Monday, July 30, 2012

"Yellow Plus Red" -- A Short Story

It's a pleasure to behold your lovely faces again.

Since Hannah so kindly shared a lovely piece of literature, I thought I would share a piece of my own "literature".

SLOSHY THE KAPPA: What's with the quotation marks?

I assure you I don't know what you're talking about. Anyway, I am going to share with you some of my "literature".

SLOSHY THE KAPPA: There it is again!

Am I going to have to bring out the rubber ducky again?

SLOSHY THE KAPPA: . . .

Anyway, I used to be an avid part of a writing site called The Young Writers Society. I don't participate it in it as often now, as the site has diminished somewhat, but it's still a wonderful place to share your writing. I used to enter some contests, and this piece I wrote is one of those contest entries.

The rules for the contest were that you had to use a random prompt generator to fuel the idea for your story, and the story had to be under 1000 words. I went through a lot of stupid ones before I found a prompt I liked. The prompt I chose was this:
"Your story is about a historian in a mental institution wandering the highlands."

If that sounds impossible to logically work with, that's because it is. So I decided to be a little crazy with it. So indeed, I did write a story about a historian in a mental institution wandering the highlands, and I'm proud of it. Please, read the story and share your thoughts.
                                                               ---------------------

                                                             "Yellow Plus Red"


They put me in here because I'm afraid of the color orange. 

My fear is completely logical, but they don't think it is so I'm in here. White walls -- soft, composed of thick doughy squares that look like couch cushions all sewn together. So white. Not orange. 

It's completely logical that I hate the color. Let me tell you why. One, it's ugly. It's the exact color of the bloody pus that oozes out of your ear after your eardrum bursts from an infection. It's vibrant, but it doesn't belong: it clashes with any color it comes into contact with. It's an unnatural mix of red and yellow. Whenever I see an orange flower I think that that flower isn't actually real; it's just another illusion mocking me, just because I hate the color and the world knows it and it wants to show me that it knows it.

The world can't mock me because I'm behind these walls, but sometimes orange comes and prints small, bright footsteps all over my room, and I panic and throw myself against the couch cushions, trying to drown out the noise I begin to hear. The noise goes 

Tap.
Tap.
Tap.


and it repeats over and over and it won't shut up. I know that it's orange's fault. It's completely logical. I'm a logical man.

Yet I'm here. 

I'm one-hundred percent positive that I am a historian. I know of the past, thus, I'm a historian. I have brown hair, tinged with gray, which falls past my eyes. I want to get a haircut, but they won't let me close to sharp objects, and I don't trust them around me with sharp objects. Honestly, I would give anything for a sharp object right now. I would prick my finger and I'd wait and see if blood comes out, and if I see red I'll know I'm alive. For all I know I could be dead; no one has told me otherwise. But I might be alive because in my mind I'm living, and in my mind I'm wandering the highlands. 

The hills are bright green, brighter than the highlands should be, but in my place I see what I want to. The landscape rolls up and down like a blanket flapping in the wind. The sun is completely obscured with a thick layer of clouds, thank goodness. Instead, light seems to appear randomly. Everything of interest gives a light, and the most interesting thing is her. 

Blank, wide, eyes stare at me. I move, but her eyes do not follow. They stay focused at the same spot. Her red lips are parted. Her skin is blanched and bloodless, with small, blue veins that branch along her throat. Her head is tilted too far to the right. It would give her a painful crick, always being like that, but since she doesn't feel anything, I think she’s fine with it. She hangs in the air, about one foot off of the ground. Nothing’s keeping her up there. 

She's always hanging, and I'm always standing. It hasn't changed since they brought me here. When I choose to see her, I can never do anything except stand. I want to touch her, but I can't because the world knows I want to touch her and it wants me to know that I can't touch her. 

She has a bracelet that's silver, with a small key on it that bounces off her wrist in the breeze: 

Tap. 
Tap. 
Tap. 


We stand together in silent companionship, and I’m happy, I think. But then she speaks. 

I've forgotten what words sound like. I began to ignore them when they took me here, after they said I had a nervous breakdown. I forgot after the antiseptic smiles phased to placid expressions, then to exasperated looks. All I have left are the voices inside my head, but I cannot actually hear them. They are whispers escaping open lips, never inflected or pronounced, yet I understand them. 

So whispers escape her gaping mouth and they mean,

"Why am I here?"

So I mean back, 

"Because you're my everything." 

A chill runs down my spine. She whispers,

"Your Everything is Nothing." 

The highlands begin to swirl. Light emanates from strange places, as if it doesn't know where it belongs. The clouds form strange shapes, unmasking the sun which covers the world in glaring light. Everything is changing, and I don't understand. What has broken? Slowly, her feet land on the ground. Her neck's crooked, but she’s closer now. I see the dark bruise on her neck. She strides away.

 I hear

Tap.
Tap.
Tap. 


With each sound, I’m assaulted with a memory. Memories that I had repressed but were coming back. I see us walking, with her neck perfectly straight, and I wonder why we are holding hands. I remember.

