What We Learn About (God’s) Love

What We Learn About (God’s) Love

Before my last semester of classes here at college, I had two open slots to take whatever I wanted, since I only needed three required classes but needed a total of 15 credits to graduate in a timely manner. I was tempted to take another art class, I’ll admit, but I chose to take Women’s Literature with one of my favorite professors (because it will be my last class with her… Getting sentimental here…) and a class I’ve wanted to take for a while, that’s only offered in Spring semester here: A class entirely on the works of C.S.Lewis.

Sounds like fun, huh? Well, it’s not exactly Chronicles of Narnia.

No, this class challenges you to think more deeply about your faith, and about what it means to truly love and be human. If you’ve seen part of my IG story on V Day, you’ll know how it’s impacted me JUST with The Four Loves. God’s been convicting and challenging me so much in this class, and I love it. He’s challenging me to give up some idolatrous things, or at least not make them idols/obsessions any more (as stated in an earlier post– this is one way I KNOW God’s trying to get my attention about SOMETHING, because He will VERY consistently put things in my life that all somehow have the same, very consistent message). He knows those things aren’t healthy for me, especially emotionally, and spiritually; He’s challenging me to beware of making pleasures gods, because, according to Lewis, they can very easily become demonic. O.O God’s also teaching me the different kinds of loves, not just romantic (eros, which, contrary to popular belief, does NOT have a specialty in the physical; it focuses on the loving the BELOVED, not their BODY– HUGE difference) and Agape, but philia (friendship), storge (affection), and charity, along with the differences between Gift-Love, Need-Love, Appreciative-Love (the last is the most selfless; you love someone or something just because, which is the attitude, along with charity, that we SHOULD have towards God and others), along with Need-Pleasures. Some friendships and even relationships, sadly, can be based off of Need-Pleasure; as soon as you no longer get pleasure from it, you toss that person aside– sad, but it can happen. It does happen. Lewis also talks about the power of love in true friendships; authority can actually be TERRIFIED of this love, because, if you think about it, some of the most powerful and influential groups in the world started off as just that– people who cared for each other, who shared common ideals and interests, whether good or bad, bonded together, and often changed the world. I think that it’s fascinating, in that sense. (And, also, yes– in a dangerous one, too. Depending on the group.)

(All this makes me wonder what Lewis would’ve had to say on Gary Chapman’s The Five Love Languages, LOL.)

Lately, I’ve been thinking loving God properly. The book talks about how the Natural Loves can eventually be refined into Divine Gift-Love  and charity by grace; about how God is literally a Heavenly HOST Who creates His OWN parasites (us), because we literally feed off His Love. We need His love, we can’t live without it, but God can’t make us WANT to love Him in return. There’s a reason He didn’t make us robots, with no free will. Even though we can’t use the regular kind of Gift-Love to return His Love, and even the tiniest fraction of the Love He shows us, we CAN give Him the Love of our free will, and freely love Him in return.

This reminds me of… Actually, can I make a confession, first?

Some of you already know this, but I have Asperger’s. Most can’t tell, because I’ve been through therapy after therapy, gone through literally countless sessions and therapists, to try to reprogram my whole danged thought process and seem “normal.” I got fed up with it pretty quickly, namely because A., I didn’t like being treated like an experimental social monkey in a lab while they poked and prodded me to get me to do whatever they wanted (yes, I resisted; I was one of the few brave rebels of my Aspie generation– I have lived to tell the tale), and B., many, though not all, of my therapists simply treated me as part of their job, albeit with sugary sweetness, not as an actual human being who deserves dignity and respect (which I had and still have a major problem with).

Enter my one, and last, TSS, whom for privacy’s sake, I shall call “J.”

“J” was different from most of my therapists. Not having many friends due to public high school, and generally just being an overall social outcast, she and I soon bonded over fandoms, over silliness, over her just, well, treating me as a person. I mean, yeah, we talked about therapy stuff, but we also celebrated her birthday together (with a brownie cake). Invited her just to hang and chill. We could snark together like nobody’s business; she helped bring the sass out in me, the mentor out in me (which would reflect on several friendships with young ladies that I would have in the future). If I was happy about something, she was the first one I would want to tell about it. The FIRST. We did crafts together, went to Harry Potter movies together (after I got her hooked on the series), and I would tease her relentlessly about her stuffed bear that she’d had since her childhood, “Mr. Cuddles.” (The name alone would make me fall into fits of hysterics, given the right time and my mood.) She was more than a bestie or a TSS; she was like my older sister.

