Wednesday, April 30, 2014

From the Air

I'm traveling this week with some family friends (Josiah & Tiffany) to help take care of their special-needs son, Dillon. His brain was damaged at birth and as a result he requires round-the-clock care. They didn't have a nurse who could go with them to watch him overnight, and so that is why I am here. He doesn't talk but he sighs from time to time. I'd never heard his voice before last night, and he's sighing quite a bit tonight. <3

I'm also helping watch their 3 other children, ages [almost] seven, [almost] four, and two. No lack of energy there! Boarding planes (we had one connection) and then driving several hours was a lot of work but we did it, with some help from the airport.

Tiffany picked me up yesterday afternoon and I spent the night with them before leaving today. Between the time I arrived and dinner & bedtime that night (the kids went to bed early, since we had to get up around 4:30 or 5 am), I mostly watched the kids. We went outside and climbed trees, dug in the dirt, rode bikes, flew a kite, and chased each other with water guns. The oldest of the three, Jay, informed me that he was going to stay outside all day and all night long. Kids can be a lot of fun (and I'm not saying that sarcastically!).

It was awesome seeing the ground from the plane. This is the second time I've flown, the first being in 2006 from Pennsylvania to South Africa (one stop in...I can't remember, somewhere in Africa). From the 2006 flight, I mostly remember the water. It was really neat, seeing it from so high up. The waves were like small ripples in a flowing, silken tapestry. Incredible. Especially when you think of just how large those waves really are.

Besides the water, I also remember the clouds when we were above them -- huge, fluffy clouds that looked like mountains. I took a mind-picture of one in particular that I'll never forget. They looked good enough to eat! And to climb. If that makes sense.

Also, the shadows. The clouds made shadows on the ground. When you're on the ground, these shadows are known as "shade". But from an airplane, they are clearly shadows. It was awesome. Everything was so small compared to its size from the ground. The clouds engulfed whole fields! Again, it was incredible.

This flight, the flight from this morning/afternoon, I noticed mostly the landscape. When we took off, I watched the city until it faded and faded and...suddenly it was engulfed by white, the clouds had become too thick to be seen through. And then they got brighter and brighter -- the clouds, that is -- as we climbed higher and higher. When we descended, I could tell when we were almost below them again because the clouds got less bright; not darker, just less bright. The sun is intense up there. That's something else I remember from 2006, the sun. It was so very bright above the clouds. I had to squint just to look sideways out the window at first. And just as my eyes were adjusting, I had to close the windows and the airplane's lights were turned off because it was time for sleep. Except, we were flying to Africa from the US, so I had been planning on staying up late to help with the jet lag (I'm a night person, anyway). It would have been so easy. But they made me turn the lights out and even close my one small window. Oh, well.

Back to today's flight...or, I guess it's yesterday's flight, by now, seeing as it's 2:17am. As we descended, it was awesome to watch as the landscape came suddenly into view, much the way it had disappeared earlier, and then to watch it slowly grow. Jay (who was sitting next to me) commented on how the wings moved -- there were different flaps that raised or lowered. I remember watching that when I was 11 in 2006. Anyhow, it was neat, landing in the west, to see the thought-out/planned landscape, versus the more chaoticness of the east. Everything here was more square, more OCD. Which is cool, since I am. But I like chaos, too, in it's place. So both east and west is just as awesome. Oh, and there were no mountains or even hills. North Dakota is flat.

Jay and I also saw some trains on the ground. We got to see them again after we'd landed; we drove past them on our way to a restaurant for a much-wanted, very late lunch.

Moving on, through the airport, into the rental car, to the restaurant, into the other rental car (just me...since we met up with Josiah's parents, I rode with them to give the kids more room), taking a nap, crossing the boarder, seeing a quaint little church (which I wasn't able to get a picture of), talking about their family, talking about random other things, getting close, almost there, arriving at our destination, looking for the right house, remembering it'd been painted, parking, meeting the grandparents, hauling all the luggage in (of which there was much, almost all of it Dillon's), getting settled, eating dinner (it being 9 pm, or 10 pm where we came from), talking a bit, going to bed, making sure Dillon was all set up for the night, and here I am eating more pie and typing and making sure he gets everything he needs. And muting those demon machines when they scream at me for no good reason.

Now I simply must wait until morning. Or 3 am, at which time I must stop and give him more stuff.

There you have it: the ramblings of a sleep-deprived nineteen-year-old watching a sleeping almost-eight-year-old as he's hooked up to machines after a long day of travel, watching six- and four- and two-year-olds, and toting luggage around from place to place.

I am not a morning person.

(all pictures in this post were taken by and belong to me)

Saturday, April 26, 2014

My Kitten

Hi guys!

This is AnnDrew, from the unnamed novel.

I just wanted to show you all my new kitten. I just found him in the alley. Oh, the things we find there!

Anyway, this is him:

Adorable, isn't he? I haven't decided on a name yet.

Suggestions, anyone?

Friday, April 25, 2014

World Without Water

What if you came from a planet where there was no such thing as water? What if you somehow ended up on Earth? What if you discovered water for the       very    first    time?

So that's my newest book idea.
It's been swimming around in my head for a while now but I believe
the time has come to start putting some words to it.

And I very much like that teaser.