"Wait!" 

"Your Everything is Nothing." 

Another tap and I see a rope. Tap. I see her hanging. Tap. Her orange shoes hang limply above the ground. Tap. And I cannot look away. Tap. I am paralyzed, but all I see are those shoes. Tap. Orange shoes. Tap. Why can’t I do something? Tap. Why can’t I look away?

Because she is my Everything.

And my Everything is nothing. 

I wake up screaming, ranting, raving. I thrust myself against the walls, pounding them. They pour in, and pin me down. Their tone means to say it's okay, but it's not okay. Orange foot prints stain my vision. The world knows she was all that was left of me and it wants me to know that by taking her away. Sharp, glinting needles fade away along with my consciousness. I’m going back to the highlands.

They put me here because I’m afraid of the color orange. My fear is completely logical. 

Yet I'm here.

-------------

Well, what did you think?
I didn't win with this story, but I didn't expect to. It was still a great experience, and the first short short story I have ever written.

Don't be afraid of the rubber duck,

Esther

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Something to Share

My friends, I am so sorry that it has taken me so long to get this post up. Life is far too busy and I am afraid that it cuts down my time on the internet (altogether, not a bad thing at all - it just means that my blogging is regretfully hindered). Anyways, I am still here and will be trying to get back into a routine as school starts back up in a couple weeks. 

Today, I want to share a little poem-like writing with you. I have had it pinned to my wall for years and just finally took it down in order that I can see it as I write you this post (note* It will be going right back up on my fabulous wall as soon as I am done. *smile*).

It's Up to You
"One song can spark a moment,
One flower can wake a dream.
One tree can start a forest,
One bird can herald spring.


One smile begins a friendship,
One handclasp lifts a soul.
One star can guide a ship at sea,
One word can frame the goal.


One vote can change a nation,
One sunbeam lights a room. 
One candle wipes out darkness,
One laugh will conquer gloom.


One step must start each journey,
One word must start each prayer.
One hope will raise our spirits,
One touch will show you care.


One voice can speak with wisdom,
One heart can know what's true.
One life can make a difference,
You see, it's up to you."
~ Author Unknown

Don't you just love this? I certainly do, but then, you know me and my feelings on a life of impact.  I challenge you today (yes, another challenge from Hannah) to be that song, that tree, that star. Be the life that makes a difference. We all have a choice, what matters is what we choose.

Blessings,
Hannah

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Volleyball Comets (And a Little Life Update)


Greetings and salutations my delightful readers. I love you all so much that I should write a song about your glory. This song would come in second only to the songs I sing about my guinea pig's glory, but can you blame me?

He's perfect.

Anyway, I thought today I would elucidate my volleyball experience. V-ball is starting back up in my humble life, which is very exciting for me. This is an interesting development because to be frank, as a wee lass, I despised volleyball. I always thought the sport looked boring and ridiculous. Oh, how wrong I was! Volleyball might be the most interesting sport to play and watch ever!

You jump.



You dive.










You smack people in the face with a raging volleyball comet--yes, it is brilliant.

I started playing a year ago, and I was terrible. One year later, I have trained, evolved, and ...


Well, I'm still terrible. But my Ocean of Terrible has ebbed off of the shores of Hopelessness, and is now lapping happily against the Jagged Rock of Bliss while the little mermaid sings a brilliant tune about love. I'm sad that I only have one year left of volleyball; it it has been a delightful experience for me. Let's focus on my experience this year so far.

Volleyball was my motive for starting to get back into shape again. This inspired my The Blissful Horror That is Jogging blog post. So yeah, my first attempts to get in shape haven't worked out so well.

But a few weeks before practice began, I started working out again, and I feel great. I still have a ways to go, though. I have trouble catching my breath during exercise. I have always suspected that I have a weak heart and lungs, and it is in my genetics to have them. So I have been working a lot more on my cardiovascular workouts lately. I am able to catch my breath a lot faster now, and it is wonderful to know that murderous chicken with a hoe will have caught me because I tripped, and not because I ran out of air and started flapping around like a fish.

Still, I die during practice. I often feel like I demand my body during workouts, but during practice it's taken to a whole new level. I particularly loathe the conditioning practices, which are spent running you into the ground. I also cherish them, because they make me work harder than I thought possible. Sometimes it is frustrating to not go as fast as the other players, or not last as long as the sprinters, but I know that I will only improve from here.

Well, except for the speed part. I think I'll always run like someone with slugs for feet. (I'm going to blame the botched foot surgery for that one, but that would be making excuses)

In terms of skill, I think I have improved already this season. My setting (propelling the ball with your hands) has improved quite a bit, and I have gotten strong enough to almost get the ball over the net when I serve over hand.

Almost.

It's a funny story, at least to me. You see, I have a tendency to grunt when I serve the ball. I mean really grunt. One time, my coach told me to serve over hand.

COACH: Serve over hand!

ESTHER: Sure, okay!

(Esther tosses ball in the air and prepares to slap at it.)

ESTHER: HRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAAH!

