I don’t see what you see…

​Visualization is a funny thing. If you introduce yourself to me and then I ask you what your last name is, or how to spell it, it’s because if I can spell it, I can picture it in my head and remember it. So, basically, if I can write something, I can remember it.

On the other hand, I have difficulty visualizing how a room will look after being repainted or rearranged. So I couldn’t picture quite how my new shelf/desk would look before it was finished. The pics it was modeled on helped, but I couldn’t really see it. I had to trust that my dad could see what I was aiming for.

To combine the two, in a way, my fiction prof tells me that, obviously one of my scenes is “very deeply imagined,” when it really isn’t. Sometimes I can’t see it until I’ve written it, one painstaking detail at a time. Other times, I can write an evocative description that allows you (the reader) to picture it, but I’d never be able to see it myself unless someone sketched it for me… and then I agreed that it was right. You know, like watching Alan Lee and John Howe interpret Lord of the Rings in sketches, and seeing which one Peter Jackson agrees with.

Anyway, I was just pondering why I wanted to try out brush lettering (beginning sometime last semester) and why I enjoy it so much. Well, not only am I helping myself to remember Bible verses, but I’m literally “painting” with words. And I love words. 
I love ’em so much that while I might want to be daring and try something new (like pottery or improving my photography or painting) when I see a piece of God’s handiwork in nature… but my fallback will always be words. 

Words are my language, with which I try to make others SEE.

september bullet points…

It’s been too long, you’ll say. Well, that is completely true. You’ll have to forgive me, because it’s going to last a while longer. But let’s review the main stuff, shall we?

  • This is my senior year. While I am kept busy (and occasionally swamped), that means that within a year, I will be a college graduate searching for a job. Which means, some sweet day, I will have time for non-school related activities. Like blogging.
  • I still take photos, but mostly post them to Instagram from my phone. My camera only tends to travel with me when I visit family, and then I try and take pics on camera AND phone, because of occasional lighting and speed issues on my phone. But my phone quality keeps improving, so it’s my go-to. Laziness? Maybe. Sometimes,  you do what you have time for.
  • The Lord has blessed me with a lot of spiritual growth this year, partly because of attending a new church. Sometimes, I want to shout for joy… and then a new school assignment “calms” me down. But my Savior has been gracious, and is working on me in the patience area, as well as the worry area. Not the same, I assure you.
  • I am enjoying my history classes, as always, as well as taking another fiction workshop. So, I spend a LOT of time reading for class, and writing assignments. Which is why most of the time, I don’t have brain space for any other kind of writing. Except, you know, on FB or on my Instagram posts.
  • What else is there? Some of you began following me because of my trip to Australia… what is it, 5 years ago now? While I keep in regular contact with my Aussie friends, I do hope that in the next year or two, I will be able to afford to go visit them, finally. And visit all the places that I didn’t get to, last time. But maybe, once I graduate, I will have time for more trips here in the U.S., too.
  • Continuing that thought, I have been on several road trips this year, mostly to the beach and PA and Virginia. To visit family and friends. But mostly, I wasn’t in a writing mood, because I’d been “schooled out” at that point. There are times when you never want to go near a computer again.
  • Along with the above JOY about knowing the Lord better this year, along with that comes a renewed interest in a few things that I’ve slacked on over the years. Playing my guitar or playing the piano. Trying new things, mostly art-related. Getting a bike, and taking some leisure skills at school, like tennis and top ropes. So, since writing and blogging still remain in my list of things I like to do, I’m more likely to do them when I’m not busy AND when I’m particularly happy/joyful about something. When worry and frustration crowd things out, the fun things slide, because… well, that’s playing with avoidance tactics, as I see it. If I’m blogging in order to avoid studying, then I’m shirking what I have to be doing. I want to keep my GPA up high, you know.🙂
  • So, all that to say that, I’m praying for more patience and to hand over the worries, as well as to make sure I’m not slacking on my schoolwork. It’s a mixed bag when it comes time to thinking about blogging. But I’m trying to get it back into the list of things that I CAN do, when there is time and freed up brain space.
  • Thanks for hanging in there! I just thought I’d include a collage of photos from this last month, just for a bright spot in the writing blather that I’m including here. I hope you have a blessed month and the rest of the year, in case I get tied up totally with school until Christmas!

daily snaps…

It’s been a very busy week… or maybe I should say month. Keeping me on the run from morning till night! My German classes are trying to stress me out… but you know, “He giveth more grace…” I keep praying for the mercies that are renewed every morning, and God never fails.

