we're cutting anchor, casting out into the glorious deep

Friday, December 28, 2012

song lyrics in title from "sailboats" by brooke fraser (one of my favorites). 

With the New Year nigh upon us, I have felt the urge for the past two days to voice my resolutions for this year. But more than that, to share my inspiration. Am I the only one who gets this mad inspiration every December 26th, this anticipation for the new year? This excitement to start afresh, do new things, learn new secrets about the world?

This year, this is what I'm excited about (in no particular order):

1. Editing and publishing Psithurism. (I'm almost finished with the first draft!)
2. Getting started on Gumusservi (I've written a few lines in a notebook, but that's all.)
3. Meeting new friends (you could be one of them!) and growing closer to old friends.
4. Working on some really fun projects I have in mind (nope, I won't tell you.)
5. Cleaning out my room/work space, getting rid of unnecessary junk (it piles up, you know).
6. Travelling and seeing new places (be still, my heart!).
7. Expanding my French vocabulary (I love learning, y'all.)
8. Finishing my Freshman year of high school (yep, I'm only 14. :))
9. Reading all those books on my reading list (it's rather long).
10. Getting closer to my Savior. <3 br=""> What are you excited about in the coming year? Any plans, hopes, aspirations?

p.s. Your feedback on The Hobbit was amazing. I guess I really should see it, huh? I've been wondering what those of y'all though about the amount of...content in Les Miserables, and whether it was worth it? Tell me; I want to hear all about it. :)

O, Holy Night

Monday, December 24, 2012

The wind whistles sharps around the house, and with a deep breath you remember why your wearing those fuzzy socks. Outside, the world is a blurr of white and christmas lights, something you see at only one times of the year: Christmas. Your family surrounds you, all drinking hot cocoa. The sweet voices of "It's A Wonderful Life" ring throughout the house, filling your with excitement and anxiety for the coming day. You imagine that delicious lump at the end of your bed when you wake up, the crackling feeling of a stocking at your toes. And then, when the joys of stockings have been explored to their fullest, you head down the stairs and gasp, amazed at the beaty of the tree surrounded by presents. Is it possible that it gets better each year? And then comes the opening. Slowly, one by one, taking turns and exclaiming over each present. 

But that is not what Christmas is about. Somewhere, far off in a cold stable, a mother suffers through the difficulties of childbirth. No steriod has been given her to make the birth easier. No comfortable hospital bed is beneath her back, no nurse accompanies her. Her only companions are Joseph: her husband, the sheep, cow, and horses surrounding her watching in awe, and the Son of God now leaving her body.

And that is what Christmas is about. 
Merry Christmas, friends!
Now get off the computer and go give your family some love. :)


Beautiful People//Ara's Father

Sunday, December 23, 2012

This guy...wow, I'm almost finished writing Psithurism, and I still don't know Ara's father very well. Yet his part in the plot is minuscule, really...Tut tut, do not look at me so: he does have a name. It's Gotwinus (GOT-vin-us). See? Perhaps I am not so heinous!

