Wednesday, December 31, 2014

5 Things I learned in 2014

Hey there!
So it's the last day of the year, and I figured if any year deserved a little send-off post, it was this one.

I don't actually know where to start. I kind of expected this year to be like any other, but I've learned so much and grown so much through it--

*pushes away sentimental jibberish*

Anyway, I wanted to share five things I learned in 2014.

1. Friends come when you least expect them. 

                 Ah, the buddies I've made this year. To be honest, I didn't expect to make any new friends this year. I loved the ones I had. (Still love you guys more than you could know. You mean the world to me.) 
But I met a few more people in real life who actually wanted to be my buddy... and several online.
Stop that. 
Stop laughing. 
Actually, since my online buddies are gonna read this, thank you. You know who you are, and you make each day a little brighter. *stops before sentimental jibberish comes back*

2. Work ethic is important-- and appreciated.

At my job, and even in my college classes, I realized that having a work ethic is NOT a common trait. I wish it was. But I'm learning that actually working hard stands out. And I hope that it stands out for Christ, not me. Because honestly, He's the reason I work hard, and if anyone should be recognized for it, it should be Him. 

3. Being a grown up means giving some things up.

Oh dear. I'm terrified of this one. I don't want to grow up for this reason. I want to do everything, help everyone. 
But that's not real life. This next semester I'm going to be overloaded between work and college classes. Not to mention the stuff I must do at home. So I have been planning ahead. I'm only going to work on TRC during the semester. Gifted can wait. Spectrum(my summer project for '15) can wait.
I'm also going to cut my internet time down to certain parts of the day. I can't afford to lose time. 
But you know, that's okay. That's life. And I'm gonna hold on to the most important things.
Which brings me to my next point.

4. I want to be a writer.
It may not be my career, but I want to write. I want to build worlds, to make stories, to bring characters to life. I want my voice to go out as the written word.
I want to write for God, and I want to write because I love it. 
I feel like I've found my niche though. I have a voice now, a way to minister to people, a way to encourage and uplift and maybe even convict. I'm not going to let that go.

5. God's in control; I don't need to know everything.

I have spent many, many hours this year stressing over college applications, schoolwork, Subway work--- everything.
And I'm coming to the realization that I really can't know everything. 
But best of all, I don't need to. God's got a plan for me. So yeah, I need to do my best, but for now I'm going to try and follow Him every day, and let Him take care of the big picture. And the relief that trust has brought me already is enormous. I live for Him in the moment, and He'll guide my steps in the right direction.

So there's a few thank you's I want to give out, even though I can't possibly name everyone that has touched my life this year.

First of all I want to thank my college teachers. I've learned a lot this year because of them.

I also want to thank my parents. I could write a whole flowery thing about them, but it wouldn't do justice. If it weren't for you guys, I would most definitely not be who I am today. You've taught me more than I'll ever realize and supported me through all my crazy hobbies and phases and college applications and maniacal laughing and crying and... *sentimental jibberish I TOLD you to LEAVE*

I also want to thank my Internet buddies. You guys inspire me. You make me laugh. You confuse me until I just look at the screen like: "what the heck did I get myself into?"
And I wouldn't trade you guys for anything.

I want to thank my Blog readers, whether this one or the BJU online blog. You guys have been more than awesome. 

I want to thank my real life friends. You guys have been there for me, put up with my craziness, shared your thoughts and struggles with me, and really just supported me. You guys came into my life when I felt like I would never have real friends. And you proved me wrong. Very, very wrong.
*oh my goodness I'm actually crying right now*
You are my family, too. I only hope that I can be as good a friend to you as you have been to me. 

*deep breath*
I have a big year ahead of me. I'm going to graduate! I'm going to keep writing! For all I know, I might be flying of to University or moving to go to a Junior College next fall. 

So am I scared of the future?
Heck, yes. 
Am I going to shy away from it?
Not a chance.

2015, bring it on. 

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

A TRC Christmas!


It's Christmas, and I want to give you all a gift. I also wanted to take a break from my storyline and write something festive.

So here you have it, a Resistance Chronicles Christmas Special!!!

