Monday, December 31, 2012

A Year of Small Things

via google

Little drops of water,
little grains of sand,
make the mighty ocean
and the beauteous land.

And the little moments,
humble though they may be,
make the mighty ages
of eternity.

Little deeds of kindness,
little words of love,
make our earth an Eden,
like the heaven above.

So our little errors
lead the soul away,
from the paths of virtue
into sin to stray.

Little seeds of mercy
sown by youthful hands,
grow to bless the nations
far in heathen lands.

Glory then for ever
be to God on high,
beautiful and loving,
to eternity.

- Julia Carney

I had to memorize the first two verses of this poem when I was about three years old - which means I've never been able to forget them since. :P 
It's funny, though, that even though this poem might seem rather corny, it's true. And looking back on 2012, it's really been hitting me over and over again how IMPORTANT the little things are. 

A tiny detail, so easy to miss in the 81 pages of my "How to Fill Out the AAMCAS Instructions," that could cause weeks - months - of delays later. 
(Very thankful I caught that particular one!)

A single false line in a drawing, making the whole picture look wrong.
(Strange, how the human eye is immediately drawn to mistakes.)

A little note, so easy to send, but so vital to keeping up relationships that otherwise simply disappear. 
(Believe me, it's awkward to ask for a reference from someone you haven't spoken to in 3 years. Don't let people disappear out of your life!)

A momentary lapse in keeping track of your bank account, resulting in mega-overdraft fees. 
(*cringe* Though not so many as I was expecting. Still, it was painful. :P)

A few extra calories every day, adding up to several extra pounds before you know it.
(:P So not fair... at least my college has a great exercise facility... now if I could just force myself to use it a couple times a week... ;)

These are rather negative examples, true... but it works the same way for good things. God has also been showing me the value of persistance, and how simply being faithful in the small things can mean so much later.

One step might seem like it does nothing, but if you keep walking, pretty soon you've gone a couple miles.
(Yay exercise. :P lol)

One comment on a blog might do nothing, but if you keep commenting, pretty soon you'll have a friend. 
(Blog friends are awesome. XD)

One conversation might seem unimportant, but it could change someone's life.
(Working on my personal statement for AAMCAS - it's weird to look back and realize what things brought me to where I am today.)

One minute, such a short amount of time, yet one that can be used in such important ways.
(60 minutes = 1 hour, and it's amazing what can be accomplished by an hour's serious studying!)

Speaking of the above.... When I started college, I went "I have too many things to memorize!!!" and, since I was gone while my siblings worked on their memory work, I pretty much... stopped memorizing scripture. But His Word I need to have written on my heart, and this year there were quite a few verses on my heart that I really wanted to spend some time learning. 

So I printed them off my computer, put them in a plastic folder, and stuck them in the shower. 
I don't care how little time you think you have, you're going to take a shower at least several times a week - and in all seriousness, what else is there to do while you wash your hair? (Okay, sing, but... you do know the water doesn't cover up your voice, right? ;) It's so easy to simply let your mind drift for those 5-10 minutes, but think of what you could be doing! I kicked myself for not doing it earlier, and then started memorizing.

My little sister and I had some gift-cards for Cold Stone Creamery, and I told her if she did a chapter with me, I'd take her there to use them... so we memorized Colossians 1 together. (Love that chapter! :) I then started memorizing a few verses from Zephaniah, then some from Isaiah, and now I'm starting on some from 2 Corinthians. All I'm doing is using the time I already spend every week!
That was one aspect of little things this year.

Another was simply working on getting to know the people in my classes. Do you know how easy it is for an introvert like myself to rush to class late, slip in and out, sit on the side, and never talk to anyone in class? I've done it before. :P This semester I decided not to do that. And I actually met or got to know better between 1 and 4 people in every one of my classes. I brought cookies to a couple classes the week before finals... and ended the semester with several people telling me I would be a good doctor, one adding that the semester had shown her I was really a genuine person. :)

 Finally, something that kind of slammed me upside the head just this past week. I was doing something this week... a question popped into my head... and being me, I up and googled it. Couldn't find an answer, couldn't find answer anywhere... but somehow I ended up on a testimony given to the US Senate on the horrors of North Korea by a survivor from one of their prison camps. I shouldn't have read it... and I barely did, just skimmed it. That was plenty enough and far too much. 
It's one thing to read about the Holocaust, or about the Japanese Occupation of Korea, or about slavery in the United States, things that ended long ago. It's completely another to read about something that is happening right now, every day, to people living (or, dying) right now as I read it. 
It was just a bit overwhelming, especially because it made me stop and think of all the horrors the world over, from abortion to children in the Lord's Resistance Army. So much awfulness is happening... and what exactly can I do about it? Even if one person is far more powerful than we usually stop to realize (think William Wilberforce), there is no way one person could do something about them all. 
It's just too much. 

