Sunday, November 30, 2014

December is Coming

It's been raining off and on the last couple of days. Today the sky didn't even achieve a speck of blue. It was all a wall of cloud, occasionally dropping more of the precious water onto the ground below. The weather is cooling off, and we're making use of the central heat and the wood-burning fireplace, as well as wrapping ourselves in blankets and warm clothing.
So Thanksgiving is over. Now it's getting to be that time again, the time when people consume their weight in candy canes and cookies, cover their homes inside and out with flashing multicolored lights, and dream about the miraculous white stuff known as snow.
Yes, everyone, December is coming. And with it, the month brings Christmas and New Year's Eve. As I type this post, TobyMac is singing a Christmas song, one of many I've set up on the holiday-themed playlist. Before long, I'll be starting holiday shopping. Hopefully by some miracle, my family will be easy to shop for. And though it scarcely happens where I live, I'm hoping really hard that it will snow at some point this winter. Soon many people will be experiencing snow. In fact, in some places, people are trying to dig a tunnel to the driveway already. I could have sworn there was a yard here, before ten feet of snow fell...
To all of you people, I wish you a merry holiday season. It's the time when we spend time with our families, when we are thankful for what we have, it's the season of giving, and so much more. And don't forget the reason we celebrate Christmas: because on that night many years ago, Jesus was born.

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Casey

I sometimes tell people I was born in a town called lard. In a way, it's quite true. I was born in Manteca, which means 'lard' in Spanish. The name of the town was actually a spelling mistake; it wasn't supposed to named after pig fat.
The town was growing rapidly, and my parents wanted to move to a less crowded and busy place. So after I finished kindergarten, we moved to a rural town, so small that atlases generally don't mention it. One of the houses next door was home to a family that included Casey, a girl one year younger than me. We soon became friends. It was pretty lucky, if you ask me. I had a friend not long after moving to a new place, and we could literally walk to each other's houses.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Hibernation

I was talking to one of my friends, and she was saying that she planned to go to sleep soon, even though it wasn't even seven P.M. yet. I make a joke about her hibernating for the winter, and she said 'I wish'. Then again. she's fairly busy and doesn't always get as much sleep as she'd like to.
The idea of hibernating brought something to my mind. If I were to hibernate, I would choose to hibernate during summer. What can I say, I'm not a big fan of hundred degree weather under the blazing sun. Of course, hibernating would mean I spend months asleep, months I could use to read books, write stories, and eat frozen treats like popsicles. So what I would like to do, rather than hibernate, is sprout wings and fly north for the summer. Imagine all your friends complaining to you over the phone about how the weather is 110 F, while you're sitting on the porch staring at the snow and stroking the thick fur of an arctic wolf.
 "Oh, I'm really sorry that the weather is so horrible. And your air conditioning broke down? That must be awful. Anyway, you should see the weather up here. We got sixteen inches of snow, and the mercury in the thermometer froze solid last night. Below fifty degrees last night, it was crazy!"
Of course, if you have a conversation like that with your friend, you might not have them as a friend for long. Here they are, melting in the sun while you're relaxing in an igloo.
Of course, the weather is finally starting to cool down, so it'll be a while before I consider fleeing from hot weather, and hiding in Siberia or Antarctica or something like that. What I will be doing is hoping really hard that it snows this upcoming winter. 

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Thanksgiving Day

It was shortly after Thanksgiving Day. A four-year-old boy came walking out of the kitchen, a huge hunk of turkey in his hand. His parents looked at each other, questioning.
"Did you let him have the turkey?"
"No. Did you?"
"No."
"His first refrigerator raid!"

Yes, my brother loves eating turkey. So do I. And my mother. My father also loves turkey, but unfortunately he can't eat it anymore because of gout. But between the three of us, we happily gobble up the delectable goodness.
Thanksgiving is the day we often associate with turkey, cranberry jelly, pumpkin pie, and other wonderful foods. We associate with the house smelling like food. We associate it with putting another leaf into the table, and even then the table is crowded with dishes of different edibles.
Of course, Thanksgiving isn't just about gorging yourself and then falling into a turkey coma while Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade is moving across the flat-screen TV. Otherwise, it would be called 'Feastgiving Day' instead.
No, Thanksgiving is about being thankful for what we have. Perhaps we don't stop and think about that enough. We are blest with many things, such as friends and family who care about us, food, a roof over our heads, clothing, the freedoms our country allows us, good health, the possessions we have, and so much more. We are blest with God's love and mercy, blest with all the things He provides for us.
So, this Thanksgiving, don't just be thinking about stuffing your face. Reflect also on what Thanksgiving is all about: being thankful.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Rough Drafts

I hide from my own writing sometimes. I avoid it, avoid looking at the stuff that will reduce me to a mad, foaming-at-the-mouth monster who will delete massive portions of things, screaming, "NO!!! THIS WON'T DO! I'M A HORRID WRITER AND I HAVE TO START OVER WITH A NEW DRAFT! EVERYTHING STINKS! NO ONE CAN BE PERMITTED TO SEE THE HORRIFIC THING!"