First of all, I want to kind of clarify the way this works with the story. It is canon, but it isn't a part of the current storyline. So technically, this happens in the future. But it won't spoil anything for you I don't think.
Also a bit of background, since Christmas in it's truest form doesn't actually exist in Thera.
XD (#allegoryproblems)

Every year, just when the sky is darkest earliest in the day and the world feels cold and hopeless, Recruits take the chance to celebrate. They know that Adiano reached out to them in their darkest hour, offering them a gift of freedom and hope. So in the middle of winter Recruits gather together, often whole sections of the city meeting in one location, to give each other gifts and uplift each other when they need the encouragement the most.

Alyssa hung a ribbon over her door, the vibrant purple shimmering in the moonlight. She jumped back and put her hands on her hips, smiling satisfactorily. This was the final touch-- now all of Spera Domus was decked in purple and blue, ready for the Midwinter Celebration to begin. She could hardly wait. This was her favorite part of the year… everyone exchanged gifts during the darkest and coldest part of the season, in honor of the fact that Adiano had given them freedom during their greatest time of need.
Somehow, despite the cold nipping at her nose and the snow scattering through her hair, it was warm. And even with the wind and the storm clouds, it was peaceful.
Partially obscured by the ribbon, Keiko waved at her from behind the door, blurred by the glass. She hurried back inside, tearing off her gloves as she pushed the door open with her hip. Snowflakes melted into the knit fabric as she stuffed them into her coat pocket.
“You ready to have some fun?” She asked, signing as she spoke.
A smile spread across his face that reached the corners of his eyes. ‘It looks like you are.’
She cocked her head and laughed. “Oh, I was born ready.”


Zayla tugged at her sweater, thankful that the purple Alyssa demanded she wear was dark. She ran her fingers through her hair, fighting the urge to curl up in a ball. She could do this.

But the idea of a party made her nervous. She’d never been to a Midwinter Celebration before-- what if she said something wrong? What if she got called on for some humiliating game? What if her friends didn’t like their gifts? There was no way she’d make it through a whole night without something terrible happening.
The anxiety ate at her chest, but she fought it. She would be with friends. Friends who cared about her. Friends who understood how hard it was for her to be in a crowded room.
Then again, maybe they didn’t understand. Cameron always tried to help, but he didn’t get it. Keiko was sympathetic-- he wasn’t much of a socialite himself-- but he was used to being dragged around to social events. And Alyssa? Well, she’s the one that did the dragging.
She looked out her window at the snow falling. A breeze whisked through the street. blowing a white flurry across the glass.
What if the snow got so high the had to stay overnight? She couldn’t bear the thought of being trapped in a room full of strangers.
She scratched the back of her wrist. How was she going to do this?


Cameron rubbed his thumb along the corner of the page, smoothing out a smudge in the paper. He carefully placed the drawing in a frame, and grinned.
She’ll love it.
He wrapped it in silvery paper and tied it with a navy ribbon, carefully evening out the ends.

His mom called from outside his door, her voice accompanied by a soft knock. “You ready to go, Sweetie?”
“I’ll be ready in a minute,” he said, jumping up to throw on his coat, stuffing his pockets with Alyssa and Keiko’s gifts. “You can come in if you want.”
She opened the door and stepped in, a bright smile on her face, a few strands of glittery ribbons woven into her hair. “Did you get it all finished?”

Cameron looked back at his desk where the drawing laid, hidden by the paper.
“Yep. Just added the final touch!” He picked it up gently, cradling the gift in his arms.
She stepped forward and brushed the hair back from his eyes. “Seventeen ---.” She sighed. “It went by fast.”
Cameron shook his head, but he appreciated the sentimentality. He wrapped his free arm around her and hugged tightly, being careful not to bump his drawing. “Love ya, mom,” he whispered.

So are you entering in the karaoke contest this year?’  Keiko signed, his fingers moving quickly and carefully as they walked through Domus, making sure everything was in order before the guests started arriving.
Alyssa chuckled before responding. “I’ve been the champion for three years now, do you really think I’d miss it?” She put her hands on her hips.
Oh, not for a second.’ He smiled, whether or not he enjoyed parties didn’t really matter-- he loved seeing Alyssa in her element.
Which just happened to be center stage during the largest Recruit celebration of the year. Most of the members from this section of the city would be crowding into Domus tonight..
What did you get for Cameron and Zayla?’
Alyssa gave him a coy smile. “You’ll see.” She straightened her dress, which, true to her style, was plaid with a black satin jacket. Even with the elegance of her clothes- she still wore her combat boots underneath. That was Alyssa for you: Fashionable and feminine, but still tough as nails.
She cocked her head. “What did you get Quinn?”
Keiko’s face lit up. ‘You know how he always uses a notepad?’
I designed an electronic one that will fit in his pocket. It uses a stylus, so now he won’t have to worry about sharpening his pencil.’
“What about battery life?”
Keiko chuckled. ‘It has a compartment for traditional forms of communication in the back, just in case.’
Alyssa nodded. “Probably a good thing.”