1. Do they believe in anything that most people think is impossible? Oh my, yes! Gotwinus is the sort of old man that most think are crazy, but those who truly know him love him. His "craziness" is his desire to learn about his Creator, and those who understand this know he is not crazy. Rather, his heart is so close to God that those far from God cannot transcend near enough to see him clearly. 
2. Are they strong, or the "damsel/knight in distress" sort? Gotwinus is not physically strong (though he may like to think he is) but his mental strength is unmistakeable. 
3. Do they have a special place? (e.g. a corner in his/her bedroom, under a tree...) Not particularly. The kitchen is always a nice place because of it's view, but any place quiet and comfortable will suit Gotwinus just fine. 
4. What occupation do they have, or plan on having? Oh, nothing important. He's only the king of Vita Anima, you know. ;)
5. Describe their current place of residence. A castle, but of course! One of those dashingly romantic castles, with so many gables and wings and sitting rooms that one may get quite lost without clear direction, where the parapets are a-plenty and where rotund cooks sing delightfully loud as they throw a pinch of seasoning into the soup, or knead their bread with stamina. 
6. Explain their last crisis. How had they changed when they came out of it? Gotwinus' finaly crisis is the death of him, near the beginning of the book. He battles with manly strength a fatal disease, and on his deathbed reaches out smilingly towards an unseen Heavenly Being. I know not how he was changed by such an experience, but I'm certain he could tell you there was a change. Perhaps a renewed being was included. 
7. If they could drive any kind of car they wanted, what would it be? Something modest, unassuming, but fast. Gotwinus, though serious, loves exhilaration. A gallop on his horse is often emplayed to shake the unrest that one gets from sitting at a desk all day, as are sports such as jousting.  
8. How do they deal with change? Quite deftly. Change has never proven to be a welcome friend in my experience, but Gotwinus handles it as he does any other obstacle: with clear instruction, always followed through to the final sentence. 
9. If they had to amputate one body part, which one would they choose? Not a finger would Gotwinus spare: nay, they are too precious! But a foot perhaps. That is something one might get around. 
10. What would their favorite be at the local coffee shop? Good, unhindered coffee, with a nice blueberry scone to accompany. He has good tastes, does he not?

a lesson from birds

Friday, December 21, 2012

chirp and sputter
windblown heather
'cross the sky
held in lock
ought to be."
(c) bree holloway 2012

Those birds are really onto something. All that flying high above the ground, leaving cares to fend for themselves. They live out their daly lives simply, and aren't afraid to crow when something must be said. Their feathers may be dull or harlequin, beaks tapered or zaftig, eyes beady or protuberant, but they all have the same principles. And when the air here on earth gets too stuffy to manage, off they go into the wild blue yonder, plumage a-whirl and songs of an unspoken language freed from captivation in their tongues. Up, up, up, to a place perhaps closer in a geographical sense, or perhaps father away from our Creator. It doesn't matter. The air is different up there, and one can feel closer to God.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could do so as well? If we could remember that there is One there, waiting for us when the troubles of this earth become suffocating and insupportable, arms open wide for our weeping little bodies, hands yearning to heal our petty wounds? A God who is utterly flawless, who died for our numberless flaws. My numberless flaws.

It's outrageous. And that's the best part about it.

In which I ramble about the Hobbit.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

The Hobbit
is the only one of the LOTR series I have read (I'm working on it, friends ;D), so naturally the new movie coming out has excited me most bounteously. I have yet to see the other Lord of The Rings movies as well (I want to read the books first). But the Hobbit, oh, the Hobbit! All the trailers, clips, posters, etc has gotten me quite excited. And to think they've split it into two - no, three - parts? My Hobbit-loving will surely be satisfied these next few years.

Or so I was thinking, until I heard that it has really quick camera motion. We saw The Hunger Games (which had the same such camera motion) and poor Momma got sick. Daddy didn't fare too well either with that headache. 

After some severe dissapointment, a friend who had seen both Hunger Games and The Hobbit told me this, in essence:
I saw the Hunger Games, and the camera motion was too much for me. But The Hobbit wasn't like that. I loved it. 
So, here's where y'all come in: I want to know if I should see this movie or not. To those of you who have watched it, would you please share your opinion? Was the camera fast moving, leaving you wondering at what just passed your eyes? Or was it a comfortable pace, with which your could keep track and focus on?

Oh, and Merry Christmas! Because you all are just the best.


christmas cheer

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

About two weeks ago we decorated our tree. This is probably my favorite part of the Christmas preparation, because the whole family always does it together, and we get to relive the stories that acompany each ornament. Of course, Chicago christmas music is playing in the background, (followed by a little Josh Groban) and coffee sits in mismatched mugs on end tables and precariously placed boxes. Daddy strings the lights, keeping us on our toes in anticipation as we will him to place them just right. And he does, somehow. Every year, too. Then out come the ornaments from their boxes that were once crisp and sturdy but now lie in a sunken-in dissaray, one that we can't bear to change for sentimental reasons. As we decorate, Ava weighing down the lower branches with paper stars and Momma adorning the higher ones with angels, crosses, and odd little trinkets that have accumulated over the years, we talk and tease. It's customary, my friends. ;) Then comes the star, and we all step back to admire our work. Daddy makes a comment about how the tree somehow manages to look the same every year, and we all have to smilingly agree, for it's true. Slowly we drift away from the room, but no amount of loneliness can smolder the light and exitement abounding through the house. It's on that day that Christmas truly begins for us. :)

What's your favorite form of Christmas cheer?


