Thursday, January 19, 2017

Taking the ACT // How I Survived




I know that a lot of people will be taking their ACT or SAT pretty soon. I happened to have taken mine in October, and it was quite the experience. So I thought I would just share a few tips.

~ PRAY
Whether you plan to attend college, or just taking the test and will have to give the score for when you apply for jobs, you want to have a reasonably good score to show. It may sound strange to pray for just a test, but this isn't just a normal test. It is very hard, and it will show all your weak-points. You want to do your best, and to glorify God in your life, so when you're having a hard time opening the study book, send up a quick prayer that God will help you remember and study well for the ACT/SAT.

~READ AND STUDY
It's hard to pick up your study tools and want to use them. It's repetitive and exhausting. But, it will make a difference. There are many tips and tricks that can make a difference for when you take the test (I recommend getting a few different books for studying. I took a class, but then had other things on top of what I did there) So whether its books, practice tests, online class, flashcards do as much as you can that is formatted in the way of the test.

~PREPARE
Take a prep class. You'll be able to learn some tips about the test. If you know of an area where you are weak at, get a tutor. Maybe you can't have a personal tutor for much time, but even a day or two can make a huge difference. I am really weak at math, so I went to a tutor two times about a week and a half before my test and it made a difference. Don't think you don't have enough to get help. Anything is better then nothing.



~BE ON TIME
Make sure you are at your designated test center on time, if not a few minutes early. I got there before they opened, so I had time to get to my class, drink water, go the bathroom, etc. Don't bring your phone in, or at least turn it completely off. I left mine in the car just so that way there wouldn't be any complications.

~BREAK
Bring some water and a snack. You'll be there for a while, so there's no need to try and become dehydrated. If you're like me, you probably won't be hungry before hand, but having a snack is good.

~SKIM
Don't read all of the long paragraphs that are there for the problems. Skim through them and underline/circle anything you think will be important. For area's like the Science and English, I read the questions first, and skimmed through for the answers. Of course, you'll want to be sure, but if you take the time to read every single word on your document, you will run out of time.

~ANSWER EVERYTHING
Even if you are only halfway through one of the sections and are almost out of time, take the remaining couple of minutes and circle in the remaining answers. Even if it's wrong that's okay. You don't have any deductions for wrong answers, and if you get one right, well, that's worth it for sure.

~TOOLS
Calculator- make sure you bring the right calculator, and an extra one. (don't want it to die on you!) You want to make sure you calculator is high tech enough to help you with as many problems as possible, but not to where you can't bring it in because it remembers all the equations and stuff. So make sure you check to see if your calculator is what is allowed before hand.
Pencils -they very are important. That is what you are using the entire time. I brought a whole box of pencils I sharpened before hand, so I had a pencil per test, and then more just in case the world ended and all but one broke.  :)


So there are some tips for you. Hope you find some of them helpful (perhaps I should do "how to study post" that is totally comical and not helpful at all? XD)

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Silent One




I am the one who never speaks
yet I have much to say
The one who is full of words
yet can only say so much
who is silent when the room is full
who disappears in the shadows
who is not noticed
it is almost like a gift
to be able to disappear in the background
yet also a curse.
I do not want to be alone
I do not want to be surrounded
I love being near people
but it is too overwhelming
The Silent One they call me
whose words are hardly over a mutter
whose thoughts can be so loud
who is often dreaming of other worlds
who can be in a room all alone and feel safe
yet be in a room full of people and feel so insecure.
I am in the shadows
I am a daughter of Light


1/9/17

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Winter Wonderland

















(side note, we may or may not have tried to fly a drone at the park, and landed it in a tree. If you know any expert tree climbers for small, tall trees, feel free to recommend ;P)







I must say, when I woke up this morning and saw the world covered in while outside my bedroom window, I was quite happy. (even though I may or may not have rested for a few more minutes before getting up.) Though as soon as I heard my little sister scream in the house, I knew exactly what it was for. She was excited for snow. In the past, she had a sort've "traumatic" experience with the car slipping on ice one winter, and never forgot it. (We got stuck, and when some of us got out of the car to push it, she was quite frantic) For the past couple of years she hardly wanted to go outside, but as soon as she saw the white powder covering our yard today, she jumped at the chance to go out.
And I'm glad she enjoyed it because snow is something I love. Yes, there are many things that may be inconvenient because of it, but its beauty always astounds me. So as the day went on, tramping through what was suppose to only be an inch of snow (those weather-forcasts XD) and pulling out my camera, it made for a day full of warm layers and many smiles. Plus, my mom baked all day, so all the smells from the cinnamon rolls and bread filled the house.