Spera Domus looked perfect. Absolutely, completely, perfect. Alyssa spun around, practically dancing across the room as she ran to the door to pull Zayla inside. “There you are! I was starting to wonder if you’d show up!”

Zayla smiled softly, but the expression didn’t reach her eyes. “I was wondering that, too.” She dug around in her pockets and pulled out a small bag. “I brought you a gift.”
Alyssa couldn’t hold back a giddy smile as she took it and pulled out the tissue paper. Inside were three plaid ribbons, the perfect durability and length for--
“I can put these on my horse! Oh, they’re perfect! Where’d you find them?”
Zayla smiled a little more now. “I know someone in the industry. You’re the first person to get that pattern.”
Alyssa jumped forward and wrapped her arms tightly around Zayla’s shoulders. “Thanks!”
When she pulled away, she cocked her head, glancing over Zayla, taking in her appearance. “I told you purple would look nice on you. And see?” She spun around, her dress poofing out. “We have both colors now!”
Zayla chuckled faintly, and Alyssa took her arm and led her around the room, making sure she knew how the party was set up.
Even with Alyssa’s help in understanding where everything was, Zaya felt confused, lost, and hopeless. She wouldn’t last the night. She couldn’t. Not with so many people. Not in such a crowded room.
Just thinking about it made her breath go short. She was trapped, forced to be here for hours. She was terrified.
And then there was Cameron.
He came running over, breathless as he tried to dodge his way through the crowd. He leaned back against the wall and let out a sigh.
Whereas Zayla talked to no one, Cameron talked to everyone. It looked exhausting.
He leaned over to get on her eye level. “How you holding up? I didn’t mean to be gone so long.”
She bit her lip and thought a moment before responding. “Fine. And really, you don’t have to hang out with me the whole time. I’m not much fun.” She looked down at her shoes and toyed with her sleeves.
He laughed as if that was the most ridiculous thing he’d ever heard. “You’re kidding, right?” He leaned forward and raised his eyebrows.
Zayla glanced up at him, but immediately looked back down at the ground and shrugged.
“Well,” he said, his voice a bit softer this time, “That’s just ridiculous. I like hanging out with you.”
Zayla blushed at this. She still couldn’t understand why anyone would want to be around her, but it felt nice to be wanted, for once.


Cameron tapped Zayla on the shoulder to let her know he’d be right back before running off to get her gift. She needed something to help her enjoy the party, and he hoped that this would do it.
He pulled her gift off of the table, taking note that there were only a few others with her name on them. One from Keiko, and Alyssa. Oh, and Varity too…
Most people took their own gifts at the end of the day, but he wanted to give her his himself.
He wanted to watch her eyes light up. He wanted to see her smile.
He wove in and out of the crowd as he made his way back to the wall. She looked over at him, tossing her head back just enough to get her bangs out of her eyes. He sucked in a breath as he got closer. He couldn’t figure why, but it was like he was shot with adrenaline every time he saw her.
“Here,” he said, breathless. “I made it for you.”
The corners of her mouth pulled into a smile as she reached out and took the gift.
“You really shouldn’t have,” she mumbled.
He couldn’t fight back a wide grin as she carefully pulled the ribbon off. Her eyes lit up when she opened the package and saw the drawing--
“It’s Kiara! It looks just like her-- How did you--” She looked up, her jaw unhinged. “Thank you.”
Alyssa Jumped up on the stage, her arms swinging at her hips, her hair falling in twists around her face. This was it-- her moment to shine.
And shine she would.
She tucked a curl behind her ear and grabbed a microphone, tapping it to make sure it was on. With a thumbs up towards the back of the room, the music started playing. The notes surrounded her, filling her up until they overflowed back out of her again. It was the most natural thing in the world for her-- to belt out the music, let the song flow through her like pure energy. It was as close to magic as she could get in Thera. When the song came to and end, it left a hollow space in her soul that could only be filled by starting again.
Of course, it was a talent show, and everyone only got one song. She stepped back and bowed as the crowd clapped. The applause was exhilarating. She couldn’t help but grin widely right up until the winner was announced.
It wasn’t her name.
She raised her chin, clenched her jaw, and exited with grace. But she didn’t come back into the crowd, she didn’t run over to raid the dessert table like she had the last few years. And she certainly was not happy.
The snow was blowing harder this time as Kei followed her out of the building. He pulled his scarf up over his nose to fend off the cold and spun around to make sure the door shut behind him before running to catch up with the blue hat that was storming off into the snow.