Then, tragedy struck.

“J” was faced with a proposition: She could let go, be free, go do whatever job she wanted, aside from being my TSS. In my moody early teens, I was shell-shocked. I thought she’d always want to be friends in, well, our way. But I decided I did not want to tie her down, I did not wish to hinder her. Forcing her to stay, though it was an option, was not friendship, if she did not want the actual job. And so I did the bravest, most selfless thing I could do, even though my inner Aspie was screaming at me to cling tighter than a tree-hugger: I let her go.

What hurt was that it seemed “J” would make no attempt to connect, to contact me, after I did it. It felt all for naught, and I questioned if our friendship had ever been real. Combined with having no friends, losing my beloved dog, Sonny, and transitioning from public school (social outcast) to homeschool (no friends, at the time) caused me to become seriously depressed. Fortunately, that wasn’t the end of my story (although it almost was…); I met several wonderful friends through homeschooling and even Taekwondo who loved me for me, and helped support me. I realized I had been far too dependent on “J,” and that I needed to reach out to other friends, to God, for more support. What was wrong, though, was that at the time I blamed “J” for it all, because I was deeply hurt and struggled to let go; I now understand her doing what she did, to a certain degree. I am now the age she was when we first met (she was 22, I was 12 at the time), and with college I am usually far too busy to contact people, although I wouldn’t put off contacting most people for months at a stretch, usually (I mean, I AM only ONE person…). These past two weeks alone have been just INSANELY busy (as in, I literally cannot get on social media AT ALL, or my academics will severely suffer for it), so I just have to hope and pray that most don’t take it personally, if I don’t contact them for a while. But it does hurt, to be on either side of the fence. Because I know; I know what it’s like to feel ignored like that. Believe me when I say that.

I also think God put that situation in my life because He wanted me to taste a pinch of how HE feels; when we first start off growing close together with Him, and doing our best to get to know Him, things are usually going great. But the farther we drift apart, the more we hurt Him, the more He longs for contact with us, but no, He doesn’t want to force it on us. We have to come back to Him, and love Him freely, lovingly. Just as I gave “J” the freedom of choice to stay or go (or even to stay in contact or not), God gives us the choice whether or not to stay. Whether or not to return His Love, and learn to Love Him properly, as well as learning all about Him in general, and everything He’s done for us.

So, allow me to ask you…

Will you stay? Or will you go?

(No, that was not a song reference.)

_______________________________

Image Cred:

https://goodstock.photos/open-bible-to-psalm-23/

 

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Mimi

When we first got you

You were a ball of

Fluff;

A giant stuffed animal

I could plop on my

Lap;

You loved your polar bear

Toy, tugging and chewing

With great joy…

Gone.

 

You grew and got bigger, and

Some swore

That they’d never, ever seen

A real polar bear

Before

You arrived at our door;

Rebelliously crossing the road, it’s

A miracle you weren’t flattened

Like a toad.

Gone.

Mimi4

Up on Moore Hill, surveying her kingdom

You ran away that one winter,

After a deer,

Or perhaps you stole someone’s fancy,

And they took you from here.

I was but 12,

I cried and cried;

I told Boopy I thought you had died.

Then you came back from the

Amish, praise the Lord;

And immediately began to play

With Boopy;

I guess you were bored.

Gone.

 

Remember when

You’d hunt groundhogs?

They were your prizes and

Delight;

Sometimes, I wonder,

If you stayed into the night

Hunting,

Bringing us your now-inanimate

Toys

Which were burned, lest you

Also use them

For perfume that

You think you earned.

Gone.

Mimi3

Investigating our fire pit up on Moore Hill. She would make a similar motion with groundhog holes, sticking her face inside, and shuffling it around until she found it.

 

You’d prance down to aunt Luella’s to

Kick up a fuss;

Treating their dogs’ turf as yours, making

A big ol’ ruckus.

