Blogiversary

Happy Blogiversary to me! Apparently, today, 365 days ago, I started my blog.

*throws confetti**slices cake*

Yay! It’s hard to believe that it’s been that long. Though it does simultaneously feel like it’s been longer than that.

(I’m still freaking out that 2017 is almost halfway over. Based on my productivity, it should be July at least)

It’s hard to believe that a year ago I was considering being published by the end of ’17, had no idea I wanted to do with my life (considering a gap year), and hadn’t even considered reading 100 books in a year.

However, I have come very far since then, now that I’m thinking about it. I got my driver’s license, took a college class and loved it, got a job, decided what I want to do with my life, and am currently taking college classes.

So, as for blogging, I haven’t been as consistent as I would like to be, school and my job taking up a lot of my time. But, I’ve published 46 posts, have 37 followers, and consistent views. It makes me so happy to know people like my stuff.

I’m not really doing anything to celebrate this blogiversary besides writing this post. I’m not a big party person.

But, today I’m going to celebrate all you wonderful people who follow me and bother reading my writing and rambling, whether you’re my friend in real life, friend over the internet (which I guess is still real life…), or someone I’ve never met before. I love you guys and wish you the best in your own lives and hope you reach your own goals successfully ❤

Be awesome 🙂

Here’s to another fun year of blogging!

Catherine

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I will try to be more consistent.

I did not mean to neglect posting for two weeks (or however long it’s been).

I’m not going to apologize, no one seems overly concerned, and it’s my blog so I can do what I want, but what I want is to be more consistent in my posting schedule.

It’s going to be hard to try to write consistently, but as my mid year resolution, I promise to post once a week if I can (though I might take a hiatus during November).

Truth be told though, I’ve suddenly been overwhelmed by the amount of things I need to do. Last month, I would have told you that I would take a gap year and make money for college while trying to finish a book and get published.

Plans have changed.

A month later, I am about to start my education with Lumerit. I’m going to be studying psychology (is anyone surprised?). Also, I am writing a Snow White retelling for the Five Poisoned Apples contest and currently it’s trying to become a novel instead of the maximum 20,000 words. Also, I’m working 20+ hours a week and am trying to read 100 books this year. (66 finished so far:) ) (and I created a bookstagram account). Life got really crazy really fast.

Long story short, I am about to become a poor college student living off of ramen (jk) and Chick-fil-A (most likely) and trying to find time for writing between reading and working.

Sorry for telling you everything about my life there, but that’s my excuse for not posting in a while.

Wait I thought I wasn’t going to apologize…

So, goodbye for now. See y’all soon. 😀

(I think my next post will be about my Snow White retelling, so stay tuned in for that!)

Catherine

I {might} be a photographer

Forgive me for being gone for so long, but I come back with a newly discovered hobby/talent.

>>U N I Q U E<<

I discovered that I like photography. I’m not very good at it (yet), but I’m sure with practice I might become okay.

 

Twenty four days ago, I got a phone. His name is Sam, and he’s an iPhone SE, therefore he has a better camera than my iPod 4, James, or my sister’s iPhone 4. So, the natural thing to do with a better camera is to go out and take pictures. 

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//imagine//

On Monday, my sister and I took two friends to Lititz Springs Park and, while the sun was setting, we took pictures and had a good time.

Some pictures turned out very well (at least, in my opinion). The sun was setting which was a good opportunity for me to play around with lighting, something I’ve never really bothered with before.

Thank goodness my sister is a willing model. I never look this good in pictures. We didn’t get a lot of pictures–we only had so much time that we could spend in the park–but I am extremely glad that we went.

SC(selfie credit): Vic

~><*><~

Now, before I claim to be the only one with an interest in photography within my immediate friend group, it needs to be mentioned that my sister has been interested for a lot longer than I have been and she loves taking nature photos and playing around with poses and setting. Neither of us claim the title of photographer. Though I say she’s better.

