shine on

astre (French): a celestial body; a luminary and otherworldly being

i am a creature of dirt and filth (one peek inside my mind would show you) but through God i am an astre.

the light of the world

who belongs to heaven

and one day i will return home

but for now i will shine on earth, reflecting the light i have been given, striving to bring joy into the darkness

-stardust

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The 7777 Writing Tag

I am back – with another tag! 🙂

R.M. Archer from the blog Scribes and Archers tagged me! Thank you so much!! ^-^

 

Ze Rules:

1. Open WIP to the seventh page

2. Scroll past the seventh line

3. Copy the next seven paragraphs…. and paste them on your blog for THE WORLD to read

4. Tag seven people!

 

So without further ado, here is my excerpt from Sunflower Whispers!

Then the sun is exploding, bursting through the clouds of darkness –

no, that’s Brett tugging the darkness away –

Oh

oh

Bolt is injured.

There’s a deep dark burn ripping across his pale face and I imagine I can hear Firebird laughing (she is stretched out on the ground, too far away to do any damage, at least for now). His green hair smolders on the tips. His chest heaves up and down, and the burn is snaking down his throat, catching his shirt on fire.

“Heal him.” Brett’s eyes are frantic. His usual carefulness has gone out the window, with terror taking its place – he is so big, and now he is finally making use of that, holding Bolt and supporting him. He lays him out on the ground, then stares at me, eyes huge and pleading. “Heal him.”

It’s kind of in the middle of a section, so my apologies if it’s not clear what’s going on. XD Basically, Audrey (the MC) is able to heal anyone with her touch. They’re in the middle of a fight with a superhero when one of her teammates is injured, so this is her brother bringing said teammate to her, asking for her to fix him. This section was intense but also pretty fun to write. 🙂

 

Nominees

*drumroll*

Honestly I don’t have seven bloggers to tag. Oops. if you want to do this challenge, then feel free to do it. You are hereby nominated! 😀

 

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed the excerpt ^-^

naz

naz (Urdu): the pride that comes from knowing that you are loved, no matter what

Naz means pride – but not in the way we usually think of pride.

It’s not pride that makes you think yourself above others – it’s pride that makes you hold your head high and begin loving yourself too, because there’s someone who loves you unconditionally.

It’s pride that makes you love others, because you know how wonderful it is to be loved unconditionally, and you want to give that feeling to others.

It’s pride that makes you glow from the inside out, it’s pride that reminds you that Christ made you beautiful, it’s pride that God gives to us – because He loves us without end.

-a girl learning to hold her head up high

The Spring Cleaning Writing Tag

*bounces in excitedly*

I got tagged!! By the absolutely lovely R.M. ARCHER *jazz hands* who runs the blog Scribes and Archers (seriously – I love her blog, go check it out! She’s a lovely person, a fantastic editor, a great writer, and her advice for young writers has benefited me as well ^-^).

So for those of you who don’t know – I’m a writer. So far I haven’t accomplished very much (shoutout to all of you who relate) but I love it.

ANYWAY. On to the challenge! ^-^

Here are the rules:
1) Link back to the person who tagged you.
2) Share the picture.
3) Answer the questions or even pick and choose which ones you answer.
4) Tag 3 other writers and inform them that you tagged them (via comment/message/email or hey, even carrier-pigeon or smoke signal; I’m not picky.)

 

Dust-Bunnies and Plot-Bunnies: Reorganize your writing goals (or make new ones)

My goals for this year are kinda scattered – but I have three main projects that I would like to finish this year.

Where We Flew

Original Plan: Edit the first draft and be done by summer 2018

Why It Changed: It’s summer. The first draft is SIGNIFICANTLY worse than I was hoping it would be, as I discovered after my first only re-read. So it’s going to take a lot more work than naive little 2017 me thought. Oops.

Revised Plan: Take a long, long look at the story. Pick out the salvageable bits and plan in more things that I’m passionate about. Knock out a first draft by the end of 2018.

Lessons Learned: 1) If I’m going to continue doing NaNoWriMo, I need to have way more of a plan for the novel first. 2) Don’t leave first drafts alone for too long. 3) Don’t be so hard on myself!!