You upheld the honorary rivalry

That came between the

Predecessors,

Dolly and Sparky.

Gone.

 

If I was sad,

You’d want to know why;

You didn’t understand,

But you could not

Stand

To see me cry.

You’d nuzzle

Me until I caved;

I stroked you until

Every drop of

Affection

I gave

Was yours.

Mimi5

In her usual position, in our front living room. 

 

You’d follow us hither and thither, through

Mountain and valley;

Herding your little “flock,”

Was right up your alley.

You’d always look back, always

Wait,

To ensure we were keeping up with

Your quick-trotting gait.

Through the years your pace slowed,

And you had to keep up

With the ones you once show’d

The right way to go.

And then, suddenly

You could no

Longer go

Through the neighborhood,

To Grandma’s,

Even out in your snow.

Your hips hind’ring,

You struggled to

Rise;

You avoided even

The herd inside.

You wond’red

Where the

Little Herdlings went

If only I could show you

We were

Temporarily sent

To school, not

Forever

Gone.

Mimi1

Last day with Mimi– the Saturday the week before she was euthanized

 

They say there’s a

Place up there

For special animals, who

Were deeply cherish’d

With love and care.

A place where she can trot, and

Not worry about

If her bones rot;

A place where

She and Boopy can bark and play,

Angels joining in, forever and always.

She’ll follow a new Shepherd,

The One Who made her;

The One Who comforts her

Herd that was

Left behind.

 

Loved, yet never truly left.

Gone, but never forgotten.

 

In Loving Memory of Daisy “Mimi” Moore:

Great Prynees, pureblood, received from family friend Dr. Valez, the same doctor we received Boopy from. 

Euthanized Friday, 2nd February 2018 due to lymphoma, starvation (would not eat due to depression and tumors in throat), dehydration, dislocated hip and extreme suffering at approximately 4pm EST. 

Your Herd will always remember and love you deeply. May you find forever happiness with Dolly, Boopy, and Jesus. Rest in peace, and suffer pain no more. Sissy has always loved you, and always will. 

Mimi2

 

Out With The Old

Out With The Old

Hi, guys!! Me-sa back from Yisrael!!! 😊 So much happened; it seemed so surreal, and dreamlike… I seriously did not want to leave (seriously—on impulse, during our second—and very long—flight, I had to fight the impulse to tell the pilot to turn the plane around, and head back toward Tel Aviv!!). I learned a lot, and am now able to connect a lot of the land (i.e., En Gedi, Scythopolis, the “Sea” of Galilee, which is really just a massive lake…) to Biblical stories in my brain-head. Our guide, David, was wonderful—not only super informative and helpful, but considerate, friendly, and unafraid to say it like it was; he is a true Israeli, through and through.

Annnyyyywwwwhhhhoooo….

So, while we were there at our first hotel, an old friend of David’s came to visit us; like David, he too was a Messianic Jew. But he was also a pastor, and gave a powerfully inspiring message to us that night, one that I’ve been wrestling with, TONS, and reflecting on ever since.

You see, like most of us, even believers, he had his passions, his hobbies. Even before he got Saved, for instance, he loved going to the movies. Later on in life, he even became involved in martial arts (which REALLY got my attention!). But, he felt convicted about partaking in these things. Why?

My first thought and objection was going to be that we should be allowed to have harmless but gratifying passions or hobbies that we can enjoy doing from time, so as long as there’s nothing inherently wrong with them. But he brought up one very valid point: God asked him to compare how much time he spent doing his respective hobbies, and how much time the pastor spent with Him. For movies, the guy spent an unhealthy amount of time, like at least a few HOURS a DAY, on a DAILY basis, versus the fifteen minutes he gave God before bed each night.

Doesn’t seem quite fair, does it? Buuuutttt… It DOES seem STRIKINGLY familiar…  (*cough* Netflix… *cough*)

Now, as a fangirl, my primary guilty pleasure is my fandoms–my little, well, obsessions. It’s very easy for someone like me to get sucked up into a GOOD fandom, and start fangirling pretty hardcore (depending on what it is, after all). But, I think God’s been nudging me ever since that night, and has given me something of an ultimatum: Either I give them up completely, or like and enjoy BUT don’t idolize them.

Yes. I used the “I” word.

