More Updates

More Updates

Greetings everyone,

It’s me, Ginger. Yes, I know, it’s been quite some time, hasn’t it? Olivia has been quite fraught with a good deal of work, and since Eikon has been left– temporarily– at home, it was up to me to take charge of Olivia’s blog.

Olivia is finally reading some adequate literature, though I am not sure what to make of some of the fiction that she has to read for one of her classes. I never knew how brutal some of the older time period writers could be! Well, I suppose there are some of “those” people in each era, although I myself am more inclined to authors like Ms. Austen or Ms. Bronte.

Speaking of literature, Olivia has been officially elected to read some of her pieces for her college’s “Reading Series,” or “Geneva Reading Series” (also known as the “GRS”) a once a semester program which focuses on embracing culture, literature, and even music. She wanted to keep it a secret from people, to help build suspense and hype, but since her professor, the very unorthodox Dr. Williams, decided to let the cat out of the bag a tad early, she told me to go ahead and talk about it. I kept “nagging” her to take me, but alas, we have only gone once. I supposed it is ironically befitting that she read for them now; she has informed me to tell you that she will likely be selecting a poem or two from here, on her own blog, as well as a section of a story she is writing. I couldn’t be prouder. She will be reading on October 25th; they will record it so that you may watch on some video-posting site that Olivia says is called, “YouTube”.

As for her one blogging story, she says she promises to continue it when time permits her, and I know she longs to do so, but barely has time for herself anymore, so it will likely not be until later this year– at the earliest, perhaps next weekend. At latest, her Fall “Break”.

Some nights are better than others around campus, though, I must confess, Olivia for the most part has the loveliest friends that help making staying here worthwhile. Her one roommate has the most scent-sational essential oils, and her other friend is an excellent back rubber/tummy scratcher, and even does Olivia’s hair properly. I typically stay in the room and doze whilst she is at class, though, so I rarely get out unless I feel the need to stretch my lovely legs.

Olivia has gained much experience over the summer, making new friends, and even befriending an actual published author, from a real publishing company. She and said author have become good friends, I think, as when they are “messaging,” as Olivia calls it, she is often grinning, giggling, and even laughing outright to herself when reading her friend’s messages. I think that looks a bit odd; whatever could they be discussing? I am curious, but not inclined to pry, as that might be considered rude by any standards.

vulpixgif1

Until next time, farewell,

❤ Ginger ❤

P.S., The one evening, she has, of late, burst out into sudden squeals. I have no idea why, only that they had to do with this picture… Might you be able to decipher why?

NandWhite

__________________________

Image Credit:

https://tenor.com/view/alolan_vulpix-vulpix-alola-pokemon-sun-gif-7402679

http://pokemontowerdefensetwo.wikia.com/wiki/Vulpix

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Five Things I Learned This Summer

Five Things I Learned This Summer

So, no matter where you go or what you do, even if you’re miles away from your school, you never. Ever. EVER. Stop. Learning.

This summer, I learned a few things, aside from a couple of measly cooking skills in a kitchen, which I was previously fairly deficient in. #lifeskills