Just thought I’d share some snaps from the last few weeks.🙂 I know, I know, I can do so much better, but haven’t found the time! I’ve even been wanting to write, in my spare moments… but it can also turn into an avoidance tactic. If I’m writing for any length of time, I’m probably shirking at something else.

So, now I need to get moving and read some chapters in my schoolbook before heading to class. Have a great week!













be the Christmas tree…

It’s been an “interesting” week. I was feeling marvelous on Sunday, when I got slammed with an ocular migraine that put the “aura” into both eyes, rendering me almost blind. Well, it was very bright in there, but I couldn’t read my text book or write any notes about what I was reading. So, studying had to take a back seat for a while, until my vision cleared. The thing about this type of migraine is that it doesn’t always turn into a headache. Unfortunately, I not only got a bad headache, but I was feeling queasy as well. And when you can’t eat much, for me, being hungry will make a headache worse. 12351762_10153712583099976_309084352_oAnyway, I fought through it and kept studying, and then survived yesterday’s exam. Not without having lingering aches in my head, but at least I could eat normal food again and stop drinking ginger tea. I say all this to led up to a more cheerful outlook for the week, now that the worst exam is over, in a way, since I absolutely abominate in-class essay exams. Now, I have two take-home exams to write, and one will be long… but at least I can pace myself.12334250_10153704798709976_403542948_oAlso, I was in bed before nine o’clock last night, though I didn’t turn the light out until about 10pm. No studying, just some relaxing and then a much-needed ELEVEN hours of sleep. Yup, you heard that right. I woke up this morning, feeling amazing, and praying that this lasts for the whole week. Also, as soon as the pressure was off from my first exam, I had time to relax and goof off with my phone. Hence, the selfie that I’m posting down below. 12355785_10153713456899976_2145821784_oBut since one method of relaxing for me is still taking pictures, I thought I’d include one that I took on campus, while waiting for my brother to pick me up. That’s one thing that I absolutely love about winter, how the bare branches are outlined against the sky… and then the sky can take on so many colors and even textures. Of course, anyone who reads my posts regularly already knows that I have something of a tree addiction. Hopefully, I’ll be taking my “real” camera out during the break, and having some fun with it.12342901_10153703881964976_2099653931_o12334524_10153706594024976_1998174422_oEvery Christmas, I manage to start taking pictures of the Christmas tree, even though some of the same ornaments always end up in the shot. I love how the lights reflect on the snowmen and snowflakes… and, of course, I had nothing to do with decorating the tree this year, so I have to help remind myself that Christmas is actually coming. School keeps me so busy that it really doesn’t feel real. So, staring at my pictures does help.12334462_10153712084099976_799253162_oLast night, I was playing with selfies and trying to get some reflections of the Christmas lights on my glasses, when I came across a filter that changed my hair color in that lighting. I always wondered what my hair would look like, if it were blue or green, didn’t you? So, here you go, my attempt to be a chameleon and blend into the Christmas tree. Well, that is, if my hair is green. If it’s blue, then I really shouldn’t blend, right? I could’ve put the pic in full-size, but the lighting was quite dim… so, too grainy. Now, I have to stop goofing off and start writing my take-home exam for my South America class. If I get it finished in good order, and turn it in early, then I will have a full 24 hrs to study for my math exam, which is tomorrow night. 12355957_10153713708489976_449474971_oHave a great week, and I hope to keep coming back on here more regularly over the Christmas break. Oh, and if you are also taking exams this week or next, then I wish you luck on those, also! : )12351802_10153712586354976_775561797_o

a pictured pause…

The paper for my UK class is finally starting to take shape… and by that, I mean a shape that doesn’t make me want to throw the laptop out the window. It’s quite normal for me to hate my research papers, because I can’t get them to say what I want them to say. Until about 24 hours after I’ve written them, I decide they weren’t so bad, after all. So, now that I know I have all day tomorrow to finish it, and I’m well into the fourth page, I can breathe more easily. 12287557_10153686755089976_285132929_o 12295085_10153686751844976_1654943065_oSo, before I go see how the Christmas tree decorating is going, I thought the least I could do is share a few of my latest pictures. Mostly taken at Thanksgiving, I can assure you that we dined most deliciously on all the food that you could desire. Oh, right, the cake pictures were taken before Thanksgiving, because my mom tends to bake cakes for parties at work. They’re addicted to her cooking and baking (as are we). And I was feeling all artistic after taking some of these.  : )12290528_10153693025334976_102409055_o12281770_10153697314914976_836887180_oMost of my brothers made it to town, along with my youngest bro’s dog. Bullet has been part of the family for almost a year now, I think, and we occasionally get “custody” of him when my brother has to go do military stuff. Now that my brother is MARRIED, then Bullet stays with my sister-in-law instead. However, Bullet’s a really nice dog, and we love having him to visit, too. This picture I included was taken after he realized that he WAS going home with Joe and Amanda, instead of staying with us. Or rather, he leaped into his bed in the car, and couldn’t be shifted, as if he was afraid he might get left behind after all. So, for a rescue dog that lucked into being adopted by a young man in the Air Force… life is good for him, and he just LOVES my brother and his wife.12318272_10153697411134976_1543031468_oAnd now, away I go, and by tomorrow, I should be ONE research paper closer to being done with this semester! Hooray!