Because, if you really think about it, that’s what an obsession is, isn’t it? An idol. The light of your life, what you think and talk about the most, what you give the most time in your life to, willingly. Now, I am NOT saying school is necessarily an idol (for you fellow students, that should not be an excuse to NOT do your homework!), but I could see how it could become one, with competition for good grades, and constant pressure to do well. But with fandoms, it’s generally a LOT more obvious: Cosplayers, line-quoters (seriously, we should be quoting SCRIPTURE, not MOVIE/BOOK LINES, guys!!!), fantasizing about making out with a fictional boyfriend or girlfriend, you name it. They all sound idolatrous, and in fact I can think of at least TWO Scriptures that go against that last one (which I am equally guilty of committing, mind… And I’m sure you can guess who with…). It’s convicting, to say the least.

 

So what should we do about it?

If you’re anything like me, you likely have multiple fandoms. This doesn’t make it a super bad thing! You can still like stuff, and even fangirl/fanboy over it, to a degree. But it should not be your primary reason for living, nor should it consume your thoughts almost every waking 24 hrs. Jesus deserves that spot, guys, not a fandom. Not an earthly obsession. I’ve seen/heard about plenty of those obsessions taking a turn for the worse, and the end results aren’t pretty. It’s like how I’ve been with Harry Potter; I was too obsessed when I was younger, but now I just like and enjoy it, but am not “into” it. Sometimes, people are– literally or spiritually– scarred or damaged for life.

I would say that God is offering you the same ultimatum He has been offering me: Him, or the fandoms. We can’t worship both, as stated in Scripture. No human can serve two Masters, and sadly, I know a good many people who would not choose God (which breaks my heart, btw) over their fandoms. But! I think I know some who, when it boiled down to it, would. And I would encourage you to do the same.

 

They exchanged the truth about God for a lie, and worshiped and served created things rather than the Creator—who is forever praised. Amen.

            Romans 1:25, NIV

 

            “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.”

            Luke 16:13, NIV

Love you guys, and I promise there will be more, soon.

~~O.R. Moore

ISRAELSELFIE

Me near the Western “Wailing” Wall in Jersusalem. More pics to come!

Cover picture of Yisraeli flag that I took at Masada. 

 

The Golden Calf

The Golden Calf

Author’s Note: This poem was written in open defiance of the Deceiver, the Father of Lies, that cunning, cursed, blood-shot-eyed bogus bat who fell from heaven after rejecting God completely. 

The title is unique. It relays to how I felt this evening, to how Moses must have felt upon seeing how soon Satan had turned the Israelites against God in worship of a golden statue, instead. Every time I see Satan score like that, whether it be in my life or in the lives of others (particularly loved ones’), I get angry about him trying to subtly dismantle and entirely demolish people’s lives. I get defiant. And this is an outward expression of that defiance, whether Satan likes it or not, whether, heck PC people like it or not (and I’ve really given up on caring about that so far at this point.). So… in a sense, my poem is saying, loudly and proudly, “IN. YOUR. STUPID. FACE. SATAN.”

 

“Not today, Satan.”

Those words

Ring

In my ears

After seeing people

Being torn

A-

Part,

One the edge

With fear

And destruction

In their hearts.

 

“Not my family, Satan.”

You try to

Pick

And pick

And pick

Until there is nothing

At all

Left.

Corrupting,

Deceiving,

Controlling

My loved ones,

Oh yes, I know how

You operate.

 

“Not my life, Satan.”

For it belongs

To my Father

Above

Who has already

Ransomed

Me with wild

Abandon, and restless

Eternal

Love.

The most you can

“Accomplish”–

To tear my soul from

My temple,

However you wish.

 

“Not your world, Satan.”

This is my Father’s world

And in it has begun

Through hope and fears,

And all the years,

In time, God’s

Flawless

Masterful

Plan

Will be

Done.

You have not won.

 

_________________________________________

Image Credit: 

Exclusive Interview with “Halayda” author, Sarah Delena White!!!

Exclusive Interview with “Halayda” author, Sarah Delena White!!!

OK, first, again, apologies to you guys for not touching base as much as I should’ve… But then, I might not have been able to surprise you with something truly wonderful!

