The 2020 Silmaril Awards: Nominate…The Strangest Characters You Know (CLOSED!)

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(Thank you for all of your nominations! The voting round will begin soon!)

Hello my friends! I am incredibly excited to announce that the 2020 Silmaril Awards have come upon us!

And this year I am quite pleased that I will be hosting the Strangest Characters ceremony! I will be interesting, to say the least, and I can’t wait to see who appears in the comments below!

Now, remember, the strangest character is someone who is… quite strange. Perhaps not at first glance, or perhaps at very first glance. They stand out from the crowd, in either a good way or a bad way. They aren’t quite like anyone else. They have eccentricities people find downright odd. But maybe they have a heart of gold, hidden under all that strangeness. Or perhaps a heart of coal…Whatever the case may be, these characters are always entertaining!

A few rules before you scamper down to the comment section:

  • NO Lord of the Rings characters. Most of them will be presenting the award winners, and, well, how awkward would it be to accept your own award?
  • No previous winners. If you don’t know who those previous winners, check it out on our site!
  • Only fantasy characters are available for nomination. If a solid argument can be made for a certain book or series that you think is technically in the fantasy genre…we’ll allow it (such as The Lunar Chronicles).
  • Be sure to mention which book/series the characters are from. Us mods consider ourselves fantasy experts extraordinaire… but we haven’t read every single fantasy book out there. It really helps us out!
  • Nominate and second as many characters as your dragon-loving heart desires. All you have to do is comment down below! The top 5 MOST seconded characters will go on to the final round, so seconding is important!
  • Authors are NOT allowed to vote for their own characters. But you can definitely encourage your fans to vote for them!

And be sure to nominate your favorite characters in all the other wonderful categories too!

We also have a super epic bookstagram challenge going on right now, so be sure to participate and include our hashtag #silmarilawards2020 so we can all see your amazing photos!

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And guess what else? We are holding an awesomely amazing Rafflecopter giveaway for all you lovely folks! You could win goodies, books, or even a $50 Book Depository gift card! How awesome is that?! Follow this link to put your name in the raffle, as well as complete some other fun assignments for more entries!

Now be off with you! The nominations round is open Aug. 31st to Sep. 4th, so go forth and nominate!

New Until Next Time!

Life Update // Busy Summer!

Hey guys! I’ve been trying to get back into the swing of things lately with blogging, reading, writing, all that good stuff, and I thought I’d just give a little update on what’s been happening in my life at the moment.

Life

I decided to be a missionary this summer. Yeah. That happened. It kind of came out of nowhere? But I felt a really strong need to serve in that way this summer, so here I am. XD I’m not going anywhere exciting. No leaving the country for me. I’m going to be doing local stuff, teaching in towns close to me where I’m sent.

I went through a two week training process where I learned how to teach Bible stories to young kids. I got to meet a lot of really neat people and it was a really great experience. It was a lot of work. I came home exhausted every night and by the time the two weeks were over, I was basically dead. That was almost a week ago that I finished the training, and I am STILL tired. XD

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But I think teaching this summer is going to be a really amazing experience and I can’t wait to see what God uses me to do.

Writing

I’ve been writing again! YAY! I really didn’t write all that much the past few months, and then missionary training came up and I had zero time for that. Coming back to it feels like coming home, honestly. Not to be sappy or anything, but it really does. 🙂 I’ve had a lot of new ideas simmering in my head and I REALLY want to get them down on paper. But they kinda have a tendency to just live up in my head for waaay longer than I want them to…

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me whenever i try to write ANYTHING down because my brain doesn’t work

I’ve also been querying to literary agents. So far, I have gotten…6 rejections. It’s kind of weird, I’m actually enjoying the rejection at this point. Like, I’m anticipating it, and then when I get the letter, it’s like…a rush of adrenaline, for some reason? Maybe I’m crazy. XD But nevertheless, I’m keeping on. And lately, self-publishing has been in the back of my mind too. It’s not what I’ve always dreamed of, but it’s always an option.

Reading

I haven’t been reading like I want to lately. 😦 It’s been so busy (and chaotic) for me, and I’ve been having to choose between a lot of things. This or that. And right now, it’s been reading or writing. And it’s probably not right to choose between those two, because they are supposed to go hand-in-hand…but that’s what I’ve been doing. I’m ashamed.

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I have read a couple good books this year though! I plan to have a review for one I absolutely ADORED up on Goodreads as soon as I can. (Here’s a hint: It’s electrical. 😀 )

So there’s a little peek into my life lately. How has your summer been faring? Any vacations planned? Writing projects you want to conquer? Let me know down below!

New Until Next Time!

Life Update // Quarantine Sucks!

Wowza. It’s been quite a while since I posted. Had to dust off the old monitor, brush off the keys, and hope that all of my friends haven’t abandoned me. XD

As I’m sure absolutely everyone knows, the world’s going through a bit of turmoil currently. Millions and millions of people are sitting at home, going insane from lack of sunshine and fresh air (oh, that’s just me?) The Virus™ is causing quite a panic and I’m really, really sick of hearing the word…*coronavirus*…EVERYWHERE. You have no idea. I want to bash my head into the wall any time I hear or see that word.

my genuine reaction

So I have abundant amounts of free time, what with college being placed on hold, and I’ve been trying to entertain myself from the confines of my home (which you wouldn’t think would be too hard, being an introvert and all, but WOW it’s actually really hard).

