Sunday, October 1, 2017

September Writing Prompts: Reflection

30. Now that you are finished with this challenge, what did you learn or discover?

  • Somedays, I just don't want to write, and that's okay
  • I'd rather have quality on my blog than quantity
  • Writing freely and posting without editing is nervewracking, but a great way to decompress how I'm feeling
  • I can easily get tired of writing things about myself

Friday, September 29, 2017

September Writing Prompts: Childhood books

29. What were your favorite books as a child?

1) American Girl Books

My favorites were Samantha and Kirsten's series, but I read almost all of the American Girl books at one time or another. I think these are what first sparked my love for history. 


2) The Ladd Family Series

Don't be fooled by the tacky 80s covers, these books were amazing. They're catered towards boys, but I absolutely loved the thrilling adventures hidden in the pages. I usually read them in one sitting, because I couldn't put them down.

3) The Boxcar Children Series

I loved the independence of the boxcar children, and I loved the fun mysteries they solved together through their sibling bond. It's still one of my favorite book series, and I still pick them up to re-read from time to time.

4) The Nancy Drew Series

I used to be obsessed with the Nancy Drew books. I own every single book in the series, and I've read almost all of them. I liked the idea of an independent woman who could solve mysteries all on her own. As I got older, the repetitiveness of the series became more apparent to me, but I still hold a soft spot for these books.

Thursday, September 28, 2017

September Writing Prompts: My writing process

28. Tell us about your writing process – do you like music or quiet, is there a special place you go to work, do you type from the beginning or write notes with a pen and paper first?

My writing process isn't very special. I can write pretty much anywhere, but I prefer my environment to be quiet. I can write fairly well in a louder setting as well though. I also like soft/relaxing music when I'm writing (one artist I've been listening to a lot lately when I write is Gungor), or no music at all. I don't have a special place to write, and I work on my writing whenever and wherever I want to.

I don't tend to write many things out on paper. Instead, I go straight to the computer to write. Especially with things like blog posts and term papers, which I edit quite a lot. However, I do write poems out on paper first. I always start my writings with a brief outline, such as a few words to describe what each general paragraph will be, then I fill it in with actual writing as I go along. 

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

September Writing Prompts: Assumptions

27. Write about the assumptions people make about you.

  • When I was in high school and middle school, people assumed that since I was homeschooled I was sheltered and didn't know anything about the world. It was frustrating because they would treat me patronizingly and would often exclude me from conversations or events because they felt I would freak out on them or something. Sometimes it was legitimate concerns on their part, and sometimes they were right, but the majority of the time it wouldn't have been a problem and it just left me feeling out of the loop.
  • People assume that I only like girly things, which is completely false. This one is fun though, because then when I say something really snarky, or tell people I listen to heavy metal, or climb a tree in my skirts, or chime in on bro-dude conversations about video games, it's pretty funny to see their shocked reactions.
  • People assume that I'm either an extrovert or a super-quiet, person-who-never-talks, introvert. Neither of which is correct. In some circles I'm more talkative, but I still enjoy alone time. In other circles (like classes at University that are confusing to me), I don't speak very much. 

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

September Writing Prompts: Guilty Pleasures

26. What are some of your guilty pleasures?

I have a few guilty pleasures. It's not like they're really a secret though. Most people know I like this stuff.

1) Junk food music:
This is music that doesn't have much musical quality, but it's happy and fun and I like it anyways. Most of my "junk food" music is Jpop. It has a certain charm to it that I've never been able to find in any other type of music. Here are some of my favorite cutesy artists, and a sample of their songs I like.

Waracchaou yo Boyfriend by Berryz Koubou

Dancin'&Dreamin by Hinoi Team

Rottara Rottara by Bouno!

Sakura Apparation by Denpagumi.inc

2) Cutesy games
I love gaming, and I play all types of games. Rpg, PC adventure games, puzzle games, etc. I like all kinds of games (except first-person shooters...) but I have a soft spot for cutesy games. They're just something I've always enjoyed. My favorites are Ham-Ham Heartbreak, Ham-Ham's Unite, Princess Debut, and Flower Town in Mii Plaza.

Hamtaro Gameboy/GBA games

Princess Debut for the DS

Flower Town in 3DS Mii Plaza

3) Bella Sara cards
Most people probably don't remember these, but they were pretty big in the early 2000s. They were created as trading cards that could cater to a female demographic, but they grew into an online game, a book series, and they even produced a few (really bad) movies based on the stories these cards tell. It was all really cheesy looking back, but I absolutely adored these cards when I was younger and I was an avid collector. I still have every single one of the cards I bought, and they fill up an entire tin. I think I have over 300, but I've never actually taken the time to count them all. Embarrassingly enough, I've actually purchased some of the leftover packs people are getting rid of on Amazon, since they don't produce them anymore. And it was only last year that I bought them. I still pull them out from time to time and access their website (which is surprisingly still running almost perfectly) to play the online game.

4) Translating things into Elvish (Quenya)
I'm a huge Tolkien fan, so much so that I wanted to learn Elvish. So I did. It was surprisingly easy actually. I can't say sentences off of the top of my head, but I know how the sentence structure works and if you give me a sentence to create/translate, and let me get my dictionary, I can do so for you in a pretty short amount of time. I can also read Elvish pretty well.