That feeling stayed with me through the night and into the next day. Then I went to ride my horse... and stopped and talked with a friend. Among other things, one of her cats died on Christmas Eve, an older relative died on Christmas night, her husband is sick and having heart trouble, and she, besides being sick herself and also having massive headaches from breaking her neck a few years ago, is going in for surgery today for returning cancer. 
Too. Much.

But I stuck around and helped her do barn chores. And as I put horses in their stalls and fed them, I realized that was all I could do right now. Little things, yes. But it's making a difference where I can. Right now. Helping with something I know how to do. Making one person feel even just fractionally better. I don't know when I'll be able to do big things, or how big those things will be. But so long as I can do something... I can do it joyfully. I can be an encouragement to those around me, can make their work less, their day brighter. 

There are so many people with so many blessings... if you're reading this post, I imagine you are someplace warm and dry, with food, water, internet access, and a computer. And how much more than that do most of us have? I think if we all decided to change the world, we could not help but get somewhere. I know sin and the wretched awfulness it brings will continue until Jesus returns - but that is no reason not to fight it. How can we sit idly by, when He came that we might have abundant life? How can we just take that abundant life and the incredible blessings we have been given, and close our eyes to those suffering around us?  To him that knoweth to do good, and doeth it not, to him it is sin. has been running through my mind over and over again lately. 

In 2012 I may not have done anything earth-shattering. But small things need not be despised - there are small good things I know to do and that I can do. To not do them, to not do anything, because all there is to do seems overwhelming, is sin. Jesus Christ has overcome the world. All I need do is whatever task he has placed before me, however small or large it may appear to be.
 And hopefully the small things I have done this year have prepared me for whatever next year holds. 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

how I feel at the end of finals...

though which is me and which is a week of finals I'm not sure... 

my apologies to the character Nam Soon... but that really is kinda how I feel...

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Character Tag, Post 2

in continuation... 

Four of my favorite good characters... :) 
*cough* isn't that like picking favorite children?? Maybe we should just go with characters that most interest me at the moment? Maybe? :D

1) Jaden Beorn And It was Love

both of these top pictures were made by Jessica... she has a
knack for capturing images I like. XD
*cough* He wasn't even supposed to be in the book... but once he appeared, he took over. Because of him, the story actually came together and almost makes sense. ;) I love the fact that of all my 'heroes', he grows the most over the course of the story, and the story is as much about him learning the true meaning of love as it is about anything. 

2) Tarian Storm And It was Love

He, on the other hand, started the book. :D It was his relationship with his sister I wanted to write about, and I did... though it ended up being in a completely different way than I ever intended. For about the first half of the book, he appears only in flashbacks. Why do I like him... Because he's cool. XD And passionate about what he believes - so much so that he truly is willing to die or live for his beliefs and those he loves, something rather rare both in his day and ours... and he's just an awesome older brother. XD

:P Sorry, but this is the closest I've been able to find...
sometimes I get really sick of trying to find pictures to
match my characters. XD google does try to help... 
3) Sophie Morgan The Sons of Bretton Meyrick 

Another of those characters who simply was not supposed to be. But she's a dear, sweet thing with quite a lot of spunk... a blue-eyed, black-haired girl of Welsh descent (at least that's the idea right now) whose conman father recently got out of jail... 
and whose mysterious friend (he's also a boy, but he refuses to allow the possibility of boy-friend) just so happens to be the bounty hunter who put him there... Why do I like her? Again, because she makes the story. :) She's a game-changer... (*cough* she keeps on rewriting the story on me...) and will definitely be interesting to write. 