  1. The Internet has a mix of good and bad people. Very often, you hear negative stories about online people. Stalkers. Kidnappers. Scammers. Catfish. Virus-Makers. (Yeah, I’m looking at YOU. I’m onto you, buddy…) Basic Creepers that have no business in looking at ANY pictures you post (especially if your account is already set to “private”), let alone messaging you (which I’ve had happen to me quite a few times… deleted those suckers faster than you can say, otkazat’sya!). BUT, I will say, there aren’t just bad apples in a barrel. You may have to dig a little, beneath Haters, PCPs (Politically Correct Persons), and Creepers, but there ARE some good, decent people out there online. I’m friends with a few, actually, via a couple of Facebook groups, two of them being writing groups (“Realm Makers” is one) and the other, Project Inspired-based, but of course. So many people out there are just like you, just “normal” ( 😉 ) people who’re nice, caring, friendly, crazy, and GREAT. They genuinely empathize when you’re hurting, give advice if you’re confused or need clarification about something, or if you just wanna hang out and talk, they’re usually there for ya. So yeah, there are the jerks who are as easily triggered as a blink… But there are also the WONDERFULS. Find yourself a “wonderful” and hang on tight to them. It’s worth it.
  2. Don’t stay in an abusive situation. Ever. OK, granted, this kind of thing has happened to me, more than once, and in more than one way. The first I will not go into great detail, only to say that it was an abusive friendship (if it could even be called that, at times…), and I said/thought a lot of regrettable things before I ended it two summers ago(summer of 2016)…. But this time, it was a different situation. And again, because unspecified reasons, I won’t go into detail. Let’s just say I felt deeply unappreciated and alienated by certain people this summer, and it nearly tore me to shreds. Mentally. Emotionally. Spiritually. Due to circumstances, I couldn’t exactly leave this one immediately, but I knew I had to soon, or I would lose it. I cried at home almost every other night, maybe even more, because of said situation. I felt God wanted me to be strong, but I just couldn’t, at that point in time. Looking back, I’m glad I left that situation when I did; it was shortly before the week I got a blood clot in my left calf, and I would have not handled the situations very well together. So, maybe that was a sign…
  3. Appreciate constructive, mentoring feedback– IT’S FOR YOUR OWN GOOD. So, my summer, in a sense, consisted a good deal of getting advice on my writing, and giving advice on writing. As stated in a previous post, I spent my days, when not working, interning as an editor (for an indie publishing company), and doing my job, I was working at my independent study, on my novel, with my dear professor friend and overall genius, Dr. THE Williams. If you people know me at ALL, you’ll know that I’m a sensitive little bugger, and even if said with the best of intent, if you criticize my work, that sensitive little blister inside my brain threats to burst, drenching my cranium with EMOTIONS (mostly upset/depressed ones). I think this is because (theory time!) I’m so super-critical of myself already, that more pressure and criticism just causes my brain to kind of malfunction and/or overload. This is probably why I’m also so critical of OTHERS, actually– it reflects that I’m already too critical of myself. But anyways, I got a lesson in that, this summer. I told myself to quit being so sensitive and juvenile, and that, if I wanted to be a well-known writer someday, I’d get flack from ALL sides, so I just needed to suck it up and take it. Dr. Williams was going easy on me, I think. But he made very good points in his critiques, and really opened my eyes to something I had never viewed my story from, before: if it made SENSE to the reader. Seems like a “duh” thing, but really, it is so flipping important! I actually got to experience a bit of this myself first-hand, so I can now much more easily empathize with both Dr. Williams and all my educators. This summer I had the pleasure of helping a young lady (whom I will, for privacy’s sake, leave unnamed) with her own story, as her editor; her five previous editors had left her high and dry after just a few pages of reading– she had no idea why. Soon after I started, I realized why: The story concept was good, but it needed so much improvement, developmentally and grammatically, that it was making me cringe (as a reader) inside; additionally, she had little to no description of any of the characters, places, etc. It was like sitting in a theater blindfolded, only hearing dialogue, without any sense of what was going on, who was doing what. It hurt the most to see that she was already planning her sequel, and wanted to know if her book was ready to be published. (*winces for her sake*)But, now that I look back on it, she seems to have more of the mind of a playwright, NOT a novelist. If she can get some grammatical and developmental things under wraps, add some little descriptions here and there, plays should do well for her. But not every writer has the brain of a novelist. It would (probably) be terrible if Mary Oliver or Walt Whitman tried to write us a novel; it’s just not THEM. But editing for her gave me not only (free!) invaluable experience to my field,  it also showed me what it’s like on the other side of the fence, as the reader, and how I should approach certain editing situations, especially with stubborn or (like me) sensitive authors. It showed me how valuable criticism and advice truly can be, and I think that helped more than anything.
  4. Life is short, and summer is shorter. Not to mention, this was probably my *last* “free” summer that I’m going to have. Ever. Some things, money just can’t buy back, and it’s just not worth it…
  5. Internships can give you GREAT experience. If you want to test-run what it would be like to work in a certain field, go for it! If you’re just curious, that’s fine, too. 🙂 Some are paid, some aren’t. Mine wasn’t, but that was OK, because it counted for class credit (much needed credit, might I add), I was able to LEGIT help others in editing and providing feedback (seriously, best feeling EVER– your input is actually VALUED!!!), got experience, and I did so well, that the professor/owner of said indie publishing company said he was more than willing to be a reference on my resume, write up a letter of recommendation for me, and asked me to keep him posted about how things were going! In the right internship, magical things can happen to your academic-career life!

What did you learn this summer, and how did it impact your life for the better?