And yeah. I’m just writing all these words because I need filler in order to avoid a big photo dump. Though if all you’re here for is the pictures, than by all means, skip the text.

\\F-E-E-T/

<– Vic is a Ravenclaw, so is Olivia, and Elizabeth is a Hufflepuff. So, as the only Gryffindor in the group, I had to pose with the lion. –>Top: Elizabeth. Left: Vic. Right: Olivia. Bottom: Me. 

 

And now it’s time for the part of the show where we show bloopers:

Left: We found a dead body. JK. Center: Olivia and Victoria take a ride on the Chummy Express. Right: Elizabeth gives Victoria a beard.

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My new profile picture 😛

Another thing I’ve recently begun to enjoy is photo editing. I’ve been using Pixlr to edit photos for months now and, lo and behold, they have an app so I’m able to edit my photos on my phone. It has tons of filters, overlays, borders, stickers, and fonts. It’s so much fun playing around with pictures and trying out all the different effects.

Left: I upped the saturation and contrast (this is Vic’s favorite) Center: the original. Right: I used the “Splash” tool. (this is my favorite)

Now, for this picture, I had an idea in my head. I wanted a picture of me holding my hand out, basically saying “Nope” “Go away” “Talk to the Hand” “Stop”. A wee bit emo, I admit, but I’m proud of how it turned out after I edited it.

The center is the original. I didn’t like how dark the background was and how the light wasn’t as bright as I was hoping it would be. So, I edited it. The one on the left I did first. I like the colors, though i think I overdid the blur. The one on the right is my attempt to make it brighter and more how I was imagining it in my head. I can’t decide which edit is my favorite.

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Anyway, thanks for reading and looking at my pictures!

Much love,

Catherine

 

 

July-Beautiful People: Author Writing Process Edition

I’m excited for another beautiful people since I missed the last few and ~voila~ this month it’s about authors so I don’t have to decide which character to do mine about. Choosing between characters is like choosing a favorite child. 

Does this also mean I’m beautiful? *hopefully crosses fingers*

Anyway. Here goes.

Introducing me, the author.

  1. How do you decide which project to work on?

Well, it is a complicated sort of decisions. First I decide based on what I should be working on (usually something I have hopes of publishing) and then go and work on something else. #procrastination

2. How long does it usually take you to finish a project?

Honestly, it depends. My very first novel took me two years, my second one about a year and a half, my third a year, and my fourth one month (my first NaNo). I haven’t finished a novel since NaNo ’15. Short stories, on the other hand, take anywhere from thirty minutes to two years to complete.

3. Do you have any routines to put you in the writing mood?

Freewriting about worldbuilding or character motivations often gives me motivation to work on the actual project. Sometimes I’ll also get in the mood after watching a good movie or listening to an interesting song.

4. What time of day do you write best?

The evening. I am a night owl through and through and will do anything to avoid going to bed. 

5. Are there any authors you think you have a similar style to?

Not…really. I don’t think I’ve fully developed my “writing voice”, so it fluctuates from project to project. Though I’ve really been impressed by the style of C. S. Lewis, Anne Elisabeth Stengl, and Markus Zusak, so my style might borrow from theirs.

6. Why did you start writing, and why do you keep writing?

I started because my friend had written a novel and it sounded like fun. I scrapped a few plots and first chapters, then found a good starting point and never really stopped. I keep writing because I think, once I become better, I’ll be able to share through my stories. I want to give people something they will enjoy and show them the things I’ve learned through the challenges my characters face.

7. What’s the hardest thing you’ve written?

Research papers for school. Those are really really hard because you have to research everything and I hate research which is why I do not write historical fiction.

8. Is there a project you want to tackle someday but you don’t feel ready yet?

I want to write a musical soooooo bad. I don’t have any solid ideas yet, but it sounds like a lot of fun. You get to write dialogue, action, lyrics, and music. I’m just not ready yet because my music composition skills are rusty and I can’t rhyme to save my life.