(Esther smacks the ball. It goes four feet.)

If only my arm was as strong as my grunts. I feel like an unsuccessful version of a Williams sister.

But yes, practices are going really well. I am very happy to have made friends on the team. They are all like a family to me. I really look forward to progressing through the year with them. Some players have left, and I miss them terribly, but I will persevere.
At this point I would like to thank my coach for all the hard work she does for the team. She has a busy life outside volleyball, and she still uses her time to allow us to gather together to play this lovely sport. You inspire me to work harder coach, and I hear your voice whenever I get up for practice in the morning: "Drink plenty of water at least an hour before practice!"

Wiser words have not been spoken.
--------

In other words, my novel is coming along again, finally. Up to 40k. I had to cut some things out and start over again, but I think I'm back on pace.

I am playing Final Fantasy IX. I'm on disc three. Having lots of fun! I'm not sure how high I should level up for parts though, which is frustrating.

I'm also reading a book called We Need To Talk About Kevin, which is hauntingly beautiful so far. I will tell you more about it later.

I wrote a short story. It's terrible.

I have made three movie trailers in my head and I desperately wish that I could create them. But alas, I do not have the CGI technology.

And I have done a secret ritual called Kyrr'Tah. It's supposed to make the weather cooler. You'll see the results soon.

Don't walk when you can run,

Esther

Monday, July 23, 2012

The Boy and The Starfish

No, I have not completely disappeared. Sorry that my posts are a bit late in coming lately...the county fair started last week and that has kept me very busy, as I have been there for something every day for the last five days. I will try to do better. 


Have I ever shared the story of the boy and the starfish with you? I can't remember...anyways, I love this story. It's about impact. You all know that I love impacting people. =) So, because we have lots of new readers (yay!!), I will share it with you anyways, even if I have shared it with you before.



A man was walking along a deserted beach at sunset. As he walked he could see a young boy in the distance, as he drew nearer he noticed that the boy kept bending down, picking something up and throwing it into the water.
Time and again he kept hurling things into the ocean.


As the man approached even closer, he was able to see that the boy was picking up starfish that had been washed up on the beach and, one at a time he was throwing them back into the water.

The man asked the boy what he was doing, the boy replied,"I am throwing these washed up starfish back into the ocean, or else they will die through lack of oxygen. "But", said the man, "You can't possibly save them all, there are thousands on this beach, and this must be happening on hundreds of beaches along the coast. You can't possibly make a difference."

The boy looked down, frowning for a moment; then bent down to pick up another starfish, smiling as he threw it back into the sea. He replied, 

"I made a huge difference to that one!" 

~Author Unknown~

 People who tell me that I can't do things make me mad. Honest. I don't want people to tell me that I can't do something, particularly when it involves impacting someone. A thought that someone sparked in my brain recently is this: if I were to spend the next twenty years of my life, living among an unreached people group, completely isolated from the rest of the world, and only saw one person come to know the Lord as their Savior, would it be worth it? Is one person worth investing twenty years of my life into? I've come to a conclusion: yes. Why? Because, it made a world of difference to that one person. It changed their life forever. That is certainly worth twenty years of my life. I challenge you to ask yourself this question. Do you consider it to be worth twenty years of your life? Think about it.

As Esther and I have previously said, we love followers and comments (especially the latter!), so write something below and make our day! 

Also, if any of you would like to possibly guest post on our blog at some point (particularly all of you fabulous international viewers - I would love to hear about your life in whatever country you live in!), send us an email. You can reach us through our 'Contact Us' page on the sidebar. When I say this, I am not saying that we will accept any post that you write. It will have to be previewed before submission. However, if this is something that you are even just a little bit interested in, send us a message and we can talk about it. =) 

Blessings,
Hannah

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Eight Actors That Make Me Cheer

Cheer seemed like a relatively unhumiliating verb. The other options were "squee", "KYAA!", and "hehehehehehe".

So, knowing that my most avid readers are male, I decided to list all of the male actors that I love. I figured that the guys would totally be interested in my "squeeing" on this subject matter. (Ha ha, the jokes on you, guys)

If you are a girl, please read and "KYAA" with me in the comments page. If you're a guy, well, just comment anyway. I LIKE comments.

It is interesting. Usually, I fall in love with actors for one particular role. While some actors manage to make my heart strings play like a perfectly tuned harp, it's usually a singular role that makes me remember them. So, I will be listing the role I remember these actors for as well.

We have a lot of ground to cover! Let's get on with the love fest!

In no particular order....

1. Jeremy Renner      
You look nice in that shirt, my moose.
Moment of Complete Adoration -- Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol

Let's start out strong here. I never knew who Jeremy Renner was before I watched Mission Impossible, but he caught my eye when I did see him. He has a really special type of charisma that makes you hang onto his words. His characters always seem to hold more depth than that of other actors.

I must admit this, however. My crush kind of started when I saw his butt.

But seriously. Personality. That's what counts.

AND HE'S GONNA BE IN THE NEW BOURNE MOVIE!

