Lots and lots of coffee, lots of snow outside.

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We're right in the midst of NaNoWriMo (31,000+ words!). I have three beautiful books waiting to be devoured. I have an incredible amount of homework due this week. Lots and lots of coffee. Lots of snow outside. I'm wearing a purple turtleneck sweater. Not much else could be better.

Happy Wednesday! Just a few more days until break. :-)


And so it begins... NaNoWriMo is nearly upon us!


A few nights ago I stumbled upon little blog, and after cringing through several posts, I was left with an ineffable sense of nostalgia. I miss this.

However, I have more to report than that of my constant and crushing nostalgia: NaNoWriMo is nearly here! After winning my first year (somehow I made it to 50,000 words??), I feel like I can't not try it again. If only to prove to myself that I can still write. I've been feeling so clumsy with my words lately. In conversation, and in writing, I keep choosing words that don't mean at all what I'm trying to say. I can be so inarticulate, which seems to make no sense, since I'm introspective to the point of being a narcissist. Maybe spitting out 50,000 words in thirty days will put me back into the familiarity of communication. Sometimes forcing it helps.

I have basically nothing planned for my plot. Do I even have a plot? It's more of an idea, I think. It's about the telos: the purpose or the goal of basically everything. It's an idea I've been trying to articulate for the entirety of 2014. You know how some years just seem to have a central theme? This year's theme is purpose. This is my life's theme, hopefully.

Well anyway, to elaborate on 'purpose,' I've been thinking about the way we live our lives. I used to think that life is about accumulation, and every day we learn more, we grow more, we understand more. Well this year's been pretty heavy, and I've realized that life seems more about surrendering and losing. About dying, really. It might seem depressing to dwell on, but I think actually it's sobering to realize that our lives have a purpose of surrender, rather than conquest.

And anyway, for NaNoWriMo this year that's what I plan on writing about. I have what might be called half a plot. Half of a really elementary plot. I've thought a lot about these ideas that have been jumbled all around in my head for a while, but it's still an area that's completely gray - I really don't understand at all what I'm talking about. So why not write a novel about it in 30 days? That seems like a rational thing to do.



My Junior Thesis Defense

I just got back from defending my junior thesis that I've been working on all year. HUGE RELIEF that it's done and over with. But of course I am still anxiously awaiting my grades. I think I did pretty well, actually. Everyone told me it was clear and concise and to the point, which is what the panelists were looking for, so hopefully that's a good thing. ;-) I was also able to answer all the questions thrown at me and was able to defend my thesis fairly well, I think, so that's nice. There were a bunch of scholarly people there who knew much more than I do, and it was a bit intimidating! I'm just happy that it's over. But Friday is our last day of school, and it makes me really, really sad. I'm excited for summer and all the things it will hold. But still, the nostalgic side of me gets quite a bit teary whenever I think of the end of anything.

But you know what? Things are going pretty well, actually. You know, it's difficult. But it's still good. And I am joyful, but definitely not on my own. And God is good (I say that without putting a limit on Him). I think it will be best to come back to this post whenever I get in a bad mood - it will help me remember that even bad days can't suppress God!

xx, abby


How to Communicate Authentically ... ?


I have no clue what the future will include, but here I am now, partly because I can't sleep, and partly because I have too many thoughts scrambling around everywhere. And my hand isn't in the mood for writing it all down in my journal, so why not come back to this little refuge that used to be mine?

This year, I've focused a lot on improving my communication. I think I've improved a lot since my super shy days, but I also know I have such a long way to go. There's just so much to learn. Over the years I've gotten both better and worse at it. I used to be good at articulating my exact thoughts into words that made sense. I've since grown out of that little skill, maybe because I stopped writing personally as much. But then I got pretty good at presenting an idea clearly and concisely, thanks to all of the presentations I've done for school. However, now I'm almost in the middle. I'm still trying to figure it all out.

So that's where I've been: struggling between articulating a thought and presenting it authentically and accurately. Communication, man.

Anyway, that's where I stand in terms of creativity... sort of burnt out, but also curiously enthusiastic about creating things. I think it's that awful phase of desperately wanting to create something, but feeling drained of all creativeness. I'm not sure what to compare it to. I suppose it's similar to needing a drink of water, but not having the energy to stand up and drink a glass. Or that's the lazy person's analogy, anyway.

In other news, I've started to grow up. At least as much as I can, I think, in this stage of my life. School is nearly over, though I'll be continuing some of it through the summer. It's sad, actually, it's really sad that it's about to end. High school is almost over, and these people that I've seen almost every day for a year, whom I've come to admire and connect with, will soon no longer be my comfortable commonplace on days that are too full, or my crutch on days that are too difficult. Of course I'll still see them. But it will be different. Much different. The teenage years can hold so much change and yet be so mundane all in the same weeks, I don't understand it.

