Friday, September 12, 2014

Self Destruct {a new story idea}

For centuries, it's been acknowledged that humanity is its own worst enemy.
Within each human mind is a constant struggle between voices of good and evil. Some people consider themselves to have split personalities. What if, in a certain dimension, this became more than just a mental battle? What if the voices had physical bodies just like us? What if your split personality had a body and its own free will?

In 17-year-old Lotus' world, not everyone has the ability to recognize that the greatest adversary lies within their own skins. Only a small remnant of the human race have obtained the power to see their alter-egos in action as they go about causing all sort of pandemonium. To those who haven't been burdened with this ability, this skill is seen as a curse, a mental disease. But to those who are able to see the Speculum Carnis (Latin for "mirror self"), or Specks, it's no joke. Specks are dark, dangerous creatures which possess no mercy or justice. As the complete opposite of good, they are responsible for everything evil in the world. Lotus is one of the few who can see the Specks, and it haunts her daily. According to the tradition of the Speck viewers, when she encounters her own mirror-self she must destroy it, or it will destroy her. The only problem is, Lotus kind of likes her Speck. Sometimes she hears her Speck's voice echoing in her mind. It's weird, but the two share a bond which Lotus can't figure out. It isn't normal to bond with one's hated mirror-image. But how can Lotus kill a part of herself?
This, my dears, is the beginnings of a fabulously random novel idea which came to me around 2AM (don't ask why 2AM) the other morning whilst I was listening to thissssss. *points below*
Chase The Light | Two Steps from Hell
I demand that you listen to it. You absolutely must. Seriously, just listen okay? And ideally, you listen while reading that synopsis up there, just so's you get a small picture of what my inspiration was while writing it.
This stuff is just freaking. uber. amazing.
Of course, whenever is TSFH not??!?!
Anywaysss yeah.
So my imagination was soaring, searching for a way to manifest something epic to correspond with this music. I don't know about y'all but when I listen to epic orchestral music it makes me want to go do big, epic things. Like, transport myself into one of my book worlds, fly one of my griffins, and overthrow all the other-dimension evil dictators. That, or run a marathon. Or save somebody's life. Or something.  
After listening to it on repeat several dozen times, Self Destruct popped into my head out of thin air. (The title itself actually came the next day.)  Like, literally, my mind was a messy soup of discombobulating thought processes one moment, and the next minute, voila, look what we have here....
Music is so powerful. Who needs drugs and junk like that when you have brilliant music to listen to?
"My death is inevitable. At the end of the day, there's just one thing I can count on.
I will die, sooner or later. In some way, part of me will be gone. The question is not if I survive - but which side of me will remain? What if that creature out there - my mirror self who I've shared so many memories with - overtakes me? What if she wins? What would the world be like without the good version of me?"
// random snippet I threw together for a GTW Facebook post //
 You can't change what you refuse to confront.
"Dare I admit she's as evil as they say? Dare I admit that this horrific monster is actually a part of me?"
Like a lot of other poor writerly souls, I have a, shall we say, 'slight' Pinterest addiction and a thing for making boards for all my current books/story ideas.
Therefore, I instantly whipped up a nifty little board for Self Destruct. More pins to come. (That's a fact Jack!)
What do you peeps think? Is this a weird idea or does it actually have potential to be something epic? I'm not sure myself at this time, but I must admit I'm pretty darn excited to see what happens with it. There are soooo many different Biblical analogies I'm eager to employ. Oh yes, and did I mention crazy plot twists and surprise endings? Hehe. Of course. I thrive on those.  
Before I depart, I wanted to share another song I found that is also super chill. It reminds me of the whole dreams-based premise of If Dante Had Wings. (another book-in-the-making of mine, in case you didn't know) Anything that reminds me of one of my novel projects instantly makes me happy. ^_^ So, give it a listen. You're welcome, in advance.
Days Turn Into Nights | Delerium (Seven Lions Remix)
 Hope y'all are having a very blessed week! Take time to enjoy the little things in every day, and always bloom where you're planted! ♪

Monday, September 8, 2014

I Used To Be Indecisive But Now I'm Not Sure

Did you get that title? Yes? Hehe, good.

 So often in life it feels like indecisiveness is viewed as a bad thing. If you can't make up your mind, you feel like you're at a disadvantage and you're behind. Out of the loop. Not with it.

Bleh. So many negative connotations to the word indecision.

Yes, there may be a valid reason for that. For example: If you can't make up your mind about salvation, that's dangerous. Terribly dangerous, in fact. See, if you never make up your mind, you'll end up burning for all eternity. If that's not a scary thought, I don't know what is. So yeah. Definitely DON'T be indecisive there.