You can also watch him in -- The Hurt Locker



2. Hugh Jackman

The Moment of My Adoration -- X-Men
Dude, nice tee-shirt.

Hugh Jackman was my first celebrity crush. I have always gone for the tall, dark types, and Hugh fits this perfectly. I fell in love with him when I watched X-men, but I've seen him in plenty of other movies.

But come on. Wolverine? Look at that hair! It shouldn't be possible to pull off, but he does. That's why I will always love Hugh Jackman.
My favorite expression of his is that grimace/eyebrow raise that he seems to do whenever he plays those gruff, I-don't-care-about-anything characters. (He plays a lot of them)

I am considering naming my son Hugh. Kind of manly, yes?

You can also watch him in: Wolverine, Real Steel


3. Michael Fassbender
Moment of my Adoration -- X-Men: First Class

Michael Fassbender is one of my recent loves. I met him at X-Men: First Class, and I haven't been the same.

Like Renner, Fassbender has a special charisma that oozes from his pores. He is an incredibly talented actor. I haven't seen much of his works, but from what I've seen he may be one of the best on the list.

Also, his name is Fassbender. Dude, I love that.
Fassbender. Fassbender. Fassbender. Spell check is going crazy right now. Byahahaha.

You can also watch him in: Prometheus

4. Matt Damon
I seem to have a thing for guys in tee-shirts. . .
When I Fell In Love -- The Bourne Trilogy

Matt Damon was the epitome of coolness when he played Jason Bourne. I don't think you could get any cooler with a role unless you were Aragorn or something like that. If you haven't watched "Bourne", please do so I can talk to you about it.

The particular reason why I like Matt Damon is that he's smart. You can just tell that he is really intelligent, and I like that. Out of all the guys on this list, I would probably pick him to be my best friend.

You can also watch him in -- The Adjustment Bureau

5. Mathew Macfadyen

When I fell in love -- Pride and Predjuce
Owner of the easiest to pronounce name, Mathew Macfadyen captured my heart when I watched "Pride and Predjuce".

Pride and Prejudice is one of my favorite books, and it is also my favorite movie besides the Lord of the Rings trilogy. Mathew's performance as Mr. Darcy is subtle, romantic, and completely sigh-inducing.

I don't think I've sighed more during a movie.

Not to mention, he strikes me as a swell guy.

I like swell.

You can also watch him in -- The Three Musketeers

6. Denzel Washington
I don't see a tee-shirt. Shh..

When I fell in love -- Deja Vu        

Denzel, how I love thee. He beats out Will Smith, and is thus the only black guy on my list. He has quite the impressive filmography, so if you are needing an actor to crush on, he would be a  great choice because he is in a lot of good movies.

Denzel might just be the coolest actor ever. He always plays a deep, interesting character. This is because, in reality, he is actually deep and interesting.

He also has a strut that would make Tom Cruise jealous. I think Denzel's "I'm awesome walk" comes in second only to Jason Bourne's.

You can also watch him in -- Man on Fire


7. Jude Law

When he caught my eye -- Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows

Jude Law is funny and clever and handsome. So I like him a little.

Just a bit.

He is also an excellent dramatic reader. Please, listen to Jude Law read Lady Gaga's "Poker Face" out loud. It's hilarious.

JUDE LAW IS GOOD AT READING THINGS. :)

8. Viggo Mortensen


   
                                                                 ALSO KNOWN AS
  
                                       
          

Hee Hee! Ha ha! Hahaahahahah! HAHAHAHAAAH! Hooo! Heee.....

*inhale*

Okay, I became a fan through Lord of the Rings, but that doesn't mean I just like Aragorn. Viggo (pronounced VEE-GO) is a sweet, sweet person. He's just so nice you can't help but like him. He has a strange but good sense of humor, and a great disposition.

You can also watch him in -- Hidalgo

--------

There you have it! My favorite actors. Do you share the same feelings for any of these actors? Now quick, run with purpose to the comment section!

Don't kidnap Aragorn, (or else I will murder you)

Esther






Thursday, July 19, 2012

A Collection of Quotes

Today I feel like sharing some quotes with you. These are by no means all of my favorites, nor do all of them make my 'favorites list'. However, I wish to share them with you. Mull them over, tear them apart, and learn from them. Let the words speak to you. 

"By three methods we learn wisdom:
First, by reflection, which is noblest;
Second, by imitation, which is easiest;
Third, by experience, which is the bitterest."
Confucius

"For all sad words of tongue or pen,
the saddest are these:
it might have been."
~ John Greenleaf Whittier


"Ever has it been that love
knows not its own depth
until the hour of separation."
~ Kahil Gibran



"When a woman, 
who has much to say,
says nothing,
her silence can be deafening."
~ Anna and the King

"Never argue with an idiot.
He will drag you down to his level
and then beat you with experience." 
~ Alan Zimmerman

"It is easier to resist
at the beginning that at the end."
~ Anon

"It is well to remember that the entire population of the universe,
with one trifling exception
is composed of others."
~ Andrew J. Holmes

"If you love someone, 
let them go.
If they return,
they are yours,
if they don't,
they never were."
~ Seagull

"Love without clinging,
cry if you must,
but privately cry,
the heart will adjust."
~ Ruth Bell Graham



What is your favorite quote? It doesn't have to be one of the mere few that I listed above. Also, remember to Follow us if you have not already done so, and to comment - both make our day! =)

Blessings,
Hannah

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Stream of Consciousness ... Again!