I also want to write a screenplay. I feel more prepared to write a screenplay than I do to write a musical, but I just don’t have any solid ideas yet: just a few started projects that I am rather pleased with but ,sadly, very stuck in. 

9. What writing goals did you make for 2017 and how are they going?

One of my two goals for this year is to publish a book.

I don’t know if that’s going to happen. I haven’t been focusing on a project in particular.

But, my other goals for this year are to complete all the NaNos, and so far I managed to complete April’s goal. So far June is a bit rocky, but I’m hoping to catch up soon.

Also, my goal is to finish at least one entry for the Five Poisoned Apples contest. I have two ideas so hopefully I will be able to complete this. 

10. Describe your writing process in 3 words or a gif!

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(actual footage of me trying to create words)

So, I hope y’all liked that! 

Let me know your own answer to question #8 in the comments. That’s a really good question. I like that one. 

Until next time,

Catherine

From the Mountaintop

We call them Mountaintop Experiences.

They are the times when you go somewhere far away from your normal life and distractions and get closer to God. Often during these experiences we learn who we are, who God is, and what we should do with our lives. But, when we come down from the mountain, we forget what God told us and soon fall back into the patterns we were used to before we left.

Every year, when I go away, I experience a spiritual high of sorts. I hear God speak as I spend time with him far away from my normal life which is buzzing with distractions. But when I come home, all those lessons are forgotten and I return to my usual patterns of life. I know it is the same for most people, but that doesn’t make it any less of a disheartening occasion. I desperately want to change, but I just can’t seem to find the motivation to do so since I’m back in a familiar environment that just urges me to keep doing what I was doing.

Photo on 7-2-17 at 5.10 PM

Just last week, for the second year in a row after coming home from my experience, I remembered a quote from The Silver Chair that I think speaks to this situation. (In all honesty, the entire book speaks to the Mountaintop Experience, but I won’t quote it all here)

“Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not do so down in Narnia. Here on the mountain, the air is clear and your mind is clear; as you drop down into Narnia, the air will thicken. Take great care that it does not confuse your mind.” -Aslan

Don’t let the busyness of everyday life distract you from what is important: from what you were shown on the mountaintop. As Aslan also says in this chapter, “remember the Signs. Say them to yourself when you wake in the morning and when you lie down at night, and when you wake in the middle of the night.”

Don’t forget. Don’t despair. Keep trying.

This is a lesson I’m still trying to learn, and I know it’s going to be a hard time for me to try to break the old habits and turn out the better from my experiences, but this time I’m relying on God and not myself.

God bless, have a great day, and thanks for reading:)

Catherine

For Your Health

If you’re human, you’ve probably doubted yourself before. You’ve stood in front of the mirror, calling yourself ugly, wondering how anyone could possibly love you. You’ve hid from your friends, doubting if they really care about you like how you care about them. Repetitive thoughts assail you, reminding you that you think you’re worthless, ugly, or unloved.

I can’t remember the statistics, but the amount of people suffering from depression is crazy, and depression is only one of the few mental afflictions out there.

In honor of May being Mental Health Awareness Month, I have compiled a list of a few things that I have found helpful in keeping myself mentally healthy (with a little bit of physical health thrown in, even as much as I’d like to deny it).

Disclaimer: I am no expert. There. That’s all you need to know.

So, here is the list:

  1. Sleep. Yes, this is the best thing for you. If you are stressing about something, I recommend going to bed early and don’t worry about it until the morning.
  2. Trust your friends. Doubting what they tell you, especially their compliments, really hurts you by causing you to learn to doubt yourself and everyone around you in the process.
  3. Eat breakfast. it’s good for you. I don’t care what that random relative/health fanatic told you. They lied.
  4. If you’re going out someplace and are socially anxious like me, wear something you feel completely comfortable in. Sure that one outfit might look super cute, but if it makes you feel uncomfortable, it’s best to stick with t-shirt and jeans (or whatever else you always wear).
  5. Don’t diet or starve yourself. First off, it makes you gain weight because when you eat again your body stores it away as fat in case of another period of not eating, and second off ‘die’ is in the word ‘diet’. If you really want to lose weight, exercise is the best route.
  6. Smile. It has been scientifically proven that smiling makes you feel happier, and it also makes everyone else who sees you feel a little more happy.
  7. Sarcasm. This is a personal revelation so I don’t know if others can relate, but I think sarcasm is the sixth love language. I only use it when I feel comfortable with the person I’m talking to, so when someone uses sarcasm on me, I feel some sort of platonic connection.
  8. Don’t procrastinate (preaching to the choir, I know. I know). Instead, do whatever you’re supposed to do and give yourself little breaks to do your procrastinating activities, whether it be pinterest or cookies. Or both 🙂
  9. Whenever you see your reflection in the mirror, make sure to tell yourself how pretty you are. Sure, a lot of us would like to have brains over beauty, but it doesn’t hurt to have both and it starts with you feeling comfortable in your own skin.
  10. Extrovert. Go out with your friends. Talk to that one person at work or church you really want to get to know better. (this is me steeling my nerves. I’ve been wanting to talk to this person for at least two years now…)
  11. Keep a diary. When you get angry or frustrated with other people it helps you if you write about it, therefore basically having the opportunity to vent but not doing it to that person’s face or involving a friend in your discord.
  12. Don’t get worked up over your crush. There are better things to devote your time and mental energy to. Fries before guys. Cake before potential dance partners (yes. I danced with a cake at prom)
  13. Don’t be ashamed about how many donuts you can eat or how many slices of pizza you can devour in one sitting. Food is great and people who don’t eat it are on a one way track to starvation and depression.
  14. Read instead of spending time on social media.
  15. Stay hydrated. yes. this is one of those physical health tips, but seeing as how your mind and body are connected, it helps, especially if you’re often exhausted and don’t feel like doing anything.
  16. Last but not least, get closer to God. Even if you only have time to pray before you go to bed, do it. You may have a lot of friends, but God is the best friend you can possibly have, and he’s always there for you, no matter how long you ignore him and no matter how many other people he has to talk to as well.

Thanks for taking the time to read this post. I hope there was something in there that can help you 🙂

Also, as an important side note, you should probably seek out a professional if you are struggling with mental health.

Feel free to share some mental health tips of your own in the comments! I would love to see them 🙂

Farewell to School

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Farewell school.

You have been a burden pleasure.

With you I have finished my childhood, and now I must move on in life. I will look back on you in fondness as the days when I could just sit back and imagine what it was like to grow up, when I would complain about having to do schoolwork and wonder why anyone would even want to go to college, but this is the end. I’m not coming back. I’m saying goodbye.

Farewell school.

I won’t miss all the hours spent crying over algebra or the forced literature guides or the callus on my ring finger from having handwritten so many three-point paragraphs. I won’t miss required reading for history which gave me an intense dislike for reading for a very long time.

Farewell school.

I will miss the times exploring my interests, when I would draw people or dragons and turn them in as schoolwork, when I would write novels for NaNoWriMo and count that as english even though the finished products were absolute traitors to grammar. I will miss the freedom of homeschooling.

Farewell school.

I feel like my love of learning came too late, and sometimes I wish I could do it all again just so I could actually appreciate everything my mother tried to teach me as an obstinate fifth grader. I would appreciate the literature guides, the essays, and the history lessons. Gosh, I’d probably even enjoy math (though there is no assurance that I wouldn’t cry again).

Farewell school.

Despite these sentiments, I am glad to say I am finished. Hindsight is twenty/twenty, but the road of life only goes straight forward. Here is where we go separate ways, you to some other child who will probably hate you until it is time for you to go, and me to my future; wherever that leads.

But know this:

If it wasn’t for you, I never would have made it this far.

So, thank you.

and farewell.