Summary of the Novel *WARNING: SLOPPILY PHRASED AND SUBJECT TO MAJOR CHANGE*: Basically – futuristic corrupt culture and group of underground rebels (I know, I know – just hang in there for a sec). One of the rebels is forced aboveground when the rest of her squad disappears – and that’s when she starts realizing the impact they’ve had on the world…and it’s not a good one. Street fighters, annoying musicians, obsession over beauty, cybernetic implants, etc., etc. It’s kind of inspired of Tale of Two Cities, and it’s so messy at this point that I can’t even type up a good summary. XD

 

Eden and Atlas

Original Plan: This idea has been simmering in the back of my head for awhile, but it only started developing this year. I’ve been choosing to take it slowly, which means that the draft is more readable than Where We Flew – but I’m only at 10,000-some words. My original vague plan was to finish this book sometime in 2018.

Why It Changed: It’s not changing completely – it’s just being more refined so I, y’know, can actually have a goal.

Revised Plan: During June 2018: continue slow progress and begin writing out more plot details.
During July 2018: enter Camp NaNoWriMo and knock out the majority of the first draft.
During August and September 2018: finish writing the first draft.

Lessons Learned: I prefer to write slowly – but I still have to write. Setting tangible goals is beneficial for me.

Summary of the Novel: In this urban fantasy YA novel, depression manifests itself in fading. Bits and pieces of your body slowly start to become invisible, and the fading people are both mocked and feared. Eden doesn’t understand why people fade (no one will explain, no one really knows) and she certainly doesn’t understand why she‘s fading. Then a boy runs away from her town – another fading mute, just like her, which freaks her parents out. Eden and Atlas strike up a long-distance friendship. But then the whispers of monsters threaten their existence, and Eden is left to decide what lengths she will go to in order to save herself and her friends.
TL;DR – Two fading mute artists strike up a long-distance friendship.

 

Sunflower Whispers

Original Plan: I can’t remember exactly when I had my original idea for the story – but it doesn’t matter because the story has slowly changed into something completely different. My original goal was just to have it done sometime, hopefully before the end of 2018.

Why It Changed: VAGUENESS.

Revised PlanDuring June 2018: Keep writing. I have enough of the plot planned that I can keep moving forward, but I will need to work more on plotting this month.
During July 2018: I’m mainly going to focus on Eden and Atlas during Camp, but I’ll continue working on Sunflower Whispers (I find that it’s good for me to have two projects going at once, so if I get stuck on one I have something else to continue making progress on).
During August and September 2018: Finish up what’s left of the first draft and start making notes for editing.

 

 

Which stage are you at? Expound!

a. Remodeling layouts (planning the story)
b. Painting the walls in colorful hues (writing)
c. Polishing the windows and scrubbing the floors and putting flowers in vases (editing)
d. Blueprints (not to the cleaning or remodeling yet… just drawing up plans for the very beginning inklings of a story)
e. Some combination of those things (cleaning out a closet)

I’m cleaning out a closet right now. Honestly, I’m kind of in all of these.
Where We Flew: Remodeling layouts, polishing the windows and scrubbing the floors and putting flowers in vases, and blueprints.
Eden and Atlas: Remodeling layouts and painting the walls in colorful hues.
Sunflower Whispers: Painting the walls in colorful hues!

 

 

Treasure from the back of the closet (Share one to three snippets you love!)

From Eden and Atlas:

His disappearance causes more uproar than his presence ever could. Atlas Prieto was my sort-of friend – a fellow mute that I sat next to in homeroom and would share pencils with sometimes. His muteness never really stirred people up (unlike mine) because it was against his will, and he seemed to have a quiet sort of soul, moving through the dingy hallways with a solemnity that didn’t fit a teenage boy, at least in my experience.

But then he vanishes, and it’s as if his silence has turned into a scream.

Ms. Johanna announces it over the loudspeakers during study hall, in the spring of my tenth grade year. I know it’s her because she always has a scratchy voice, like she’s never really recovered from a cold.

“Atlas Prieto, sophomore, has been declared missing.” I stop doodling in my science book and stare up at the ceiling absently, listening. “If you know where he has gone, have a way of contacting him, or have access to any other related information, please report to the principal’s office.”

Linh nudges my shoulder, pulling out one earbud and letting the loud Beatles music filter out into the thick, humid air. “Atlas – that mute kid?”

I nod.

She sighs, putting her earbud back in, leaning back in her chair, and muttering, “I’d run away if I had a car and there weren’t these stupid forests.”

I ignore her and go back to doodling. Everyone here talks about running away. You could say it’s a running joke. Ha. Ha.

Only one person’s actually ever run away – successfully, that is. Walter White. Ran away three years ago. The police caught him in Washington five days later, eighty-five miles away, and he’s been here ever since they dragged him back. He’s seventeen now, two years older than me, and his parents keep him cooped up at home. He doesn’t go anywhere except for school, and he’s faded into the background since people got over him running away.

