because each new thing presented is so unique and revolutionary. It's taking me a long time to read it, because I'm trying to fully understand each concept before I move on. I think it will definitely help my writing down the road.

Writing Fiction for Dummies, by Randy Ingermanson - The ingenious "Snowflake Guy" wrote this awesome book for writers of all ages and experience levels. Everything is laid out, clear and concise. Even though I've read almost a dozen books on writing, this one offers some questions and exercises that have made me think about my writing from a different angle. I recommend it!

The Restorer, by Sharon Hinck - I'm re-reading this one because I like it so much. An ordinary mom gets sucked into a fantasy world on the brink of war, and she's expected to become some warrior hero? What's not to like? (Besides, I think Kieran is one of the best characters of all time.)

Emma, by Jane Austen - I've seen several different movie versions of this classic story, but this is the first time I've actually read it. It took me awhile to get into it, because I just didn't like the heroine, Emma. But then I realized that you just can't take her too seriously, and I began to really enjoy it. It's a lighthearted, comedic romance story.

Airborn, by Kenneth Oppel - I bought this book used at my library for about 10 cents. I knew nothing about it. It's amazing! It's an alternate version of history set at the height of airship travel, with sky pirates, mysterious flying mammals, and lots of swashbuckling adventures in the clouds. I love it so far! (I'm really starting to like the "Steampunk" genre)

Start Here: Doing Hard Things Right Where You Are, by Alex and Brett Harris - This is a sequel to the awesome book Do Hard Things. It's full of encouragement, ideas, and practical advice for teens who wish to break free of the low expectations placed on young people today. Teens have raised money to build wells in Africa, sailed solo around the world, made award-winning movies... what will you do? And more importantly, why are you doing it?

As soon as I finish reading all of those books, I'll move on to my to-read pile:

100 Cupboards, by N. D. Wilson
The Unicorn Chronicles book 4: The Last Hunt, by Bruce Coville
Brightly Woven, by Alexandra Bracken
Stravaganza: City of Masks, by Mary Hoffman
Over Sea, Under Stone, by Susan Cooper
Heartless, by Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Adobe Photoshop CS3 Classroom in a Book
By Darkness Hid, by Jill Williamson (not pictured)

And that's just a fraction of the books I'd like to read. *sigh* So many books, so little time. What have you been reading? Have you read any of these books?

Also, I seem to have forgotten to announce the arrival of my free paperback copy of my novel, Bluewillow, from CreateSpace. Here's a picture:

I made the cover, and I'm really happy with how it turned out. My sister agreed to pose as my main character (I turned her hair blue in Photoshop). Sorry that my flash sorta washed things out. It looks better in person.

Now my family is reading it together in the evenings. *gasp* So many people listening to my writing at once! Aaaaahh! Panic attack!! *ahem*

That's all for now, folks!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Before I die...

Aaah! I realize that I've REALLY been neglecting my blogs! My life is always so busy in the spring. Here's a quick post of the things I want to do before I die.

This first list is from way back in 2008:
1. Someday, I want to make a movie.
2. Someday, I want to go body flying.
3. Someday, I want to go to Antarctica.
4. Someday, I want to go to college and see what they know.
5. Someday, I want to go on a missions trip.
6. Someday, I want to join a writing group.
7. Someday, I want to go sailing on an old-fashioned ship.
8. Someday, I want to build a treehouse.
9. Someday, I want to go downhill skiing.
10. Someday, I want to memorize a book of the Bible.
11. Someday, I want to read through the entire encyclopedia.
12. Someday, I want to learn how to sword-fight.

It was fun to go back and look at my dreams from two years ago. Some of these things are exactly the same on the list I wrote today. It's freaky. Without having seen this list for two years, I used some of the same wording! And a few of these things mysteriously dropped off the new list. (I guess I just forget them in some cases, and in the case of the movie and sword-fighting, I've done that somewhat already!)

The new list:
1. Build a treehouse.
2. Finish reading the encyclopedia.
3. Get published.
4. Visit the South Pole Station (or McMurdo Station) in Antarctica.
5. Hike the Appalachian Trail.
6. Go winter camping in the Boundary Waters.
7. See the migrating raptors at Hawk Ridge in Duluth.
8. Go to college and see what they know.
9. Take a road trip from Alaska to Argentina.
10. Memorize a book of the Bible.
11. Learn Quenya. (I've started already)
12. Run through the hills of Austria while singing. :)
13. Gallop bareback on the seashore.
14. Get my driver's license.
15. Sail on a tall ship on open seas.
16. Write 50,000 words in 24 hours. (The most I've done is 12,000)
17. Go on a missions trip.
18. Start a trend. :)

Not necessarily in that order!  So, what do YOU want to do before you die?

