Monthly Archives: June 2015

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 26


Guilty as charged. I missed a few days. I’ll be completely honest. It has been a long few weeks. It just hit me that I have only a month left. I got busy with my classes and friends and studying. I don’t want to bore you with my explanations. Just know that I will finish this challenge, but it will take a little longer than expected. Luckily, I’m so close to the end, I can taste it.

Write about an area in your life that you’d like to improve.

Can I just choose to improve myself entirely?

I’m an incredibly imperfect human-being. I worry all the time. I struggle with my inner-demons. I procrastinate. I upset people. I make mistakes on an hourly basis. If I improved one aspect about myself, I’m sure something else would get worse. Perhaps my readers would take this paragraph as “you need to work on some self-confidence then. I’m sure you’re a wonderful person. No one’s perfect, but you can be great without being perfect.”

Can I?

I don’t feel like a great person when I struggle. I don’t feel wonderful if I have to watch every move I make to keep from upsetting someone. I’m constantly changing, like every single day. Perhaps some areas improve while others get worse. I’ve become a far more social person the older I get, but my spiritual life suffers. I’ve gotten a bit more confident, but I worry more about the opinions of others. When someone says “you’re wonderful” I feel this pressure to be that way all time. That means hiding my tears and my anger, always smiling even when I don’t want to, and giving 110% every waking hour of the day.

Last semester, I worked my butt off. I had three part time jobs, 16 hours of classes, and lots of volunteer work on top of my study abroad application. I had to learn how to ration my energy just to survive on a day to day basis. But I didn’t want anyone to know how tired I actually was. At one point, a friend asked me for help around 11:30 PM. Normally, this is no problem, but this was after hours of classes and a very long study session with a few of the students I mentor as well as a very long sorority meeting. But they were good friends, and I figured ten minutes wouldn’t kill me.

At one point, I blacked out just long enough to miss a stair. My forehead smashed into one of the steps, and then I slid down two flights of stairs like a slinky. I curled up at the bottom and cried for a few minutes before crawling back up on my hands and knees. I arrived at my friends’ room with a red bar across my forehead and tears streaking my cheeks, but I still had this big smile on my face.

Why? Because I always give 110%. When you’re always trying to meet someone’s expectations of “wonderful,” it’s very difficult to fall short… But maybe giving 90% is okay? Maybe people will understand?

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 25


I’m getting closer and closer to the end of this. I can feel it.

Think of any word. Search it on Google images. Write about something inspired by the 11th image.

A lot of words bounced around in my head when I first read this prompt. I decided to eliminate nouns and go for an adjective instead. I honestly had no idea what I would get, and I’m pleasantly surprised. (And as a disclaimer, it’s nearing midnight here… I’m quite tired and my writing my suffer, but I want to get this posted!)

Living has to be one of the most difficult things in existence. Think about it. If we didn’t live, we wouldn’t have any trouble. We wouldn’t have troublesome thoughts. We wouldn’t have physical pain. We wouldn’t have to work our butts off to stay alive. I can’t be the only one who has a new trouble almost every single day. Whether it’s an energetic freshman crushing my toe with a metal chair or a professor going out of her way to make my life miserable, my troubles pile on top of me until I can’t move. They crush me where I stand, and that’s when life likes to kick me while I’m down. Sickness. Family trouble. School problems. Friend drama.

It never ends.

Life didn’t seem half as difficult when I was a kid. For example, I didn’t even realize I was a victim of bullying until someone pointed it out. I always shot that Ezekiel kid a smile when he called me “Four-Eyes,” thinking it was a pretty cool nickname. Ignorance is bliss, I suppose. During recess, I remember munching on the little dandelion seeds without a care in the world until a teacher came to tell me to stop eating the plants. But I still played with them. There was something fun about blowing on them and watching all the little puffs disappear in the wind. I’d make my wish. I’d believe it with all my heart. I’d laugh at the guy who tried to throw dirt clods at me. I’d look up at the sky and count the birds.

If everyone has as much trouble as I do with this life thing, perhaps we can come up with a medicine for the daily aches and pains.  Tell someone they’re beautiful, special, loved, wonderful… Even if you don’t think they need it, perhaps they’ll save that memory for when they do. Look a customer in the eyes. Smile a genuine smile. Buy the student madly typing away on his computer a coffee, even a small one. Kindness is a chain reaction that when done right, becomes this powerful force that not even life can conquer.