So, to fight the boredom and utter insanity of it all, I’ve devised a list of 15 things to do while stuck at home.

1. Read

Now’s the perfect opportunity to catch up on the million unread books lying on your shelves! At one point, I was in the middle of reading 5 different books…wouldn’t recommend that.

2. Write

It’s kind of hard to feel motivated to do anything during this time, but writing is a great distraction from all the craziness going on outside. I’ve made some great progress in a few story ideas of mine, and hey, look at me, I’m blogging again!

3. Video Games

I love playing video games, but I always feel guilty about playing them when I could be doing something more productive. Well, with more hours available in the day, now I can play freely without being crushed by guilt! XD A couple games I suggest that really suck you in would be Terraria (yeah, I’m old), Omensight, Portal, and Undertale. Probably not Plague Inc. though…a bit too soon.

4. Watch

As with video games, I never really felt like I had time to watch movies or TV shows. But now that I have nothing to do, I can enjoy some screen time. I watch so many cartoons (Scooby-Doo: Mystery Incorporated is actually really good, shockingly), but I’ve been experimenting with some live-action shows too, like A Series of Unfortunate Events. The Office and Parks and Rec is always good too.

5. Learn Something New

Maybe you want to feel a bit more productive and not have your face glued to a screen all day. Understandable. So how about learning something? I’ve been getting into animation recently (even though I can’t draw), and I’ve been learning a lot about onion-skinning, layers, and coloring. Duolingo is a great app for learning new languages, and Mimo is a lovely app used to learning coding. There are a lot of great resources out there, you just have to pick an interest.

6. Games

I’m not talking about video games. I’m talking board games. Card games. Games to play as a family and laugh and forget about your troubles for a while. LIFE, Apples to Apples, and Clue are always fun. If you’re just playing with yourself, solitaire is a fun one that gets your brain working.

7. Discord

Discord has been such a great thing in that it makes it so easy to talk to people without physical interaction. It’s not quite the same as being face-to-face, but it’s better than nothing, and you can send each other funny memes. So. I mean, why not?

8. Clean

It’s spring cleaning time, and that means going through your room and throwing stuff away! I seriously couldn’t believe how cluttered my room had become before my Dad pointed it out to me and helped me spruce things up. It made a world of difference and helped improve my mood immensely.

9. Chill With a Pet

It’s scientifically proven that sitting with a dog or cat can improve your health. If you don’t have a pet…I mean, I guess stuffed animals work too?

10. Music

Music can get you through a lot of hard times. So be sure to play it all the time, sing out loud, and dance like nobody’s watching. Because no one is. Because you’re in quarantine. XD In all seriousness, I’ve discovered some great new artists just by browsing Spotify and YouTube.

11. Cook/Bake

Food makes everything better. Homemade food is the pinnacle of the human existence. Make it often. Get creative (especially since the grocery store probably doesn’t have half the things you need). Just don’t get frustrated and end up creating a massive explosion of butter in your microwave. (Yes, I have experience.)

12. Exercise

Now more than ever exercise is incredibly important in keeping healthy and happy. It doesn’t have to be strenuous. Just go for a walk. Run on a treadmill. Dance to some music. Even host your own indoor Olympics (it’s a lot of fun, really).

13. Grow Closer to the Lord

Book, Bible, Bible Study, Open Bible, Reading, Hands

It’s a gloomy, hard time right now, and I believe that the Lord puts us through hardships in order to make us stronger. Pray without ceasing, morning, noon, and night. Read your Bible daily. Do a devotional with your family and/or friends. And read some good Christian non-fiction. I recommend Morning and Evening Devotionals by Charles Spurgeon, and The Spirit-Filled Life by Charles Stanley. They’re both really, really good.

14. Write Letters

Snail mail is a dying art form that I think we should resurrect. Send your friends and family handwritten letters. Maybe include some cute origami in the envelope too.

15. Podcasts

This is a recent interest of mine. There are so many informative, funny podcasts out there, and they can be listened to while you do pretty much any kind of mindless work. I listen to them while I’m exercising or cleaning. It makes the time go by so much quicker. One podcast I really love right now is The Create Unknown. It’s a laid-back, conversational format where the hosts bring in different creators, specifically YouTubers, and discuss how they got to where they are now. It’s really interesting.

There you go, some ideas to keep you busy. It’s been a wild couple of months for me, and now all this virus business is enough to tip me over the edge, to be honest. XD How are all of you bloggers doing? I’ve been trying to keep up with everyone. What do you think of this COVID-19 mess? Let me know!

New Until Next Time!

A Little Update (I’m Not Dead!)

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Hello guys! Wow…it’s been quite a while…Do you even remember me? Do I even remember me…?

Youtube Animation GIF by Cartoon Hangover

Anywho, this post is just a little update, half an explanation of why I’m not posting, like, at all, and half an update of what’s happening in my life.

Well, to begin, the short answer to both of those questions is:

College.

Shocked Gravity Falls GIF

Yeah, college is kind of taking up a lot of my time…more time than I anticipated it would. Which is really sad, because I haven’t had the time to really write, read, blog, or do any of the things I really want to do.