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Me as Peter Pan :)

When I was little, I was enamored with Peter Pan.  I often pretended that I flew away to the Neverland and had all sorts of adventures. I even drew giant X's on the dirt driveway and scribbled "Land Here" so that if Peter ever flew overhead, he'd come and find me. When I was five years old, I wanted to be Peter Pan for Halloween. My mom said, "But you're a girl!" I didn't care. I didn't want to be Wendy. I had to be Peter Pan. *grin*
So my wonderful mother made these adorable costumes for me and my brother for Trick-or-Treating. (My brother insisted on wearing the eyepatch, even though everyone knows that the only thing Captain Hook lost was his hand.)

Sorry for the bad quality of the pictures. They're many years old now, and I had to scan them in.  

Here's another one. Notice my cardboard sword. That's the one part of the costume that my mom let me make. (You really have to use your imagination.) My brother loved holding his candy bucket with the hook. For some reason, people kept asking me if I was Robin Hood. Now how would they think that? I didn't have a bow and arrows! *huff*

Ah, yes. Even years after that Halloween, I would put on the costume and jump on the couch to imagine I was flying. I eventually wore the costume to pieces and had to make a new one. I took an oversized green t-shirt and sewed bits of fabric to it for leaves. Sadly, I couldn't find any pictures of me in my "Martha Pan" outfit. But I did find this:

It's Tiger Lily! I made the headband and one of the drums as part of our homeschooling, and I became certain that I was meant to be an Indian princess. Good times... 

Second to the right, and then straight on till morning!

A Peter Pan Event!

Nina has organized an entire event devoted to Peter Pan! I'm so excited about it! The book by J. M. Barrie has always been one of my favourites. This event is going on RIGHT NOW, and it ends on the 13th. I'm hoping to have a post up in the next couple of days.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Those of you who have been following my blog for ages might remember how much I love altered books. I posted some pictures of my first altered book here and here. Now I'm working on my third project! The theme is simply "Blue."  I connect things with different colors (and I think I have a form of synesthesia), so I thought I'd make a book of those things. Here's the page I did today. You've got circles, ferns, a butterfly, and lots of glazes.  It was so much fun to make! When you take art too seriously, it takes all the joy out of it. Art is supposed to be fun. Do you agree?

Friday, April 30, 2010

Four Fun Facts! (Planting Chums)

It's the final week of Planting Chums, and the instructions this time is simply to post Four Fun Facts about yourself!

Fact #1 - I climb trees. Even though I'm almost an adult. :) Who says you have to be a kid to enjoy the swaying of the branches in the breeze, and the songs of the birds all around you, and the rough bark on your bare feet? Besides, did you know that tree climbing is an official sport now? It's only a matter of time before it's admitted into the Olympics... (Or so I hope!)

Fact #2 - My room is crammed full of bookshelves (which are all filling up with books). I have three of them, and I live in the smallest room in our house! One bookshelf is devoted to non-fiction and my journals (I've got over twenty of those- I haven't exactly counted them in a while), and another is full of fiction and my novels that I've written, and the smallest one is for audio books, CDs, DVDs, and old used books that I want to turn into works of altered art.

Fact #3 - I never liked Barbies as much as Beanie Babies. Barbies were too girly and grown-up. (Though I did sometimes play with the smaller Stacy doll). Beanies, on the other hand, were: a) animals, which I love;  b) soft enough to throw at my brother and sisters without getting hurt when they beaned me back; c) my brother could play with me- we created a whole fantastic, imaginary world for our Beanies, called (of course) Beanie Land- it had everything from a city of roller coasters to gigantic rooms under the ground, from greedy creatures called "Anenemies" to rockets made out of Tinker Toys... and I'll never forget the time the Nanooks got lost in the Ban-yow Tree! I think the hours we spent adventuring in Beanie Land greatly influenced my writing when I got older. I'm thankful for all the wonderful memories with our Beanies.

Fact #4 - I am having trouble with this last fun fact... Okay, here it is. I LOVE PHOTOSHOP!
Some things I've done with it:

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Family Fotos (Planting Chums)

I'm finally ready to put up my Planting Chums post for this week! (Better late than never, right?)
The topic this week is "Family Fotos." I knew at once what I wanted to post, but... These pictures were taken with my mom's film camera, so I had to go get them printed from the negatives. :) Ah, the joys of film...