This summer, as I’ve previously mentioned, I read and got addicted to indie author Sarah Delena White’s first book of her Star Fae Trilogy, Halayda. (I will include a blurb at the bottom, for all those interested. I will say this, though: Fae meets alchemy meets steampunk. Meets the classic, “good vs. evil”. Hehehe.) I’ve actually had the pleasure to get to know Sarah personally via Facebook, and bonded a great deal, amidst several good-natured, and sometimes comical, conversations. She informed me that book 2 is coming out soon, this spring, in fact. I asked if, to help build hype and satisfy some of our curiosity, she’d be so kind as to agree to an interview– and she agreed!!!

I AM SO FREAKING PUMPED, GUYS!!!

Anyways… Ahem *clears throat* Let’s get this show on the road!

 

L4G: Thanks soooo much for joining us today, Sarah! It’s really quite the honor to be having this interview; it seems super surreal….I know a lot of readers and Bookstagrammers are rather unfamiliar with you and your writing, so we’ll start off there. First off, how did you get started in your writing business?

SDW: I never intended to be a writer, believe it or not. I’ve always enjoyed creating stories and worlds, but I didn’t prioritize writing until I was in my mid-twenties. I started writing while living and working overseas as a way of processing my experiences. I came to realize the profound power of storytelling and spent the next few years honing my craft and working on various projects. I always wrote fantasy, though. I love the power of speculative fiction to put the real world in a new perspective.

L4G: That’s awesome! I have to agree, I love how fantasy puts a novel (see what I did there?) spin on reality, and am a big fantasy reader and writer, myself. Speaking of which, I know a lot of people who are interested in writing, particularly fiction (and not just myself!). What pro tips can you give for future, aspiring authors?

SDW: 1. Always keep writing, and don’t be afraid to try new things. Before Halayda, I left a trail of half-finished stories in a range of genres. I had to keep trying different ideas and creating different worlds before I hit on something that deeply resonated with me and that I loved enough to commit to for the long run. 2. Don’t be boring! This piece of advice was given to me by one of my editors, Janeen Ippolito, and it changed my whole perspective on storytelling. I used to think I had to plow through the “boring parts” of a story so I could eventually get to the “interesting parts.” The result was some very uninteresting stories! When I started writing Halayda, I chose to make every scene an “interesting part,” realizing that if I wasn’t interested in writing something, people probably wouldn’t be interested in reading it.

L4G: Those are definitely words to live by… All you writers out there, take notes! 😉 I know I’m personally guilty of leaving stories half-finished, sometimes due to duller parts, until recently… But that’s another tale for another day. 🙂 Since, going by your Facebook and Instagram, we already know you love ballads and fae stuff, but… What SPECIFICALLY inspired you to create the world and characters of  Halayda and the Star-Fae Trilogy

SDW: Halayda was sparked by a dream in which I got dragonfly wings thanks to a crazy scientist’s experiment. The dream lingered in my mind after I woke up, and within a few hours Sylvie and Taylan came to life and started to tell me their story. I originally intended the book to be a superhero story, but I quickly realized that the concept wasn’t unique enough and needed other elements to make it sparkle. Since I love genre mashups, I combined fae mythology and steampunk with some of my favorite superhero tropes, and the world of Kyure was born.

L4G: What?! No way, I had a story world that was invented via a dream, too! OK, this is CRAZY *high-fives* OK, OK, Livia, stay focused… stay focused… In Halayda, there are a few things that are very symbolic, the Dragonfly wings and Dragonfly abilities being one of them. Maybe the Humanities and my English-y classes are getting to me with symbols and themes, but I need to ask: What made you choose the specific image of not just WINGS, but DRAGONFLY wings to symbolize and mark out Faerie’s Savior? 

SDW: While most of the symbolism in Halayda was deliberate, the dragonfly wings started as an unintentional symbol (or perhaps a subconscious one). I originally chose them because they were an element of the original dream and I liked the aesthetic. As I delved deeper into Sylvie’s significance and role while drafting the book, I realized that dragonfly wings were a perfect fit for many reasons. Dragonflies often symbolize renewal, as well as change leading to deeper maturity and self-realization, and this is perfect for Sylvie’s journey in Halayda.

