Monday, 27 March 2017

A scene from my novel

The title speaks all. Read if you wish. Skip if you wish. Give feedback if you wish. Join in with Ingrid and Amy's discussion if you wish. Eat chocolate if you wish. Whatever. I don't care. :-P Here's a story snippet which I kinda am a little proud of.

Amy inspiration

Amy walked home through the cobbled roads after a long day of work. It was raining lightly, and the stones glistened in the silent glow of the few lanterns.
 
“Ingrid?!!” 
She’d seen her. She knew she had. She would recognise that gorgeous silhouette anywhere, with her dark long wispy eyelashes; and her beautiful curly hair. 
Amy dove into the side-street she had seen her vanish in; frantic for her younger sister.“Ingrid? Ingrid, come. Ingrid, please don’t go!” 
She looked back, a darling small smile on her face. “Amy, don’t worry about me,” she said. “Just go back home.” 
“But – Ingrid! You can’t just go! You’re part of the family. And – and you said you’d help. God knows I could need some right now.” 
Her face shone beautifully in the dusk; there were pools of starlight in her brown eyes. “Amy, I meant every word about helping you. And wait till you get back home – I just gave Edmund some money for food, and I gave the younger ones new shoes. Hand-me-downs from David’s nephews and nieces.” 
Amy pulled her sister down on the side of the road. She looked at her carefully. She seemed happy; she smelled like lemon and lavender – fresh and cheerful – and she looked like an angel. Her hair was done in the latest fashion, with waves in all the right places, and her hairpins were decorated with beads. She wore a new dress – blue; with lace and with machine-made buttons. 
She looked grand and old and glorious – it made Amy so jealous she almost wept. She wished she was Ingrid. Why did she have to fall in love with Lionel? Her heart ached for him; she loved him with her whole heart – but why did it have to be him? He was blind; penniless! He had warned her about her future. She had told him she didn’t care; but now suddenly she did. She wanted to be Ingrid; to be beautiful and rich and apparently powerful enough to save their family from poverty and destruction. 
“Oh Ingrid!” Amy cried. “Help me! Help us!” 
Ingrid put her arm around Amy, and rubbed her shoulder. She reminded Amy of her mother when she had been in a good, motherly mood – it made her cry even more. 
“I have good news,” Ingrid whispered in Amy’s ear. “But I can’t know for sure quite yet.” 
“Tell me everything,” Amy said. “And please – may it be a happy story.” 
Ingrid’s eyes shone with tears. “Oh Amy, it is. I’ve never been happier.” 
“You were fourteen when you met him first. What was your first impression?” 
“His looks,” Ingrid smiled. “He was tall and handsome; just like the heroes in story-books. Straight and short hair – cut in a dashing style. His eyes were black and twinkled outrageously. No wonder I fell for him as soon as I looked up into them. They still make my stomach twirl, in the same way that his presence makes me feel giddy and cheerful, like I’m in a ball filled with little lights and feathers. He’s so easy-going and kind and he always smiles – oh, my journey in getting to know him has been better than my wildest dreams.” 
“Oh, tosh,” Amy said. “I’ve never heard you speak like that before, Ingrid. You sound like a poetry book!” 
Ingrid flushed slightly. She looked down at her hands with a small smile around her lips. 
Amy followed her glance and suddenly saw that her sister was wearing a ring.“Oh Ingrid!” she gasped, grabbing her hand. “You’re married!” 
“Of course,” Ingrid calmly said. “I would never do anything indecent. Where do you think I’ve been sleeping these past days?” She blushed bright red. 
Then she looked at Amy and her voice turned back to how Amy was used to it. “Don’t look at me like that, Amy. One day you’ll know what that feels like, too.” 
She went all dreamy again, and started to talk like poetry book number two. “You’ll find yourself yearning to see his face again whenever you’re not with him; and you’ll find yourself looking into a future where everything seems perfect.” 
“That’s not how love works,” Amy scoffed. 
“Yes it is. Love is like an ironing board – it takes away all the creases and wrinkles.” 
Suddenly Amy was furious. She stood up and felt the blisters on her feet burn and the muscles in her legs ache; like they did so often. How could Ingrid say that?! Love wasn’t anything like an ironing board. The last thing it did was smooth out wrinkles – it just made more wrinkles; it just made matters even more complicated. 
“What’s the matter?” Ingrid asked. She stood up and neatened her beautiful blue dress. No creases and wrinkles at all. Amy’s dress was nothing but wrinkles – and hole – and soot – and sweat. 
“Just, the way you described love,” Amy said, angrily. “It’s not true.” 
“It IS true.” 
“Don’t be ridiculous. Love is an amazing thing, but it does not solve all problems. Quite the contrary, in most cases it just complicates matters.” 
“Well, if that’s the case, it’s not true love.” 
Amy thought about Lionel and thought her heart would almost burst with the love she held for him. 
“If you say that again Ingrid, I will -” 
Amy calmed herself. She shivered in the cold dusk air; hungry and tired to the bone. Ingrid could preach like that, couldn’t she? About true love making life all rosy and gold – while she wore new dresses and slept with a rich husband who could see the world with his own eyes and walk without a stupid stick. 
“I will give you an example, Ingrid,” Amy said. “And then I will go home, because it’s late, and tomorrow is an early morning. I can’t sleep in my little featherbed with a handsome husband till the clock strikes nine like you can.” 
“What are you so angry about all of a sudden?!” 
“I don’t know! Sorry! Just – don’t preach about love!” 
“Give me the example then.” 
Amy breathed deeply. She suddenly realised she was trembling, and that her heart was beating very fast due to lack of sleep and proper meals. 
“What if you fall in love with a blind war hero who cannot earn sufficient amount of money and who cannot earn the approval of your father? Either you don’t marry him; and the love story would come to an end, or either you love each other so much that you are willing to face all the problems – creases and wrinkles, as you put it – the future might hold.” 
“Yes, love makes it all work,” Ingrid insisted. 
“No, it doesn’t necessarily!” Amy sighed. “If I marry Lionel as well as playing mother number two for all my younger siblings, I will be facing more burdens than I am capable of facing. As much as I love them; sometimes one just is in hard situations.” 
“Lionel? Who is Lionel?” 
It was quiet for a while. Some people were arguing inside a house. A baby’s faded cry intermingled with their voices, and the wind played music around Amy’s ears. 
“Lionel is my fiancĂ©. He’s Erica’s nephew. I met him when I stayed at her house. Erica is your stepmother.” 
“Yes, I know about Erica. But – but you never told me you had a beau!” 
“You can’t talk,” Amy scoffed. 
She didn’t know why she was acting so spiteful against her sister. She was just sick of life; and of problems – she wanted to sleep and wear pretty clothes and kiss Lionel’s face; and never lift a finger in labour again, but she knew she would never get that. It made her enormously jealous of her sister. So jealous, in fact, that she didn’t even want to hear the whole story she had to tell. 
But Ingrid sat her down and told her everything.