On a lighter note, I hate not knowing what I want, or what I'm supposed to be doing. I hate not being in the loop with what's going on. I hate not being able to pick whether I want pizza or vegan enchiladas while visiting a particular someone and his family. (Heck yes that's a hard choice! On one hand pizza is pizza and therefore pizza is just....*happy sigh* well, perfect, really; but on the other hand vegan enchiladas are healthy and healthy is good and I'm supposed to be promoting healthy things as a naturopath and...and...just bah humbug. Too many choices, I tell you.)

I don't like not being able to make up my mind. I don't like not knowing what to think or do. It drives me mad, actually. Wait, scratch that. Let's rephrase that. It drives me madder.

In the area of romantic relationships and emotional wellbeing, it's torturous. I'm a healthy human eighteen-year-old girl with healthy human eighteen-year-old hormones, after all. What can you expect?
I won't lie. Many moments have been spent praying over how to know what God's will is for me relating to love and marriage. I desperately want to know how I should react to things that have come up. I desperately wish I could figure out my feelings. I don't like being in the dark about my own state of emotional welfare. It's really annoying. I mean, sometimes it feels like I know other people better than I know my own self.

But in this desperation, it's easy to fall into certain traps. Snares like impatience, for example. This is dangerous, because when you are so wrapped up in trying to get an answer from yourself or God, you can end up doing dumb things you regret later.

Okay, so cutting through all the rambling. What am I trying to convey again? I guess what I'm getting at here is that when it comes to falling in love, it's not something that has to happen just all at once and in bright flashing letters. It's fine to be confused about your feelings toward the person you're getting to know. In that first year of the relationship, when you're still in the 'mostly friendship' stage, you don't have to slap a label on your feelings instantly.

"Is this the one? Or is it somebody else?"

"Do I love him(her), or do I not?"

These aren't questions that need immediate answering. Give it time, and continue to seek the guidance of the Lord, as well as the counsel of those wiser than you. Basically, just chill. Don't stress over the unanswered questions. Time will tell. Save yourself a lot of mental gymnastics and leave it in Christ's hands where it belongs.

Sometimes it's okay to be undecided. And sometimes, it's wisest to be undecided.
1 Chronicles 16:11.
I leave y'all with an adorable jumping spider who knows how to dress classy. Because, jumping spiders are underappreciated. That is all.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