game face…

I thought my paper was due Thursday. Then I thought it was due Tuesday. So, I got up early, and worked away, trying to gather my thoughts bit by bit… and trying to not worry, as it wasn’t coming together as I wanted it to.

And the weather was wet and cold and rainy and dreary and I had to go in for only one class… one class where we had no assignments or anything required of us, in the middle of the papers. Would we arrive, in the middle of all the stress and work, and then get sent home, having walked and driven in for no reason?

12318120_10153700391259976_608714076_oSo, I put my game face on, ready to face the weather and the dreariness.

Maybe, if we were lucky, our professor would bring us candy, and it would be a party. There’s always hope, you know.

There wasn’t a party, but nothing overly stressful either. And I arrived home to work on my paper, slugging away… and then got an e-mail reminding us that the paper was due on THURSDAY.

Hallelujah, I can breathe again! Now, to put in some more work, with a clear conscience, knowing that I can easily finish this paper by Wednesday night. Sometimes, you just need to sleep on it a little more.

thinking & writing hard…

It’s almost here. The end of the semester, I mean. Which means all the deadlines are coming faster and faster. But I’m on top of it. I slammed my way through two papers, over Thanksgiving break. A good thing, too, considering that our printer broke down and I haven’t been able to get a copy (yet) for my dad to edit of my BIG ten page paper. Mom’s going to print it at work tomorrow, while we wait for the new printer to arrive on Tuesday. Who knew that we couldn’t live without printers?

On the other hand, I just realized that my “other” paper, which I thought was due on Thursday… is actually due on Tuesday. So, I’m very thankful that I had just come back with my history books from the library, when I made that discovery. My momentary panic attack subsided, and I was able to throw myself headfirst into the work. Currently, I haven’t officially started writing it, but I had the scraps of my thesis starting to shape up on paper. So, I’ll be getting up at a fairly early hour, tomorrow morning, in order to get more work done before I go to my afternoon class.

Come to think of it, I have no idea what we’re doing at that afternoon class… maybe a German party. We didn’t have homework for Thanksgiving break, aside from working on our German paper. That’s due next week, and I haven’t started it yet, since I had more papers to write before then. But now that my UK paper will be done by Tuesday, that means I can start my German paper early, and get ahead on my studying for exams next week.

Studying for exams is no joke, but it never wipes me out in quite the way that writing papers does, because you can plan and worry, but you still have to make sure you d a really good job of backing up your arguments and get your quotes and references right. On an exam, there’s only so much preparation you can do ahead of time, and they can’t hold you to QUITE the same high standard of writing as is necessary for a paper.

But I’m getting there on the writing and all the lots and lots of thinking… some days you’re just exhausted, and it’s just all the mental work. It would be a lot more fun if I could help decorate the house for Christmas, but I’ve had to sit that out again, this year, and let my mom do that. Of course, my head has barely processed the fact that Thanksgiving happened (oh, my stomach did, don’t worry!), so my head really doesn’t quite get the idea that Christmas is almost here. How about you?

Anyway, this rambling bit of blogging is intended to help me wind down a little from my schoolwork, and maybe it’ll even keep me from having weird dreams about the subject matter which I write about. I assure you, dreaming about my history books and math and things is VERY strange. On the other hand, I think my brain really does process some more of what I studied during the day, because usually on the second day of writing, I have a better idea of HOW to write it. What looks impossible to write at 8pm one night is usually doable, sometime the next day.

So, keep me and the other exhausted students in your prayers, and I’ll plan on having some much more interesting things to talk about, after exams are over. Because truthfully, a few interesting new things HAVE been happening, and I’m looking forward to sharing them, once I figure out the whys and wherefores and what-I’m-allowed-to-say kind of things.

Have a great week, and see you after exams!

if you’re keeping up…

I took a moment out of my busier-and-busier schedule to glance at my blog… and discovered that I hadn’t updated my book list since January. Well, considering I haven’t posted much this year, I suppose that’s understandable? So, I took a breather after spending ALL day yesterday, reading books for a paper that I have to write… and part of this morning, too, come to think of it. Short break to scarf up some homemade stir fry leftovers and start updating the book list. There are so many (I must’ve really been book bingeing in January!) that I haven’t even finished the updating yet, because I need to get back to work.

