My Brain is Full

macomputer

On February 11th, a mere 35 days away, I’m going to take the ACT. I ‘m going to take the test that will be sent to colleges that I might attend someday. It’s one step in a journey towards applying to college, which is a step towards BEING in college, which is a step towards graduating from college, which is a step towards… the rest of my life.

So yeah, it’s not a big deal.

I know that it’s just a test and that college doesn’t mean everything. I know that I don’t need college to live a great life, or even to have a successful career. Still, it’s a big step for me. It has a certain scent to it… it smells like… growing up. Growing up. I hate that phrase today. I wish I was either a little kid or already grown up. Growing up sounds… never-ending and not much fun.

The thing is…

like growing up. I like experiencing new things and being able to see things from a younger person’s perspective because I’ve been there. I like looking back on old memories and seeing how far I’ve come. I like the journey of childhood. I’m glad that mine has been (and is) one of love and learning. There’s never been a question too stupid to ask. There’s never been a wrong that hasn’t been righted in some way.

But I still hate growing up.

I just don’t like right now. Right now I have a lot (a few in reality) of decisions to make. Should I stay here (my hometown) for college or move away? Should I get my driver’s licence? Should I get a job? What job should I get? How do I prioritize all the things in my life? How do I keep up with everything going on and still maintain good relationships with my family, friends, and God?

I’m always thinking of new things to worry about and other things to add to my busy head, but it’s already so full that I can’t possibly add anything else. And I think it’s time to stop trying. I just need to sit tight, study hard, and worry about everything else (or most of “everything else”) after the test. 🙂

Even though I just said all that…

I really love where I am in my life. I love the ups and downs. I love the people and the learning. I love the journey. ❤

2017 Goals And Reminiscing 2016

I like New Year’s because I like thinking about the passage of time. Time is a funny thing. Sometimes a minute seems to stretch on forever and sometimes a day seems to last a minute. I like thinking about what time means to the human race. It holds us back and spurs us onward. We only have so much time on this earth. I think that’s why time is fascinating to me. It influences so many thoughts and decisions.

Every New Year’s I like to look back on the past 365 days and revisit the good days as well as the bad ones. I haven’t had many horrible days this year. I’ve had a lot of fun. I’ve learned a lot. I’ve grown so much since January 1, 2016 that it’s almost unbelievable. I wonder if there will come a time when I don’t grow over the course of a year. I don’t think so. Everyone has room for growth no matter how old they are.

Last year I grew up a lot. I grew up in the normal way of becoming more mature. I always love/hate to look back at my old journals, because what I say in them is proof that I have both grown a lot and that I used to think really stupid things. 🙂 Last year I thought a lot about growing up. I realized this year that I will be eighteen very soon. Thinking about becoming an adult, getting a job, getting a driver’s license, taking the ACT, and going to college has really become a large part of what I think about. I hate growing up sometimes and I used to hate thinking about those things, but now I’m used to thinking about those things and it’s not so bad.

Goals – 2017

I don’t like making New Year’s Resolutions, because I never keep them! I always forget that I’ve made them about three months into the year. But, you know, it’s tradition to make resolutions and so I’m going to try again. 😀

  1. Read fifty books
  2. Always have a Bible study plan for the month/read the Bible every day
  3. Watch all the Pixar movies (including the new ones)
  4. Less internet time
  5. Take the ACT
  6. Study up on colleges
  7. Get my temps
  8. Get a job… maybe??
  9. Remember:
    1. Patience
    2. Kindness
    3. Listening
    4. Authenticity

It’s quite a long list, but I think I can finish most of the items on it. The good thing is that I’m almost done with The Two Towers, so pretty soon I’ll only have forty-nine books to read this year. 😉

Happy New Year to everyone! I hope you all have a good year!

25,000 Words

Today I hit 25,000 words on my novel for NaNo. 🙂 I’m still so pumped to be doing this. I’m halfway through and my excitement for this whole process has yet to fade. I think it’s a good sign. My momentum is still going strong. I have lots of ideas and many of them I’m going to use in the near future.