So if anyone’s out there who needs a little encouragement, just know that a lanky, awkward, wannabe ginger blogger thinks you can overcome your obstacle. I’ve overcome several myself. But know that life is meant to be hard. If it were easy, it wouldn’t be worth living. If getting to Japan were easy, I’d have done it a dozen times already, and I wouldn’t appreciate what I have right now.

But maybe next time it seems like too much, imagine a dandelion. Blow all your troubles away. Start over.

You can do it.

Now for a little game. If you can guess what the word I chose was, I’ll give you a cookie. (Or I could at least mention you in my next post.)

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 24


Okay…so I’m cheating a little bit. I’ve had a long day (week), and it’s late. I need to be up at the crack of dawn tomorrow for a 12 hour field trip. I’m going to be a little lazy. Please forgive me!

Write about a lesson you learned the hard way.

“Never cook bacon without your shirt on.”

At the age of four or five, I believe, my little brother spouted this wisdom on the way to school. The car had been completely silent before his tiny voice proudly declared this statement. To this day, no one knows where it came from. The depths of a child’s mind are quite endless I’ve come to realize. He could have pulled it from any corner of the universe. But why that moment?  My sister, father, and I all exchanged looks of shock before bursting into laughter. And that was that. The first of many Nate-isms.

Did I ever test this? No. When I cook bacon, I try to do it with a shirt on. But my little brother is careful to remind me almost EVERY time. And if he doesn’t, my father most certainly will. Guests at my home usually hear this and probably assume I’m some sort bacon-cooking nudist.

I’m not. I swear.

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 23


It’s 11:00 PM on June the 25th. I’ve just come from a 4 hour Gospel Choir rehearsal. I have homework to finish, vocabulary to memorize, a roleplay I want to post in, characters I want to write for, and blogs to prepare. HOWEVER, I’m feeling surprisingly…genki. (One of my favorite Japanese adjectives and also the name of my textbook. Energetic. Healthy. Spirited.) I’m also very proud of what I’ve written today. If you’ve never read anything by Garth Nix, stop what you’re doing right now, go to a library, and steal ALL of his books, (but please return them because stealing is totally wrong, and I don’t support it in anyway).

A letter to someone, anyone.

Dear Mr. Nix,

I’d like to thank you first of all, but I’m sure that could come later. You’d probably like to know who I am before I start throwing around my gratitude. I can’t remember how long it has been; I must have been in fourth or fifth grade. And for some reason, I picked up one of your books, Mister Monday in fact, at a Barnes and Noble. This is significant because I had been a Nancy Drew purist up until this point. My mother told me I could pick out one book, and of course I spent at least an hour browsing through the young adult section because this decision would most certainly impact several hours of my short life. I remember opening it on the hour and a half drive home, sitting in the back of my parents’ minivan, reading by the light of the portable DVD player meant to entertain my baby brother. I had never read a book like this before. Arthur was no Nancy.

I thought it was particularly funny that the main character had asthma. As far as I knew, protagonists had tragic backstories. They grew up orphans when they were really supposed to be princesses. They were beautiful, talented, powerful… Not asthmatic. Despite all their hardships, they were never inhibited by something like that. But not Arthur. (Not to say that he didn’t grow into something absolutely marvelous.) I fell in love with him instantly and for nights I dreamed that someone like me, someone who struggled to overcome her own weak disposition, could be chosen too. I could go on my own adventure. I could be a protagonist. Of course the rest is history. From that point on, I raided the local library for all of your books. I waited months and years for the next novel to come.

And finally, as a young girl, I remember my parents taking me to a small bookstore in San Antonio, Texas for my birthday to meet you. I remember them buying me your newest book and toting around the ones I already owned just so you would sign them. I remember listening to you speaking, holding onto every word. You told me a story about a magic ring, one that gave you good luck for seven years. Perhaps you don’t remember a pudgy little bespectacled girl leaping up when you said you would give it to the next person who raised his/her hand. And you gave it to me, the chess club geek, the straight-A honor student, the girl who spent more time with fictional characters than actual people. I can’t remember if I cried or screamed or both, but I can say with all honesty that I haven’t felt that kind of joy since.

Since then I’ve been writing. Maybe not every day or every week, but I do what I can in-between school and work and life in general. I keep my magic ring close to me. It has followed me to junior high, high school, college, on road trips, flights, and other countries. It has watched me change from a chess geek to a band geek to salutatorian to foreign exchange student.  I’m sure it gave me the spark of magic I needed in my life to keep going when life got difficult.

I’ll admit that I haven’t read your books in many, many years now. The details are hazy. They’re sitting in a box in my room with the rest of my things I can’t tote to college, but I still think about them every once in a while, even if it’s just proudly talking about Nix-san in my tiny Japanese language class.