But this is to let you know that I’m working on it, and as soon as exams are finished (Dec. 11 is the last day of exam week), I should write a post where I commentate on what I read this year. It’s rather funny, I had almost forgotten that I was re-reading the Little House books after receiving them as a Christmas present last year!

On a different horizon, I will be starting an internship next semester, along with taking four regular classes, so I hope to have some more interesting things to write about, sometime soon. I’m not quite ready to share the details, but I’ll get there. So, while I’m looking forward to some more of my siblings arriving (today!) and the arrival of cousins on Thanksgiving day, I will still be making as much time as possible to write my papers and read all the necessary books in order to write them properly. Most of the books that I’m using are piled on my desk or on the deacon’s bench upstairs (I often work at the dining room table), but there’s at least one paper due in ten days that I have done no research for yet, and haven’t gotten any books from the library. Deep breath, we’re going to make it!

My hopes for the holidays include catching up on finishing some painting projects here at home, helping decorate (maybe, if I finish my papers in time) and doing some volunteer work at the place that I will be interning. But that’s still a few weeks out. For those waiting for me to find my new “angle” on writing my blog, though, I hope to have it soon, and be able to write more often. Because it really takes something that EXCITES me to start writing regularly again. Here’s hoping for the best in that area, and I pray that you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with your friends and family!

surely i oughta…

Honestly, I ought to go back to bed. Come to think of it, I probably ought to go upstairs and study some more. But while I might be a night owl in normal life, I can’t make myself a night owl for my college studies. Especially when I’m not one of the teeny-bopper students that I trip over all the time.🙂 12168714_10153620567529976_1870777962_oThough I find more and more that being a “returning student” is not a completely unheard of thing, nowadays. We are not alone. Sort of.

I wasn’t asleep, but just getting comfy and then decided that I needed to check some things on my computer. It’s been a long time since I’ve been on here, hasn’t it? But while snippets of story ideas and photo opportunities come my way, at the end of the day, I don’t have any brain space left for blogging. Unlike my time in Australia, when all I had was a constant story to tell, right? Or when I was jobless before school started? Perhaps I still have that 12124494_10153625474544976_1265596368_ostory to tell… but I’m too tired to tell it, mostly. Or when I do feel like telling it, it’s usually because I’m avoiding something. You know, like going to bed or doing homework. Fall has begun, here in the South, and I’m looking forward to taking some pictures of the changing leaves… with my phone, at least, though I tell myself I really should get over to the Botanical Gardens on one of these glorious cool days. I might even do it, between books that I’m reading for my history classes. I’m taking three of them, by the way. Modern South America, Britain from 1688 til now, and Museum History. The latter was to see what’s what in the field of Public History, but I don’t really think I’m going into that field. But I have learned one thing… no matter whether you agree with a museum curator’s method of arranging 12171063_10153621803034976_751679144_otheir exhibit or not, give them due credit. They work their backsides off for next to nothing, and often, their only reward is criticism. So, be nice to the museum people, they work hard.

What else has been happening? Weddings and receptions and drooling over DIY projects on Instagram. So, of course, after every wedding, I have tons of pics of my cousins’ kids and my friends’ kids. I have to take pictures of SOMEBODY’s kids, you know, if I can’t have my own yet! If you remember my darlings from Australia, then I can’t survive for long without playing with the kiddos. Come to think of it, I really don’t have much time for that, either. No wonder I’m always tired… haven’t gotten my baby fix. I was going to try, the other week, but then SC had serious flooding along the coast and in Columbia (the capital, at the center of the state). Interstates got shut down, roads got broken up by flooding.12022006_10153581173309976_1545617657_n

If you’re into certain shows on TV, I manage to watch Dancing With the Stars and Once Upon a Time, every week… but at the moment, I’m at least a season behind on Castle. It’s very sad, but two shows is the limit for TV goof-off time. Movies? I haven’t been to the theater in eons, but we did finally watch The Avengers: Age of Ultron during my fall break. That was quite fun, and it taught me my new favorite quote.

“The elevator isn’t worthy.”

