Looking Back and Moving Forward

It's almost 2012, people.

I don't know really where to start with my distaste of passing time. I'm always rather depressed at the end of a year, thinking about all of the other years and things that I've done. Birthdays that I've reached, things I've tried.

But I've got to move forward - after all, who has a choice? We can't pause time and get our life in order. Life is tough, but it's what Christ has doled out for us because He created us to live. He created us to breathe, and see the world; the good and the bad.

My one little word for 2012 is wander. I decided on it because I'm normally a very uptight person, admittedly. I like to stick to schedules, and I get easily fed up if things don't happen on time. But I need to learn how to wander. I need to let go and just leave for small amounts of time, seeing the world and the people that are in it. It makes me think of two quotes, actually. One, the words of J.R.R. Tolkien - "not all who wander are lost". And two, the words of the song "I wonder while I wander".
Along with my one little word, I've also been thinking about multiple short mottos that will be running through my head as we start 2012.

take chances.

I need to learn to leap for things that may or may not work out instead of trying to have everything under control.


I want to get another notebook just for planet-observing and people-watching. I want to see the details and small things to enjoy.


I want to soak up the lives of other people instead of living for me. I want to see how nature works and take long walks, lying in the grass and photographing everything that moves.


I want to be there for my friends and family, helping in any way that I can and should.


I don't always have to be the one talking.

Basically, this will be a "laying low" year, in a sense. This is not a year for me to shine or draw attention to myself. This is a year to learn about other people and the world, and try to make it a better place. It's a year to witness and bring more glory to God. It's a year to sing whatever comes to mind, and dance to free stress.
What are your resolutions? See you next year.




{aka the rambling post}

Today was my last day of school before winter break, making it a sweatshirt and jeans day. I was going to wear Uggs, too; you know, to complete the whole teenager-last-day-couldn't-care-less image, but all I have is the fake ones, and they're sort of decomposed. Oh well. Exams are something new for me - I've never had to cram or recall things that I learned four months ago (am I the only one who thinks that that's a faulty way of testing knowledge?). Anywho, I'm very happy with the grade turnout and quite relieved to be out of school. *lets out huge and dramatic sigh*
Because of the last day of exams, it was a half day, and after going to a small game party for my little siblings, I took a four hour nap. Just sayin' - it was awesome.

But back to the subject - I am so so so glad to be out of school. Quiet is something that isn't even part of my vocabulary anymore, and I can't wait to sleep, write, sing, blog, and relax. For two weeks. But then I have to go back...

I haven't even started Christmas shopping, people. I need to go Christmas shopping. Really.

In other news: I became a vegetarian (counts on fingers) like, five days ago. No joke. I really wanted to try it, even though I never thought I could resist meat. But lately it's been less tempting anyway, so I made the switch. I want to see how far I can get. My mom was surprisingly receptive of this announcement.

Me: I think I'm going to cut out meat.
Mom: Ok, just make sure you take vitamins for the protein you won't be getting.
Me: Mk.

Yup. My biggest triumph so far is when I piled into the car after school the other day and, when presented with a McDonald's quarter pounder from my mother, I calmly said, "no, I'm a vegetarian now, remember?" and resisted the smell, silently eating just the fries instead. Nom.


Three friends and I are getting a group together to compete in solo & ensemble in the spring. That's another thing I've never done, so it should be fun. And as I said to one of them the other day, after we get an awesome score, we can tour together.
I hope I don't need to remind you that I am a shamelessly ambitious person.
Meanwhile, Kendall and I are also trying to gear up for another vocal competition for which the auditions are in January. We've decided to work up "For Good" again. I'm overly excited.

I feel like I have a lot of projects lately, but I'm also starting a collab idea with two of my ballet/writer friends, kind of like a build-the-story deal where we each have a character and alternate writing chapters. Did I tell you guys about that? Not sure. Oh well.

Speaking of ballet, our last class before the break was last Monday, and our teacher always lets the moms and siblings come watch and/or participate. It's laughable and loads of fun. My mom's been having knee troubles lately, so M danced instead. She is such a little spunky thing. Like some sort of fairy...

And now we'll ramble some more... can you believe they're coming out with yet another version of Beauty and the Beast? Hasn't Disney exhausted it a little bit? 
Speaking of, there are some good movies coming out this year - I really want to see the Adventures of TinTin, for whatever reason - even though I'm not quite sure what it's about. My friends also really want me to see the Hunger Games. Personally, nothing could ever top Narnia, but I'm willing to amuse them. Anything but Twilight... 

What are your winter break plans? Do tell. 



Another Year to Live

Who's already well into the age of fifteen (halfway to thirty; a fourth of the way to sixty)? Got any horror or triumph stories to share?


Sparkling Bright

Yesterday, as an early birthday celebration thing of sorts, Kendall came over and we had chicken pot pie and ate red velvet cupcakes and trimmed my family's tree, which has been sitting dementedly in the foyer ever since we got it on Saturday. I love the smell of Christmas trees - I can't get through the season without the piney aroma. I don't understand why people get fake trees. No offense to those who do - I just couldn't envision Christmas without it.

Christmas tree bokeh... enough said. 

We have a lot of strange ornaments, from a penguin holding a book of carols to a purple fish to every preschool/sunday school ornament known to mankind, courtesy of six kids. 