Ingrid inspiration
Kay me loves, off I go. You're welcome for the blog post. *curtsies*

Sunday, 26 March 2017

7 Period Dramas that have those Spring-vibes


Hello hello hello hello. It's a beautiful, sunny spring Sunday morning. Hello.

I love Spring. Everything bursts into fresh colour, new tints, happy life. Little flowers peep their heads into the sunlight, giving the garden patches of pink and white and yellow. The streets are crowned with pink candy-floss blossom and the mornings actually involve sunlight. It's too hot for winter coats, too cold for short sleeves, it's a time of nature being happy, and us humans being happy alongside it. As much as I love my winter with the cosy stormy days, spring makes me freaking happy. I love the boost it gives. The odd sense of excitement.

SO HELLO THERE SPRING, OL CHAP.


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7 Movies that have those Spring-vibes
(in no particular order)
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1. Emma 2009

Emma has its winter scenes (yes, I am thinking about the adorable one where Mr Knightley teases Emma about her pickety etiquette ideas at the Christmas party) but the whole movie reminds me of sunlight and summer bonnets and dresses with little flowery prints and painting in the garden so BAM SPRING.


2. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers

I'll admit, just because of the 'Spring Spring Spring' song. Ha. So original, right, Naomi? Seven Brides for Seven Brothers has quite a lot of snow scenes (*swings axe to the ground*) but you know, it ends with everyone singing about spring and it has those bright dresses and an outside dance so watch this to celebrate spring, okay? Good.


3. Heidi 1993

This movie screams SPRING IS HERE. I have so so many memories of this film. It was one of the only movies I saw as a young girl and aside from being unhealthily petrified of the grandfather and that midnight scene in Frankfurt where Heidi's sleepwalking, I loved it to death. The mountains and the Swiss summer frocks; the goats and the flowers and the birds... Spring heaven.