Hey everbody!

It's been kind of a long day for me and so my brain is what a water balloon would be like if it was filled with pudding and left out in the sun for a few hours.

So, I forsook (makes more sense than forsake to me) originality and decided to do another stream of consciousness post! Yay for me!

You know the drill, guys. I talk about what's on my mind, from topic to topic, until I have a splendid mashup that I dare to call a blogpost. It was my brother's (Also known as "The Stud") idea. I like my brother. I'm a big family fan, actually. I mean, whenever I see teenagers that have perfectly loving parents, yet act like they don't care about family at all, annoys me to bits. When you have people that love you, you should immerse yourself in that love everyday. To form bonds with the people that will always be in your life is one of the most important things to live a successful life.

ALMONDO: That's why my kids, wife and I have family night.

Oh, that's nice Almondo.
WAIT. You're married?

ALMONDO: I thought you knew.

No, I didn't know. Who is this chick? Aren't you a little young? I never gave you permission to get married when I broke into your Pentagon office and took you hostage.

ALMONDO: Her name is Chashewette.

Cashew? Ette?

ALMONDO: I happen to think it's a beautiful name.

... We'll talk later.

Well, Almondo's uncanny ability to find people who share nutty names with him (HAHAHAHA) has left me a little confuzzled. What's next? Walnuttella?

Ha, you know what's shaped like a walnut? A volleyball. Kind of. And volley ball practice has started up again. Isn't that exciting? My skills have dampened to say the least, but I'm starting to get the hang of it again. I've started to condition, and it is a special kind of agony.

For the first forty five minutes or so, we never stop running, jumping, crunching, or doing pushups. It's killer. It's paying off, though. My legs are slowly morphing into sexy, sexy logs.

I love logs!

Do you know where logs come from? Trees. And trees come from forest.

I've always had a dream to walk through a forest wearing a flowing cape and holding a giant broadsword. The grass is green and lush, and the wind gently blows my styled hair.

And then a giant dragon appears, blue, its scales glimmering in the shafts of light that shine through the gaps between the trees, and then To Glory by Two Steps From Hell begins playing, and I run towards that dragon in a triumphant fight to the death.

Awesome sauce.

I wonder what awesome sauce is made of. You see, whenever I say it, I imagine a pale red liquid running off the side of a table, landing on the floor and melting through it.

It must be made of Chuck Norris's blood.

And apple pie! Yummy!

The only thing better than apple pie is apple pie with ice cream. I want some now. This post isn't quite long enough for me to leave yet.

I'm stuck. I'm stuck. I'm stuck.

I'm stuck because all I can think about is apple pie...

I'm stuck I'm stuck I'm stuck

Oh. We don't have any apple pie.

THE HUMANITY!

I'm stuck. I'm stuck. I'm stuck. I'm stuck. I'm stuck. I'm stuck.

Mmm....warm. Cinnamon....apples...delicious, crispy crust that crunches just right in your mouth....Please help me.

I started writing my novel again! I went on a rather long hiatus, but I'm back to it, thank goodness! Almost to 40k, so more than halfway there. Please pray that I finish it.

By the way, I'm thinking about Aragorn, son of Arathorn again. I wonder why. It isn't like I looked at pictures of him on Google images AGAIN.

That would be silly.

Well, I totally got a new blog post idea. A list of fictional characters I have a major crush on. Look forward to it.

Oh! I doodled today. I think it turned out kind of well. It's a picture of a character from Axis Powers: Hetalia, an anime. Hetalia is a hilarious parody of WWII, using cute characters to represent each country. Each character is a stereotype of his own country. (France is lewd, America is fat and obnoxious, Germany is hard-hitting, etc.)

Here is the picture.


You may think this looks awful, but this is really good for me. I don't know if you know this, but my art skills are almost as bad as my dancing.

Almost.

Anyway, I should get off of here. I still have to go look at pictures of Aragorn -- I mean write in my novel for a little bit.

Have a good day, everyone!

Esther

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Empty Chairs at Empty Tables...

To start off, watch this. Really listen to it.



There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Now my friends are dead and gone.

Here they talked of revolution.
Here it was they lit the flame.
Here they sang about `tomorrow'
And tomorrow never came.

From the table in the corner
They could see a world reborn
And they rose with voices ringing
I can hear them now!
The very words that they had sung
Became their last communion
On the lonely barricade at dawn.

Oh my friends, my friends forgive me
That I live and you are gone.
There's a grief that can't be spoken.
There's a pain goes on and on.

Phantom faces at the window.
Phantom shadows on the floor.
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more.

