we're striving towards a higher goal

Monday, April 29, 2013

Yesterday, two of my sisters and I were talking about blogging - what are our purposes, our themes, our niches? We reminisced somewhat reluctantly about the days when followers were all that mattered. When a post had to have good photos of your taking to even be noticed. When I only followed a blog if  someone with a "big" blog followed it. We laughed and talked about how things aren't like that anymore.

Or are they?

Actually, the rules are still there. Sure, they are different now: one has to be hipster, nerdy, love indi music, wear moccasins, scribble in moleskins, read plotless books, call yourself a writer no matter if you write or not, and write posts that are no more than five sentances but are crammed with pictures because, woah, if you don't, you are boring! We get tired of looking at all that text at once on a page! They use words like "raw emotion," "being real," "gritty," "authentic," "genuine," and "messy."

I admit, I've done it before. Those posts with hardly any point at all, but to show off some photos I took because I think that's what you want. In the same vein as what Rachel said (only hers relates to book-writing, not blog-writing), it seems like the good long posts with subjects deeper than how much fun I had at the park the other day just aren't popular right now. I've seen it mentioned several times in "blogging tips" posts that one should never write a post very long without breaking it up with pictures. The reason? People get tired of reading all that text. They want eye-candy. A little candy is fun, for sure! But all pictures? No text? Where is the substance?

I'm sure you have all noticed how I haven't been blogging much lately. I've been contemplating this: why should I post something short and meaningless just to ensure my readers stay? Let them leave if that is all they want - I want my blog to have more purpose than that. I want my blog to be a place that, when a person comes over to visit it will carry them deeper, stop them for more than a moment to glance at a photo, will hold their attention through a post, and maybe move them to comment because it connected with them or compelled them.

I want our blogs to be a community of Christ-followers, where people of like minds, yet diverse inclinations can congregate and work out their ideas, thoughts, and plans. I want to create a place that inspires people to take a step higher even though it's harder. I want to strive for the best in my writing, my work, and my blog, and I want to encourage others in the same direction. Who's with me? 
 Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my redeemer. -Psalm 19:14

an update

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

#1: sunlight peeking through the slats of the blinds// #2: just a pretty vintage china clock// #3, #4, and #5, some freelensing attempts//

01. I didn't mean to go all MIA on y'all, but what with finals and all coming up in a few weeks, my life is not my own! 

02. Notice the new look? I was working on graphic design orders over the weekend and ended up doing this. You know how that is...

03. I've got a few fun surprises planned for this little blog over the summer, so keep your eyes pealed! 

04. I'm probably not going to be around a whole lot these next few weeks, just because of the sheer busyness of it all. I'm hoping to schedule a few posts here and there though, so y'all aren't left with nothing. ;)

05. The Psithurism editing is going rather slow. It seems like everywhere I turn there's another glitch, and I'm having trouble finding the simplest way to go about this business. Prayers would be appreciated. 

things that make me happy: part 5

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

via pinterest

026. 80 degrees. Every day. Spring, you are definitely my favorite season. Sit and stay a while, pretty please with strawberries and cream?

027. Speaking of strawberries and cream, a French Charlotte Russe (look it up) is on the menu for tomorrow. Hello, summer berries!

028. There's a spring cleaning package in The Shoppe, for those of you wanting a little sweep-up of the blog. But it's only available through June, so hop over soon! :)

029. So I bleached a section of hair at the back of my head with hydrogen peroxide this weekend. The peroxide (use 3% or less so you don't get severe hair damage!) works much faster than lemon juice, and there's no stickiness to deal with. Win-win!

030. Neon pink toenails and new vintagey floral shorts. Also known as prepping for summer because it's unquestionably the best time of the year. :)

holes in her hands

Saturday, April 13, 2013

(just a little short story I scribbled up and thought y'all might enjoy.)

Darkness crept in on kitten paws, silent, stealthy.
Street lights gurgled all around, glowing like colourful bubbles when you blurred your eyes just right.
Melody's hands clutched at each other's chapped skin, and the unshapely nails of her left hand dug anxiously into her right.
"Almost there," she whispered to herself, careless of the dangers in a city street at night. Many times had she travelled this road, countless night had she tripped over that one large crack, until her feet knew the route well enough to miss it. The cold wind of a New York November whipped her hair unreservedly about her bare neck, and it gave her that familial warmth it always did. It had a song of it's own, that New York November Wind. It was the promise of happy Thanksgivings to come. It was those Certain Arms wrapped protectively around the waist she could never seem to shrink, the waist he loved anyways. It was dried leaves hiding in the cracks between sidewalk segments, it was crusted frost on early mornings. It was the way her hands felt like they had holes in them, the way the wind bit against the interior skin of her fingers.
She reached the destination easily, and her part-frozen fingers, in nervous anxiety, fumblinging rang the doorbell twice. She smiled because she knew he wouldn't care.
The door opened at perfectly normal pace, and somehow it didn't seem to take as long as it usually did when he opened it. Melody was trying to treasure every moment, and the swiftness of life frightened her sometimes. She was so busy trying to straighten things out in her head, that he caught her by surprise when he slipped his arms gently about her waist.
Words were exchanged between the two, quiet whispers about how Melody should have driven instead of walking, about how he was worried about her, and how Melody couldn't resist the autumn air, and the effect wasn't the same when driving, and she was safe and sound now, so what was the worry? Every word was sweet and protective, like a mother to her son, like a husband to his wife, like a sister to a sister. The words were not sugarry sweet, for such things are too heavy on lovers' lips. They were not light and feathery, like the wings of a bird, for those would soar into the atmosphere, available to others. These words, with a gently-weighted step, tripped from one pair of lips to the other, never to be repeated, as it should be with such words.
Melody had holes in her hands, but this time, someone's fingers would block them up.