                                       [finishing the day with a sparkler]








Do you ever just stop and look at the snowflakes?

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Looking Back at 2016



Life:

I can't believe it's 2017. I mean, it doesn't even feel like twelve months have passed and already a new year is coming. So many things happened this past year. From things like my dad skiing on the city street at the beginning of the year,  to driving our mini in the neighborhood.
 I got to travel to Russia, then go on a trip with my family across the country again. Once back home I studied for my ACT before I  applied to and was accepted to college.
I wrote a first draft during NaNo, which was really exciting for me. I haven't written anything this large since like, 2012, so it was encouraging and exciting to write another story with great characters. I got to get to know some awesome bloggers this past year. Not sure what I would have done without my writing buddies or my sister- who kept me going and helped me write as much I did. (It's a lot more encouraging to write when you have others wanting to read your work when you give them a snippet here or there)
 I was able to hang out with some close friends, and make new ones as well.
My dad graciously allowed for me to keep a kitten that was born this year. (she looks similar to my last cat.)
My love of traveling continues to grow, and am excited for the adventures coming next year.

Adventure:


  • Ice skated  
  • Mountaineered with my dad 
  • Drove Friesans in Canada
  • Visited Red Square in Moscow
  • Rock Climbing at nationals
  • Zip line course with my distant cousins
  • Outdoor climbing and hiking with my family



Music:

I listend to a lot of great music this year, and was able to go to some concerts this year as well. I'm one of those people not perhaps the random one) who lives a wide variety of music compared to just one genre. I love old time music like Nat King Cole, Big Band sounds, all the way to modern Christian Contemperary. So you shouldn't  be surprised if one song is a classical piece, and the next is the occasional rap.  (I have never been a huge lover of rap, but I have lately been listening to NF, and have really enjoyed his lyrics)
And I have recently I become a lover of acapella.  (BYU Vocal Point/Noteworthy, Peter Hollens, Bri Ray)



Movies:

Priceless- I really enjoyed this. Especially liked reading the book, as it gave a little bit more to he story.
Ben Hur- My sister and I fell in love with some of the songs that promoted the movie, so we were excited to finally see it. Wish is was longer, but over all I enjoyed it.
Captain America: Civil War- Not really sure what to put here XD It was good, and I look forward to the next movie with the characters.
Finest Hours- I really enjoyed this movie. It was based on a true story, and it made it even better.
Now You See Me Two- This movie makes me wish I could do more tricks. (they had an epic card scene)
Rogue One- I wasn't too sure how this would be, but then when I started watching it I was really excited. I loved all the comical scenes that were in it (the new droid was pretty witty) and I really liked how they brought back some of the characters from the past movies
God's Not Dead 2- This movie was amazing. About issues that have happened, and most likely will happen again.

Next year I'm excited to see:
the live action Beauty and the Beast,
the new Pirates of the Caribbean,
Spider-Man: Homecoming,
Star Wars VIII.


Reading:

I alpha and beta read a ton, as well as read published books. According to Goodreads I:
read 43,000+ pages
read 130 books (not including the re-reads or unpublished books)

Favorite books I read published this year:
Shadows of the Storm by Connilyn Cossette
Unblemished by Sara Ella
Byways 8-10 by C J Milbrandt
Heartless by Marissa Meyer
Rebel of the Sands by Alwyn Hamilton
Beyond the Horizon by Jesseca Wheaton


Next year I'm looking forward to:
The Returning by Rachelle Dekker (even though I already read it, it doesn't officially release until Jan 2017)
The Voice the Key and the Revolution by Jenny Cote
Byways 11-13 by C J Milbrandt
Unraveled by Sara Ella



Writing:

I wrote a short story, worked on another short story, wrote a flash fiction, and a novel. It was probably like 80,000 words or something, but some of it was handwritten, so...
I did NaNoWriMo, and I got 50,300+ words. Still can't believe it, and I'm not even fully done. And do to getting my wisdom teeth out the previous day, I was able to write 12k in 1 day.
Somehow I gave my unfinished rough draft to some writing friends. Still not sure how I allowed that. But in the process I found out something. You know when you share a Google Doc and there are anonymous animals that pop up? Well, there was one that said "axolotyl" I was like "what in the world is that?!" Turns out, it's this little creature:

Image result for axolotl
Weird huh?