I’m going to an online school, so I’m able to set my own hours and work at my own pace, which is really nice for me, but it also means I tend to…overwork myself sometimes. Still trying to find a good balance between regular life and school. XD

Everyday Amy Poehler GIF

But aside from it taking up my entire life, I’ve actually been enjoying it a lot. I’m majoring in graphic design, so that means designing websites, advertisements, logos, brand identities, all that good stuff. I’m also kind of growing an interest in animation (which is hilarious, because I am…well, how shall I put this…not the beeeeest artist ever XD), so that’s been kind of fun. I’ve been experimenting with Photoshop, Illustrator, InDesign, all kinds of software, and it’s been really interesting!

In short, I’m still trying to figure out this whole college thing. I’m kinda stinking at it. Hence the lack of posting here.

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I haven’t been able to devote the kind of time I’d like to, reading my friend’s blogs, socializing on social media, all the stuff I was pretty capable of doing before college hit.

So that’s why I’ve been away. It’s not forever. But until summer rolls around, it’s gonna be pretty quiet around here. Thankfully I get a winter break, so I get to give you a little update (man, I forget how much I love just blogging XD).

Hilarious Kermit The Frog GIF

I hope you have all been doing well. I see all of your posts, and they always make me smile. I have a list post going up on my other blog Reel Thoughts sometime soon, and a book review coming out on Goodreads soon as well.

Thanks for reading! Do you have any wonderful plans for Christmas? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below! I’ve missed you all! ❤

New Until Next Time!

Realm Makers 2019

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during Mr. Batson’s continuing session | picture credit goes to Mary!

AGH SO REALM MAKERS HAPPENED. AND IT WAS AMAZING. I honestly don’t even know where to begin. I don’t know if the wonder that happened in those three days could be summed up in a post.

But I guess I’ll try. XD

Thursday I went to the pre-conference about writing series by Robert Liparulo which was SO interesting. I learned about the different types of series, the pros and cons of writing a series, how to plan a series, and how to market a series. It was all so informative and it really helped me, since I’m planning on publishing my first books as a trilogy! I also got to meet with some friends who also went to the pre-conference for lunch, which was SO FABULOUS.

After that, there was an opening welcome and keynote given by the RM faculty and Brent Weeks, which was hilarious and also very encouraging!

Friday was a whole whirlwind of sessions and electives and I loved ALL OF IT. I learned about writing my Christian worldview organically into my writing (Morgan Busse did this class and it was my absolute FAVORITE CLASS of the entire conference, she did SUCH a great job), I learned about writing fairytale retellings with C.J. Redwine (which gave me waaaay too many plot bunnies, if I’m being honest XD), and had a great time in Wayne Thomas Batson’s continuing sessions about balancing life and writing. It really convicted me and made me realize I need to be better about juggling everything.

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on our way back from a quick Starbucks break | picture credit goes to Christine!

I also got to hang out with some AWESOME friends! Seeing all of my friends from last year, and also some new faces was THE BEST. I wish I could’ve devoted all of my time to talking and hanging out with all of them, but I had to settle with sitting together during sessions and eating meals together. It was so magical, seeing everyone again. I LOVE YOU GUYS. <333

And then, of course, there was the big Awards Dinner, which is ALWAYS a blast! I must have taken a hundred (blurry, of course) pictures of everybody in their costumes. This was probably my favorite part of the entire conference, honestly. I couldn’t stop smiling the entire time, and when I got back to my hotel, my cheeks hurt.

For this year’s dinner, I decided to dress as a favorite cartoon character of mine…Dipper Pines from Gravity Falls! I was sure hardly anyone would know who I was (and I did get mistaken for a Camp Half Blood resident more than a few times XD), but I was pleasantly surprised by how many people came up to me and complimented me on my choice! I even had one of the waiters bringing food to the tables come up to me and ask me where Mabel was. XD

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from top to bottom // Mary as Steampunk Ariel | Tracey as Tris Prior | Christine as Kuzco | Josiah as Phoenix Wright | Savannah as Peggy Carter (though that photo does NOT do her gorgeous outfit justice)

Saturday was the big day. At least for me. XD I decided I wanted to pitch my novel Imprint to Linda Howard at Tyndale publishing this year and my appointment actually went really well! I did flounder a bit, struggling with what to say and feeling all of my nerves strain any sense from brain right out my ears…XD But Mrs. Howard was very nice and understanding, and after talking with here, I would really LOVE to work with her. She was so kind and told me all about Tyndale’s publishing process and she even asked for more chapters of my novel! I WAS ECSTATIC TO SAY THE LEAST.

Before said pitch took place, however, I was a ball of jittery nerves. I could barely eat anything and when I had to leave mid-class (Jill Williamson’s worldbuilding session, which I was a bit bummed to miss 😦 to get to my appointment, I thought I was going to pass out from my body shooting so much adrenaline into my veins. I could barely hold my pencil and when the time came I had to take several deep breaths to keep my heart from pounding out of my chest. I wasn’t hardly as nervous as my body would have me believe I was. But my body does betray me, often times during stressful situations. XD As it turned out, I had nothing to worry about and it went very well.

After another amazing session (Ronie Kendig’s class about capturing your reader’s attention, which was absolutely fascinating), and a wonderful closing keynote by Brent Weeks, I went out to Panera with my buds one last time. It was such a great time and I ALREADY MISS ALL OF YOU SO MUUUUUCH. Then we all went to the book festival together and I had to say my goodbyes. It was so SAD. Thank goodness for the internet, so we can all keep in touch!