One problem is that I’m not sure that my novel has enough for it to become a full length novel. My plot is pretty simple and I’ve gotten to 25k without really adding to this basic plot. I guess it’s time to mix things up a bit. 🙂 Other times, however, I know for sure that my novel is going to be way over 50,000 words. lol

I’ve realized over the past week and a half of doing NaNoWriMo that, while I could do NaNo without interacting with any other writers or getting involved in anything, it is a lot more fun to at least try and get involved with the many other writers on the NaNo website. It’s also really fun to participate in the biweekly virtual write-ins that NaNoWriMo hosts on YouTube. Write-ins are a few of my favorite parts of the week. I love the word sprints, the discussions, and the general atmosphere of writerly-ness that I find there. 🙂

While most of my attention is focused on NaNo I have found that stepping away from my computer and relaxing is very important. It’s almost as important as writing itself, for me at least. When I am constantly staring at the screen I end up with a bad headache and that weird feeling in my eyes when I’ve stared at the computer too much (I feel it right now actually).

So, I’ve been taking a lot of breaks, both from writing and from staring at the computer screen. I watch/listen to a lot of Good Mythical Morning. I listen to Owl City. I listen to a lot of Coldplay. I listen to a lot of Dodie Clark’s music. 🙂 I read a little. I knit a little. I play my ukulele a lot. I drink a lot of tea. I try not to waste time a lot, but end up wasting a lot of time. It’s funny how that works. 🙂

Anyways, that’s life right now and I’m enjoying it.

Very Excited

Image result for nanowrimo 2016

On Friday, November 4 I started NaNoWriMo… four days late! I don’t exactly know what made me take on such a crazy, ridiculous challenge, but I did it. I started NaNo and I’m so glad I did. Even though I’m about 3,000 words behind schedule, that’s okay! I’m glad I decided to do it, because I’m really enjoying it so far.

Of course, it’s only day six (and it’s really only my third day), I’m still on a roll. I haven’t come across any road blocks or backed-up traffic. I’m speeding down the highway of my novel still. However, it’s only day six and I’m only on chapter four. Anything could happen between now and November 30 that could put me behind schedule permanently.

Still, even though I’m a bit unsure of where I’m going or where I’ll be, I’m excited and happy. 🙂 I’m living the dream right now. I’ve wanted to do NaNoWriMo for so long. So to actually be sitting down and attempting to write a novel in a month is pretty surreal still.

I’m looking forward to late nights and early mornings of tapping frantically on my computer, writing nonsense because I have to write something. I’m looking forward to many cups of tea, possible write-ins, and many word sprints. I’m looking forward to January and February when I’ll be (hopefully) editing and all that fun stuff. Ahhh!! I am so excited!!

Dreams and Reality

The sun was rising in the clean, blue sky over the colorful hills behind my neighborhood. A very busy day was about to begin, but I wanted to take a moment to breathe. It was 65 degrees (Fahrenheit) outside, the sun was shining, and the colors of fall were about to fade. I took care to notice each different color on the leaves of the neighborhood trees, but I found the colorful hills in the distance far more alluring.

I wanted to go there. I wanted to throw off the tethers of what I was supposed to do and go on an adventure. Thinking about running across the bare cornfield and finding myself at the base of those hills made me tingle with longing. The only thing standing in my way was reality. Thinking about getting into the van and going to co-op for another day where I wouldn’t get much school done made me want to stay home, but I went because I had to.

My dreams are big and bold and beautiful to me. I love to imagine all their most intricate details and make up an alternate reality in my head. It’s easy to get lost in there.

Reality is clear-cut, but oddly uncertain, and a lot of work. It’s a lot of hard work, but  the rewards of working hard make up for it.