Oh my friends, my friends, don't ask me
What your sacrifice was for
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more


Now, what do you think? I found this song over at Pursuit a few days ago, and I simply love it. Probably because I can relate in some way. For me, this song is like the epic of awesome songs. It is from the Broadway production of 'Les Misérables'. Now, I am not a big fan of the Jonas Brothers, but Nick does an outstanding job in this part. I think that he carried it off perfectly. It talks about how Marius has lost his friends. They have gone, and are no more. They are now nothing more than a phantom shadow. These friends had plans, they had ideals of revolution (mind you that this is in France many years ago). Now, they will not meet again, and all that is left is empty chairs at empty tables.

My brief description by no means bears this song justice. My words cannot compare. After listening to this song, I have been inspired to read 'Les Misérables' by Victor Hugo. It is quite good so far. Go back up and listen to the song again. I'll wait.

Read these two stanzas again: 

Here they talked of revolution.
Here it was they lit the flame.
Here they sang about `tomorrow'
And tomorrow never came.
...
Oh my friends, my friends, don't ask me
What your sacrifice was for
Empty chairs at empty tables
Where my friends will meet no more

They dreamed of tomorrow, yet it never came for them because their life was claimed before it ever came. This man mourns the loss of his friends. Why? Not just because they were friends, that is certainly a part of it, but there is more to it than merely that. He is dealing with the fact that the pain of their sacrifice will be felt forevermore. There will be no more talk of revolution. It will be no more. 

Just wanted to share my new favorite song with you. =)

Blessings,
Hannah

Monday, July 16, 2012

Six Songs That Make My Ears Ooze Snails

In case you were wondering, oozing snails from your ears is a bad thing. It means that the music that you were listening to was so bad that it prompted your ear canals to create new organic matter in order to block out the sound -- in the form of snails.      

Yum!

It should be noted that I really have no taste music. If I do have taste, it certainly isn't very good. This means that I am in no position to share my opinion on what bad music is. Therefore I am sharing what bad music is like to me.

In this countdown, I will list six songs that currently plague me through the radio on the way to volleyball practice. In no particular order, here we go!

#1. Fireflies -- Owl City

Let's start out mellow. "Fireflies" by Owl City is not outstandingly bad, but it annoys me horribly. The singer, while super cute, sounds really weird in this song.

But mostly, I believe this song is nonsensical. If you can make heads or tails of what it means, then go for it! Some of the imagery is rather beautiful, so I don't slaughter this song whenever it comes on.

You can listen to it here.

Worst Line:

I'd like to make myself believe
That planet Earth turns slowly
It's hard to say that I'd rather stay
Awake when I'm asleep
'Cause everything is never as it seems
When I fall asleep
-- Try to make sense of that.

#2. Want U Back -- Cher Lloyd

I heard this on the radio once. The beginning was kind of upbeat, and catchy. I was starting to accept it.

And then the singer went "UNNNNGH!"

And I was pushed back into my seat. See, she does this regularly throughout the song, and soon, only the only thing you can concentrated on is when she "UNNNNNGH"s, and it becomes a horrible listening experience.

Also, it features Astro.

Nuff said.

You can listen to it here.

The worst line

UNGH!

#3. Rumor Has It -- Adele

Sweet, sweet Adele. I love her. I admit that her songs are quite overplayed, but that's because people like them. But unfortunately, I simply can't stomach "Rumor Has It". The chorus is so repetitive that it makes me cry. Adele is so intelligent that I wonder why she chose a chorus like this.

Well, rumor has it rumor has it rumor has it rumor has it that I don't want to listen no more.

You can listen to it here.

Worst line

What do you think?

#4 Give Your Heart a Break -- Demi Lovato

I like Demo Lovato okay as a person, but I'm not a fan of her voice. She can sing pretty well, but some types of tones just kind of grate against your ear. But mostly it's the repetitive tone and chorus and the cliche lyrics that get you in this one.

You can listen to it here.

Worst line
I don't want to break your heart
I wanna give your heart a break

#5. Where Have You Been -- Rihanna

Thank you, Rihanna.
This starts out okay, but the chorus sounds like Rihanna has been beaten in the diaphragm multiple times with a waffle iron.

You can listen to it here.

#6. Starships -- Nicki Mybuttisbig

This one will dig into the depths of your brain, never to get out again. It's so dang catchy. And the worst part is that it really isn't a good song.

Also, it makes no sense. I mean, I guess the beginning does ...

But why is she a starship? And is she high in a literal or metaphorical sense?

Also, if foul language isn't necessary, then don't use it. It just makes you sound like you don't have a vocabulary. Sheesh.

You can listen to the (UNCENSORED!) version here.

Worst Line

"TWINKLE TWINKLE LITTLE STAR!"

What . . . why?

Oh right. She's a starship. That's why.


Enjoy your music!

Esther









Sunday, July 15, 2012

I'm Back!!