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from top to bottom // Lisa | Skye | Christine

That last day of Realm Makers was one of the best days of 2019 for me. It was such an incredible time and Sunday morning, it felt like reality just came crashing back down on me. It felt so weird, that it was just…over. But I’ll never forget it. ^_^

Vacation wasn’t entirely over for me just yet though. Me and my family got to go a bit farther down Missouri to Branson, where we got to visit the College of the Ozarks (a college I’ve been considering attending, and now after visiting, I am SO AMAZED by and interested in) and stay at the Keeter Center, which is a hotel run by the students of the college! It was incredibly nice and I’ve never stayed in such a nice hotel. I really felt like a country hick, amazed by everything in the room. XD

After staying there for a few days (going to Silver Dollar City and the Butterfly Palace), we topped off our final day in Branson by going to see Samson live at the Sights and Sound Theater! IT WAS SO AMAZING GUYS. I CAN’T STOP THINKING ABOUT HOW AWESOME IT WAS. You should seriously consider going to a production there. The tickets aren’t the cheapest, but IT IS WORTH IT.

After all that craziness, we drove home. And now I’m back and just now getting over the exhaustion. XD It’s going to be tough going back to work and the drudgery of ‘normal’ life, but I think I might surprise myself. It’s always a good feeling getting home from an adventure. 🙂

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the gang at Panera | picture credit goes to Jenneth!

That was my experience at Realm Makers, very, very briefly summed up. I could go on and on about what went on that past weekend, but we would be here for ages. XD I miss all you Realmies dearly! I hope we get to see each other again soon! And those of you who didn’t attend this year…I WISH YOU COULD’VE BEEN THERE. It really was a magical time!

New Until Next Time!

A Life Update

Hello guys! You may have been thinking I was dead at this point, but HA I fooled you all!

Ghost Hug GIF by Chibird

Anyway, I wanted to give you guys a little update about what’s been going on with me, why I haven’t been posting regularly, etc.

Life

Some of you might know that I’ve been working at the library for almost two years now. While it’s a very nice place to work, it’s not a place I was planning to stay for very long. It’s a part time job and the pay is just above the minimum wage, and I would like to move onto something a bit more permanent (and perhaps with better pay).

Rich Free Money GIF by SpongeBob SquarePants

I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and I’ve decided to pursue my passion for music. I’ve always wanted to help people using my talents, and so I’ve considered going to school for music therapy. But college is expensive and there are only two schools in the entire state of Minnesota that offer a music therapy degree. And only one of them calls themselves a Christian college. Yeah.

Sherlock Holmes No GIF by BBC

But I didn’t stop there! My parents stumbled upon a school near Branson, Missouri called the College of the Ozarks. They have a Piano Major (which would be AWESOME), but I’ve read they only accept people from the Ozarks region (which I am NOT in).

I’ve also considered just being an independent performer, handing my card out to different businesses and institutions that might want a piano player. I even designed a fun-looking business card!

Simply Keys Front
shhhh i know it’s tiny it’s a business card okay

It’s been an interesting task, trying to find a school or job, and I haven’t made a ton of progress. But it’s in the back of my mind (slowly moving to the front XD).

Writing

I’ve been working hard at editing Imprint and I’m veeeeerrrry close to finishing the thing! AND I’M SO EXCITED. I’ve already got an outline for the second book written up, and I have the third book simmering in the back of my head. IT’S ALL COMING TOGETHER AND I LOVE IT.

Aside from Imprint, I’ve also been working on my superhero trilogy idea and a few other ideas that WON’T LEAVE ME ALONE NO MATTER HOW HARD I TRY TO DETER THEM. *ahem* Anyway…you can look at the progress of those on my books page if you so desire. 😀

I’ve been thinking a lot about traditional publishing, independent publishing, and self publishing too. I set up an agent appointment for Realm Makers (AND I’M KINDA NERVOUS), but I’ve also seriously been considering self-publishing or independent publishing. I’ve done some research (aka I watched Abbie’s video and looked at like three websites XD) and it’s gotten me thinking about other options.

On the one hand, I think it could be a really great investment if I were to self publish…

…But then on the other hand, I think of all the work and blood and sweat and tears that would happen, and then independent publishing looks pretty good again…

…And then I imagine seeing my book in bookstores across the country…and I look back at traditional publishing. XD

It’s this cycle going on in my head and I’m kind of at war with myself here.

 

the inside of my brain right now

I would LOVE to hear some of your opinions about this topic! Please tell me about your experiences (if you’ve had any) with traditional, independent, or self publishing! I’d love to hear them!

Realm Makers

I forget if I’ve already announced this but I’M GOING TO REALM MAKERS 2019. (As…I mentioned about about the agent appointment. XD) BUT ANYWAY YAYYY!!

I’m sooooo looking forward to seeing you guys again and meeting some more of you for the first time! I CAN’T WAIT TO SEE YOU ALL. I’m also kind of nervous because I get kind of quiet around people and I’m kind of an anxious awkward bean. BUT I WILL ATTEMPT TO SOCIALIZE. I PROMISE. XD

me trying to make conversation

I’ve been debating who to go as to the banquet…I’m really stuck between these two ideas I really love and IT’S KILLING ME. But I’m not telling you guys beforehand. I want it to be a surprise. *grin*

That’s…really all.

So much is going to be happening in the next few months, and I’ll probably only be posting twice a month (if I can claw my way from life’s clutches that is XD).

If you haven’t heard, I have a movie blog. It’s pretty fun. I talk about movies I liked and didn’t like, and I think my next post is going to be either a Detective Pikachu review or some kind of topical piece. We’ll see.