______________________

Image Credit:

http://blog.oxforddictionaries.com/2012/06/summertime-and-the-words-are-too-easy/

 

Light and Reignite

Light and Reignite

Recently, I purchased a small “BLISS” box from Bookishsugarscrubs, on Etsy (don’t worry, mother, I used a coupon code.). There were four 2oz sugar scrubs, a pin, a watercolor card (?) and a very small candle.

The little candle had a fairly pleasing aroma, so I lit it right away, setting it on my desk. The first light was easiest, and the flame glowed brightly and strongly. However, after each re-light, it kept getting harder and harder for the tiny candle to stay lit. Even now, as I type, it is just barely above smoldering.

Then I wondered, what if that’s a parable for my own faith?

(And here you thought you’d gotten rid of those posts…. Heheheeee…)

When we first become Saved, that Light inside of our souls burns strongest and most brilliantly. However, if we don’t keep going back to the very Source of our Salvation, both in Word and in prayer, we will not stay “lit” for long, and, in some instances, that light may even, unfortunately, be extinguished.

Similarly, to burn, a candle must continually remain dependent on its own flame source, a lighter, or a box of matches. Even then, things can go wrong: The wick can be too long or too short for it to light properly, the wax too low, the ceiling fan blowing around too much, etc.

Our faith is like that, too. After reigniting and replenishing our faith by praying, reading the Word, or going on a Bible retreat/going to Church camp, we come back ready at bat… But harsh circumstances can just as easily come our way, making it easy to doubt, easy for that flame to die down or even out again. Maybe your best friend decided to become a Buddhist. Maybe your grandparent passed away. Maybe you were in an area where violent riots struck, or a massive natural disaster occurred, causing you to ask, “Why?” Maybe you’re at school or your workplace, and politically correct people badger you so much about how “intolerant” your beliefs are, until YOU start to question them, yourself.

My own faith has been like that, as of late. I can all too easily grow “lazy” in doing everything else, putting off devos and spending quality one-on-one time with my Abba til bedtime, when I’m already nodding off. Is this truly the worshipful attitude and mindset we ought to show Him Who gave His own Life for ours? I think not. (What can I say…? God tends to feed me little sermons in life when I need them the most…)

But whatever you do, hang tight. Go to Church, pray, get deep in the Word, to grow and make the flame inside you all the bigger and brighter. Keep going back to the Source of your fire, rather than sitting around doing nothing, and slowly letting it go out.

“Give me oil in my lamp, keep it burning, burning, burning, give me oil in my lamp, I pray/ Give me oil in my lamp, keep it burning, burning, burning, keep it burning til the break of day./ Oh sing, Hosanna, sing, Hosanna, sing, Hosanna to the King of kings! /Sing, Hosanna, sing, Hosanna, sing, Hosanna to the King!”

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Image Credit:

https://www.shutterstock.com/video/clip-3121816-stock-footage-olive-oil-clay-ancient-lantern-lamp-low-flame.html

Jesus Loves… Me?

Jesus Loves… Me?

Broken

Beyond repair

Shattered

Without a care–

E

m

o

t

i

o

n

a

l

l

y

Volatile

And selfish; who

Or what

Could ever love

A beast?

*****

Jesus loves me;

This I know,

For His Abba’s

Holy Word

Tells me so,

Through His Son’s

Sacrifice

I remain

Strong,

And to Him,

Him only–

I do belong.

Yes, Jesus loves me.

 

__________________________

Image Credit:

https://art-soulworks.com/pages/jesus-pictures

God Heal America

God Heal America

God, heal America

Land that I love,

Stand beside her,

Guide her,

So that she may no

Longer sin,

Fight the temptation

Within

And then finally

Finish

The work our Founders

Hath started

To begin.

Be her light from above,

Cherish her with

Your everlasting, perfect

Love

But, do not

Bless her;

Instead, heal her

Light her ways and err

On the side

Of caution, and

Cleanse all

Unrighteousness

From her wounds; open

Her eyes

That she might yet

See Your Face

Staring lovingly into

Hers.

 

Christ awaits the American part

Of His Holy Bride

To have a change of heart

Deep,

Deep

Down inside.

 

Amen.

Amen.

 

___________________________________

Image Credit: http://religionnews.com/2015/07/07/flying-christian-flag-above-u-s-flag-isnt-a-federal-crime/

 

I.D. Crisis

I.D. Crisis

Broken

Shattered

Smashed

And torn to ribbons

Millions of tiny, little

Puzzle pieces

And among them is missing

The one piece of

My soul that

Used to ring

When played.

Why?