I finally got my dang drivers license, too. I'm still only sixteen, but I'd had my learners for nearly two years before I got my license. I must say, the freedom is much more pleasurable that I had imagined. ;-) But it's also scary, because, man, I'm one step closer to adulthood! And college! And an actual job! And taxes! If I'm sure of anything, it's that I've never experienced this strange feeling of terrifying excitement before. It's like the word "anticipation." It can mean both a good thing and a bad thing, or even both at the same time. Anticipation is a golden word. It sort of encompasses some of the things that are too hard to find words for. Sort of helpful right now, because, you know, the whole "articulating and presenting ideas clearly" thing.

That's all I got tonight! I hope you are doing well. I still enjoy reading all of your posts, and taking in all your intelligent words! Maybe I'll come back again someday.


p.s. I think I'll leave you, actually, with the last words of my last post. At the time, I wanted to delete that post because I thought it sounded too angry when I didn't mean for it to be. But now, I don't see as much anger, I just see confusion. And I'm still confused (but in the way that we all are, I suppose). So these words are still relevant:

I'll keep trying, I promise. I always do. And even if I was once a sojourner of the words I knew then, maybe I'll become a resident of the words I know now. Or perhaps I'll find new words if the current ones are not quite for settling. But I'll always keep trying (avoid beginning with the word 'But').


Too Many Adjectives

While it was once second nature, I feel as if I'm now relearning how to write. I suppose that's why I'm so hesitant and distant in each of my posts lately. It isn't natural to me anymore, but I think this journey of forgetting and relearning has shown me all the aspects of blogging that I never saw before. It's given me a new perspective on what blogging is and how to do it. My opinions, writing style, and subjects are all things I'm painfully aware of now, which is incredibly beneficial to me as I grow, but also makes this journey more cringe-worthy and painstaking than it originally was. It was inevitable, it was necessary, it is important. But painstaking, all the same.

Speaking of writing styles, I've seemed to have lost that, too. Too many adjectives, say my teachers, so I remove those from my writing. Not enough authoritative statements, say my teachers, so I add those to my writing. Be clear, concise and authoritative, but don't be afraid to add your own style. I juggle around words, dropping and picking them up as I go, both afraid and in love with them, as I try to cluster and string them together in my own way, while still keeping to all the rules that I am bound to. And I don't much care that my last sentence was a run-on (avoid!), nor that I started this sentence with an And (also avoid!), but I know that disregarding grammar rules is not a style, so I'll keep trying. What I once knew so well, I've forgotten. What I thought was my one excellence, has now abandoned me.

I'll keep trying, I promise. I always do. And even if I was once a sojourner of the words I knew then, maybe I'll become a resident of the words I know now. Or perhaps I'll find new words if the current ones are not quite for settling. But I'll always keep trying (avoid beginning with the word 'But').

xo, abby


"I ricochet in my uncertainties."


I think Kinga said it best when she said, "I ricochet in my uncertainties."

I am perhaps the most uncertain person I know, when it comes to deciding a future. I'm so afraid of making a mistake now and paying for it later. I'm so indecisive on what I want to do - CAN'T I JUST DO EVERYTHING?! I'm terrified of the future. I'm terrified that I won't know what to do, that I won't know how to do it, that I won't be able to do it. And some fears are irrational, but the ones that aren't are the ones that really scare me.

I'm at the point in my highschool education (junior year) where people won't usually take a laugh and a "I've still got time to decide!" when they ask me what I'm doing after high school. So I've come up with an easy and somewhat expected answer, just so people don't think I'm completely lost and uncertain. But the thing is, I AM lost and uncertain.

I think my future is one of those that God won't reveal until it's RIGHT HERE AND RIGHT NOW. And I'm good with that, I think. I know for sure He's got it all figured out, so I don't have to. Except for that wasn't a very good answer when I had to present in class on my future last week. ;)

xo, abby


Normal Stuff, and Stuff

wrist warmers package
(a small package sent to a friend)

-On a normal day, I drink my tea strong, 1 sugar. On an extravagant day, I drink it like the Brits.

-My room continually decides to be messy, and it both drives me nuts and stimulates the creative side of my brain (also I am regularly nagged by my mom for it, with good reason).

-I'm rediscovering all my old favorite songs, and it's much the same as reading my old journals and/or looking at old, treasured photographs.

-I desperately want to write a novel again. I can't get it out of my head.

-I also desperately want to write/make a short film. IT WILL HAPPEN SOON, I PROMISE.

-My public speaking abilities are actually INCREASING, which is a miracle, though the anxiety is still as strong as ever.

-Poem writing/performing, especially spoken-word, is something I'm entirely fascinated by but, perhaps inherently, incompetent of. I keep trying, though. It's like an itch inside of me that I keep trying to internally scratch. Maybe one day I'll find the spot, and the words will overflow out of me like pent-up birds finally escaping their confinement.

-I hibernated from my original crafting blog to a knitting blog dedicated to my shop (which has been/will be taking an exciting new direction!), and you can keep up to date with all that here.

Hope your semester is going well. Mine started back a few weeks ago, the very first day back being a presentation day, so that was fun. But, as I said, I'm starting to acquire the talent required for public speaking, and maybe one day I'll even be good at it.

xo, abby