Thanks for reading! What’s happening in your life? Is it as crazy as mine right now (doubtful)? Let me know down below!

New Until Next Time!

6 Little Things to Help You Take Care of Yourself

Little Things to Help You Take Care of Yourself

Hello friends! It’s been a crazy February for me so far…life has been chugging along and I’ve kind of been feeling a bit dragged by my heels. Do you ever feel like this? Like you’re just holding on for dear life? Like you’re just trying to ‘get by’? Just putting along the road of life, trying to keep it together, and feeling like you’re failing?

I do. All the time.

I’ve been thinking a lot about my future. If I should go to school, if I’ll get married, how I’m going to make a difference in the world…It’s all really scary to think about, honestly. And thinking about all that deep, heavy stuff, feeling like the weight of the world is on your shoulders…is not good for your body.

I’m learning this little by little, but your physical body is so, so important. Stress most assuredly takes tolls on your mental and spiritual health, of course. But I feel like sometimes we forget about our actual bodies.

According to God’s Word, our bodies are temples where the Holy Spirit resides (1 Cor. 6:19-20). That’s kind of crazy to remember. But in that light, I believe that it is incredibly important to take good care of not only our mental health but our physical health as well.

There will be Pusheen gifs. Please enjoy.

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• Get good (and enough) rest every night

This one is a toughie. Too often I find myself shutting my lamp off at midnight. But the best kind of sleep you can get is in the hours before midnight. Think about it. Midnight is the middle of the night. If you’re awake in the middle of the day, you should be asleep in the middle of the night.

Tiny Sleep GIF by Pusheen

And don’t have your phone or other screens with you in bed. The light is really bad for your eyes, and it can affect your circadian rhythm. Read a book, or listen to soothing music or noises instead.

• Eat good food

Another tricky one. I love food about as much as the next guy, and that can really get you into trouble. (You know it’s bad when the main reason you’re excited to go on vacation is because of all the yummy, new foods. XD)

GIF by Pusheen

Colorful fruits and veggies are your body’s friends. So are lean meats, calcium-rich milk and yogurt, and oats, brown rice, 100% whole wheat pasta and bread. Stick by unsaturated fats and naturally occurring sugars and stay away from saturated fats and added sugars.

This is basic stuff, but I was reminded just how important it is to eat good foods when I was getting sick and tired after not eating those foods. That’s not to say that you should never have any treats. Moderation is the key to eating healthfully.

• Remember the small things

Herein lies my biggest struggle. Remembering little things, such as

  • Cutting your nails often
  • Brushing your teeth well
  • Getting your hair cut regularly
  • Sleeping on a good mattress
  • Brushing and cleaning your hair

is REALLY HARD. Don’t say taking care of yourself is easy. It’s not the easiest. Sometimes you just wanna forgo brushing your teeth one night when you’re tired, or just ignore your nails until they’re crazy long. But these little things add up, and then they become not so little things. They become big problems and bad habits.

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Don’t forget about them. They’re just as important as any of the big things.

• Find things to smile about every day

This might not seem like a big deal. I know some days I would just rather frown and scowl at everything and everyone. Why should you have to find happiness in such a grim world?

Well, because it’s good for you. It’s a proven fact.

GIF by Pusheen

I could get into how endorphins and serotonin are released into your brain, which then helps your body relax and ease pain and lift your mood, but let’s just say that smiling has real physical benefits. Plus it can make others happy too!

• Exercise

I don’t think this one really needs an explanation. We all know it’s good for us. It boosts your mood, it lubricates your limbs, and helps fend off depression and seasonal-affective disorders (which I go through every winter, not fun, lemme tell you).

If you don’t like the idea of lifting weights or tread-milling, then consider a sport, like soccer or basketball. Something that will get your cardiovascular muscles working. I personally like dancing. Whether it’s Just Dance on the TV, or swing dancing or square dancing at a party, it’s a lot of fun, and it gets you sweating (sometimes embarrassingly so…especially when you’re with a partner XD).

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• Keep out the garbage

My mother taught me a simple acronym when I was younger. GIGO.

Garbage

In

Garbage

Out

She explained to me how everything that I put into my body, both physical and mental will eventually come out in some way.

If you eat bad food, you probably won’t be feeling at your best, and you might start to snap at people.

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If you don’t sleep well because you were up late watching YouTube, you probably won’t have any energy or drive to do anything in the morning.

lazy cat GIF by Pusheen

If you don’t eat well for an extended period of time, you probably won’t feel very well, and might get sick.

Candies GIF by Pusheen

It all comes out, one way or another. Remember to be conscious of what you put into your body, both mentally and physically.

• Pray and read your Bible every day

Possibly the best thing you could do for yourself on this list. In Matthew 4:4, Jesus tells us that ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ That’s pretty powerful. If Jesus is telling us that food, the thing that we love so much, the very thing that keeps us moving, is not enough to live by, you know He isn’t kidding around.

Vagrant GIF by Pusheen

Getting into the habit of reading and praying every day is something I’ve struggled with for years. I still struggle with it. Every time I think I’m doing better, I’m suddenly reminded again how feeble my attempts are.

One thing that I’ve been working on is reading just a few verses a day, preferably in the mornings. It’s not too much to take in, it gives me a simple idea to think about throughout the day, and it’s less pressure when you’re only reading one or two verses. If a good thought or conversation with my family comes out of it, then that’s wonderful, but if not, then at least I know that I’ve read His Word today, and He can show me something wonderful the tomorrow. It may seem like small potatoes, but it means a lot in the long run.