Why is it

Deflated, so

Underestimated,

Un-

Func-

Tion-

Ing;

I used

To be able to

Do it for hours

And stretch it

On for days

And my folks would think

Me

Crazy;

But now

… ….

Silence.

A bell tower

Without its most

Important

Component.

 

I am empty.

 

__________________________

Image Credit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/09/12/writing-on-paper_n_5797506.html

“Fine, Make Me Your Villain”: The Lowdown on Villains, Monsters, and Criminal Masterminds

“Fine, Make Me Your Villain”: The Lowdown on Villains, Monsters, and Criminal Masterminds

As many a character has stated and even questioned, “Are villains really bad? Are they even born bad– or just MADE that way?”

I’ve already gone into antags a bit; now I’m going to elaborate a little on a few specific kinds.

While I won’t bore you to tears with my little rave on the Darkling ( see, In Defense of the Darkling, for those interested), I will say it is a very interesting question to pose in general. After all, what’s a bad guy without character? Would Voldemort be Voldemort if he had a loving wizarding family? Was Sauron always that bad, and why? What would have become of the faction system, and more specifically, the Erudite, if Jeanine Matthews hadn’t taken it over?

As mentioned many, many times before, there are exceptions to humanizing or making sympathetic villains or antagonists: motiveless maligniters and traditional villains being the two primary candidates. Sauron, for instance, is a traditional villain. He’s simply oozing evil out his pores, because, well, just because (I mean, does he REALLY need to have a reason? He IS Sauron, after all…). Similarly, motiveless maligniters are essentially the same thing: their motives are either well-concealed, non-existent, or extremely muddied– so muddied you can’t quite piece together why it is that they do things. It’s so confusing, so perplexing, that there’s little chance you’ll feel for them.

Another kind of antagonist I am particularly fond of is the “Seems like a Good Guy at the Time, But Turns out to Be a Cruel, Villainous Jerk” guy (or girl). (For all you “Frozen” fans, think of Hans…) You may not think it, but these are actually fun to write up; you never know what they may do, and it’s a joy ride for both you and the reader– in fact, if you end up surprising yourself in writing a dramatic bad guy reveal towards the climax or end, there’s probably a pretty high chance you’ve surprised your readers, as well. If you want to write this character, be CONVINCING. This is one villain you want to play the sympathy card with (at the very least, temporarily), so they’ll expect it even less. Make them human. Relatable. Friendly, even sweet, unsuspecting, Machiavellian. Then, when the reader’s and other characters’ guard is lowered… BAM!

plottwistmeme

The only real danger with these villains is, however, that they may seem so completely sincere, so devoted to their cause, so human and kind at first, that even when the villainous reveal comes, you may have the readers defending their bad actions in favor of their pasts, and their personas, rather than simply be just shocked and horrified. If you were to write this kind of villain, I’d recommend doing so CAREFULLY (it depends what kind of reaction YOU want from your readers, too.).

Then there’s monsters. No, I’m not talking what you call a cruel but cunning and intelligent villain, though they may seem like it. I’m talking CREATURES. Maybe the antagonist isn’t even human, but a beast– a savage, heartless, mindless beast that thinks of nothing but destruction, its hunger unsatisfied, or even manipulation. Of course, if you wanted an interesting creature as a monster-antag, you could always take a leaf out of Mary Shelley’s book, in Frankenstein. The creature, as he is often called (Victor Frankenstein did not even bother giving him a name. Pathetic.), is very much human, and just wants companionship. The loneliness practically drives him to insanity, and certainly drives him to desperation, and soon he is killing with a vengeance, simply because Victor made him.

Lastly, the criminal masterminds. These are fairly easy to write up, namely because their primary objective is typically to either rule the world, or riches, or both (think Giovanni of Team Rocket.). Criminal masterminds are often wealthy, but not always. You don’t have to have the wealth or manners of a gentleman to be a genius, and you don’t need either to be a criminal. Genius is partly what separates the common thug from the brilliant, extraordinary masterminds. These are the people orchestrating oh so elegantly the conspiracies and grand heists of the century. And getting away with it… until YOUR protagonist steps out onto the scene to halt them dead in their tracks.

Of course, you could always pull an Artemis Fowl, too…

______________________

Image Credit:

http://memeguy.com/photo/75830/misunderstood-disney-villain

https://memesuper.com/categories/view/74deb09ddf50c10eeed212fb0a3654da5e25269e/plot-twist-memes.html