Blogging:

So I ended up posting more on my review blog the past couple years, but I'm coming back over here. I'll be just putting reviews/book spotlights on the second blog. I'm excited to post here again, but am not going to stay to a strict schedule, though I may eventually do one in the future.

Posts from this year:
Don't Worry
Miracles, Blessings, and the Faith of a Child
Hacked 1
Hacked 2
Beautiful Books Post
In Remembrance


My most viewed post that was published this year was: Just a Ramble on Snow (which kind of surprised me) 2nd most viewed was my November/NaNo Wrap-Up

Some Favorite Posts: (there were a TON of great posts this year, but I only have room for so many, and my brain may have been fried by the time I went to go looking through all the posts from everyone in the past year)
Burning Youth
Rebekah
Julia
Savannah
Katie Grace

Randomness:

  • I have begun to use Goodreads more recently this year. Wish they had this when I was a lot younger and reading books. Slowly adding to my "read" list, and adding more "to-read" all the time
  • My name was misspelled into two new ways.
  • Took part in my first writing contest this year
  • Found out that you can own a tiger/lion in the U.S
  • Had some weird and random dreams about some people.
  • Got a few laughs from Studio C (They have some great, clean comedy on YouTube)
  • Locked my keys in the car for the first time #oops
  • Began a friends page- still a WIP
  • Tea is now my thing. Coffee, not so much.
  • When my mom made me a dish from Russia.
  • When your younger sister says she doesn't like ice cream.  O.O 
  • You give a younger sibling a small, gold watering can and they think it's a genie lamp

Special Moments:

-Stars and clouds in the sky at the same time one night.
-Seeing the Northern Lights
-Berry picking
-Watching my little sister sit on my dad's lap during the evening outside.
-The peacefulness of a mountain cabin.
-The special place on the back porch with lights and brisk air.
-My writing place in our extra bedroom lit by christmas lights.
-The time where a laughing child held my hand as we ice skated.
-Where God used a girl in another country who spoke a different language to encourage me
-Those moments when I would blast my radio and sing as loud as I could.

Goal's for next year:


*Finish draft 2 of Changeling
*Write a short story prequel
*Write some good poems
*Finish alphaing
*Finish my friend's page
*Have a guest blogger
*Read and study my Bible more.
*Work on scheaduling my time
*Bible journal
*Travel
*Graduate (had to add this in)
*And this most likely will not happen until the year after, but I would like to go to a writing conference  (RM)
*Maybe try a vlog. O.o



Did you know what an Axolotyl was? What is a special time you had this past year? What is some favorite music you listened to?

Sunday, December 25, 2016

Merry Christmas || Christmas Tradition





We have this tradition. One my mom started a while ago. Every Christmas morning, when we wake up, we search for baby Jesus. Our little nativity Jesus is hidden somewhere amongst the house, and all of us sisters take the challenge to go and find Him. Today was the first time my youngest sister really took part in it. Waking up and going out right away to find where he was. Even at my age I still love looking, making sure that my mom hid the firgurine for us too. 

 [Just like that night, when the shepherds searched for the Babe, and then later when men came from afar, we searched, and found Him.]




Today we did something new. We took my sister's horse, decorated both him and the cart, and played Christmas music while we drove him around the neighborhood. Did people driving by think it was wierd to see two girls dancing to music while driving a horse? What they probably thought was more strange was a horse in the city. XD



We watched The Nativity Story. Reading the story again, I have even more questions, and am excited to dig into the word more. Though watching Israel come to live on the Nativity Story was amazing, and I can't wait to see the it in real life.

[Want to read the Christmas story post I did last year? Here you go: click ]

What did you do for Christmas? Do you have any family traditions?

Friday, December 16, 2016

Beyond the Horizon Tour



About the authoress:
Jesseca is an 18-year old daughter, sister, and a child of God. Her days are spent reading, cooking, spending time with siblings, or playing piano. And of course, writing! At an early age, words fascinated her, and her love for the printed page has only grown. She lives with her parents and seven siblings in the sunny state of Kansas,  and she's convinced there's no place like home.   



Summary: Eliana longs to see the world beyond the mountains that tower above Salzburg, Austria, but knows that dream will never see such adventure- and neither will she.

Surrounded by a world of cruelty, she lives for the weekly visits of Aron, a boy she met on one of her rambles through the countryside.