and yes... apparently she gets a .gif... that's just how cool
she is. XD And thank you to the
person who suggested whoever this actress is as a model!
She fits perfectly! XD

4) Kaladhiel StarDusk

"The sun has set, and a mist is in the flowers; 
And the moon grows very white and people sad and sleepless. 
A Zhao harp has just been laid mute on its phoenix holder, 
And a Shu lute begins to sound its mandarin-duck strings.... 
Since nobody can bear to you the burden of my song, 
Would that it might follow the spring wind to Yanran Mountain. 
I think of you far away, beyond the blue sky, 
And my eyes that once were sparkling 
Are now a well of tears. 
- Li Bai

Another character I have written very little about... but already she fascinates me. I'm not sure how far her story will step in the direction of fantasy... right now it's walking the what-if line. 

What if, as the Chinese legends seem to hint, dragons were almost commonplace before the flood? What if they were trainable... used as ancient vehicles of war? 
What if, taking Genesis 1 a step further, the stars not only were for signs, and for seasons, and for days, and years, what if they told the history of the human  race? What if every life ever lived was written on the sky? And what if the ability to read those stories was given to one nation, to one people... 
I think you'll be hearing more about this story in the future. ;)

And favorite bad characters...
This should be easier than it is... :P

are you sick of her yet? :P  :)

1) Razavia Faith Through Flames, And It Was Love, Hope Sprang Up 

*cough* Okay, that was easy. She's the first villain I ever had whose backstory I not only knew, I had to write. :P 

2) Ben-Kiral The Jeweled Dagger

Heh, he actually could also have gone in the first part of this post. :) But of all my heroes, he starts out the most villainous. Jaden Beorn, for all his troubles, was still at least someone trying to live the life of a believer... Ben-Kiral... well, he is, I guess, very much a product of his times - and he has no problem kidnapping girls, knocking them out, or selling them as slaves. He's a Syrian raider! And he's got a bad temper. :P But for all that, there was something I liked about him... still not entirely sure what. LOL

3) Queen Christina Augusta Cecilia Tam Lyn

XD I don't know if her name will stay that way... but she is the Queen Mother, a widow of royal blood who married a king, then killed him - and his son. Not for herself, but for her own son, who will take the throne so soon as she arranges his marriage - to the previous prince's young widow. But the true heir is about to be born... and so she must kill the previous prince's child, so soon as it takes its first breath, if her son's future is to be assured. 
Sometimes I can see why Tam hates her so. :P

*cough* He doesn't wear a suit, obviously...
but that's his face, for sure. :D

4.) Raiden Rokuro StarDusk 

And the 6th son of the House Takahashi... Not necessarily cruel, but he is a rather careless, unthinking, entitled brat. His people have ruled the land of the Dragon Riders for much longer than he's been around - this is the way things are and have been. If his older brother beats his slaves without saying something to him, he's annoyed because they're his slaves, not because they've been beaten or even that they've been beaten unjustly. 
Still, I have high hopes for the boy... we'll see what happens when he volunteers to go with a minstrel and star-reader, hauling his manservant with him... :)

*cough* In case you can't tell, I have a hard time with villains... the ones I don't really care about... I don't really care about. The ones I do care about who don't reform... *cries* The ones who DO reform, well, let's just say that the number of people who start out villains and then turn into the MC's - and eventually heroes - in my books is definitely growing. :) Sometimes it's much more interesting to write about how one gets to where they should be, rather than starting out there. The angels in heaven agree with me on that one. XD

Anyway... and now to tag. :) 
I don't know if you've already been tagged with this... but I tag

And anyone else who wants to do it - consider yourself tagged. XD

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Character Tag... Post 1

from Miss Melody Muffin! Thank you, Melody - I am finally getting to this one! :) I did start it a while ago, but then bogged down on the last character... tsk, tsk, I know...

1. State the rules!  :)
2. Post four posts about your sixteen favorite fictional characters, including four good and four bad each from novels you have read and stories you have written/are writing.
3. Tag three new people when you have finished!