Maybe not today. Maybe not tomorrow or next year. But I know that your words are going to stay with me on my journey. Your books will always be the beginning of my life as a writer. Your magic ring is always going to be close to my heart (quite literally as it sits on a chain around my neck). Bad luck or good luck or somewhere in-between, I’m going to keep trying until I’ve finally got it right.


A bespectacled, freckled, lanky, awkward wordsmith to be.

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 23


Admittedly, I’m grateful for an easy challenge. I’m a little grumpy (because of a very long week), so I’m fairly certain that my writing wouldn’t translate well…

Put your music on shuffle and post the first ten songs.

Before you read this, I swear, my iPod was one shuffle…the ratio of Josh Groban songs to other songs is a little crazy though. I’m also surprised that more Japanese songs didn’t pop up. (Also, I’m not good at music. I have a very random collection, but compared to most cool cats my age, I really don’t have a lot of music. I’m more content listening to soundtracks on YouTube.)

1.) Bohemian Rhapsody – Queen

2.) Higher Window – Josh Groban

3.) Hero – Skillet

4.) Hidden Away – Josh Groban

5.) Feed the Machine – Red

6.) Pink Rose – Ritsu Namine

7.) One Winged Angel – Nobuo Uematsu

8.) Keep on Shinin’ – Third Day

9.) Rock What You Got – Superchick

10.) Un Dia Llegara [LIVE] – Josh Groban

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 21


What three lessons do you want your children to learn from you?

Kids. Don’t I need a man to make those? Can I count my cats as children? Wait…never mind. I don’t want to even try to teach a cat something that doesn’t involve sleeping or eating.

But in all seriousness, I really hope my kids learn a lot. (And I really hope I can teach them everything.) I hope they learn to love culture and literature. I hope they learn to appreciate hard work and to follow their dreams…but let me see if I can narrow it down. My imaginary children don’t need to have too much pressure on them just yet.

1.) Learn what you can while you’re young.

There is a lot I wish I had stuck with. I wish I had learned a martial art or taken dance lessons. I wish I had pursued a second language and become bilingual before entering college. I wish I hadn’t quit piano or band. I wish I had gotten out and done more that I loved. Maybe it would have helped me later on. Even now, I find it difficult to stick with things and finish projects.

2.) Organize.
I procrastinate a lot. Kids. Don’t do it. I need to marry a man who doesn’t leave things until the last minute. My kids probably won’t learn this lesson from me. Trust me. I get the important things done, but sometimes I cut it very close.

3.) Learn to say no when you need to.

I’m a people pleaser. I wouldn’t wish that evil upon anyone. I wish I could learn to say no myself…

30 Day Writing Challenge – Day 20


Post about three celebrity crushes.

Yes. If you know me, you’ll probably see all of these coming.

1.) Benedict Cumberbatch

I was going to post a picture of me clinging to a Benedict Cumberbatch calendar whilst sobbing, but I’m too lazy to transfer it from my phone to my computer. I would like to point out that in this picture I had had a very bad hell week (the week before finals). I hadn’t slept for more than a few hours the entire week. My car broke down. The night before, I had had to sing in my school’s performance of The Messiah. I had woken up late for a meeting, and frankly I was a little cranky. But still…the surprise made me cry a little.

I love Benedict Cumberbatch. He’s a wonderful actor. He adds something very unique to every role he’s in. I appreciate someone who can act on stage as well as the big screen. I would love to see him as Hamlet. Of course I know he’s married. I’m very happy for him and his sweet family. I also appreciate the fact that instead of shoving his newborn in the spotlight, he decides to take a few weeks to adjust. As much as I want to be a prying fan, I appreciate it when celebrities say, “No. My personal life is none of your business.” I wish them the best!

2.) Matthew Gray Gubler

I’m a big fan of Criminal Minds. I’m always rooting for the squirrely super-brainy archetype in the back of my mind. It impresses me that he’s a bit of a Renaissance man. He models, sings, acts, directs, writes… But it is very hard for me to imagine him being anything other than a super, crime-solving eidetic memory having kid genius.

3.) Josh Groban (Let’s be real. You saw this coming)

My mother introduced me to him when I was 13 after our choir sang a choral arrangement of You Raise Me Up. After that, the nice ladies in my church choir loaned me some CDs…since then I’ve been hooked. One of my best friends got me his autograph for my birthday one year. I’ve sung Josh Groban for two different occasions. And at long last, I’m going to see him while he’s on tour this fall!!!