To Keep You Off My Mind

// A Tribute to Nathan Laredo & Sophrona Nassau, the dearly-spellcheck-dubbed "Firestone Couple"  //
When it was just me, life was awful.
The moment you came along, life turned amazing.
Now that you're gone, there's no life at all.
I've been so conflicted about The Rebels of Florida lately. Actually. To be completely honest, it hasn't been on my mind very much at all, period. Which is really sad just in itself. *sniff*
But time has been lacking. What time I have has been put to use in finishing my studies for the ICR courses, when on the computer, anyhow. And then I have the Conservatory, and piano students. And I try to keep in shape. Then of course, you have chores and meal-prep, and calls with my 'foil'. *youknowwhoyouare/insertrandomnoncreepywink* So yeah. Doesn't leave much time for writing.
And then there's lack of motivation. See, I have a decent query letter written up, thank to the help of some brilliant writerly friends, but now I have the darn synopsis to contend with. 
 Just why on earth did I ever have to decide on writing a book that had five MCs in it?!
You know why?
Because I was twelv years old when this thing got started. That's why.
Twelve-year-olds do weird things. Eighteen-year-olds do weird things too, but I like to think I've gotten at least a little more logical since then. And if not more logical, at least....well, I like to think I have a decent head on my shoulders - when that head isn't controlled by a body full of raging hormones.
So now I'm stuck with a melodramatic child/book that's just about as dear to me as an appendage.
An appendage that's mine, anyways. Not just any random, disconnected appendage. That would be weird.
So yeah. This melodramatic book I called my baby.
It kills me, but I love it to death. It's destroyed my already instable emotional wellbeing, and yet I've devoted so much of my life to its eventual success.
What would I do without it? Who knows. Maybe I'd have mastered the piano by now. Perhaps I'd have written a whole other series because I didn't have to focus on rewriting so much, and historical accuracy issues. 
But maybe a big piece of me would also be gone. Maybe my ability to express my feelings toward life would be hindered. Maybe a section of my heart would be missing.
I don't want to know. I love this thing too much to let it go.
Must. Write. Synopsis. Must. Write. Synopsis. And. It. Can't. Be. Lame.
A book six years in the making cannot have a lame synopsis, whatsoever. It just can't.
Oh yeah. And then when I was driving home today from Conservatory, I turned on the radio and heard one of the saddest, most tragic songs ever.
// Stay High (Habits) by Tove Lo //
"gotta stay high all the time to keep you off my mind."
It's like the epitome of human nature, conveyed in three minutes and twenty-nine seconds. Humanity is constantly searching for a healing balm for our souls. We all want someone to cherish and love us. We want to cherish and love back. And we will do whatever it takes to find some form of this. The thing is, we settle for cheap, plastic forms of 'love' which don't count. We settle for momentary pleasure over life-long commitment because we don't trust in God's planning, or we aren't interested to know what that planning even is. We settle for momentary pain-killers that don't really kill the pain. We're just so desperate for something.
This song conveys that well. Drown out everything, do whatever it takes to forget. Even if it means sleeping with a different guy every night, and drinking all your money away. Just do what it takes.
So yeah. From a spiritual aspect, this song stinks. And it might get you in a downer kind of mood.
At the same time, you know what ran across my head when I listened to the chorus a few times?
"Oh my stars. This is so Nathan."
And then I was reminded of those final chapters. Those chapters I wrote last year, right around this time, in fact. Funny how times passes and you forget things like that.
As I listened, I pictured the opening of Frayed Horizons. (TROF'S sequel) I look at Nathan's jaded brown eyes and see the wrinkles permanently etched in his forehead. His mouth is carved into a straight line, he stares straight ahead at nothing; his visage transparent to the deadness inside him. Nothing numbs the pain. Soon, there's no pain to numb. You can't numb something that has no feeling.
When seen in this light, suddenly this song became 10x sadder. Before I knew it, I had tears forming in my eyes. Amazing how quickly emotion can be evoked over one simple song and its potential connotations. Gahhhhhhhh. Haaaaalp meeeeeh. WID (writing induced depression) is on the verge of returning.
When it was just me, life was awful.
The moment you came along, life turned amazing.
Now that you're gone, there's no life at all.
Nathan, I'm truly sorry. I am. I promise. I'm not lying. It....may be hard to believe, but I hate what happened to you. I truly do. Okay, so you don't have to believe me. Whatever. But at least you heard it from my own lips.
Just trust me on this one. It will get better. I promise.
(Yeah, I think it's generally against wisdom to write random unsolicited blog posts at 2:00 in the morning.)

Friday, September 5, 2014

EnlightenedStateApparel Burnout Tanks {review + GIVEAWAY!}

Do you love to work out? (I know some of you may be laughing at that question, like, how on earth can somebody /love/ working out... well, hey, before you start rolling your eyes, take my word for it: it's totally possible!) Looking for lightweight, comfortable clothes to wear during your training sessions? Tired of looking bleh while you work up a sweat?
Okay, so whether you love working out or not, Enlightened State Apparel is an awesome Etsy shop. Not to mention, it will totally give what you're looking for if you answered yes to the above questions.  
Basically, ESA is a line of fun, sporty racer back tanks that are both lightweight and cute. They come in bright, pop-y colors that make you think energetic thoughts just looking at them. Oh, and they have motivational saying on the front. Nice, right?

 I was sent the Train the Same or Remain the Same Tank. Love that saying! And I really liked the color combo. Sadly, my pictures don't really capture the blue very well. Blegh. I apologize for the picture quality in general because it is so evidently lousyyy. Fact is, I've been ridiculously busy as of late and haven't had the time for writing up product reviews even though I'm very behind on them. But, please, don't mind my excuses.
 I ordered a bit bigger than necessary, anticipating something more form-fitting, which it wasn't. (If you buy something, just make sure you order your natural size, don't go a size higher in fear of it being too tight.) So it hangs a bit lower on my chest than I'd like, and is pretty baggy everywhere else. I can live with that though. It's not like it's something I'm going to wear to the conservatory or when teaching. It's a work-out shirt, and supposed to be comfortable for that reason. (The one condition here being that you can't really wear a regular bra with it and have it still be 'modest'. Time to whip out that sports bra!)
Well it definitely is comfortable!

Overall, I like this shirt, and in the Florida summer months it's truly perfect for a good long run in the sun.

Now for the exciting part.......what do we have next? You guessed it - a giveaway! That's right, it's no illusion!
 You can enter to win your very own ESA tank! You even get to pick which tank!

How nifty is that!? If I were you peeps, I'd be putting in as many entries as I could right now. So get hopping!