Cat Love Sticker by Pusheen

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Just so you know, I can say all of this to you guys, but I’m really not an expert at any of this. I’m actually really bad at…well, all of these. Part of the reason I wrote this post is because I’ve been having a hard time taking care of myself. And I’ve learned that when I’m going through something hard, thankfully, I’m usually not alone.

So I hope this post serves as a sort of ‘wake up call’ for you, if you’re struggling, and that it would encourage you to live the life God has in store for you.

Animation Eating GIF by Pusheen

This was kind of a different post than what I normally put out, but I hope you guys enjoyed it. Have you been struggling with one of these things? Let me know down below, so we can talk about it and not feel so alone! ^_^

New Until Next Time!

The Fandom Tag // by None Other Than…Me

The Fandom Tag

Hello friends! Wow…what is it with me and coming up with tags…? Is there something wrong with me? XD

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Let’s not dwell on that fact, and instead delve into my latest creation! Since Valentine’s is fast approaching, I thought this would be a great time to talk about the things we (or at least I) really love!

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Rules //

• Include the graphic somewhere in your post!

• Answer the questions!

• Tag two fangirls (or boys, I suppose!)

(If you don’t know what a fandom is, it’s basically a group of fans of a particular thing, like Star Wars or Harry Potter.)

~

Le Questions //

  • What’s the first fandom you remember becoming a part of?
  • What’s the newest fandom you’ve come to enjoy?
  • What’s a fandom guaranteed to give you feels?
  • What’s a guilty pleasure fandom of yours?
  • What’s the weirdest fandom you’ve heard of/are a part of?
  • Favorite popular/widely-known fandom?
  • Favorite bookish fandom?
  • What do you consider your ‘homebase’, a fandom you can always come back to?
  • What’s a fandom you know all about…but aren’t actually into it?
  • Which fandom has the best characters?
  • Name your all-time favorite ship.
  • What’s a fandom you’re curious about joining?

~

• What’s the first fandom you remember becoming a part of?

Though I didn’t really know what a fandom was at the time, Disney and Pixar have been around for me since I was, well, born. I grew up watching the classic Disney movies, The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, and Aladdin, in particular. And I remember watching Monsters Inc., Toy Story, and The Incredibles many times too. I guess you could say it was the start of an obsession for obsessions…XD

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• What’s the newest fandom you’ve come to enjoy?

That would be Over the Garden Wall! It’s a very short mini series, only ten episodes long, about two brothers who get lost in the forest. It’s surprisingly deep for a cartoon, and the animation is gorgeous. If you have an evening, give it a watch, it’s quite entertaining.

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• What’s a fandom guaranteed to give you feels?

That would be Undertale. I’m sure you’ve heard of it, it’s an epic video game with wonderful characters and a crazy, twisted story that you don’t figure right away. Getting to know the characters and how the game works is what really makes my heart hurt. And the fans don’t help with this in making some awesome fan art and fan fictions. It’s a deep, twisty game that will have you crying and laughing at the same time.

• What’s a guilty pleasure fandom of yours?

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• What’s the weirdest fandom you’ve heard of or are a part of?

There are so many weird things out there, but to give a classic answer, I’ll say Gravity Falls. It’s the definition of weird. There’s unexplained phenomena. There’s weird and wonderful creatures. There are deep, dark secrets. There are crazy, but lovable characters. THE WHOLE WORLD ALMOST–you know what? Never mind. I’ll let you watch it. You’ll love it, trust me.

Gravity Falls GIF
It also has the best gifs, so…yeah. There is that. XD

• Favorite popular/widely-known fandom?

That’d be the Lord of the Rings/The Hobbit. I’m fairly sure almost everyone in the world has heard of this, and for a good reason. Though I’ve only seen the movies, I’ve come to love the characters SO MUCH. It’s magical, it’s epic, and it has Orlando Bloom and Viggo Mortenson, so really how can you lose? (Thorin is myyy preeeecious.)

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• Favorite bookish fandom?

The Lunar Chronicles!! CRESS IS A DARLING AND THORNE IS A JERK BUT I LOVE HIM. Also, WOLF AND SCARLET ARE SO ADORABLE. AND JACIN AND WINTER AGGGGHHHH. *ahem* Yes. I really like the Lunar Chronicles.

• What do you consider your ‘homebase’, a fandom you can always come back to?

Gosh, who made these questions so hard? (Me. It was me.) It would probably be the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I started watching in 2015, and I remember going to the theater with a big group of people to see Avengers: Age of Ultron. I had watched the previous movies in order with my family, but it was when I saw that movie that I really started loving it. And I’ve seen every Marvel movie in theaters since. It’s a very comforting, familiar fandom for me. (EVEN THOUGH IT’S KIND OF ON FIRE RIGHT NOW BUT IT’S OKAY EVERYTHING’S FINE.)

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• What’s a fandom you know all about…but aren’t actually into it?

That would be Star Wars, for me. I watched the prequels, (well, kind of…I kinda skipped over the third one because I was cringing too much…XD), and I know the entire original story and all about the newer installments. So I know everything. I’m just…not that in love with it. It’s fun, and goofy, and entertaining, but…it doesn’t quite grip me like other movies or books have.

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• Which fandom has the best characters?