Source: Uploaded by user via Mirriam on Pinterest

Four Favorite Good Characters from Novels I Have Read

NOT my four favorite - that's impossible. But the first 4 I think of that I love. :)

1) Mir. 
Monster, Mirriam Neil

Going with a character from the last book I read (or reread... or am rereading at the moment...) 
I adored him. His story taught me sooo much, and will definitely find a special place on my bookshelf. Despite all that happened to him, all the horrible things that he went through, he truly did still have a soul, and it was beautiful.  

the closest we've got to Grace... :)
2) Grace. 
Sufficient Grace, Jessica Greyson

And another character who changed my life... probably the 1st to do so in such a major way. 
I had never before understood a character so well, and reading Sufficient Grace was unbelievable - like reading a story where I was suddenly transported to the late 1800's. It went immediately on my list of favorite books, a pre-order copy is already on my bookshelf, and it is a story I would love more every time I re-read it, if that wasn't nearly impossible - I loved it way too much the first time. :)

3) Annabeth. 
Annabeth's War, Jessica Greyson

Okay, I hate to go with two books by the same author... but Annabeth is one of my all-time favorite heroines. She is, if it is possible to condense her into one word, simply awesome. I cannot separate the two words in my mind; Annabeth and Awesome are forever intertwined. If Grace's personality and character is who I am, Annabeth's personality and character is what I've always admired and wanted to have. This is even a book that I read, re-read, and immediately began reading aloud to my younger siblings. :) It is also a book that you should go buy right now - just click the title above. XD And don't forget to watch the author's blog for news of coming giveaways... 

4) Mary Wallace. 
Baby Island, Carol Ryrie Brink

LOL And yes, I am going with this story from my childhood. I don't know if I liked Mary or Jean better... but I read this book before, after, and I think during the time when I was loving the book Scottish Chiefs (and therefore William Wallace and Robert the Bruce) the most. These girls were pretty much living my dream - 'cause I loved babies just as much as they did, and their story seriously sounded like heaven. XD

And Four Favorite Bad Characters from Books I Have Read XD

okay... that's hard. This is why it took me so long... ;)

1) Eliot 
Annabeth's War, Jessica Greyson  *headdesk* Forgive me, but the book DID just come out. XD

This one surprised me. I HATED him with a passion the first time I read the book. Maybe even more so than the main bad guy. But at the same time, he's a fascinating character, and one I would not mind learning more about. How did he become who he is... and does he change in the future... :)

2) The Queen of Attolia 
The Queen's Thief Series, Megan Whalen Turner

Okay, this is a series I adore, with some caveats, mostly caveat lector. :P But Attolia's ruthlessness has definitely found its way into at least one of my own characters... bringing along with it some sympathy for who my character becomes. Attolia is definitely not a good character (in the beginning), and I found it fascinating where the story took her. Here's hoping I will do half so well with any of my stories...   

3) Rupert of Hentzau
The Prisoner of Zenda, Anthony Hope

Okay, so he's one of those dreadful bad characters that is simply likable. How he fits into my Beautiful Sin post, I'm not quite sure - I haven't read the book in ages - but I do remember liking him quite a whole lot. :) He was just so... charming... in his badness... 
Not that one wasn't pleased that he was finally defeated, of course... I was just glad he went out the window in the end. XD

4) James Moriarty
Sherlock Holmes books, Arthur Conan Doyle
Now this is NOT a villain I liked. (Finally, right?! :P) I do find him fascinating, however, simply because it is the idea of him, more than the character himself, who has continued on in the 110 years since his first appearance in literature. He's barely in the SH series, and yet he lives on, being continually remade in each new adaptation, always changing, always new. Always intriguing.

Simon Newcomb, suspected to be
Doyle's inspiration for Moriarty...

And part II of this tag is coming tomorrow! :D 

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Liebster Times Three!

