March 29, 2014

Endings or Beginnings

I know that I should be thinking positively. You know, the end of one thing is just the beginning of something new? But right now I feel like there are just a lot of endings and it's hard to think about the beginning that will follow.

Book Two is getting closer to the end, and while it doesn't seem like a big deal it's hard to realize that I'm actually pretty close to getting to the end of the second book. Plus, this ending has been pretty hard to write, because I've had to force some of my characters to make hard decisions and suffer more than they'd like, and it's only going to get worse up until the end. Don't worry, though, I'm pretty sure there will still be a happy ending.

My life in Oaxaca is probably the biggest end coming up. It's really hard to accept that I only have about a month left here. Then I'll be moving out to Bible School in England and then college who knows where and, well, all the rest of life. I'm terrified of saying goodbye to this place where I've spent the last four years. It's become something of a home to me, as close as I can get here on earth.

And as much as I hate to admit it I know this will be the end of some friendships as well. Of course there are those best friends I can't imagine ever losing and I'll fight to keep those friendships no matter what. But I know there are also people that will drift away, because that's what happens when you move to another state, let alone continent.

Oh, and the end of this amazing freedom that I've had the last couple months. It's been fantastic to not be at school and just be able to spend all day writing if I want to. I admit I haven't spent all day writing, but I have spent way more time than I got to while in school. I've loved the change to just be lazy and make up for all the hard work I put into high school and just rest for a change.

I also feel like even while I know that my heart will always be a child, I'm kind of saying goodbye to childhood, too. I'm 18 now, an adult. I'm going to be off on my own, independent, looking for my own job and providing for myself. I'll miss just being a little kid.

But I guess I ought to stop ranting now. It's just, I've never really liked endings.

Trust and Fear

I wish I could say that if I was part of the factions from Divergent I would be Dauntless, but the truth is I'm somewhat of a coward.

I like to think that I'm brave, after all, I'm on my way to Europe, right? But the truth is this trip terrifies me whenever I let myself think about it for too long. I mean, this train from Stuttgart to Frankfurt to some town I'll never be able to pronounce, it's sounding pretty scary at the moment. And then another train to that other town and then that airplane and that train and....

I know my trip will be awesome. Don't get me wrong; I am so excited beyond words. And I know that my whole life's story has already been preplanned and prewritten and I know it will all work out and it will all be awesome. But sometimes I just wish I could peak ahead a few chapters...

Of course, while in some ways it would be nice to just go to Europe and get the worst part over with, I'm also so glad that I got to have this time to calm down and destress before I leave. There was just so much going on and so much that I had to think about, and I guess in some ways there still is, but it doesn't seem as big of a deal here hanging out with my sister. Everything's just been a lot of fun and a great chance to relax.

(Although at the moment she's doing her homework and her husband is back from the Police Academy for the weekend and also doing a lot of homework, so the atmosphere in the room isn't actually very relaxed at the moment.)

But I'm loving this break and loving being back in Colorado. I missed this place, and I missed my sister.

(Oh, and in case you didn't guess from my opening; I did see Divergent this weekend, and I approve. It was pretty great, I think.)

March 26, 2014

Through the Sky

I am now in the beautiful Colorado visiting my older sister for a couple of weeks, and it's so good to be back with her. I look forward to days of awesome while we eat candy and watch movies and paint each others finger nails and do each others hair.

I guess all of the adventure has started now, since I said goodbye to my parents a few days ago and said goodbye to my house and my dog a few days before that. I tried to avoid goodbyes to friends as much as possible, though I still wish I'd run back to give my best friend one more hug before I turned to walk away and let him go on to school. I miss him a ton already, and it hasn't even been a week yet.

But traveling went well, mostly uneventful, as I drove from Oaxaca to Cuernavaca for a retreat and then flew from Mexico City to Houston to Austin and finally to Denver, where my grandpa picked me up and I stayed the first night with him and my grandma before driving out to meet my sister.

A baby cried the entire flight from Houston to Austin, but I slept through most of it anyway, and my gate got moved once or twice and my arms and back are so sore from dragging around all that luggage. But I got to finish reading C. S. Lewis' Out of the Silent Planet and am almost half way through 100 Years of Solitude. And while I haven't written as much as I should be writing, I do have a new journal just for writing about my travels, and I spent quite a bit of time people watching at the airport and then writing out possible stories for the most interesting people I saw.

So while I'm in between books right now and not working on a novel, I'm definitely getting some new novel material, and I'm so excited to see what other characters, settings, and plots pop up along the way as I fly across the world. I'm sure there are stories everywhere, I just need to find them.

March 13, 2014

Writing Prompts

I feel a little bit stuck right now that I'm between stages of my novel. I have the first draft written and I know that starting the second draft right now would be a terrible idea since I'm leaving in 7 days. (Wow, that is so soon!) But I can't just not write!

So I turn to writing prompts, which keep me writing even when I'm not working on a book. I have to admit that this is really frustrating, because I know that I'm not going to do anything with these stories and probably no one is going to read them, and in some ways it feels like a waste of time. You know, life every day like it's your last and enjoy every moment to the fullest. And so I feel like I should be focused on, you know, doing something to change the world or what not.

But I do need to take a break before moving on to Draft Two because I need time to think through what I need to change and add and take out.

I just don't need to take a break from writing, because everyone knows that the only actual good advice for writers is to read a lot and write every single day.

So... writing prompts. I know if I tried to write on my own I would get carried away and want to start another novel, so prompts are a great way for me to just get writing without thinking about it too much. You know, just write with my heart instead of my brain for a little bit.

And I found this fantastic website or tumblr or something and it has tons of writing prompts. Some of them are kind of meh, but a lot of them are really awesome and I've already gotten some pretty interesting stories out of them.

Also, every Wednesday I post a creative writing challenge on the Young Writers Society group blog, Writing Gooder, so that's another way to find challenges and prompts to get creativity flowing and write even when you're not working on a specific project.

I encourage you to find some prompts and write EVERY day!

March 11, 2014

How To Change The World

Or How the World Is Changing You.

I'm sure by now you've gotten sick of hearing about college and all these up coming changes, but I just need to rant a little more.

I have plane tickets! I'm going back to Colorado to visit my lovely sister and then to Europe. I'm going to Europe. Wow.

It feels like my life is becoming my life. Like, sure, it's been my life, obviously, but up to now so many other people have been making the decisions for me and I haven't done very much on my own. I'm not a very independent person and I would rather go with the flow than do something on my own.

But now I have no choice, because the "flow" is all over the place and suddenly I'm leaving all my friends and family behind and I have to be on my own.

The world is mine right now and I have to figure out how I'm going to change it.

I guess I'll start with writing, because that's what I know how to do and love to do. Draft One of Book Two is finished, and although I'll have to put it on hold until my life at least somewhat settles down, I'm still really excited to have it done. I wonder what Book Three will end up looking like?

And maybe these books won't be read by more than a few people and maybe I'll never get published, but I know that I want to change the world, and I think the only way for me to start is through words. I'll get there eventually.

And until then I'll let the world change me. I'm going to travel like crazy and learn everything I can from every part of the globe. I want to see the world and explore the universe. After all, I can't change the world if I don't know what the world is, right?

So wish me luck, and I'll do my best to keep dropping in with updates as the travels begin.