ALL OF THEM. ALL OF THEM ARE GOOD. Ugh, if I really had to choose though…It’d be a three-way tie between Undertale, Marvel, and the Lunar Chronicles. IT’S TOO HARD. Why did I make these questions so hard? XD

• Name your all-time favorite ship.

Hm. NYAGH THERE ARE SO MANY. But I pick Cress and Thorne, because I think they’re really cute and they both support each other so well, her being quiet and whimsical and naive, and him being rough and cocky and a joker. It mixes so beautifully, I could cry. Cress + Thorne =

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• What’s a fandom you’re curious about joining?

Sherlock! All I hear is how amazing it is, and I want in on some of the epic-ness! Though I worry for my mental health’s sake…too much emotional trauma may just ruin me… Tell me below if this is a good idea, please. XD

That’s the tag! I nominate Deborah @ The Road of a Writer, Christine @ Musings of an Elf, and Kenzie @ Smudged Thoughts for this tag! And if you’d like to do this tag, feel free! I’d love to see what fandoms you love the most! ^_^ Also, there will be no post next week, since I’ll be on vacation!

New Until Next Time!

2018 in Review

2018

Well guys, we made it. Another year has passed, gone like a blink, like 2017 was just last week.

But then again, 2018 has felt like the longest year of my life. So much happened, and I’m still trying to process what being an adult feels like…

Time is weird, amiright?

Doctor Who Time GIF by BBC

Anyway, I wanted to highlight some of the great things that happened this year, as well as some tentative goals for 2019. Oh, and stick around for a fun announcement! 😀

My 2018 Goals //

My loose plans are to work on outlining a TON. I don’t think these ideas can stay in my head for much longer. I need to write them all out so my brain isn’t so strung up on details. XD

Welp. Didn’t…quite get to that…I did some outlining, but it wasn’t with a new project, I was fixing an old one. Guess I’m still strung up on the details.

I have no plans to do JuNo or NaNo, but I’m not against it. I’ll have to see how open my schedule is at the time and decided from there.

Whoot-whoot, I did NaNo!! And it was INSANE.

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And as a last goal, I really want to try and not put too much pressure on myself. I’ve found that I am VERY hard on myself and I don’t know when to stop. So if I need to take a hiatus, then I will. If I need to rework my blog schedule, then I will.

And that’s not just for blogging. Reading, writing, and life too.

Hmm…well…kinda majorly failed this one. I’m still incredibly hard on myself. But maybe I’m getting better. I can’t really say, myself, honestly. I think I did take several hiatuses this year, and I reworked my blog schedule to a post every two weeks for a bit there…So…I guess I kind of achieved this goal? XD

So I half completed my loose goals last year, half not really, but I think I did fairly well. But enough of that, let’s get into the details (that I’m apparently strung up on XD)!

Life Stuff //

Now that I’m looking back, all of these things happened in the summer. Huh. I had kind of a crazy summer…

• I made it through my very first Summer Reading Program as a library aide! It was…utter insanity. Kids, books, paper, they were everywhere. And even though it’s a part-time job, I was still exhausted. I worked almost every day, aside from Thursdays and Sundays (and every other Saturday).

Library Studying GIF by University of Florida

It was intense and I may have desperately wished to quit on a few occasions, but in all, it wasn’t bad! I stayed busy, came home tired, but fulfilled, and really savored the time I had to myself.

• I went to a week-long Bible camp as a cabin counselor in June. It was the longest I had been away from home, by myself, essentially. My dad and brother were there with me, but we were apart for most of the time. The first few days were awful. I wanted to cry quite a few times. And I don’t cry. Hardly ever.

Sad Cry GIF

But as the week progressed, things got better. I got to hang out a bit with an old friend, and I met lots of new people. I’m glad I did it, but if I ever go back, I would ask to be a worker, helping cook in the kitchens or cleaning. I’d feel much more comfortable that way. 🙂

• And last but definitely not least, I attended Realm Makers for the first time!!! It was so amazingly fun, and I really hope to go again this year! I so enjoyed meeting my blogging buddies! It was so nice connecting with you in person, and just talking to other writers! It was lovely and I highly recommend attending if at all available.

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Some of my wonderful peeps! (picture courtesy of Deborah)

• Also, I turned 18. That’s. Kind of scary. I’m an adult now, guys. I got my braces off, I have a job, a car…I’m so close to reaching peak adulthood! XD

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GUYS. I’VE GOTTEN INTO THIS SHOW. IT. IS. SO. GOOOOOOD. I will now proceed to use as many gifs from this as possible.

Writer’s Desk //

Nothing really significant happened on the writing scene this year, but…

I WON NANOWRIMO FOR THE FIRST TIME!!!

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I’ll link to my experience post so you can see the insanity I went through the month of November. It was so much fun, and the novel I was writing was actually a rewrite of Imprint, a book I’ve been working on for SO. DARN. LONG. I think I’ve gotten it to how I like it, so, after I let some close friends give it a run-through…I may consider sending it to some beta-readers. Sometime this year. Hopefully soon. So. Keep an eye out for that.

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I spent a lot of time perfecting Imprint this year, but I still somehow I managed to come up with two new ideas (one about two prince brothers who rule the kingdoms of light and darkness, and the other about an alternate dimension involving cartoons, magic, and mischief (note: EXTREMELY EXCITED ABOUT THESE), and worked on some character profiling for my superhero trilogy I want to get started on.

Book Nook //

Another exciting thing… I won my reading challenge for the first time, since I joined Goodreads!!!