Welcome to Assateague Island!  Five years ago, my family took a road trip to Washington, D.C., and while we were out East, we decided to visit Chincoteague and Assateague islands in Maryland. (Has anyone read Misty of Chincoteague? This is the place.) We were hoping to see some wild ponies, but they kept their distance, so we walked down to the ocean instead. A lady walked by and asked if we needed someone to take a family portrait, and we thanked her and formed a group by the water's edge. We smiled, and she snapped a picture of us. Nice family picture, huh?

Ah, but the ocean had other plans for us. With our backs turned to the waves, we never saw it coming. A giant wave zoomed forward and attacked us! All of us got very wet feet as we jumped and screeched and tried to get away. And the lady on the beach wound the film and took another picture of us, bless her heart.

After we escaped the angry wave, we all looked at each other and laughed like crazy. And the lady took yet another picture, bless her heart.

These pictures were not staged. What you see is exactly what happened! And we have a record of this hilarious memory, all because of that nice lady on the beach. Thank you, lady, whoever you are!

Monday, April 19, 2010

The World is My Classroom

I made the decision not to go to college right now, so that I can pursue self-directed study. That may sound crazy to some people, but with the support of my parents, I decided that this is the best path for me, for now.

So what am I doing? What is "self-directed study?" I'm using these years to hone my writing skills, to study, practice, and learn more about photography and photo editing, and I'm attempting to capture and compose the music I hear in my head. I'm studying language, the sound and flow of words in English and other tongues. I'm reading books on writing, and analyzing my own writing for ways to improve. I'm journaling, journaling, journaling. I'm experimenting with photography, I'm trying my hand at portraiture. All of these things and more.

I must train myself to think of these years as my "college years," even though I'm not actually going there.  I need to get into that mindset, so that I'll start acting that way, with focused intensity, dedication, and imagination, so that I'll be productive and gain knowledge that will open doors for me in the future. Above all, I'm placing my trust in God's hands. I may not see it yet, but I know he has a plan for my life.

The world is my classroom... and now is the time for learning.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Script Frenzy Elevator Pitch!

Check out my *first* YouTube video, featuring the plot of one of my screenplays, "Merrily!" For more info, see this post.

Ha, I just realized how dorky the preview picture is. *slaps forehead*

Fun Games (Planting Chums)

4 - Four Fridays of CONNECTIONS (forging friendships)

Yes! I'm doing Planting Chums, which a fun event hosted by Hannah at Aspire!
So, the topic this week is Fun Games.

First of all, I'm not much of a game-person. I always used to cry whenever I lost Mouse Trap. (Of course, for some weird reason, I always lost). That's the one where the players spend most of the game building this incredibly intricate "trap" as you move your little plastic mouse around the board, collecting cardboard cheese. It was a fun game until the very end, when you find yourself under the basket at the end of the trap, and your opponent sets off the chain reaction with a silver marble. I remember the feeling of dread as the Rube-Goldberg-esque device teetered and tottered and flipped and spun around. If the marble fell off, or something went wrong, I was safe, but if not...
The basket fell on my poor mouse, and I was caught. GAME OVER! Muh ha ha ha!
For a seven-year-old, it was traumatic.

And SORRY! wasn't much better. You never knew when one of the other players would decide to send you back to the beginning, claiming "SORRY!" in a gloating manner. It was so frustrating to be so close to the end of the game and then end up at the start again!

And I was never very athletic, so I didn't like outdoor games like Capture the Flag, Dodgeball, or Kickball.

So what games DO I like?

For one, I adore word games, like Scrabble, and particularly Boggle.
My whole family loves Boggle. It's a word-search game that can get very competitive between my parents (who are both excellent spellers), and more recently, me and my brother.

But I think the best game for passing the time is a game that my brother and sister and I made up. We call it... THE RANDOM GAME!

Heh. It's best with two or more players who are in a random mood. In other words, silly. Here are the rules:
-the first person starts out by saying a random word,
-the next person says another random word,
-and so on.
-You can say nouns, verbs, colors, feelings, names, quotes, punch lines from inside jokes, moo like a cow, anything, as long as it's random. :)
-No repeating words,
-and if your word is related to the previous person's word, you get "booed."
-Gameplay goes on until everyone gets tired of it and decides to do something worthwhile.

Like I said, it's random. We love it.

So what games do you enjoy--- or hate?