Speaking of movies, yes, I am paying close attention to all the hoopla surrounding the upcoming Star Wars movie. However, I am a serious Star Wars BOOK geek, more so than the movies. I love the movies, especially the originals, but I’ve been reading the books for 20 years of my life. So, now, they have declared most of that 20 years of book to be NON-CANON. Don’t even talk to me about it. My 12033463_10153581340084976_447329520_nbrother and I have been cringing for a long time over it. So, yes, I’m thrilled by the newest trailer, but as much as I love J.J. Abrams, ask the Star Trek fans about their last movies. I am seriously looking forward to THIS movie, and yet I’m positive they’re going to ruin it. Because the books are brilliant… at least many of them are. So, they’re not allowed to change the story, sorry. Ok, I need to stop… this subject gets me steamed.

Books…. yes, I’m always reading books. Haven’t updated my list in a while. Sorry. I’ve been bingeing on Georgette Heyer again, though I also read through some of Juliet Marillier’s books, recently. The Shadowfell series, and then rereading Wildwood D12162874_10153606713649976_1342687055_oancing and Cybele’s Secret. I was even in a Barnes & Noble, recently, and that made my week. What did I buy? Oh, right, the new Rick Riordan book. Which I enjoyed, but I’m not awake enough to go into detail. Also, a kids’ book called The Doldrums, which I’m still reading slowly, interspersed with Heyer. Because you know, Georgette Heyer remains brilliant, and I go back to them like comfort food. If I could write like she did, I’d die happy… and rich, too, probably.

I’m running out of steam. I do actually have to get up in the morning, even though my class isn’t until afternoon, because as I said, I have a math test AND I need to make an attempt at reading some pages (in German) more in depth. We’re starting to study sports in Germany, in GER 305.

11939122_10153526703864976_2017429301_oAnd blast, do you know, I just remembered I should have looked at the school website and decide on which classes to register for, for next semester? I have a meeting with my advisor this week, and really need to have my list ready to show him.

So, to close this rambling post of mine, I’m going to include some of the latest pics I’ve taken, some selfies, some kiddos, one abandoned mill that my museum professor took us to see, and proof that I’m still an honorary Aussie… I have to have my Vegemite! Especially when it’s on my mom’s homemade toast. If we have them in the house, I add avocado slices, too. Heavenly!

I hope to be rambling at you again soon. Have a great week!🙂

schedule juggling…

I found an empty draft on my blog, called “up-is-down,” but I have no idea what that post was meant to be. It’s like the letter you started to write to a friend, and you stopped at “Dear Genevieve…”. But unfortunately, you don’t even remember who Genevieve was, much less what you were going to tell her. Maybe that’s an unfair description, because I remember all my friends’ names. More like finding a letter your grandmother started and then never wrote. I know that “Up is Down” is the name of a piece of music on the Pirates 3 soundtrack/score, but I don’t know if I was about to write a post about music or what. I guess we’ll never know.

Instead, I changed the title to something much less interesting, as I consider the ins and outs of planning for several weeks in advance, which I rarely do, if I can help it. Usually, during the semester, I will go about two weeks in advance, if I have a lot of papers due, along with having to study for a number of exams. This time around, I’m passing on my new work schedule for the school year, as well as a few last minute details of the summer schedule… and also processing in my brain the fact that… school starts soon.

Where did the summer go? I’m not even sure. But the fact remains that this year, I will be attempting something new. I am going to try and work and go to school at the same time, which might not sound like such a big deal to you, but I’m really not used to it. And because I do all my studying and writing in the afternoons and evenings, I will only work mornings, a few days a week. But it is still a new experiment for me, so if you think of it, pray for me.

And for those longing for me to post about books or photos or SOMETHING else besides school, I really am getting back into the swing of writing in general, and thinking about something fun to share. I still have one other unfinished Saturday books draft lying around, so I need to either go find some old pictures, or get myself to another bookstore. Let me see what I can pull together. And again, to all my regular followers, thanks for your patience.11268352_10153277500634976_608610108_o

P.S. I hope that the weather is treating you well, wherever you are! It’s been so hot and humid here that the air conditioning tends to run all night… and that’s with our family keeping the temp set fairly high by southern standards! It’s not unusual for me to get out of the car after driving home from work, and my glasses will fog up. And because of that humidity, we’re prone to the occasional thunder storm. I drove into a deluge the other day, on the way to work, and was flat out terrified by being unable to see a thing, even while driving incredibly slow. And this afternoon, while going over my schedule in the dining room, there came several cracks of thunder, completely out of the blue. I truly do mean out of the BLUE, because there wasn’t a cloud in the sky, from the angle I could see it from. Then, the sky dumped out a lake’s worth of rain (or at least, it seemed like it) for a few minutes, and then stopped. Somewhere, a rainbow must have been shimmering, but I missed it. Stay cool, wherever you are in the U.S., and I hope your summer continues to go well! (Yes, I know the Aussies are grumbling that it’s winter where they are, so please stay warm, my friends.)