The bell rings, achingly loud. I grab my denim bag and shove my books in it, slinging the backpack over my shoulder. Linh, typing away on her phone, follows me out. We duck past people and make it to class unscathed, for once. For a second, I’m almost thankful that Atlas is gone – everyone’s so distracted by it that they don’t have time to pick on me.

Linh plops down in the chair behind me (the teachers have a rule that we aren’t allowed to sit next to each other). I glance over at the seat next to me.

No Atlas.

Atlas has made everyone dizzy. There are whispers everywhere. Teachers go off on tangents and get distracted. I avoid people’s gazes, because there’s something . . . something curious in them. Like, you’re another mute. You must know about Atlas. It’s only due to Linh’s protective glare that no one confronts me.

The whispers are varied. I hear bits of rumors darting around, tales from people who knew Atlas “so well”, theories about where he’s gone. But by the end of the day, it all dwindles down to one word, one name.

Atlas.

Atlas.

Atlas.

 

From Sunflower Whispers:

She leaves me alone, under the great metal-sky. Light trickles across the dirty concrete floor, leaving strange markings and patterns that will be gone in the night. I stand there, wild and sweaty, feeling more and more insignificant by the second.

The crumpled purple-and-pink flowers strewn across the ground are the only evidence left from our fight. When I finally make myself walk away, I leave them behind.

It’s a shallow victory – but a victory nonetheless.

 

 

Bloggers I tag!

I nominate:

Wren from Our Mind Palace.

Ruby from The Sea Calls Us Home.

Val from Eyes Wide Open.

 

Thanks again for tagging me, Arya!! ❤

And thank you for reading! ^-^

dance

rāme (Balinese): something that is both chaotic and joyful

Sometimes it’s the little things.

Like dancing in the driveway to loud music while the sun sets, even though the mosquitos won’t stop biting and you started late and the ground hurts your feet.

Sometimes it’s the little, odd, joyful things that make life better. Sometimes it’s the things that just happen to us (the music was already playing) – but we get to choose if we’re going to enjoy it, if we’re going to live life to the fullest.

Will you?

(Photo credit to Javier Allegue Barros on Unsplash)

soar

(credit for this picture goes to the lovely Sal ^-^ thank you!!)

i’ve always had this odd little dream. a dream of flying.

it’s not like i even love heights, really. i’m not terribly scared of them, but i definitely don’t seek them out.

yet there’s something in me that yearns to fly.

i’m not entirely sure why.

we all fly in different ways, i think. even birds fly in different ways – in different places – at different times.

so why am i afraid to fly in my own way?

look at that little bird. he’s exactly how God made him – and God takes care of him. he flies because it’s what he’s made to do. he lets himself rest because we all get worn out. he is beautiful – in a different way than hummingbirds and owls and toucans and seagulls, but beautiful nonetheless.

but those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not be faint.
-isaiah 40:31

are not five sparrows sold for two pennies? and not one of them is forgotten before God.
-luke 12:6

and i say, “oh that i had wings like a dove! i would fly away and be at rest.”
-psalm 55:6

what makes your soul feel like it’s flying on the wings of the wind?

-a girl with a dream of flying

galaxies

dear God I was terribly lost when the galaxies crossed and the sun went dark, but dear God you’re the only north star that I would follow this faaaarrrr…

First post of a new blog!! Isn’t this exciting?

You know what’s even more exciting? Having an existential crisis with a side dose of encouragement. ^-^

(If you understand what I’m talking about, read on. If not, then read on anyway.)


(credit to @trails on unsplash)

^^ look look look

a small, seemingly insignificant speck standing on this huge rock. the little human isn’t what you admire when there’s the breathtaking sky, or the old weathered rock, or the little sliver of a moon.

look how small we are.

and that’s just one person. in one place. on one planet. in one galaxy.

we’re so small.

but !!! the Savior of the world (bigger than galaxies upon galaxies) literally died for us. these small creatures on this paradise He built for us.

it’s amazing.

 

you still with me? okay, now let’s go small.

look at that person again. the small speck against the big beautiful sky. think of the galaxies stored up in this one person. millions of thoughts, dreams, parts that even they don’t understand.

and that’s just in one person. one person unlike any other. one person among billions.

we aren’t big – but we are still wonderful.

small, yes. messy, yes. disasters, yes.

but you have so much potential inside of you. you have galaxies inside your mind, love. you might be a mess now, you might feel small and insignificant, but the huge Savior of the universe loves you with everything.

yes, you.

isn’t it wonderful?