I wouldn’t want to live forever in my dreamland where nothing ever gets accomplished, but I don’t want to get so bogged down by reality that I have no dreams. I always want to have dreams, even when I’m old. It’s all a matter of weaving dreams into reality and trying to make them possible. I try to remember this when I’m thinking about my own dream of becoming a freelancing, tiny-houser on a farm. 🙂 It’s a big dream, but I’m always striving to make it possible.

An Accomplishment

The daily grind was easier today. I started school an hour earlier than I did yesterday and finished an hour earlier as well. I haven’t finished absolutely everything, but I can work on it later, before The Voice comes on at 8. 🙂

I just finished my hour of writing for today, which I found surprisingly easy. I’ve been out of ideas and motivation for a while, but articles about motivation, creativity, ideas, and inspiration really encouraged me yesterday and today. I was so inspired that a story idea popped into my mind on Sunday and I began to flesh it out. Now,  I’ve started that story and I hope to finish it soon, because my family wants me to write them stories for Christmas this year which I am happy to do, if I have enough time.

It was sort of amazing, because when I sat down to write on Sunday, the words just came. It was a little hard at first to make everything flow as nicely as I wanted it too; I kept deleting everything because it didn’t sound perfect. I had to stop and remind myself that it was a first draft and it didn’t have to be perfect.

Tomorrow I hope to keep writing and reading about writing. There is something satisfying in sitting down to write and actually doing it. I hope I can keep my momentum up, but even more than that, I hope I can keep going even when my momentum is running low.

~ Claire

Making Time To Write

My writing time is nearly nonexistent right now and that sucks. I want to get back into writing regularly. I want to be writing more and also learning about writing. I’ve started to learn about my craft, but it needs to be ongoing. There will always be more to learn and that’s one of the things I love most about life!

This next month (November) I want to give myself a challenge. I’m going to do NaNoWriMo! JUST KIDDING! I don’t have time for that. Lol. XD This month I’m going to try to learn as much as possible about writing. I’m going to read about the writing process, crafting characters, rewriting, plotting, and publishing. I want to get myself back into a place where I’m surrounded (on the internet) by people who write all the time. I want to build up my writing muscles again.

I’ve tried to do things like this before, like my monumental fail during fair week. I didn’t finish that story, but I wish now that I had. 😦 Anyways, you live and learn. My topic was too heavy for me to write about in that moment. So, I’ve decided that if I’m going to accomplish what I hope to accomplish this month, then I need a plan. I want a set time every day to do this. I know I won’t be motivated to do this every day, especially if I don’t have a plan.

Daily Schedule for November

Weekdays

8:30am-3:00pm: School

3:00-3:30: Piano practice

3:30-4:30: Writing

4:30-5:00: Reading/internet time

Weedend  

Saturday:

7:00-8:00am: Writing time

8:00am-3:30pm: Chores and homework

3:30-4:00: Writing

Sunday:

2:00pm-3:00pm: Writing

This schedule might not work. I don’t know, because I haven’t tried it yet. I’ll try it for a week and if I find that I have to change things around because of my busy weekday schedule, then that’s what I’ll do. However, I want to get in at least an hour everyday.

Another challenge for another month. 🙂

Short Stories and Excitement

When I was looking forward to next week a while ago I decided that there was one thing I really wanted to do, write a short story. Then I found this article about writing a short story in a week which really encouraged me to go ahead and do it.

I’ve finished few short stories in my life, and all of them have taken longer than a week to write. I’m not sure if I’m capable of writing a short story in a week, but I really want to do something with my break. I don’t want to be sitting around on my butt doing nothing all week. I want to accomplish something.

Yeah, I don’t think I’m capable of taking a real break. I always like to keep my mind busy. 🙂

🙂 😀 XD I’m excited about next week. It is shaping up to be a great week. Next week I’m going to wander around the fair, gather up writing ideas, hang out with friends, and write a short story. AHHHHHHH!!! I am literally that excited.

Love,

Claire

The End of a Month (Day 30)

It is September 30. Tomorrow is October 1.