But as the years pass and she begins to grow older, a new and unwelcome world is opened up to her.
On a fateful night at a party she vowed she’d never attend, she comes face to face with a shocking truth.

As the world around her teeters on the brink of war, Eliana struggles to figure out just where her loyalty lies; a decision that will drastically change the course of her life. Will she ever be free to see what lies beyond the horizon?
Review:
I love stories set in WW2 era, and I love fairytale retellings, so wanting to read Jesseca's story with both in it was a no brainer. I loved the story and the characters. It was delicate and sweet, and awesome. I wanted it to go on so I could continue enjoying the story. Aron was so kind to Eliana, and I loved their relationiship. When one of them was in trouble, the other would look out for them. If they were going through something, then The other would offer advice.
The story is a generally quick read, and one I think many will enjoy. I encourage you to get your copy of Jesseca's book. It's the perfect read for Christmas time. :)

https://jessaswhimsicalwritings.blogspot.com/?m=1

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Beautiful Books: Introduce Your Novel


beautiful books
questions


~What inspired your novel, and how long have you had it?
Hmm, well, I have had it for a few months now. I was working on a short story, a Beauty and the Beast retelling, early this spring and while trying to make it longer, I decided I wanted to write the story of one of my minor characters-a wolf. (realizes how long a sentence that was). Long story short, I used Red Riding Hood as part of my inspiration, and thus Changeling, and its prequel(s) and sequel, were born.

~Describe what your novel is about.
I'm horrible at summaries, but I will do my best to somewhat explain my novel to you. The main character is a halfling (part changeling and part human) she can turn into the form of a wolf, and is marked by the color of her eyes. She was trained to be the queen's personal guard and assassin, and hunts down those rebelling against the crown. When she goes undercover to find the rumored heir who can take the kingdom away from her queen, she seeks to find out who it is, and then kill the heir (is it bad that I want to insert a: dun, dun, DUN!) In the end, she has to decide what is truly right. Going with what she has always known, or what she has just discovered.

~What is your book's aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!
*grabs some photos and quotes*



~Introduce us to each of your characters!
Tayliss: She is awesome. I love her a lot, and hope that I can potray her well She had a rough life, and because of an event in her past, she is bent on avenging her family. She is an assassin, part changeling, and finds it hard to trust or show her emotions.
Zane: He was what started my thoughts on Changeling. I still have a lot to discover about him, (he just won't share all of his story with me just yet) and so this will make draft 2 a bit difficult because he hasn't fully opened up. But he definitely care about others, and does his best to protect those under him.
The Queen: She is my villain, and I love her...Not love, love, but if you're a writer, you'll understand. She came up during the middle of NaNo, and I was like "YES! This is an awesome antagonist." It was even better because she is how I'll get one of my main twists in the sequel *super excited*

I have some other great characters, but don't want to give too much away. Hopefully you'll like them if you get to read it. :)

~How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc?)
I read Red Riding Hood, but mostly I thought about some cool ideas I have been saving, went on Pinterest and pulled some pictures to show some of my ideas. I outlined as much as I could, but this story turned out to be more of the work of a pantser than plotter/ :/ I was grasping for new scenes while doing NaNo, but I loved what came out of it- at least, what will. It's still in the rough draft form. XP

~What are you most looking forward to about this novel?
The feels. At least, I hope there will be some great emotions in this book. I am really excited for this story, and can't wait to begin my second draft. I am mainly looking forward to actually finishing this story, and to share it.

~List 3 things about your novel's setting
caves, mountains, dreams  (I think that is how I am suppose to answer it??)

~What's your character's goal, and who (or what) stands in the way?
One's goal is revenge, and the Changelings stand in the way- as well as the heir. The other's is to protect, and the Red Guard are in danger of finding his charge.

~How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?
In short, she realized that revenge isn't right, and how to put others before her.

~What are your book's themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?
The themes? I guess....trust, friendship, and truth.
I want the readers to feel like they could somewhat relate to the characters, but learn from the story too. Reaction wise, I want my readers to be like "WHAT?! It's not over?!"  XD I wrote the finish, but I'm still deciding on a couple of things that may or may not make my readers shun me.

There is still a lot in the works, but even just writing these answers just makes me excited. Even if I have a lot of work in front of me XD

                                                                ****

So what do you think? Does it sound intriguing? Any general thoughts? I'd love to hear from you!