Thank you to Melody, Mirriam and Vicki, for this marvelous award! :D Sooo fun! XD 

Note to everyone: you may be awarded in this post, or in one of the next 2 or 3 award posts that I will be doing! Make sure to check and see! :D

Back to this particular award - I love all your sets of questions! :) (And Melody, you awarded me this in September... apparently 3rd time's the charm, because I am FINALLY getting to it. *blush*)

Rules: Post eleven random facts about yourself, answer the eleven questions the awarder has given you and make up eleven questions for your awardees to answer in return. Tag eleven fellow bloggers, and notify them of the award. Some people say no tag-backs and the tagged must have less than 200 followers... some don't say so. :)

One must love the 11 random facts part... I never have any idea what I will say until after I say it. :) Look out. XD

1) I love the number 11, so this is a totally fun tag! XD

2) I finished dissecting a cat on Wednesday! I'm soooo happy... we've been working on it twice a week since sometime in October or so. *cough* Eew. Actually, my lab partner and I just decided we weren't going to dissect any more, so we actually finished on Monday. XD 
Now all I've got left is a lab exam... for which I must, among about a million other things, learn all the arteries and veins. Do you have any idea how many of those there are??? :P

3) I love fire. And wind. And water. But not particularly earth. :P

4) I went to my brother's church last Sunday, and he wanted to know why I was shorter... it was probably the first time in SEVERAL months that he'd seen me in anything less than 2-3-inch heels. :)

6) I'm currently watching a drama that is like watching one of my books turned into a movie. It's almost scary. Of course, my girl character is turned into a boy, the villainess is turned into a man (and made much more sympathetic), and it's set in Korea during the 1700's, rather than some nonexistent country during the 1100's,  but... the personalities and choices people make and just the feel of the story are soooo similar... 

7) I had a genetics test Wednesday night and didn't drink any caffeine because I didn't want to stay up all night... I yawned through the whole test and couldn't sleep afterwards anyway. (Probably because I'd studied all day. :P)

8) I get jealous of my brothers' eyes. Particularly the one who has grey/green/blue eyes, and can put on a green hat to have the most vibrant green eyes you've ever seen, or a grey shirt to get smokey grey eyes, or a blue jacket to get sky blue eyes. It's like he's wearing colored contacts... :D 

9) This song makes me want to cry. (It's sad in English too. :P)

5) I read books I like over and over and over. Like twice if I enjoyed it, and then probably 6-10 times if I really liked it. :) 

10) I have a terrible time finding presents for my family members. The last present I gave was making a special meal for my brother. He hasn't picked the menu yet... hopefully I can manage to do it to his satisfaction. :)

11) Toyota Camry ads Crack. Me. Up. To be perfectly honest, I do not know how Lee Min Ho keeps a straight face... HAHA, okay, I take that back - his smile at "We have the Camry SE on our side!" is a little bit out of place... XD

And to answer Miss Muffin's questions first... at last... :P

1. What is your favorite flower?
Hmm... Lilacs (because they're old-fashioned and pretty and smell amazing), Hibiscus (because they're big and bright and in-your-face kind of beautiful), or Lilies (for reasons few know), are the three that come to mind first... XD

2. Do you plan to see The Hobbit and/or Les Miserables when they come out in December?
Probably not... I've only been to a theatre... twice in my life. I think I would enjoy watching Les Miserables with as many people in my family as I could convince to watch it with me, though... we'll see how good I am at lobbying. XD

3. If you could wear a dress from any period movie, what would it be?

Gahh... right now... I'm just going to be different and say this:
Even though I would look nothing like that... but I just find it absolutely fascinating how different Asian culture (specifically, Korean) was from our own during the 1800-early 1900's. :) Plus, I love that color red. XD

Haha, of course, I only pick that if I can't wear this outfit:
which is technically, I guess, armor... but hey, it looks more like a dress than a lot of things I've seen - and I'm thinking it would be a whole lot easier to do stuff (ride horses, anyway?) while wearing it. XD

Haha, and I want his cloak too. It just looks cool. XD
(Just so you know, I really don't usually even like guys' clothes from period dramas! But... that cloak... what exactly makes it a guy's? :P I want it... XD)

4. Have you read any of Beverly Lewis' Amish fiction books?
Yes... I believe so. I know I read a couple from a few different authors just to see what the blather was about - some I felt were definitely more Christian than others (can't remember which authors were which, anymore :P), but none of them were especially my kind of book. *shrug*

5. Do you prefer Mr. Darcy or Mr. Knightley?
*sigh* Neither. My temperament and theirs... incompatible. Though dreadfully enough, I think I could take Mr. Darcy's inconsiderate insults better than Mr. Knightley's, "Badly done." That, I'm afraid, would break me.