September has been a month full of growth, school, and introspection. I must admit, I’m usually introspective anyways, but this month I’ve had nothing to distract me from looking inwards. I’ve had nothing to influence my opinions and thoughts other than my own beliefs and the beliefs of the those around me.

It’s been interesting trying to divorce what I really believe from what I’ve just accepted as true. Critical thinking and thinking for myself have always been things that come naturally to me, but before this month I kind of let those things go to pot. 🙂 It’s easy to get caught up in the busyness life and let information, opinions, and issues pass us by because we have “other things to do.”

This month I’ve learned that there are a lot of things that I’m pretty ignorant about. To name a few: college, politics, and controversial issues. Being knowledgeable about the world around us is important, and in this age of information, when we are being constantly hit with stuff, it’s easy to forget that. It’s strange how my lack of information this month has caused me to hunger for it again. There is a difference between knowledge and information and I’m beginning to see what that is. Information are facts (or opinions) that are always being thrown around for anyone to pick up, but knowledge is being familiar with the information. It’s more than just, “I know what that is… sort of.” It’s the idea of being knowing it because you’ve made an effort to know about it. When I go into October, I need to remember the difference between knowledge and information.

I must admit, I haven’t upheld my no-internet ban perfectly. It has been hard, just like I said it would be. I’ve had slip ups, accidental and, well, not accidental. I know I didn’t uphold it perfectly, but I’m trying not to beat myself up about it, because tomorrow is a new month. I know I should have upheld the ban better. I know I could have avoided the internet more effectively. I know I cheated a few times. I know all of that, but I still feel good about what I’ve accomplished. I have to keep pressing on.

 

Day 30: What are your goals for the next 31 days? 

  1. Research – I’ve written down a few things over the past thirty days that I want to look into using that amazing tool, the internet. 🙂
  2. Enjoy my week-long break – I want this too include, strangely enough: cutting down on internet time, writing a short story, and hanging out with family.
  3. Look into Colleges: have started doing this a bit, but I want to keep it up this month.
  4. Remember to exercise – My exercise “routine” is easy to follow right now because it’s still pretty warm, but by the end of this month it won’t be.

This month was a crazy journey and I want to thank everyone who has followed me on it. Your support means the world to me. 🙂

Love,

Claire

Improving and Goals

Day 26: Write about an area of your life that you’d like to improve

Patience 

I’ve never been a patient person, at least not with other people. I’m patient when it comes to waiting, reading long books, and things like that, but people are a different matter. I’m not predisposed to be patient towards people who annoy me, want explanations for everything I do, and/or who are always pointing out what’s wrong with me.

In the past I’ve let this anger and lack of self-control go unchecked, but recently I’ve decided to change. I don’t like being angry and impatient, because it spoils my and other’s day and it’s wrong. I want to be a patient person now, because changing isn’t going to get any easier as I grow older. In fact, it just might get harder. I want to be full of self-control and loving kindness that doesn’t just show itself on good days to non-annoying people, but also on bad days to annoying people.

I’ve tried to be more patient in the past, but always on my own which, not surprisingly, hasn’t worked well at all. I’ve failed every time I try. Now, I may fail sometimes, but I know I can become more patient, because I’m trusting in God to lead me to change. Now that I’ve grown up a bit I know what that statement entails. It means that I know that only God can change me, but that change can only occur when I willingly let him change me, and participate in that change. I can’t change if I don’t try because God has given me free will. So it is two things working together towards a common goal, my trying to change and God leading me to change.

There are many other things that I wish to change in my life. I want to be more dependable and hold my tongue more often, but these changes can’t all happen at once. They will come in due course of time.

I also have a few goals for the following week:

  • Finish The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Watch The Fellowship of the Ring
  • Stay on schedule for school/catch up
  • Practice piano thoroughly every day
  • Be real every day
  • Practice patience
  • DON’T USE THE INTERNET

I’ve almost made it to the end of September and, though I’ve stumbled a few times, my internet “fast” has worked out pretty well.

Farewell,

Claire