And look at this: 

Yes - it's me. Creepy, right?

Oh, sweet nostalgia. I hate changing times.

But the good thing about changing times is that I'm always reminded, especially around Christmas time, that my heavenly Father is there, keeping me from completely losing my mind from all of the stress, complications, and weirdness of everyday life.

I am turning fifteen tomorrow, ya'll. That's halfway to thirty. Which is halfway to sixty.
Yeah, I know, I'm not a generally glass-is-half-full type of person. 

Who else is getting ready for the holiday season? Who has family traditions?


Yes, I'm Alive. Again.

Guys, I just want to thank you so much for bearing with me through the month of November. I ended up being way more into my novel then I originally thought, so my poor little blog got left in the dust.
On a much lighter note, I finished my second Nanowrimo a whopping six days early! I cannot tell you how excited I was - and I beat my friend Claire, who finished two days later. It was awesome to have a noveling buddy, let me tell you. More competition. Nerd competition, may I add. We were slinging novel-related threats at each other all month.

C: "On Friday, I won't be able to write because my cousins are coming for Thanksgiving."
M: "Good, that means that while I'm at the lake I can beat your word count to the dust. You won't even see it coming and you'll never be able to catch up." *growls*

No joke.

Anyway, before I bombard you with things from my book (that'll come in a later post once I've peeled myself away from the sequel that I'm already 4,000 words into), I'll just post lots of pretty pictures from the lake house, k?

I absolutely love the lakehouse. It's more relaxing to me then the beach because it's literally in the middle of nowhere and, consequently, has zero tourism. It's just us out there, with the few neighbors who never come out of their houses, sipping sweet tea and gazing out over the lake.
{kidding. i hate sweat tea. but it was a nice image.}

Something is extremely fascinating about the sticks that lay around the shore, apparently, because the little kids never stop playing with them, from fishing to building bridges to nowhere (aka leading into the middle of the lake...). 

The weather was decently gorgeous until the last day, when it rained. But that was okay because we had to stay inside to clean the house before we left anyway.

please tell me I'm justified in being completely obsessed with this picture of my cousin. 

And yes, I've discovered my new obsession with water bokeh. 

And bonfire bokeh as well. Love.

On the day of Thanksgiving, the kitchen was busy with turkeys cooking and casseroles baking and dessert making. And then we all ate too much and went into a turkey-induced sleep.

How was your Thanksgiving?
PS: My birthday is in four days! I cannot believe that I'm almost fifteen. I haven't even thought about studying for a permit yet...


Hello From Nanoland

It's been ten days. I've got 16,006 words under my belt, but we're out of school tomorrow so hopefully I'm going to get ahead - 20,000 by tomorrow will make me immensely happy.

Since my brain and thought processing is on the down-low currently (hello people, it's november), here are some snapshots of life lately.

Halloween was filled with princesses, pirates, and flash - that superhero no one's heard of...

{aaaahhh! the counte of monte cristo!} she took it from my room. she can keep it.

How is everyone else doing Nano? Current word counts? Are you keeping sanity?
PS: Current word count: 22,000


Gearing Up

Alternate Title: 
"Reasons Why You Should Stay Away From Me in November, for Your Own Safety"

I started freaking out yesterday. Mostly because I hated my plot for Nanowrimo. Don't worry, though. I sat down with my muses and brainstormed so now I have a solid plot that I actually love.
Although, I will confess, I resorted back to a spy novel.
Next year, I solemnly swear that I will write something people actually want to read. Promise.

This year, I decided to be awesome and use sticky notes for the outlining. That way, I can mix stuff up whenever I need to. And my wall will look pretty darn awesome by the end of the month, don't ya think? {yikes, look at all the plot gaps...}

I did Nano last year, and won with my novel Colorguard. Maybe someday I'll post the synopsis or something. But I will warn you - it isn't finished and, due to it being my first Nano attempt, it isn't very good. I used a ton of filler just to get to 50,000.

this book is shamelessly dog-eared. 
But no more. This year, my novel will rock. Maybe I'll even be able to finish it this time. I hope.
And, like a good novelist should, instead of actually plotting and outlining as much as I should, I've been too busy getting my room exactly right.

ignore badly edited outlet...

I set up a writing space using a scarf I got in Guatemala and another scarf-ish thing I got from an old neighbor, then used my bean bag and some other pillows. I'd like to think that it looks bohemian. 
I'd be wrong. 
But it's still cozy.

 Of course, after all that, I'll probably end up doing most of my writing on the bed. Oh well. 

Want to be my writing buddy? My username is MCat. You can find me here - I'd love to see your progress if you are participating!
I'm off to waste time on the Nanowrimo official site now instead of thinking of a title that I desperately need...
PS: Remember - I'm completely sane. Honest.


Crisp Fall Hours

I may have mentioned it before, but autumn is my absolute favorite season. Warm boots and scarves and leggings make me happy. 

{sooc!!!! *squeal*}

There's just so much color and fresh air. I love it.

is she not just so stinkin' cute?? seriously?

Plus, it's perfect writing-outside weather. I think I'll do that a lot next month. Nanowrimo, baby! 

Okay, I'm going to say it again. I heart bokeh. My friend Claire read my blog for the first time and said, "you must really like that bokeh stuff." 
True that.

What's your favorite thing to do in the fall weather?