Friday, December 31, 2010

White is in the winter night... {also: story help?}

The color of purity. hope. salvation. rebirth and renewal.

 Looking out my window, that is all I see. White. The ground, the trees, the sky, the very air itself is dancing with white.
White is also the color of blizzards. Of relentless cold and icy wind.
 Frozen stars rarely chose to peek out upon this white country when the grey-black palette night at last comes.
 Day runs into day; hour into hour; deja vu is common place. Cabin fever, of which I am suffering, is almost mandatory.
 And it's only day two.

I have exhausted my creativity all yesterday and so today feel completely uninspired. I tried writing but that turned out nothing but frustration; as did drawing, sewing, baking, and piano. Even reading left me devoid of interest. 
 I need to move! Run, ride, climb, jump -- anything but this long, tedious sitting about waiting.... for what? For the snow to melt? I wish. 

 I have also reached a platue in both my stories. The first in my "NaNo" novel because 'Trent'{still pending} is at a modern day highschool in the suburbs of some East coast city/town. The problem? Several actually.
 1) I have nothing in common with him or his surroundings at the moment. I've only set foot in a real HS perhaps twice in my life and that was for my older brother's Out of Town basketball games. I have no idea what the classes are like - are they set up sort of like college ones? I know more about those. And what about the other kids that go there? I've heard many, many horror stories from friends of what goes on between people there, but surely they can't all be true? Aren't there some good, responsible teens left in the public system? Can you help me out, O those who have experienced it firsthand? I would really appreciate it!

2) I don't like writing modern day. I need history or fantasy! Modern is so... so... typical? real? boring. To me at least :) I'm really going to have to push myself to finish this part of my book. Soon they'll be in Palendí....

In my other book, The Legend of Skyrian, Cilla is just beginning the real adventure and is being introduced to new and important characters right and left, as well as learning a great deal and trying to forget the recent past. It's very daunting to me, the writer. I'm so excited to finely be getting into the real heart of the story, yet I'm a little apprehensive as well; This is important stuff I'm dealing with! keeps running through my mind, and I'm not ready yet! especially gets me. So I set my pen down. Sigh.
 Again, advice is most welcome.

Ah, it looks like the snow is starting to let up. Thank goodness! I thought we might get another foot today -- thought, not hoped.

Searching the interwebs for one-way ticket to Hawii,

Thursday, December 23, 2010

'Owl be home for Christmas'

I had a rather owl-y day yesterday, and it all started with a hot mug of tea, freezing temperatures, and some idle creativity.

I was done wrapping presents - I only had one. But don't worry and think me a Scrooge. The rest are in the mail. At least, that's what I keep telling people... hehe.

 Sad little snowflakes fell to the frozen earth in tiny wisps; it's too cold here for big, fluffy flakes. I think I've already voiced my opinion on these present pitiful things. Anyway, as I said I had a cup 'o tea and was watching said flakes from the window when a creative bug started to stir within me. Do you ever get that feeling where you just have to make something or you'll explode? A card, some cookies - anything! That was me. Vainly, I searched the interwebs for anything that would appease my sudden artistic spasm. I thought maybe I could make something to give as a present. But just about everything labeled 'homemade Christmas' was a) hokey or b) I didn't have the materials for.
 I remembered Mum showing me the cutest little craft ever on her friend's blog, Gumbo Lily. Peeps, I'd like you to meet Meep.
My pocket-sized, hand-stitched, new friend :) 
 I had my doubts as I printed out the pattern: I have never gotten on well with needles of any kind. I faint at the thought of vaccines, grumble at my attempts at knitting, and sigh with boredom over embroidery. I haven't even picked up a needle in a year or more, pretty much because I need something more to do besides just pulling thread through cloth, even when I know the outcome will be an adorable little owl. Music, a movie, I even thought of reading while stitching, but that wouldn't work out too well. I usually lose interest after a while without these things to help me along. But this little guy only took me forty-five minutes to hour to make; clipping, cutting, stitching and all.
Everyone who's seen Meep now want me to make them one. "He's just so cute!"
 I will defiantly make more during the blizzardy months ahead, of all different sizes and colors.
 I need to craft more often, I think. Lately writing and music have completely blocked out any time or energy I used to use for drawing or card making and it's starting to burn me out on both subjects. Like now I don't even want to look at a sheet of music for at least a week. So maybe my owl is a wise owl, in a way, he kinda told me to quit focussing on just writing and playing and return to my other talents too. Yeah, I'm pretty happy with my little owl :)