She must have heard him running after her, and she turned around, her arms crossed. She cocked an eyebrow at him.
‘So the unbeatable girl has been beaten?’  He signed, suddenly wishing he had gloves to shield his fingers from the night air.
She blew out a puff of air, creating a cloud against the darkness. With a roll of her eyes, she unfolded her arms and signed. “Whatever. It’s no big deal. She probably deserved it.”
Keiko choked on a laugh. ‘Which is exactly why you ran off into the night, as if that was a good idea.’
She shrugged. “I just wanted to-- nevermind.”
He grinned. ‘You did great.’
She bit her lip and rolled her eyes. “Not like you would know.” A cringe flashed across her face before she even got the words out. “I’m sorry I didn’t mean--”
Keiko took a step closer, wishing he could reach out and put a hand on her shoulder and still talk effectively. ‘Hey, It’s okay.You don’t have to win every time, you know.’
She crossed her arms again, willing herself to keep her mouth shut.
I thought you might like this,’ he said, then reached back into his pocket, pulling out a small box.
He held it out and nodded for her to take it, and she reached out and took it in her hands. She hesitated for a moment before opening it and letting out a gasp.
Inside was a locket, a silver square engraved with tiny brass filigrees. She popped it open, and in the frame was a line from her favorite song, one that had defined the way she and Keiko felt about Domus.
“We built a home where others found a house.”
He took in a tense breath as she held the necklace out to catch the moonlight. She looked at him and smiled softly. It was their story. It was their life.
And no little failure was going to change the way they supported each other.

The four of them huddled around the fireplace. Zayla couldn’t believe she’d survived the night, but she was glad she had. Even after the misery that was waiting for the night to come, she managed to enjoy herself. But this was better than a party any day. She’d much rather listen to Cameron and Alyssa fend off the silence of the evening with their chatter, pulling her into the conversation every few minutes, making sure she felt like she was a part of the group.
And she did. She finally felt comfortable around someone besides her little brother.
Alyssa had all but forgot about her loss earlier as her hands moved almost as fast as her jaw, barely able to keep up with translating for Keiko. She glanced over every few seconds to make sure he was following the conversation, and each time he nodded at her.
He rested his chin on his hands and smiled as he watched the conversation, chiming in every now and then. Despite his efforts to move on, his mind kept going back to what Alyssa had said earlier. He told himself she hadn’t meant it, that it didn’t mean anything. But it was true. She needed someone to appreciate her that could do it fully-- but at least he could honestly say it didn’t matter to him if she won or lost. She always got first place in his book, medal or not.
Cameron laughed again-- Alyssa had clearly had more sugar tonight than she cared to admit. He couldn’t help but chuckle at the way her expressions went from calm to exaggerated excitement and then back again in an instant. He stood by Zayla, his hands buried in his pockets, elbowing her every now and then to get her to laugh too.
The snow was building up outside, the fire was blazing, and the four Recruits were at home. They didn’t need perfect lives- they had each other. They had their freedom, and that was enough.

Thank you all so much for reading! The next story inline with the plot is scheduled for the first Saturday of January, from Keiko's perspective. I look forward to posting it!
Have a blessed Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Best Blogging Buddies Award!!

Thank you Annika for nominating me!!!

The Rules:
  • You must make a post to show your award on your main blog.
  • You must tag the person who nominated you in your post.
  • You must nominate all your best buddies, and those whom you want to be best buddies with, who, to your knowledge, have not been nominated for this award.
  • You must ask your buddies at least fifteen questions in your post.
  • You must answer all the questions your buddies ask you on this post.