Hello my dear friends. Did you miss me? I'm sure that you did (just kidding!). =) Esther was gracious enough to fill in for me so much. She did a fabulous job, as always! Now, I'm sure that you all were wondering were I was for five whole days last week. In answer to that question, I was at Bible Memory Camp, something that I have gone to since sixth grade. It is a Bible camp for 2nd-12th grade, and it is run absolutely fabulously! There are several camps across the mid-west, but everyone agrees that Indiana High School Camp is by far the best. The people are amazing, and I love them all dearly. Allow me to introduce you to some of them:


Kaylin and I

Kyla and I - she happens to be Kaylin's older sister

Kiana and I - we have been friends for years. Such a precious young lady!

Courtney and I - she was one of my counselors for the week.
It was such a blessing to get to know her!!

Dawn and I - this girl is amazing. She has a passion for worship
and is just all-around a fun person to be around. =)

Becca and I - we have never been really close, but she is a good friend.
You can see Aaron (the guy in the sunglasses) trying to edge into the picture.

Ryan (worship leader) and Aaron (counselor) goofing off before banquet night.
No, they do not dress like that all the time. 

Jailyn and Tarrin - both awesome, totally sweet sophomore guys.
Ladies, you wish that you knew them!

Raina, myself, and Riley, with Micah sneaking into the picture

Senior Guys:
Back Row: Tristan, Matt, Josh,
Front Row: Caleb, Cody, Scott, Nathaniel, David, Jalan, Zach (counselor), Laban, and Austin

Senior Ladies:
Back Row: Keli (counselor,) Melissa, someone that I don't know, Rachel, Emily, and Kelsey (counselor)
Front Row: Chelsea, Kiana, Susanna, Sylvia, Megan, Becca, and Bridget

Junior Guys:
Back Row: Aaron (sophomore counselor), Joe (senior counselor), Ryan (worship leader), and Kevin (junior counselor)
Middle Row: Kiel (pronounced 'Kyle'), Nate, Kyle, somebody-I-don't-know, Nic, another-guy-I-don't-know, and Brett
Front Row: Cody, Tyler, Jeremy, Dylan, Cameron, Adam, Caleb, and Austin

Junior Ladies:
Back Row: Aaron, Joe, Stephanie (junior counselor), Ryan, and Kelsey
Front Row: Monica, myself, Kyla, Michelle, Raina, Dawn, Riley, Courtney (counselor), and Kayla

Kelsey and I - this girl is awesome!

Michelle and I

Sophomore Guys:
Back Row: Donny (sophomore counselor), Aaron, Joe, Jailyn, and Ryan
Middle Row: three-guys-that-I-don't-know, Corey, Micah, Josh, Lain, and Alex
Front Row: someone-I-don't know, Travis, Chase, Tarrin, Davy, mystery person, Reggie, another mystery person

Sophomore Ladies:
Back Row: Kaylee (sophomore counselor), Kelly (sophomore counselor), Aaron, Joe, Ryan, Kerri (sophomore counselor), and Kaylin
Middle Row: Erin, Morgan, Liz, mystery person, Alexa, Casey, Danae, and Maggie
Front Row: Cora, Bayleigh, Andrea, Kayla, two mystery people, Kathy, Lydia, and Jeanie

Freshman Guys:
Back Row: Josiah, Rico, Aaron, Joe, Ryan, Brent (freshman counselor), and Gabe (freshman counselor)
Middle Row: mystery man, Lance, mystery guy, Seth, Trevor, mystery guy, Keegan, and Logan
Front Row: three mystery guys, Tristan, mystery guy, Josh

Freshman Ladies:
Back Row: Brocia (freshman counselor), Kandace (freshman counselor), Alexis, Ryan, Joe, Aaron, Andrea, Janelle, Olivia, and Jamie
Middle Row: Tina (freshman counselor), Kaylin, Christa, Breanna, Hannah, Lanae, Hannah, Kayla, and Jacqueline,
Front Row: Katheryn, Rachel, Jessica, Brooklyn, Emily, Lacey, Steph, Anna, Jenny, Brook, and Jennifer

Corey, Riley, Michelle, Raina, Tarrin, and Kevin

Staff Photo:
Back Row: Kandace, Brocia, Kaylee, Aaron, Joe, JB (camp director), Ryan (worship leader), Joy, Gary (speaker), and Zach
Middle Row: Tina, Keli, Courtney, Kelly, Kerri, Steph, Tiffany, and Brent
Donny, Gabe, Kevin, Kelsey, Karla (nurse, and JB's wife), Janice (speaker), and Joe (speaker and Janice's husband)

Cody and I - one of my best friends from camp

Scott and I - although we had never met before this week, we quickly became very close friends,
and I miss him quite a lot. Despite the fact that he doesn't appear it, he is 10 inches taller than me
(he just chose to scrunch down for this picture).
Well, now you have had the chance to meet some of the people that I spent my week with. I miss them all dearly. Let me just share a few words to describe the week: worship. prayer. surrender. friends. team games. competition. midnight bowling. duck tape hula skirts (don't ask). pictures. campfire. food. sleeping (naptime!). speakers. tourneys. memories. change. craziness. experience. heat. skits. the presence of the Holy Spirit. singing. sweating. dancing. insanity.