Sunday, December 16, 2012

Let's face it: when the time comes to be tested, (whether that means an exam or judgement day) we are not always willing. Who wants to sit still and be questioned continually, expected to know the answer? What human enjoys the suspense of knowing if you answered correctly?

I know I don't.

"But who can endure the day of His coming? Who can stand when He appears? For He will be like a refiner's fire, or a launderer's soap." Malachai 3:2
Unfortunately, whether we like it or not, there will come a day for us all when we will be tested. God doesn't send these stormy waters to try and drown us: He sends them to build our character, and our strength in Him. But it won't be easy.
"I'm just a girl, nothing more. I am willing, I am Yours." - Be Born In Me, Francesca Battistelli
Mary. She was a pretty important figure in Christ's birth.  No, she was not a saint. No, we shoud not worship her. She was nothing more than a willing servant of God. And a young one, too.

But Mary was willing. She was willing to sacrifice her honor for God's plan. She sacrificed her comfort for His birth. She sacrificed her home to travel to a foreign land, doing as she was told. Mary gave up her earthly safety, for true security in the hand of God.

Perhaps we should take a page out of her book.
"I am not brave, I'll never be. The only thing my heart can offer is a vacancy." - Be Born In Me, Francesca Battistelli
All Mary could give for Jesus was her arms, her heart. But that was enough. I want to be willing to give whatever I am, no matter how insufficient I feel. Because God has a plan for me, perhaps something far larger than I can see.

"Do you wonder as you watch my face, if a wiser one should have had my place? But I offer all I am for the mercy of Your plan." -Breath of Heaven, Amy Grant
I want to be willing to give up everything - yes, even my life - for whateve God has planned for me. Because I know His plan is more important than mine.

December Snippets

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Time for December snippets! But before we start, I must confess...these snippets are not from this month. I actually haven't written anything this month, being that the coming dance recital, Christmas a week later, etc. have been vying for my time. It has taken everything in me to stay away from that document and focus on the important things: exam studying, and dance practice. I detest the former, but the only qualm I have with the latter is that it has come all too soon. Oh, and Christmas. Since when does Christmas happen in the end of October? Oh wait, it's December now...yikes.

In conclusion, most of these snippets come from November. In fact, all of them do. And as I previously mentioned, I haven't touched that document since November 30th, so things may be a bit...messy. Just tell me if I've gone off my rocker and need to rewrite those 50,000 words. You'll probably be right. ;)

Oh, and did you notice the new look? Yeah, this one will be staying. :)

Time is a funny thing. It will travel slowest when you need it most to break through the pull of gravity. And time will buzz by on those days when you wish you had more of it within your grasp. Principally, time goes speedy at any rate, and before you know it several days have been swept from your possession and are being taken far, far away to lands you cannot hope to find. -Ara, Psithurism
Not to mention a stop at the little stall at the end of third street, the one with the young lady selling all sorts of pretty things. I so rarely visit her stall, but each time is a pleasure. Sydni, her name is, and when she laughs her blonde waves shake like bells in the winds. Sydni laughs a lot, and her hair always appears to be waving a friendly ‘hello’ to you. -Ara, Psithurism
Within a few moments, Ara is awake, but she looks bad. Her eyes are dull and her face is still quite pale. Her poor little chapped hands are ghostly white, to match her face, and her cheeks look sunken in. -Adair, Psithurism
As I scuttle through town, holding Kaitlyn tightly to my neck, I become aware of open eyes, glowing like frightening stars in the poorly-lit streets. Instead of the quiet darkness that I imagined, taverns are still open, men are still up drinking, and the alleyways though dark, are quite alive with whispers, trades, and argument of some sort. I cower from the alleys in fright, and begin regretting this decision as I so often do, when an adventure comes to try my weak and fearful soul. -Ara, Psithurism
Kaitlyn stares a little too comprehendingly at me, for several long moments. I stare right back at her, unable to form words the multiple emotions swirling madly in my heart. -Ara, Psithurism
With all these dizzying facts about the life span of my provisions, my plan for ensuring healthy hydration at all times, along with a mental map of my trail in my head, I have left no room for spare thoughts. 
Even so, they manage to squish their way in. -Ara, Psithurism