4. Pride and Prejudice 1995

Let's be real, I'd add this to any list of Period Dramas haha, but no really, this brilliant mini-series is filled with wood walks, pastel regency frocks, chilly weather + sunlight, and Bennet sisters picking flowers while talking about young men they either hate or love. Still the best film ever. I stand firm.


5. Bright Star

Terrible movie in my opinion (no really, I didn't even finish this. The costumes are nauseating and the characters complete weirdos and the couple isn't even cute together despite their extreme sappiness) but I've got to mention it because it's filled with bluebells and butterflies and spring being in the air. So thus the mention. But don't watch it. :-P


6. Cinderella 2015

This is spring in a fairy-tale. Beauty and the Beast is going to be wintery, but Cinderella was spring. The light colours, the horse-back scenes, the yellow curls, the flowers in the garden, the exciting midnight clock in the warm night... it's a springtime fairy-tale and I'll always love it.


7. Anne of Green Gables.

Think about the White way of Delight, the garden party where Anne and Diana saw Josie fall in the pond from their little boat, Anne putting pink flowers on her hat before Church, Gilbert coming to rescue when Anne was 'fishing for lake trout'... both the book and the movie have such spring vibes. I love how Anne loves spring and how she's so in love with the blossom tree in front of her window. Marilla is like, 'blossom fiddlesticks.'


You know, it's been too long since I talked about Period Dramas on this blog. I'm still quite as in love with them as I was when I started blogging, don't you worry. Mama and I are currently watching Season 6 of Call the Midwife and yes Tom and Barbara are engaged yes yes yes they're cute yes yep. Okay, I'll stop saying yes. But yes about Tom and Barbara. They're the CUTEST YES.

Happy spring, everyone.

Not that I'll have time to watch any of these movies or any of your recommendations, but for conversations sake and the to-watch lists' sake:
what are your favourite spring movies?

Saturday, 18 March 2017

Let's replace...

small talk with Jesus talk
bucket lists with to-do lists
Henry Talbot with Matthew Crawley (:-P)
emails with letters
mirrors with windows
people with God
me with Him
my future with His Plan
smartphone screens with the word of God
instagram with photo albums
handshakes with hugs
worries with hope
self-consciousness with self-confidence
watching Youtube videos with praying
awkward silence with random jokes
timidity with strength
pride with humility
humming with singing
challenge with purpose + excitement
electricity light with sunlight
looking at the ground with looking at the stars
dreams with plans
ideas with realities
questions like 'how are you doing' with deeper questions
confusion with peace
giving up on the world with joy in God
Keira Knightley's Elizabeth Bennet with Jennifer Ehle's Elizabeth Bennet (haha okay, this one is subjective)
'meh I don't think I can' with 'well let's give it a go'
singing worship songs with worshipping by singing
negativity with positivity
hate with Love
living in the world with changing the world

Let's do this.

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

49,483 words

(Me pretending to be at work. Although I'll be honest and say that the day I took that picture I wrote 0 words. Isn't that embarrassing. :-P)

- My current work-in-progress-I-guess-you-could-call-it-novel is 49,483 words now, and the delicious thing is that I am not sick of it (this is wild because I get sick of stuff I work on for a long time), that I don't think it's too bad (50% at least, isn't too bad), and that the story is not done yet which means it's going to be over the minimum word-count of a full-sized-official-word-count-novel, which is exciting.

- 49,483 words. I wonder how many of them I'll have to edit out. How many I'll add. 

- I started writing this originally-just-a-lets-see-where-this-goes-story early 2016 - cried over it, loved it, was SO proud of it; imagined it to be a movie with famous actors and me shaking hands with Kate Middleton at the movie premiere and everything.

- Then I stopped writing because I was interrupted by new ideas of apparent geniality - although I came back to the very-unfinished-with-plenty-of-holes-here-and-there-draft sometimes; just to read it, to remind myself I had to go back to this story sometime, because it was like, even-though-I-say-so-myself; not too bad.

- So I came back to it, after a summer of thinking I was a good writer while actually I was not. I reread it, loved it and hated it. I wrote some more and felt the story sagging like a half-baked cake by a bad baker like me. (Random fact about me: I am not a kitchen maiden. Far from it. Me and the kitchen stress each other out.) I felt like the story was getting boringer and boring and that woe, it was starting to sound like a bad Christian fiction novel. A bad one.