6. Have you ever ridden a horse and if so, do you regularly ride?
Yes! and not at this moment. :P *thinks of my poor horse languishing without me and cries* She's probably enjoying her vacation. :P

7. If you could time travel, what historical period would you visit?
I have said it before and I will say it again - if I could time travel, what historical period wouldn't I visit?  I'd be in a different decade every day... :D

8. What is your favorite hymn?
I really love Be Thou My Vision, Oh, the Deep, Deep Love of Jesus, The Battle Hymn of the Republic, Christ the Lord has Risen Today, Because He Lives, Low in the Grave He Lay... do I have to pick one?? I can't...  

9. Who is your favorite poet?
I NEVER read poetry as a child... and now that I am no longer a child, I have little time for poetry. But I loved The Ballad of the White Horse, so I'm just going to go with Chesterton for the moment. :)

10. Do you knit, crochet, tat or embroider?
I've been taught to knit some half a dozen times and forgotten how just as many... I can crochet - though I gave up on doilies rather in disgust after my mom kept on buying them for like 50 cents at garage sales. Why should I spend hours upon hours when my mom can find a dozen for a couple bucks? My time is worth more than that... and I already proved I could crochet doilies, so... :P
I can cross-stitch, if that counts... :)

11. What is your least favorite book?
Ahh... that is hard also... in general, any candidates for that title are something I try to forget as quickly as possible. :P
But the one that comes most quickly to mind is My Choice, God's Grace, which book drove me nearly insane. I read a lot of books about abortion. Like I ordered out that entire section from interlibrary loan. And none of the others, even one I read by an utterly un-regretful practicing abortion doctor, bothered me like that particular book. *sigh*

And now to answer Mirriam's intriguing questions... :D

1. Do you create playlists for your novels when you write, or do you write better without music?
Oh, I have playlists upon playlists. XD I look back at my stories before we really had internet, when I sat down and simply wrote a story - no music, no pictures, no videos, just a story... and almost wonder how I did it. :) Music can make me focus and get back into a character's head after I've been away too long... music completely inspired one of my stories. (I've thought about adding a list of the songs that inspired it in the back, but then I'd probably have to get permission from a million people to mention their song in my book. XD)
Anyway, so, yeah, I like writing to music - though I think when I get caught up on a scene I completely tune it out. :D

2. Is there anything you have given up in order to be able to write?
My sanity? :D
Being thought well-of by the 'normal' people I know?  :)
Hehe, I don't think I've ever specifically had to make a choice between writing and something else I really wanted to do - I'm a pretty laid-back writer: if a story comes screaming into my brain, I will write it. If it wants to play quietly, I let it. When it comes screaming, all I want to do is write, and so there's generally not much choice to be made. :) (Do I want to write this awesome scene or study organic chemistry and physics... hmm... :P I truly hope I have not given much up in the way of grades in order to write... :)

3. What character (not your own) has moved or inspired you the most? Why?
That's hard... I'm not sure if there is a 'most'... For years and years and years, William Wallace of Scottish Chiefs was like my definition of the word 'hero,' which I'm sure affected me. (Haha, though reading through that book more recently, there was a whole lot I didn't remember from reading it when I was 10. I adored it then, though, boy. XD)
Reading Jessica Greyson's as-yet-unpublished story Sufficient Grace was definitely a huge thing... kind of like looking in a mirror and seeing myself reflected somehow into the 1800's. Grace, strangely enough, somehow managed to show both my best and worst tendencies, and even while making me thankful that I had not been sent through the wringer that was her life, inspired me to be better in quite a few different ways.
Most recently... I'd probably have to say Mir from Monster. God definitely had some things to teach me through that book, though I have not yet quite figured out how He wants me to apply it all. :)

4. Have you ever seen a real-life version of your character walking down the street?
I wish... :) The closest I've come to that is having one character that was inspired by 3-4 of my family members - and sometimes they do things now and it freaks me out, because the character went on to become his own person... and yet the similarities in personality (despite there being 4 different personalities involved...) can be shocking. :) There will be completely random  moments where one of the original inspirations will do something absolutely out-of-the-blue that would never fit in a story and I will just be staring at them going ___ would so do exactly that! I can't believe YOU just did it! XD