I wouldn't have traded this week for anything. As I left home to drive the hour and forty-five minutes to the camp, I wasn't very excited. Little did I know that God would wreck my world during this week (a good thing!) or the amazing friendships with people that I made and will never forget. It was life-changing. 

Blessings,
Hannah

P.S. I will include a picture of my bowling team (midnight bowling is always a Thursday night tradition at high school camp) as well as some other pictures once I get them from a friend. 

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Why Short Stories Are Amazing

Hannah has taken a brief leave of absence because she has a life and she's awesome like that. You go, girl!

Of course, this means that she has also left a hole in every one of our hearts -- a metaphorical one. Had it been literal we would have all died by now. I miss her terribly. . . How long has it been since I last read her words? A few months? Years?

Oh, a few days. I might have been getting a little dramatic, there.

I am posting two days in a row to fill the gap in our hearts with doughy lumps of love. Today, I will be writing about writing!

Gasp!

You guys might be familiar with the fact that I aspire to be a published author. If you aren't familiar with this, well, I aspire to be a published author. There, all caught up.

Recently, I have taken a break from my novel to pursue another creative endeavor: writing short stories. Short stories are wonderful pieces of fiction that average from about 1000 words to 7,500 words, and are great mediums for conveying singular ideas and morals.

Still, the short story is often underrated. When most people decide to be writers, they imagine novels or even poetry before they think of the short story. The market for the novel is more obvious. You see a lot more novels at a bookstore at a library, so isn't publishing a novel a better overall experience than publishing a short story? Shouldn't a novel offer more fame, money, and and an overall sense of accomplishment?

Even though I would love to be a novelist, I think I will always be a short story writer at heart. There is something about a good piece of short fiction that makes my heart soar. I believe that a good short story has just as much value as a novel, and certainly can have just as much of an emotional impact. (Read: The same holds for the novella. Of Mice and Men and Animal Farm are two novellas that hold a special place in my cardiac organ.)

Here are four reasons why, if you are a writer, you should pursue writing a short story, even if it's just once.

Short Stories Give You Practice in Condensing Your IdeasAre you familiar with the novel  series Twilight? If you are, you know that these books are rather massive. If you have read them, you are also aware that these books are a rambling mess. Not to say that the books are bad at heart, but they are severely unorganized. A lot of pages are useless, not contributing to the overall effect of the story. A lot of other things are superfluous, which takes away from the plot. Meyer would have been able to write a more concise story if she wrote more short stories.

Because short stories are small, you have a short time to get your character development, your setting, and your plot realized. Is this impossible? Not at all. Because it they are short, short stories generally have less plot, character development, and setting than novels. But this doesn't mean that it isn't hard to fit all of those things in. Short story writing allows you to focus your ideas. By being able to focus your words into a readable story, you are also practicing your ability to pace correctly. You will learn when a scene is unneeded, or when a certain scene goes on for too long. You will learn how to make a story move without drowning it. In the end, you'll have a more focused idea that shines through, rather than a rambling mess.

Short Stories Do Have a MarketThere are several magazines, online and print, that publish short stories. They will often pay you, too. Sure, this isn't as much money as a novel (unless you are really popular) but this does give you publishing experience. It is easier to publish a short story than it is a novel, and once you have a few published short stories under your resume, the novel you do want to publish is going to look a lot more promising to agents and publishers.

For example, if I sent my book I Know Why the Caged Bird is an Exterminator to a publisher without any publishing credentials, that publisher would think I am a green horn, completely inexperienced when it comes to publishing. But, if I had been published previously, that publisher just might give Exterminator  a second look.

Short Stories are PowerfulIf you read a lot of novels, there are sure to have been books that have stuck with you. Several books have stuck with me, like Lord of the Flies or The Bell Jar, but short stories can do the same thing. They might be able to do it better.

Short stories can't waste time. They have to prove a point. In this way, they can be even more powerful than novels because they are completely devoted to a theme, moral, or concept.

This devotion can allow the reader to walk away with a viewpoint on the world from reading a short story. A short story may not be able to say much, but if it is written well, what it does say can have a lasting impact. And because it is short and focused, its topics are easier to remember.

Here are two short stories that you may have already read, but are recommended.

The Most Dangerous Game -- A short story about a man who crashes on a on a desert island where he meets a strange huntsman famous for his exploits. Only does the main character know that this hunter is more than he seems . . . (One of my favorites)

The Scarlet Ibis -- A short story about a boy who is ashamed of his physically weak brother. Full of symbolism.

Short Stories are Excellent Practice
More often than not, people choose the novel as the first thing they try to write. What a mistake they make! Without having experience in plot or character development, these novels are often just average.

The short story is excellent practice for beginning writers. It gives writers the chance to practice all of the nuances of the writing craft without having to write a giant book. Short stories give the practice of editing, as well, so a writer can be more comfortable with editing. It is often scary to have written a novel, and then have to deal with the prospect of editing it. Having written short stories will help with this.

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And there you go! I hope you enjoyed this post!

Don't ever be daunted,

Esther