- That was the oh-dear-my-writing-style-feels-like-dry-crumbs stage. I'm still sort of in it. (Scrap the 'sort of'. I am.)

- But I'm at 49,483 words now and that's something. I'll keep writing and see what happens to this book. I'll keep attaching myself to these characters - fictional characters that I made myself - characters that I just can't keep hanging on the loose end, however wild the forces of procrastination and distraction may be.

- I guess that's my favourite thing about this novel. I love the characters more than I have in any other thing I've ever written - they feel real and they're legitimately playing inside my brain like a movie. I've never had that before - I've always felt like my fictional characters were on-paper-friends, but these characters feel unstoppable. I've even cried over them while writing, which I've never done with any other fictional characters. So yeah, I don't think I should give up this potential-novel up. (Even though I feel like the writing lacks moisture and originality. Which I definitely do.)

- The novel has no title yet. No good one, anyways. I call it Green Eyes but there are about 10 books with the same title according Goodreads so I'll have to find another one. I'm very bad at titles. Why do you think I stole one for my blog?

- You want a little snippet? Just a little one, then.
Douglas is alive, Amy. One of my pals is alive. I am so thankful that I am alive… and that you are and that we’re still here to make the best of this confusing old world.

Wednesday, 8 March 2017

Prayer


I love spontaneously praying to my God - thanking Him for the room I'm in; for the word of the Bible; for my siblings' smiles; for my parents' love; for good friends; for Him dying and for answer of prayer and for angels and all the amazing God-present stories I constantly hear.

I love kneeling down in dark rooms for intimate moments, asking the Holy Spirit to make people passionate; asking Him who made constellations and dimple and seashores to calm down worried people and to bring joy + peace + energy + perspective into people's lives.

I love telling God how bad I am at expressing the depth of His power. I love just thinking about it, unwrapping the different layers of deeper awe and amazement. I love God. I love how discoverable He is. I love Love; He who is Love.

I love going through plans with Him; I love the peace I get from talking to Him - I love the joy and the daily purpose I find in Him. I love that I feel new + different after spending quiet time with God. I love that prayer has made me doubt less; that it excites me more than it used to.

I love that it is possible for me to talk to this Powerful Love - this Supernatural, Eternal, Awesome Reality. I hate that that doesn't blow my mind every day - that I take the immense honour of this possibility for granted.

random pictures I took + boring lately stuff


Reading: ashamedly little. It's already the eighth of March and I can't even boast half a page. I just haven't  . touched . a . novel. Who am I turning into? What is this reincarnation? This cannot be. This weekend I will finish 'Go set a Watchman' and I will reread Pride and Prejudice, because it's been ages since I did that. I WILL. 

Reading: I'll do another one for the Bible, because I have been doing that. It is a different category all together. I just started Isaiah. My Bible read-through is the best thing ever. I'm already half-way through and I started in December. *fistpumps me*

Writing: Okay, hear me here, I'm doing good with writing. I know, you may all go ahead and faint on your sofas and beds and bathtubs. I am doing well with writing. OK, quite well, at least. BUT I'M DOING QUITE WELL AND THAT'S SOMETHING OK?! My goal for March is 5000 words a week. Which means 1500 words for me to punch down this evening, or I'll be seriously behind schedule. ICANDOTHIS.


Studying: Ugh, why do you ask me such vile things? Why should I pollute Wonderland Creek with study-talk? (If you want to know: Sociology. English. French. Past Papers. Ok, now shut up.)

Flying: nowhere. I can't fly. And exciting plane tickets aren't on my agenda at the moment.

Eating: I just ate rice and fish-pie. I wish it had been chocolate instead but I can't always have things my way, I suppose.

Sighing: At the weird conundrums of the world, my brothers (let's be real, they're nuts) (I love them but they're nuts), and annoying emails. On a more positive note, I haven't had any spam comments lately. I used to get tons of those. I guess they finally got my message that I wasn't going to visit their creepy url's.


Listening: right now? To the Willis Clan. I love them so much. Also they remind me SO VIVIDLY of me sitting with Emma and Sadie in the car and going to Church in the morning. I love City Down Below. Jessica's voice is so good. I've also been listening to podcasts of Francis Chan. Always so good.

Blogging: about my very interesting life. Duh. Obvs.