5. Have you ever been inspired by something completely random and strange? (“Did she say she liked to draw swill-buckets?”)
Haha, pica? That's more like creepy-psycho-weird, though... and it only resulted in a flash of inspiration, not a full story. :D Yet, anyway... If it does result in a full story, it will probably be my most random and strange inspiration. XD
Chicken pox did give me a totally silly story... ;) *shakes head at self* :P
An illustration I heard at a Bible study once inspired me to write a completely random and strange story - but I don't think the illustration itself was entirely random and strange. :D
Generally I think my inspiration comes from fairly normal sources - music, pictures, books, movies, poems, conversations... :D

6. Have you ever come up with a fantastic idea, only to find out that someone in the past stole it from you?
I thought I had a fantastic idea once... only then one day I picked up a Janette Oke book, and she'd written my idea almost exactly. If I had been any older than about 13 at the time, I would be embarrassed about that. LOL

7. Is there one thing people tend to say all the time that you absolutely hate?
Well... besides the fact that most people at state universities apparently can't put a sentence together without swearing at least once... :P Vocab, people, vocab... there *are* more words in the world, believe me.
Hmm. I was told a thousand times as a child that 'sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me', which is probably one of the biggest lies on earth... Especially for a person whose love language is words of affirmation. :P

8. Is there a Tumblr you go to for inspiration? 
Not a particular one... This one ->
has a lot of pretty on it (though it's a little weird every once in a while), and I generally find pretty rather inspirational... :D
Pinterest I pretend has inspiration, but so far I don't think I've actually been inspired by anything I've found on it, lol. 

yes, this is one of them... why do I like
the sad ones? I don't know... 

9. What does your writing space look like?
Um... *cough* A crime scene/wreckage left after a tornado? :P 
I have a desk that was my older brother's once (and my father's before that... the thing shows its age, shall we say... *goes to open drawer, entire front of drawer comes off in hand*) sitting before a lovely window... only the curtains are drawn and have become become a pinboard of sorts. Let's see... I have one more genetics quiz, a nutrition quiz due before the 10th, and apparently I've been summoned for jury duty. Yay. :P 
The desk itself is rather covered in notes... text books... pens... pencils... etc... Behind me is all my clothes (this room has no closet. There are much worse places to live during college, believe me, but a closet would be nice), two amazing pictures by Gold-Seven :) and a Voice of the Martyrs poster. And a whole set of anatomy posters. :P Fuuun... or kind of creepy, depending on your POV. XD So yeah, otherwise I write wherever. XD Most of my serious writing is done in my room, though.

10. Do you have a ‘routine’ for writing?
Ha. Write when the story comes... soak in inspirational things when it doesn't. :)

11. Have you ever been struck with creative lightning at an inappropriate time?
As a pre-med college student, pretty much all times are inappropriate. :P I've scribbled during lectures and sermons... straight though classes... gone up to my room to study and spent the entire time writing... Probably the most inappropriate time of all is finals week, during which I can almost guarantee you one of my characters will suddenly decide it's the perfect moment to start blabbing their entire life story, until I'm nearly crying as I beg them to simply be quiet for a few more days. And then the semester ends and they go into hibernation. :P
Pretty much creative lightning strikes occur in an inverse ratio to the appropriateness of said striking time. :)

And Vicki's delightful list... :D

 1.) What is your favorite kind of fruit or fruit juice?
Apple juice is the best... and I do like apples... but I do love pears and plums and grapes quite a lot.... So, yeah, purple grapes are my favorite. XD

2. Did you have a dream when you were a child of what you wanted to be when you grew up, and have you achieved or are you achieving that dream?
Hmm... I never could decide what I wanted to be when I grew up. Mostly I wanted to have a dozen children, except for the days I wanted none... ;) I did decide pretty early on that if I didn't get married I wanted to work in health care, and I'm coming pretty far on that goal (Less than a month before my med school application must be in!!!!!!!!! ahhhhhhhh!) I knew I was always going to write... and *cough* IhaveabookcomingoutinFebruary2013ifallgoesaccordingtoplan... XD 

3. What is your favorite article of clothing?
Ay-yi-yi... I have a black wool coat I dearly love... my high heels that make me laugh whenever I put them on... polar fleece pajamas that are amazing - you need them in winter around here, seriously... a brown shawl that makes me happy every time I wrap it around my shoulders... It depends what the weather is like and how I happen to be feeling at the moment. XD