L4G: Well, I guess that makes sense. I mean, sometimes dreams just have so much powerful imagery, you can’t help but include some of it… And the fact that it turned out to be something so much more… THAT’S what I call a “God-incidence”! Alright, since I promised my good friend Jarrett I’d ask a question or two regarding specific characters in your story, the Wild Hunt… (Sorry, Casimir– I PROMISE you’ll get a WHOLE interview to express your glorious self next time!!) He wants to know, how do the leaders of the Wild Hunt get chosen (by age, seniority, family/clan, descent, etc.)?

SDW: The leaders of the Wild Hunt claim their positions through a combination of seniority and fighting ability. The older, more powerful members of the Hunt will often fight to assert their dominance and try to claim a higher rank in the pack. Iberek became the chief hound shifter about two hundred years before Halayda takes place, winning a fight against multiple challengers. He is the oldest living member of the Wild Hunt, and very few Hunters are bold enough to question his authority.

L4G: I’m sure Jarrett’ll be pleased to know that fascinating tidbit about his fave character. He also wants to know, just how animal ARE the Wild Hunt– as in, are they mainly human/fae with animalistic traits, or is it vice versa?

SDW: Good question! It’s always interesting to see how authors handle this aspect of their Shifter characters. In this case, the hound and cat shifters of the Wild Hunt are primarily fae, but they prefer a more primitive life than the elemental faeries. While certain aspects of their culture resemble a wolf pack, they don’t view themselves as animals at all.

L4G: That’s very interesting! I thought that way myself, but Jarrett asks a lot of intriguing questions I never would’ve thought of, myself… I gotta hand it to him. Anyways, let’s wrap this up! 🙂 So happy we could get together to do this! Hopefully we can get together to do this again sometime in the future! Just one more question: Any clues as to what book 2’s going to have in store for us– a blurb, or even title-wise? Because there were noticeable changes on your Pinterest, hahaha….

SDW: I don’t have a blurb or a final title yet, but keep an eye out for that this winter, along with the official cover reveal! Here are a few clues about book 2, though:

-It is partly inspired by the Greek myth of Hades and Persephone.
-You’ll get to see more of the mortal (steampunk) world).
-Everyone has a secret, and nothing is quite as it seems. 😉
 
Thanks so much for having me on your blog, Olivia!

 

Thank YOU, Sarah!!! This was a lot of fun, and hopefully we can do it again in anticipation for book 3!!!

 

Interested in the Star Fae Trilogy? Here’s more!

Halayda blurb:

“Betrayed by a trusted mentor, Sylvie Imanthiya hides on the fringes of society, caring for half-fae orphans and trading her alchemical creations on the black market. She lives for the one night each season when she can see her dearest friend—a man whose destiny is far above hers.

King Taylan Ashkalabek knows better than to exchange halayda vows with a mortal. Even their friendship is a risk; love is an impossible dream. Then a brutal alchemical attack poisons his realm, unearthing a dark power within him—and leaving Sylvie with the ancient mark of Faerie’s savior.

Manifesting unpredictable abilities and aided by allies with their own secrets, Sylvie and Taylan journey into the wilds of Faerie to heal the damage and confront Casimir, an invincible star-fae determined to claim the realm as his own. But only their enemy knows Sylvie’s true capabilities—and Taylan’s weaknesses—and how to use them in his vicious schemes.

Her fate is life. His fate is death. With Faerie in the balance, Sylvie and Taylan must stand together before reality as they know it is destroyed.”

Find out more in this dramatic clash of fates and destinies in her first book of the trilogy, now!

https://uncommonuniverses.com/books/halayda/

______________________________________

About the Author:

Sarah Delena White

Sarah is a vagabond on a never-ending quest for truth, beauty, and really good lattes. She has degrees in Intercultural Studies and Teaching English as a Second Language, and loves to explore the connections between fantastic stories – both modern and ancient – and the cultures that invent them. When she’s not writing or editing, she can be found making jewelry, singing Irish ballads, and working a variety of odd jobs. She occasionally remembers to eat and sleep, because those things are apparently important. She also loves chickens.

SarahDWhite

Image Creds: Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram 

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

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Image Credit:

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

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

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?

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Image Credit:

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