Catching My Breath

Monday, December 03, 2012

via pinterest
While scribbling non-stop for the month of NaNoWriMo, throw in a little break for Thanksgiving, decorating the house for Christmas, and then heading straight back into school, I have hardly had time to get back to this poor neglected blog of mine. Luckily, I had those snazzy guest posters to entertain y'all while I was gone. 

And now NaNo has been over for 3 days, and I'm almost done with my book (that's a good excuse, right?), yet I still haven't gotten back to y'all. Whoops. 

But I've been taking a breath, catching up on sleep, and enjoying the tremendous beauty that Christmas brings. (Not to mention all that holiday bokeh I have been stocking up on. yumm. I could eat it for breakfast.) And that is more important than blogging. 

Plus, I fully intend to tantalize you all with other fun stuff, so stick around. They don't call Christmas the most wonderful time of the year for nothing. ;)

those things that say a lot

Saturday, December 01, 2012

"things that say a lot about people:
the way in which they treat the waiter/waitress
how they feel about the weather
whether they dog ear pages or highlight in books
fingernails and hands in general
their preferred creative outlet
how much they dread/enjoy talking on the phone
whether or not they drink coffee
if they ever forget to eat
how honest they are with themselves (and others)
if they correct your grammar
and whether or not they get nervous before haircuts."

post inspired by Carlotta.
1. I really don't treat waiters/waitresses well enough. I really need to work on that. And it might really make a difference.

2. The weather is my friend. The end. Sunny weather inspires me relentlessly, and rainy weather is like being swaddled in a warm blanket: cozy, comforting, and relaxing. 
3. I dog-ear pages and underline a lot. Perhaps to much. The only downside to this is when I have library books and can't write notes to myself in the corners, etc. Those are sad days. They are also the days I pull out a spare piece of paper and write down the numbers of my favorite pages, and scribble out the quotes that catch my heart. 
4. my fingernails are short, though at times I wish they were longer. I keep them painted for the most part, and have tried pretty much every shade available. I like to be versatile, dontchya know. My fingernails are usually pretty evenly-shaped, but there are times when a nail will be quite unsightly, and those are the times you will see me hiding my hands behind my back. ;)
5. My hands are really small, if you ask anyone around me. My fingers are quite short and stubby, which explains why I wish at least my nails were longer. I pop my knuckles on occasion, but only when I'm really bored. My skin is normal (not dry, but not exceptionally soft) during the summer, but they get rather dry in the winter time, unless I pay particular attention. 
6. I really don't like talking on the phone, and I hardly ever do it anyways. I always worry about saying the wrong thing, and always seem to stumble over my words, no matter how much I have planned what I will say before making the call. 
7. Do I drink coffee?! Is the sky blue? Is the grass green? 

In case it's not clear, I love coffee. Starbucks is the best, but homemade cariboo comes close second. I drink it black, sometimes with sugar. And in the summer, I drink it iced. Yumm.

8. I don't forget to eat. Food is good, how can one forget it? My stomach would not forgive me. ;)
9. I'm quite blatantly honest with myself, and perhaps my heart does not like me for it. I do not like to hide the truth.
10. I correct grammar a lot. Perhaps too much. But I only do to people I know well, who know I don't mean it personally. But to be honest, the real grammar nazi of the family is Elizabeth. Make sure you've spelled everything properly in her presence!
11. I get nervous and second guess my decisions before haircuts. It's a bad habit that I must get over. I always tell myself I'm going to go with something new, and then in the nervous waiting time, I decide against it and stick with my same old boring haircut. What can I say? I'm not the biggest advocate of change. 
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