This is Elfdict.com, which I know how to navigate very well....  
Because I do so often....

5) Old Folk Songs
I adore old folk music, and I listen to it all of the time. If you shoot me a time period in America, I can sing you a handful of different songs that accompany it. And when I walk through museums or go to reenactments, I often find myself singing and humming along to these ancient tunes that no one else knows. It can be a little embarrassing sometimes. Some of my favorite artists who have revived folk music for the modern ages are Diane Taraz, Jean Ritchie, and Pete Seeger.

Doffin Mistress (Live) by Diana Taraz

Johhny Has Gone for a Soldier by Diane Taraz

Hangman by Jean Ritchie

Die Gedanken Sind Frei by Pete Seeger

Monday, September 25, 2017

September Writing Prompts: More and Less

25. What would you like more of in your life? Less?

  • Jesus
  • Prayer
  • Art
  • Laughter
  • Flowers
  • Barefoot worship
  • Reading for fun
  • Fall weather
  • Chances to wear Mori
  • Hiking trips
  • Tea with friends

  • Selfishness
  • Paper writing
  • Stressing about my Biology class
  • Feeling far from God
  • Junk food

Sunday, September 24, 2017

September Writing Prompts: Change

24. Are you the same person you were last year? Five years ago? Ten years ago? Tell us how you have (or haven’t) changed.

(This is a post that I've been working on separate from this challenge for a long time, and I thought it went well with this prompt so I decided to clean it up and post it.)

A while back my Dad was cleaning out our massive amount of copied CD's and DVD's we've acquired over the years. Hidden amongst the large stacks was one unmarked DVD, and when we popped it in we were greeted with a pleasant surprise. The DVD contained a self-edited video I had created about 8 years ago for my Grandparent's 50th Anniversary celebration. It included lots of jokes and badly photoshopped pictures to make them laugh, as well as a rap from my younger brother. It was all good fun, and we were all chuckling. But then the video took a more serious turn. All of us kids had sat down and filmed a personal message for my Grandparent's, congratulating them on their 50 years and apologizing since we couldn't make it to the actual party. I had completely forgotten about that part of the video. My younger brothers gave their messages, with my youngest brother's message consisting of two sentences that I vaguely remember scripting for him. But then the screen changed to middle school me and my message. My mood instantly changed.

Let me just come right out and say it; I was awkward. Unfortunately, I didn't look like the polished selfies you see of the average middle-schooler these days. I had no idea who I was, or who I wanted to be, I never took care of my hair, my teeth were crooked, and I hadn't a clue on how to dress even semi-decently. My favorite activities were obsessing over anime and manga, drawing (very bad) pictures, and I protested wearing bras for at least a full year.

At the time, none of these things bothered me that much. I was fairly happy with my weird tastes (including my weird obsession with long, patterned skirts paired with T-shirts). Or maybe I was just completely oblivious as to what other's thought of me. But now, looking back, I cringe at the pictures taken of me. And believe me when I say that there are a lot of things I wish I could ask my old self.

Basically, I don't like 6th grade (or any younger aged) me. But that's a weird concept, isn't it? I mean, I'm still me now. Right? But if I look at myself then, my interests, passions, knowledge, and so on, I quickly see something important. Most of the things that made up my life then aren't what makes up my life now. I used to watch anime excessively, as previously mentioned, but now that's not even a footnote in my life. I also used to think that I would be a fashion designer, and now I've discovered that's obviously not where my passions lie. But it's not just me from 5 or 10 years ago that's so very different. Look at me 2 years ago. I thought I would be going to a completely different University from where I am now enrolled, and I was planning on studying overseas for an entire year (which was a stupid idea by the way). These people seem completely foreign to me now, especially 6th grade me. But I'm still the same person, right? Well, not entirely. You see, I'm not the same person as I was yesterday, or that I am today, or that I'll be tomorrow. I think this is important because this can really change how you look at life.

If you live your life as if every decision you've made defines you, you are going to have a hard time growing and learning. Because if you can't forget that one time you said something stupid to so-and-so, or you're constantly beating yourself up over a decision you made 4 years back, then you're going to have a lot of trouble. It's almost impossible to be yourself, or be confident, or change character flaws, or even try anything new, if you're always dwelling on the past. So, I'll say it again.

I'm not the person I was yesterday, or that I am today, or that I'll be tomorrow. And neither are you.

You can either let this be a very freeing notion to you, or you can find this to be the most terrifying thing you've ever heard. But I'd suggest letting it be freeing. Because once you decide you're a new person every day, there is so much freedom for change, and joy, and removal of regrets and anxieties.

So how, specifically, have I changed? I've grown more mature in my faith, I've made steps to manage my time more wisely, I've let down my inhibitions and made many new friends, and I've learned many lessons, both good and bad, about what it means to be an adult. Although it's often been terrifying to grow and change, and to know that some things I once thought were of absolute importance are actually minuscule in the grand scheme of things, overall, growth has been a good experience that's nothing to be concerned about.

Let's grow together, my friends, and see where God is leading us. Blessings.