Singing: All sortsa songs. Fiddler on the Roof arias, Carrie Underwood songs, and One Direction hits. (I'll admit, 1D is sort of my guilty pleasure. I hate and love them simultaneously.) I've also been singing songs I only know 10% of the lyrics of. And worship songs.

Dreaming: About friends getting sick? I know. Why. I dream depressing things.

Drinking: lizard saliva and mushroom juice smoothies. It's absolutely delicious. Like, seriously, the most delicious things you'd ever dream of. I can't stop drinking them. They're nice with some tomato pips and rabbit droppings for extra texture. Highly recommended. (LOL SO FUNNY NAOMI.)

Challenging: you to read Gone with the Wind in five minutes. I totally did that the other day. It was a very thorough read-through. (Ok, maybe I should stop lying in this post. It is one of the Ten Commandments.)

Talking: With friends at Youth Group, with random new people at choir rehearsal, with siblings, with Mama... all sorts of human beings, I guess.


Texting: The last text message I sent was: "I'm so happy you like it. Wait till you get to Aunt Batty's story - it's my favourite part. *insert smiley-emoji" - yeah, a friend of mine is reading Hidden Places for the first time and she texted me about it and she's cool. (Friend test: Give her Hidden Places. Friend likes it. Friend approved.)

Emailing: Emma. And Rosie McGann. And Miss March. Those were the three last. Although not in that order. I'm too lazy to go back and change them to order. #thelazinessof2017

Making: A little video for myself this March, with a bunch of random clips of this month. I want to try it and see if the end result is nice. I'm trying to make it look aesthetically pleasing.

Loving: The lizard saliva and mushroom juice smoothies, of course. Ok, kidding, kidding. I'm loving the Willis Clan songs, my rainbow-themed bookshelves, my pink camera, and Matthew Crawley. And Jordan and Sarah from the youtube channel Blimey Cow being engaged. That made my day. 

Ordering: a map of the world on Amazon, because it's going to be so pretty for my desk space.


Contemplating: About some of the commands in the Bible that... I frankly, just ignore. Like giving to the poor, not worrying, and rejoicing in the Lord ALWAYS (and again I say: rejoice.) Like, how many commands in the Bible have the 'and again I say' thing after it to emphasise its importance? And how many times is my attitude a rejoicing one? Yeah, contemplate-worthy stuff.

Wishing: that I didn't have to do chores after I've done with this blogpost.

Having: to do chores when I'm done writing this blogpost. And then schoolwork. So much fun.

Being: Just really thankful. God's glory and power and love is astounding.

Going: to publish this post now. Bye. (Or rather: hello. Because that means it'll be public, haha.)

Saturday, 4 March 2017

aesthetically pleasing


Old maps / Polaroid cameras / Polaroid pictures / Postcards / The Eiffel Tower / The Big Ben / Instagram / Film lenses / Daisies / Light-bulbs / Fairly lights / Fairy lights in the background of a picture when they're blurry (I love those) / Watermelons / Pineapples / morning dew / Testament of Youth, the movie / Oh, and La La Land / Swiss villages / Cute handbags / An old pack of cards / Vintage cars / Mini Coopers / Mint green vehicles / Old bikes with baskets (the cutest things ever) / Pastel nail polish / Birches / Weeping Willows / teacups / little plates for teacups - I wish more people still used them / Oh, vinyl records, definitely / The font used for headlines / Fashion magazine covers / flowered triangle-buntings / Blurry selfies / Country fairs / Blurry selfies in country fairs / Pink candy floss - I don't think I'd like it but it's so aesthetically pleasing, haha / glass jars / Strawberries / Raspberries / Little-girl knee socks / bathtubs with feet / Globes / Especially brown-y ones / Surprisingly, mathematical equations are quite aesthetically pleasing / Taylor Swift's (older) fashion sense / The music video of 'Begin Again' (not my favourite song, but the music video is gorgeous) / Lipstick / Old clocks / Grandfather clocks / Soap / Forget-me-nots / Poppies / Butterflies / The moon / Tumblr / Sunrises / The Sound of Music / Words / Dictionaries / Stamps / Envelopes / Handwritten letters / Doughnuts with sprinkles / Chocolate shops / Macaroons / Okay anything sugary, haha / Owls / The phonetic alphabet / Little hand mirrors / Oh and of course; Old books, and anything with books. Libraries, for instance. Most aesthetically pleasing places of all time.