Thursday, April 24, 2014


I hate rewriting.

I wrote it, I'm done. Thank you very much.

Oh, but wait. I love it!

Yeah, I'm a writer and I'm weird.

I hate rewriting because it's like redoing work you've already done over and over again and it's just annoying and I just, don't, feel like it! But then, once I get started, get on a roll, it's actually kind of fun.

Now, I don't mean editing. I always love editing. I mean actually rewriting. When you take a portion of what you've written and simply (or not so simply) redo the entire thing. In this case, I'm talking about adding description, making the words flow.

Taking this:

"Jess!" Jesse Parker's mom called to him from the bottom of the stairs. "AnnDrew's here." 
"Okay, I'll be down in a minute." 
Anna Drew Stevens walked to a nearby chair and sat down.

...and turning it into this:

AnnDrew Stevens rang the doorbell on the Parkers' side door and waited on the small porch for someone to answer. She hoped Jess was in and not off skateboarding somewhere; she had something to tell him and she didn't feel like crossing the neighborhood to find him. Or maybe she didn't want to tell him. She hadn't decided yet. Of course she'd tell him, eventually. Just maybe not now. Or maybe she would. It wasn't that important, really. But Jess being her best friend...well, anything was worth telling. Eventually. It's kind of fun to keep a secret for a while, to know something your friend doesn't. The question was, was she ready to give it up? It didn't happen often she knew something Jess didn't. But then, if she waited it might be too late. 
Her thoughts were interrupted by the sound of the storm door being opened from inside the small cottage house. Mrs. Parker pushed the cheap screen door open as AnnDrew backed down a step to avoid being hit. 
"Why, hello, dear. Looking for Jesse?" 
"Hi Mrs. Parker. Yes, I am. Is he here?" 
"I believe he's upstairs in his room. Come on in, I'll go get him for you." 
AnnDrew followed Mrs. Parker into the kitchen.

I only wish I was at this stage

...and then rewriting it all over again. Because that obviously isn't good enough. In fact, I don't even know if it's better.

And back to work.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

The Answers I'm Looking For

Just a snippet from my first unnamed book. I'm quite proud of myself at the moment. I've been wondering just how I was going to bring God up in this book when, before I realized it and completely without any planning, AnnDrew was about to eat; and of course she had to pray first. And I suddenly realized...well, that was easy! I hadn't even tried.

I'm probably going to look back on this (and the rest of the scene...this is only a bit of it) and think, Did I really think that was so awesome? It's terrible!, but for now I'm quite happy about it.

She set one of the cups next to Alex's bowl, one next to her own, and held out her hand to him. He looked at it, unsure what he was supposed to do. 
AnnDrew looked at him quizzically. "Don't you usually pray before you eat?" 
"Yeah. To thank God for providing what we're about to eat. We hold hands because we're thanking Him together." 
"Oh." Alex took her hand, though still confused. AnnDrew smiled, then bowed her head, closed her eyes, and began to talk to someone Alex couldn't see. He was still watching her when she finished the prayer and began eating.

What do you think? Criticize it, please! I have so much trouble finding people who say something more than "I like it" or, when asked if they noticed anything, "I don't really, well, you put an extra space here". Nothing wrong with that but I'd really like someone to be brutally honest.

  • Is there anything about the wording that seems awkward, that I should change?
  • Are there any spelling/grammatical errors I've missed?
  • What impression does this give you of Alex?
  • What impression does this give you of AnnDrew?
  • Are there any discrepancies?
  • Do I repeat any words or phrases too much?
  • Were you confused by anything?

Obviously, the bit I've shared in this post isn't much to go by, but those are some of the questions I'm wanting answered.

Leave a comment! I'd love to hear anything you might have to say.


Friday, April 18, 2014

Reading and Numbers

I'm supposed to be reading right now. I've got something around 1382 pages to read before Monday the 28th. Usually, I call 13 my lucky number (I know luck has nothing to do with it but it's fun). However, in this instance, I don't believe it is [lucky]. Maybe it's the 2 at the end there...twos aren't good.

I love numbers. I act all superstitious about them but I don't really believe in all of that. Some of it, maybe, like how 7 is the perfect number and 3 is the number of God and 5 is the number of grace. That's all Biblical. But how people get super weird about it, that's not really real. I just like to play around cause it's fun watching numbers and looking for patterns, and finding them even if they aren't really there [in a superstitious way]. Thirteen is awesome, the best number ever. Thirteen, four, seven, and three are all good numbers. Any odd number is good. With the exception of four, most all even numbers are bad (including, sometimes, numbers ending in four). Actually, I never really thought about a system or anything -- I never really gave that any thought until just now -- but it seems I do have one of sorts, just not one that's easy to explain.

Anyway, enough of that. I need to be reading. But what am I doing?

I'm reading.

Oh yes, I am. Not right now, obviously, since I'm typing this post. Before that. Just not what I'm supposed to be reading.

I've been reading Anne-girl's blog and I simply can't stop! I love it. In fact, I've added a few posts to the lists on My Penslayer.

Roddy and Eric and Lywin and Annike and Miles and Barney and Binker and all the other lovely characters I've been reading about or from. Excellent. Beautiful.

Now off again to other worlds.

Slán a fhágáil, a chairde
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