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I only gave myself 20 books, but I’m still kind of happy with my accomplishment! 😀 I suppose this is a year of firsts for me, huh…?

Some highlights of this year //

Renegades by Marissa Meyer // SO. EPIC. I love so much superheroes, so this was a fantastic read!

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Red Queen by Victoria Aveyard // So many twists and turns, plus amazing characters and a neat setting!

A Thousand Perfect Notes by C.G. Drews // I always thought the first book Cait would publish would be an epic fantasy, but instead she came up with this genius contemporary Beethoven retelling that I love to bits and pieces.

The Raven Boys by Maggie Stiefvater // I can’t recommend this, since there’s quite a bit of content, but SERIOUSLY. THIS WAS AMAZING. I immediately read the second book, and I’m itching to read the third book!

A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab // Dark, twisty fantasy with alternate dimensions and magic and THE CHARACTERS. THE CHARACTERS ARE EPIC.

Movie Theater* //

I saw a lot of movies this year, but here are a few I really had an opinion about //

Black Panther // I loved this movie, but I could be biased. It’s a Marvel movie. I’m going to love any of the MCU movies. That’s just how it works.

Avengers: Infinity War // WAIT. NEVER MIND. I CHANGE MY MIND. MARVEL YOU HAVE BETRAYED ME. *quiet sobbing*

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Incredibles 2 // This was really fun! The action sequences were soooo gorgeously animated, and the humor was delightful! I didn’t quite like it as much as the original, the villain in particular I didn’t enjoy, but…the original just really can’t be topped, in my opinion.

Ant-Man and the Wasp // Loved it. So much. Scott and Hope’s relationship is so adorable, and I thought the villain was really interesting, more like an anti-hero than anything else.

Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol and Rogue Nation // These are older, but I just recently got into them and WOW I’m a fan! I really need to see Fallout…

Star Wars prequels // These were…interesting, I’ll say. I disliked the first one, (except for Qui-gon, he’s legit), the second one was better, but then…I could barely watch the third one. The dialogue was just too cringe for me…At least with the originals you’re expecting the cheesiness…

Wreck-It Ralph 2 // I…wasn’t a fan of this one. It…didn’t work as a sequel for me. It seemed to go backwards in character growth, and it almost totally disregarded the events of the original. It was one of my least favorites of last year. That ending…man…

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My face while watching the end.

Christopher Robin // This was so innocently adorable. It was such a nice, fresh change from what people have been putting into theaters lately. Watch it to be filled with sweet nostalgia.

Aquaman // I technically watched this one this year, but since it came out last year, I’m counting it. Oh gosh…it was not for me. I thought the story was bland, I didn’t connect with any of the characters, and most of the action scenes were underwater, making them blurry and hard to understand.

Spiderman: Into the Spiderverse // AAAAHHHHH JUST WATCH IT OKAY. MY FAVORITE OF 2018!!!! *cries over beautiful animation*

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*Okay, small aside, but is it just me or does it seem like all Hollywood puts out is sequels, reboots, and book adaptations? Is it just me?

Goals for 2019 (oh my word, just typing ‘2019’ scares me…) //

• Try to do one, big thing that’s outside of my comfort zone.

I feel like I miss out on so much in life, just because I’m scared to do it. I’d love to be able to just dive right outside my comfort zone. Even if it’s something simple. Like going somewhere I’ve never been, or taking some college classes, or even getting another job somewhere. I don’t know what to do just yet, but I’m going to try to be brave in the coming year.

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• Send Imprint to some beta-readers and then…possibly…start querying for an agent?

This kind of terrifies me, but I think I’ve worked hard on my novel, and I want to get it out there. I want my writing to inspire and entertain others, like it does to me.

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• Read 30 books.

If I can do 20, I can do 30, so help me.

Alright, remember what I said about making some kind of announcement? Well, here it is…

• I’m going to attempt to start a movie review blog.

That’s right. Another blog. Movies have always been special to me, and I have a lot of opinions about them. So I decided, why not start reviewing them?

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This idea is still pretty new, but I’ve always had it in the back of my head that I’d like to start another blog. I would probably have to work out yet another new schedule so I don’t die trying to churn out so many posts a weeks, but I think it could be worth it!

It’s called… Reel Thoughts | Honest Opinions on the Latest in Entertainment

I’d like to include some game and music reviews as well as movies, but nothing is for sure yet. I’d also like to get this brainchild of mine up by Short & Snappy‘s anniversary, which is sometime in March (Hello past me, nope, it’s April). We’ll see how that works out. But keep a look out!

How was your 2018? Do you have any amazing goals for 2019? Share your thoughts with me down below!

New Until Next Time!

Important Update // I Am Not Dead!

Hello guys! This is just a quick update to let you know

I HAVE NOT ABANDONED THIS BLOG!

Halfway through the second week, I realized, oh darnit, I never announced I was taking a hiatus ARGH. So…it’s a bit late, but…I’ll be taking a hiatus this month. XD

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As far as NaNo goes, it’s been moving along fairly well for me. I’m trying to keep my word count above the required amount of words for the day, and I’ve actually been doing it, which is so shocking to me. XD

So, yeah. I’ll have my next real post out early December. (MY WORD HOW IS DECEMBER COMING SO FAST >_>) How is NaNo going for all you other writers so far? Have you died yet? Are you doing better than you thought you ever could? Let me know down below!

New Until Next Time!