  1. Silver or gold? Why?
Oh, Silver. Gold is... I don't know. Brash, I guess. Silver is elegant. :)
  1. Action movie or romance?
Can I have one with both? Like a Legitimate Romance inside a movie with stellar action? Cause you never get both. XD 
I guess Romance, in the end.
  1. Favorite super-hero?
Captain America. But I'm also obsessed with Hiro and Baymax from Big Hero Six, so.....
  1. Favorite character of all time? (Yours count).
Oh dear. I honestly don't think I could say one of mine, although I really love my TRC charries. (can Kei be real?) But choices are not my thing. So here's a list in no particular order. XD Katniss(The Hunger Games), Newt (Maze Runner), Kate Weatherall (Mysterious Benedict Society), and Percy Jackson(Lightning Thief.)
  1. What is your favorite thing about blogging?
You readers! I'm really enjoying developing this thing and my stories, and getting feed back from all of you. You guys have made my day, multiple times. XD
  1. What story has made the biggest impact on you? (Again, yours do count).
To be honest, I'm not really sure. But the Mysterious Benedict Society was a big deal for me a few years back. Kids who were different, pairing up to save the world from a criminal who propagates lies to unknowing television watchers?
 Yes, Please.
  1. What book/movie/tv show that you've read/watched was the biggest waste of time? 
The Transformers movies are not worth it. With a filter they are shorter, but not short enough. 
  1. Real book or ebook? Why?
Although I use ebooks more often because of convenience, real books are better in the end because they feel right. And they don't lose battery, leaving me stranded in the middle of the plot. XD
  1. What is the weirdest thing you've ever researched?
I may or may not have looked up how dangerous it is to take a blow to the temple. And where you could shoot someone, leaving them incapacitated but not dead.
And then what kind of accident/deformities would leave someone mute(brace yourselves, TRC-ers. I have a new baby coming.) But those aren't too strange really. 
  1. Who are your writing/blogging role models? 
I LOVE the Freckled Fox. She is amazing. Then of course, my friends all have awesome blogs too. (at the bottom of the page.)
  1. What character (any character) do you identify most with?
Can I say my own? I feel like Tessa Scott and me share one thing, I've always been a bit of a black sheep. But I've learned over time that that's not necessarily a bad thing. I don't want to blend in. I'm going to live the life God gave me to it's full potential and embrace the way He made me so I can glorify Him. :)
Now when someone calls me weird, It makes me happy. 

  1. What fandom are you most obsessed with? (If there aren't any, don't be ashamed. You're more sane than us, if that is the case.)

 I mean... Fandoms?? Nah. I'm totally sane. *nervous laugh*
  1. Have you ever met one of your favorite authors in person? Tell me about it.
There will come a day when I have this honor. BUT IT IS NOT THIS DAY. I have gotten to talk with a bunch of authors on the internet though. Like C.F. Barrows. There is no cooler thing than caps lock raging talking with the author as you make your way through their book. 
  1. Here's a big question: Loki or Thor?
(But Tom Hiddleston is awesome.)
  1. Have you ever been obsessed with something typically considered academic? Like astronomy, ancient history, psychology, mathematics, economics, physics . . .something along those lines?
I LOVE Genetics. I may not be like reading books about it, but I get giddy when it comes up in class. GIDDY. 
Actually, my WIP takes genetics into play. :)

Okay, so fifteen questions for my Buddies. 
*evil laugh*
1. When did you first start writing a book? (I started my first book when I was nine. It's hilarious.)
2. Who inspires you in real life?
3. Who inspires you in fiction/television?
4. Your favorite band/composer, and your favorite song from them?
5. Favorite Genre to read?
6. Sarcasm and wit or kindness and affection?
7. Favorite movie?
8. What was your favorite story as a kid? 
9. Baymax(BH6) or Sven(Frozen)?
10. Who is you favorite character-- of your own? And why?
11. Best season of the year?
12. What hobbies do you have? (other than blogging)
13. What's your Myers Briggs Personality Type? 
14. Describe a time you surprised yourself. (Did you write something you hadn't planned? maybe you did something you've always been scared of?)
15. What makes you more hyper, Caffeine or sugar?

And Who to nominate.... hmmmm.

Victoria Grace Howell 

Rachel Day

Krissy Aleman