4. A random stranger walks up to you and hands you three plane tickets to your dream destination - where is that destination, and whom do you take with you?
ooooooh... so evil... Um... gah... I think I'm going to Scotland and taking my mom and my little sister... and figuring out a way to buy 1 more ticket because I'm hauling Jessica along with me, just because. XD 
Or I'm going to South Korea and selling the other two tickets to the highest bidders among my blogging acquaintances... XD

5. If you are in college, what is your major? If you are not in college, what is one subject that you are passionate about?
I am in college... majoring in cell and molecular biology. Although, if I get into medical school for fall of 2013, I think I'll just end up with a Bachelor's in Science. Assuming I don't flunk out of med school my first year. :P Anyway, my major is definitely a means to an end - I don't particularly want to be a molecular biologist. :)

6. What is your favorite kind of weather?
Alllll kinds of weather... I adore storms... they're awesome... though it's a bummer when they wreck stuff. :P But nice storms that look scary and don't hurt anything are probably my favorite. XD Otherwise I love sunshine and blue skies...

7. If you could attend any one concert of your choosing, whom would you go see?
Gahh... how do you come up with these questions... XD Umm... probably either Josh Groban or actually even Joo Won... (Despite his fashion sense. XD I just think he's an awesome actor, so it would probably be more because of that that I'd want to go... but he got his start in musicals, so... :D) 
(though to be perfectly honest, I'd probably spend half of either concert fighting the urge to punch irritating fan girls. Shut up and listen to him sing! LOL Though, okay, okay, I know half the fun of live concerts is cheering when the singer/musician does something especially well... it's just so annoying to listen to later. :D)

8. What country/countries do your ancestors come from?
Quite a few from Germany... At least one from Whales... and then some strange mixture of Irish/English/??? with some French thrown in. At least their last name was French, so I'm assuming... Their first names, however, where like Minota and Leota, though, so I'm thinking a French fur trader and Native American family in there somewhere? :) And then I'm 1/32 Cherokee, so definitely America. XD 

9. Is there any one theological question about the Bible or something in it that has always puzzled you, and if it's not too private, could you share it?
Oh, definitely more than one... though in general there are fewer and fewer the older I get and the better I know the Bible... :) Hmm... one particular one... well, as Peter said, Paul definitely is always writing things 'hard to be understood.' :P I guess I've seen the role of women in the church interpreted so differently even just in the different churches I've been to in my life, I wouldn't mind having a bit more explanation on that whole topic. 

10. How long is your hair?
Oy... Hmm... ~25 inches? It used to be down to about 4 inches above my knees, and I was bound and determined to have it grow those 4 inches, but due to circumstances quite beyond my control I was forced to cut it - it was a very sad day. :P Though I think I am finally okay with having "short" hair. I admit it took me a while. :P

11. What was the last book that made you cry?
Ack... I do not cry easily when reading... (I cry far too easily in real life :P Though I will take laughing over crying any time I can - which tends to tick people off when they think I should be crying. :P *sigh* sorry...) I know I was just reading something sad... but I honestly cannot remember what was the last book that actually had me crying. (You'd think I'd remember them easier, when they are so few. :P Seriously, self... :P)

And I tag... 
(*cough* if you've already been tagged with this - and I know quite a few of you have - if you just want to answer the questions? :D)

And yes, I did just put you all in alphabetical order... yikes. 

Anyway... your questions are... :D

1) How would you define the perfect big sister?

2) What is the last sentence you stopped and re-read because you liked it? (Written by you or anyone else XD)

3) What is your all-time favorite Asian Drama and why? Or, if not applicable, why do you not watch Asian Dramas?

4) What is your favorite nickname and who gave it to you?

5) Is there one song you could listen to over and over and over and never get sick of?

6) What time do you generally go to bed/get up?

7) What is the hardest thing for you to say to someone and really, really mean it?

8) What is the funniest book you ever read?

9) Which of these three in general - songs, movies, or books - do you find can most quickly get to you emotionally?

10) What Christmas present are you most excited to give this year?

11) What is the most recent thing you've read in the Bible that made you stop and think?


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