Merry Christmas,

Thursday, December 16, 2010

A chill winter mourning

Hullo to one and all!
 That looked incredibly peppy and enthusiastic, didn't it? But I'm afraid I'm not. As you may or perhaps may not know, this week has been my Grandpa's funeral as well as a memorial for my Grandmum who passed this spring. Three days of prayer, tears, laughing with family, and moments of lonely silence. Longing for some normalcy,  a sense of stability, amounts to nothing more than a heavier blanket of grief.
 Grief cripples me.
 I cannot function under it. It's like I need to be perpetually happy and light hearted. Or at least have control over what I call excess emotion; anytime I feel overly - perhaps even vulnerably - angry or upset or excited, I can take a walk or a ride, or even just write in order to get a grip and stabilize my feelings. Maybe that's why I'm writing now.
 But I just cannot fix grief. And it frustrates me. {I suppose its my German engineer side coming out.} Yet it fascinates me and compels me like no other emotion. {If that confused you just now, don't worry, I'm a bit lost my self.} Of all the blithe jigs and reels in the history of Celtic music, it's the heartbroken songs of mourning and loss that I love the most. All the tales of adventure and bravery are lost on me unless there is a great and beautiful loss in it. Something that makes the characters vulnerable; their world fragile. Yet I hate being there myself.
 The majority of my own characters have incredibly sad or at least stirring backgrounds. And if they don't, they soon will. *insert evil laugh here*
 I'm strange, I admit it.

 Right now I'm mediocre. Neither glad nor sad, stuck instead in a sort of limbo between them.
 I am glad my grandparents are together again, as they always were, and now it's even better with no pain and with Jesus. Can you even imagine what that must be like? Right now, the same Grandmum and Grandpa that watched my soccer games are now viewing the heavenly throne!
 At the same time I am acutely aware of the fact that they are no longer here, no longer touchable. It takes time to heal wounds, and prayer and petition to heal the heart.
 Mum says times like these, when grief is near and the stress of musical performances is hovering with certain doom, build character - and they do. But to me they are more faith-builders. Without them I would still be the same stubborn daughter of Eve trying to piece and patch together everything herself. I am in no way saying that I'm no longer stubborn - heaven knows far better than that! - but I am growing. And learning.
 It will take more than a lifetime to learn, I'm sure. But you must start sooner than later, right?
Hmmm. I feel infinitely better, now that I've wrote this. Even if nobody reads it all the way through :)

Until next time {hopefully then we can begin the giveaway!},

Monday, December 6, 2010

What makes it Christmas?


Just, ah.

That's what I feel like at this moment as I sit typing to you with my bandaged fingers {pinky - argument with a 5lb metal pole and solid ice. Index finger - broken Christmas light.} after a long day of Christmas decorating.
 From the time I awoke till sunset I was effectively bringing Christmas cheer into our home. Mum worked all day and had a nice surprise on her return :)
 But as I was risking my neck to put up lights above the stove and candles near the clock, a thought occurred to me; simply
what makes it Christmas?
Now the obvious answer to a similar question would be, "Well, Christ's birth, of course!" But that's not what I was asking. You can have a Christmas without the tinsel and all that, but it doesn't feel like Christmas, does it? There are certain things - traditions, foods, decorations - that you just need in order for you to feel the full effect of Christmas, aren't there? I realized that as I unpacked all our décor, each with its own special meaning. After putting every one of them in there proper places {and heavens, do we have a lot of 'every ones'!}, I decided to go on a hunt, camera in hand, to find the pieces that make my Christmas puzzle complete.
Christmas tree hunting. Tramping about in the wilderness, tracking rabbits and some kind of weasel, watching a herd of elk, and finely finding our Tree. What could be a better to start the season? The long drive up into the Hills is very much worth it.

Christmas lights... that shine so brightly and warmly. Gives one a cozy feeling just glancing their way.

Decorating the tree. Is there any more to be said?

Music. The Christmas season wouldn't be whole without it. Besides making everything more acutely beautiful, I believe music has a deep affect on our spirits; something that words alone cannot encompass.

Carmel-apple-spices and decorated coffee shops. That delicio hot drink to see before you now is the holiday spirit in beverage form. The little coffee shop where my mum works makes it exclusively. What is it? Oh, I thought I said already! Well, apple cider is a big part of it, cream too. Lots of carmel and spice. Yup, that's all I can tell you ;)

Our little glow-church. The warm lights from this little church has always greeted us merrily when we  return from Advent services in the dark of night for as long as I can remember. I love it.

The Nativity scene. One of my favorite pieces by far, my mum's Italian Fontanini figures. The stable is extra special too. Da, my older brother, and I made it as a Christmas present for Mum when I was about four or five. My job? Gathering the rocks to make the walls.

When setting these up, I try and give each character a story; like this one where the frightened lamb in the shepherd boy's arms is crying for its mother. The ewe, also bleating, I always imagined butted the boy eventually to reach her baby. :)

A portrait of Jesus. This statue isn't really part of the Christmas decor, we keep it all year round, but I think it is an important, if not vital part of Christmas, a reminder. It is after all why He was born. This statue has always fascinated me, especially when I was small. Whoever the artist is, they did beautiful work portraying the pain and sadness our Savior went through for us.

Those are all most of the things that put me in the holiday spirit. What are yours?

Ah! And concerning the giveaway I promised, I hope you all won't be upset if I delay it for awhile. With the funeral arrangements for my Grandpa and all my music gigs in the next two weeks, I'm afraid I won't be able to host until maybe the week of the nineteenth... maybe. Well, I'll get it figured out, don't despair.

But now I must bid you, all 100(!) of you, good night!