(copyright bree holloway 2013 and all that dull legal stuff. basically, just don't steal it, k?)

Do Not Speak Unless You Can Improve the Silence

Thursday, April 11, 2013

There is absolutely no reasonable explaination for this, other than the fact that I'm now a Downton Abbey fan//right click to download wallpaper (made by me).
We've all done it before - that senseless chatter we carry on when there is nothing else to say. We think a situation is awkward when no one is speaking, so we take it upon ourselves to fill the silence.
And sometimes we carry this over into out writing, too.
Why? Why is it always necessary to fill the silence? Has is not been said that the greatest stories are the ones told with our eyes, the ones that don't need words to support them? Those little whispers of atmosphere carry so much more than awkward comments on the weather.

While reading Benjamin Franklin's autobiography this week, I came across this quote:

 – "Speak not but what may benefit others or yourself; avoid trifling conversation"
True, isn't it? I'm quite guilty of too much idle chatter when there is nothing of worth to be said. I'm not the sort that likes talking much (goodness, I rarely ever talk without prompt, unless the matter is something I feel strongly on) I usually find myself listening more than speaking. But as society around me seems to think it odd that I'm not prattling, I've found myself more and more, speaking when nothing needs to be said.

Because the truth of the matter is, there are a lot of things better left unsaid. Silence can speak volumes. And if we (me) would take the time to listen, wouldn't life be just a little more colorful? Wouldn't inspiration come just a tad easier? Wouldn't things be somewhat more...relaxed? At ease?

We'll never know until we try.

A Style Manifesto

Monday, April 08, 2013

Hello friends! For those of you who didn't know, I'm guest posting over at Two's Company today (while the lovely Rachel and Sarah Heffington are off having fun in Romania). Here's a sneak peek...

Personal style is something you can't exactly pounce upon. Style is one of those things that take a while to develop, recognize, and feel comfortable with. Whatever your style is will spill into ever facet of your life, and is defined by those very same facets. For example, as Christians, we choose to dress in a way pleasing to our Maker. And the way we dress defines us as Christians (please understand that I don't mean you need to wear an ankle-length skirt every day; but we do dress modestly, differently.)  

But how does one develop this personal style? Since it is such a large part of my life, I cannot touch on every level. But I'll start, and hopefully it will inspire you to explore your own style :) (Note: I am focusing mainly on fashion, since that is a large portion of style. But there are many other aspects, so please don't think your personal style depends solely on your clothing!)

Care to read more? Click over here.

March Snippets (late, I know)

Saturday, April 06, 2013

I have several writing snippets I would like to share with you all, but as most of them are from March, and I can hardly wait until the end of April without doing a snippets post (it has been a while...) I'll go ahead and share the March ones...in April. Most of these are from the edits of Psithurism I've worked on, but there are a few Gumusservi ones in there as well, as inspiration refuses to be quiet. :)

"And then his aching eyes slid peacefully closed for the last time. He had died without reason in the world's eyes, but he knew there was a cause. Love. And that is always enough for the Maker." -Gumusservi
 "The moon had an effect on her the way a woman has an effect on a man - the results were especially poignant." -Agapeto, Gumusservi
"Then, in a voice as old as the skies and the seas, he began. "Woman has always been the weaker sex." This seemed a derrogatory way to begin speaking to a woman, but I hold my tongue in wait for compensation." -Ara, Psithurism
 "I whirled from the scene as quietly as I could, not wanting to hear anymore. Tears were already burning in my eyes, and crying was something I forbade myself to do. Crying was a sign of weakness." -Ara, Psithurism
"It was a town at the edge of Ignorari, the name long forgotten in lieu of carelessness, and it was the object of my specific intentions." -Adair, Psithurism
"Maybe I had made my cause sound better than what it was - even that was questionable - but my efforts were quite in vain." -Adair, Psithurism
"His complexion was bold and daring, eyes as fiery as a wild horse that the atmosphere subdued only just. The hair framing his sharp-boned face was thick and dark, and had a visibly fetching effect on the surrounding married and unmarried ladies alike." -Ara, Psithurism
Thoughts? Do tell, I'd love to hear. :)

things that make me happy: part 4

Monday, April 01, 2013

click on the "happy things" label to read more in this series. 

018. It's April. 'nuff said.

019. My Savior rose from the dead. 'nuff said again.

020. Easter was lovely and moving, the best way to have an Easter, you know. :) Plus, nothing really beats getting your favorite gum and mechanical pencils in a Easter basket, because Momma and Daddy know me so well.

021. Grey nail polish. A.K.A. I've been looking for this color for months and finally found just the right shade. #hooray

022. Being almost done with homework that's due on Thursday. What does that mean? Writing time. Which is currently editing time, but that includes some writing too. :)

023. Sunny and warm days like today. It's feeling like spring, and I really hope it stays this way. :)

024. Really wide headscarves, red pumps, and chopsticks holding your hair in place.

025. this post, this outfit, this quote, & this song (thank you Abigail!)

What makes you happy?
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