Rereading your own writing- tearing pages with angry face

Er, anyway, you get the idea. I don't do this to everything, of course. Some of my writing, I'm fine with. Other stuff, I criticize terribly. When I refer to 'hiding from my writing', I'm mainly referring to my manuscript.
Yes, the manuscript. Insanely long, yet I know there's a thousand things I'll want to edit/delete/hide from. One of the reasons for my madness stems from the perfectionist. The perfectionist looks at things, and then points out a hundred flaws, such as being poorly written, ridiculous, not well, explained, and so on and so forth. Another issue is that I keep changing my mind. An element of the story is now different (because my original idea wasn't turning out well). Really, this happens a lot. An idea doesn't work well, or is crummy, or I think of something better, and so my story morphs.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Poetry

I remember being in elementary school, and being assigned to do poetry. I always dreaded this, because I felt like I wasn't good at poetry, didn't really know how to compose a decent piece of this writing form. Not many poems interested me to read, either. I just wasn't the sort of person who was much into poetry.
This feeling continued on until around high school, or maybe it began to change around junior high. Anyway, there came to be a time when I started feeling that perhaps the poems I created weren't so bad, a time when I actually came to find some enjoyment in poetry and would willingly write poems in my free time. It's interesting to think of, now, considering that I've now written over a dozen poems on my volition that I feel rather satisfied with, even going so far as recently sending four of them to a magazine in the hope that they'll be published. The only trouble with my desire to have some of my poems published as that I have to find some that are short enough to be accepted. It's kind of funny that a magazine accepts poems of fifty lines or less in length, and some of the poems I have exceed that. Even in poetry, I tend to go on forever. Yes, the person who once had little interest in poems now has a great number of poems, most of which go on for a great number of lines.
At one point in my search, I came across a place that had no limit to how how long the poems could be. I'd like to say that I exploded in ecstasy, then sent them a ten-foot long scroll filled with words, but that, unfortunately, did not happen. It was a company that prints various secular magazines, and somehow I didn't think that any of the four thousand Christian poems I'd written would be what they were looking for. In fact, a good portion of my poems are religious, and often it's the religious poems that are the longest. Of course, the fact that I tend to look at the works that do meet specifications, and think, Nope. Nope. Not that one. This one needs to be edited first. Nah, that one isn't good enough, may somewhat affect the fact that I haven't sent anything to them yet. What can I say; I write long things, most of them have religious themes, and I'm a perfectionist who sometimes has trouble feeling that something is good enough. That's also why I haven't gone back and edited my manuscript too much; I keep feeling that my writing stinks, I need to edit huge parts of it, or I should start over with a new draft.
So, uh, if anyone knows of a Christian magazine that accepts insanely long poems, feel free to tell me about it. Until then, I'll just have to settle for battling perfectionism, editing things I feel need editing, and sending in the less lengthy of the poems.

Monday, November 10, 2014

The Messy Sloth

Laziness and messiness often coincide. For example, you look at the floor and think to yourself, Gee, that floor needs vacuuming and/or mopping. Then you decide you don't really feel like doing it right now, and you put it off. Or you look over at your laundry, which consists of a basket overflowing with clothes; and more clothing, a comforter, and a bed sheet lying on the floor beside it. You glance at your closet and drawers, noticing there's not much clothing left there. You think to yourself, I should do the laundry soon. Then you decide you don't feel like it, and you put it off. Or you look a a bunch of clutter, and think to yourself, I should organize. Then you decide that you can do it later. Or you think to yourself, I should dust, then make an excuse not to do it. Or you think, I should clean out the fridge, then make an excuse not to do it. And so on, and so forth.

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Rain, Rain, Stay and Play

Last year while I was in school, a wonderful downpour occurred. Living in a place that the rain clouds have made an effort to avoid these last couple of years, I was rather happy about the rain. In fact, I was so enthusiastic that I proceeded to run around outside, reveling in the fact that I was getting utterly soaked. One of the other students, Savannah, was also happy about the rain and let herself be rained on. She had recently dyed her hair, and the rain was causing some of the dye to end up on her shirt, staining the originally white fabric pink. Eventually we both looked like drowned rats. Perhaps some of the kids thought we were insane, but who cares. It was RAINING!

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

My Week, volume I of XXXVI

For quite a while, various people have suggested I start a blog. Since I constantly seem to have monologues and interesting thoughts running through my head, I figured this was a good idea. So now I've started a blog, and sometimes I can't think of anything to write for a blog post. Go figure.

Anyway, the last week has been somewhat eventful. My friend invited me to the Trick or Trunk. Since it was raining that day, I brought a coat that was waterproof and had a hood. And of course, the one coat that's waterproof and has a hood is also the really thick one that weighs forty pounds. And after that careful planning, it turned out that the Trick or Trunk was going to be held in the gym because of the rain. So really, the coat was overkill- beyond overkill.