August 24, 2010

13 hours of non-stop literary fun. Next time I'll do it when the sun's out.

And what did I spend 13 hours reading? The Hunger Games and Catching Fire by Suzanne Collins! And it was incredible! When I first heard the books' premise, it reminded me of this other trilogy I love, Wind on Fire (you should read it), but more sci-fi like than fantasy-like. And you know me. I'm all about that. So I headed over to Meijer's last night around a quarter to nine, picked up the books, and spent the rest of the night and most of the morning reading it. Got scolded a couple times for staying up so late, but whatever, I'm 21 and I'll stay up reading whenever the heck I want. :)

But seriously. It was INCREDIBLE. By the end of Catching Fire, I was simultaneously thrilled and terrified. Mostly because I'm worried about a certain character.

By the way, I'm kinda rooting for Peeta in the shipping wars. :) But I won't be upset if Katniss and Gale end up together, either. Even though I think Gale and Madge would make for a delightful couple. But maybe that's just me.

But come on, it's Peeta!

August 23, 2010

Senior year. Wow.

I've been thinking a lot lately about everything, feels like. Like how I ended up being a Creative Writing major at WMU, still living at home during senior year when I thought I would've been outta here by now, still going to the same church as I did when I was 12, and not a single desire to leave the city (except during the winter, but you know all about that). And not just that. A bunch more.

So I've been writing a lot of hilariously amateurish nonfiction lately. Don't expect me to put it online, because 1) It's pretty bad, and 2) The one I finished is about something I don't like out in the open. It's good practice anyway because I'm taking a Creative Nonfiction class this semester. The way I see it is, if you can't be honest with yourself, how can you expect to be honest with fictional characters? Plus I have so many stories about the wonderful people I'm blessed to have in my life. :)

I mean that, by the way.

But anyways. This whole "thinking period" was brought on by Joe asking us to think about why we got involved in the youth group. And you know me. Start thinking about one thing, end up thinking about a million others. I thought about why I stayed at Cherry Creek and how the people there mean and have always meant a lot more to me than the people I knew in high school (save my best friends, of course). I know why I went to KVCC and WMU, not only because of cost, but to stay close to my friends and family. That was the right decision to make.

I'm really, really glad my best friends from high school are my best friends now. That was a major concern at the end of high school. I still remember Kirstin, Steph, and I at Senior Send-Off, just in tears, and Kassy pretty much refusing to cry. Then again, I also remember dissolving into a puddle because I wouldn't have a locker to put stickers in anymore. It was an emotional day. I don't think we'll worry so much once we've all graduated, just because we've stuck together this long. We're best friends and nothing's gonna change that.

Then I think about college and career. How we developed all those inside jokes and the videos and staying up into the wee hours and... how close we really are. People are signing up for growth groups again, and there was never a doubt in my mind that the same people would sign up for Friday nights.

I know what I want to do with my life. I think people think I'm joking when I say, "I'm gonna work dead-end jobs and write novels my whole life," but I'm being perfectly serious. I could not care less what my day job is; I just want to write. Specifically, I want to write speculative fiction. Fantasy, sci-fi, and everything in between. Maybe sometime I'll rewrite Fine Line (right now, I look at it and all I see are flaws). And I'd love to get every single elementary classroom in Southwest Michigan involved in the Young Writer's Program. It was such a great program to get into my aunt's classroom last year (and the kids had a great time, sounds like!) that I don't think it'd be unreasonable to get it into every single one.

Hold on. Pause for a sec. I think it's good that schools are focusing more on math and science and "fact-based" courses, but we need to give these kids the opportunities to do what they do best. Think outside the box. Let them write, let them draw, let their imaginations go wild! Chances are they will love it. We all know how creative kids are. So let them.

Sorry. Had to go on that mini-rant.

And I know why I write. When I was in 12th grade, I had a good reason. "To make people feel." That's still part of it. But first and foremost, I want to make a difference in someone's life. Not too particular how. And you know, after all those years of being quiet, it turns out that I've got a lot to say. Why do you think I wrote Fine Line in the first place? (In case you missed it, I've always defined its purpose as being about forgiveness.)

I also found my old "poemtry" notebook from my senior year of high school while cleaning. Isn't that always nice, to find something really old that you half-forgot existed? But anyways, this poem (dated 8/6/06) really stood out to me.


"O Death, where is thy victory?
Death, where is thy sting?"
Thou hast no power in the world
Lest over anything

Fear, fear- she drives so many men
Into lives of recluse
And they will repeatedly deny
It's themselves that they abuse

Ignorance, the fall of many
Ironically said to be bliss
But too many people take for granted
A world such as this

So let us rejoice! Rejoice, you people!
He has triumphed over death and fear!
Your ignorance can be replaced by wisdom
From a God Who is always here!

Sing, ye glorious angels
And all the earth revive
We no longer have to fear powerless Death
Praise God, I am alive!


It's not a great poem, I know. I was only 17. :) But if I could just capture the heart of that poem and make it bubble under the surface of everything I write... then yeah. I think that'd be a good start.

This is a ridiculously long post. If you read it all, you deserve a treat. Immediately.

Chat later.