Monday, December 30, 2013

The year is coming to an end.


The year is coming to an end and I've realized that I have several pictures that I still need to post. With Christmas, my engagement, working, and spending time with family, I haven't had a lot of time to devote to pictures and blogging recently.

I did want to share these few photos because they were taken with my new camera lens, which I am super excited about. I've wanted that lens for years now. =) Hopefully this means that you'll be able to see more of my photography on here in the future.

These past few months have seemed extremely busy and I still seem to have so much more to do before I go back to school next week.

I would like to say that this year was filled with accomplishments...I wrote 50,000 words in a month. I excelled in all of my classes. I agreed to marry the man of my dreams. And it has been a good year. But there are things that I would have liked to go further with. I need to finish my novel. I did not complete my goal of reading 40 books this year. I wrote far less poetry than I would have liked to and was not consistent with writing in my journal or posting on my blog.

Still, I'm happy with 2013. I'm very happy with 2013.
And my little failures only make me more motivated for next year.

--Emily

Oh! Also, my friend Dylan published an ebook on Amazon called Disenchanted: A Story of Love Lost. It's pretty short and pretty inexpensive, so if you're interested, you can find it here.

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

a letter to the man who asked me to marry him.


To Deacon,

Last night, you asked me to be your wife.
And I said, "Yes!" wholeheartedly. =)

We've been planning our upcoming marriage for quite some time and you have been planning to propose on Christmas Eve for at least a year now. I had a feeling that it was coming, but it was still magical. I drove you home after you helped me wrap my presents last night, then you took me inside, lit up the Christmas tree, and knelt down next to it, just you and me.

I will never forget it.


We sat down and enjoyed the moment together, alone in the middle of the night, for awhile before telling anyone. We prayed together and hugged and whispered and just took in the moment.

I want you to know how unbelievably blessed I am to have you in my life and to be able to spend the rest of my life with you. Our love story is beautiful, but we've been through a lot to get to where we are now. And you were there for me through all of it. I love you so much and I cannot wait to see what the future holds for us.


I get to marry my best friend. I get to see our love blossom and grow throughout the years.

You make me so incredibly happy, sir. I'm so excited for our marriage!


Love you,
Emily

(all photos were taken by my sister Karlee the day before the proposal)

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

to keep.

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the woods are lovely, dark and deep.
but I have promises to keep,
and miles to go before I sleep.
and miles to go before I sleep.

- Robert Frost

--Emily
currently listening to: Buzzcut Season by Lorde

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Chasing After Comets

I know words. We're on a first-name basis.
We've whispered secrets back and forth,
we've passed notes and secret glances--
we've said more than could be said;
we've learned how to understand each other,
even without each other.

I've learned which words to let fly,
and which to coddle between my palms.
I know which ones are sacred, which ones
to wait for--the ones that don't come around
a second time. They're flickering flames--
they're chasing after comets.

I caught a few tonight, like fireflies in a net.
They flew from you; I'm not sure you noticed,
but I did. I had not expected it then--
so sharp and precise. So matter-of-fact.
It was instantaneous, but I snatched it up--
that one word, that one little word:

friend.

--Emily
currently listening to: Poison & Wine by The Civil Wars

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Pinterest Misquotes

I've been on Pinterest for a little over a year now, and I have to admit that I love it. Maybe a little too much.
But the one thing that I don't love about it is the constant misquoting that I see. Over and over again I see quotes and phrases taken by little-known authors, adapted into some sort of image, and tagged with an author that is more popular. It's maddening. Can you imagine being one of those authors who has put time and effort into their work only to have it attributed to somebody else?

That's why I put together a little list of some common misquotes that I see.

~~~

1) This is one I saw today. When I could not remember this line in any of the movies featuring the Joker, I went to Google. I actually had a hard time finding the real source--the most frequent answer I saw was author Sam Steven, but I'm not 100% sure that is accurate. Regardless, the Joker did not say this.
The Joker "We stop looking for monsters under the bed when we realize they're inside of us."


2) Alan Rickman never said this. It was originally said by a fan of the books and structured as a homage to the famous scene with Snape and Dumbledore.
YES!


3) This is not an Edgar Allan Poe quote. They are actually song lyrics from a song called "Terrible Heart" by a band called Poe.
edgar allan poe quotes - Google Search

4) This is not in the book or any of the Peter Pan movies. It is from the movie Hook. And even there, Peter Pan does not say it--Tinkerbell does.
Peter Pan Love Quote Poster by motormouthstudios on Etsy, $15.00


5) This quote is not in the book, but was added to the script for the movie.



6) You see this quote everywhere and attributed to every famous woman under the sun. Its true author is Pulitzer prize-winning scholar Laurel Thatcher Ulrich in an essay entitled, “Vertuous Women Found: New England Ministerial Literature, 1668-1735.″

Most of the misquotes I see come from Albert Einstein, Audrey Hepburn, and William Shakespeare. I just ask for all of you to keep an eye out and to stop pinning quotes blindly. All it takes is a little research!

Also, if there are any that you guys know of that were not listed, please share!
--Emily

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Cats + Currently

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listening to
            Let It Snow Baby…Let it Reindeer by Relient K. Specifically, “12 Days of Christmas.” It marks my first day of listening to Christmas music this season. I don’t have a preference of when the right time to start is—I just start whenever I am ready. And today it finally started snowing outside and I knew the time was right.

watching:
            Season 5 of The Office and Book 2 of Avatar: The Last Airbender. Very different shows, but both equally great. I’m actually trying to stay away from them today, because finals are coming up and I have a lot of things to accomplish this weekend. And they are terrific at providing distractions.   

reading:
            I have actually put my reading on hold for the moment, though I hope to be able to pick it up again over Christmas Break. I was pretty sad that I didn’t get to read anything over Thanksgiving Break—it has become one of my favorite traditions to finish reading a good book during that time. I did recently finish King Lear for one my classes, though. And I’m planning on reading a chapter of my Christian Doctrine textbook later on tonight to prepare for the upcoming final exam.

touching:
            My computer, which has been working double-time this weekend and is a bit hotter than it probably should be.

feeling:
            A little weary. The semester is coming to a close and while that is relieving, it also means that I am halfway through my senior year of college and am just one step closer to being out in the world, trying to find my way.

goals:
            This weekend, I have been trying to complete the application process for graduate school and it is not going as smoothly as I had hoped. I fear that I put it off for too long and now I am stressed about getting it all done before the holidays. I’m also working on getting photos done before next week that I took over Thanksgiving, as well as studying for all of my final exams.

wishing:
            That I could be home with my family and with Deacon, playing in all the snow that they keep sending me pictures of, reading Sylvia Plath and drinking hot chocolate by the fireplace, snuggled under fuzzy blankets and playing with Romeo and all the cats. I’m ready to be back home. I’m also ready to take my job back at Little Caesars over the break—as an introvert, I enjoy time alone, but I have had far too much of it this semester. I’m craving to get out and do something with my hands. To feel useful. To talk to other people face-to-face.

blessings:
            This year has been academically successful, and I am truly thankful for that. I only have one more semester before I earn my B.A., though I have to take more credit hours than I ever have before and I’m a little nervous about it. But God has blessed me with truly wonderful peers and teachers that I know will help me along the way.
I’m also thankful for…
--my family for remodeling my room back home in time for my return for the holidays
--Deacon, for putting up with me during my good days and my bad days
--the staff at HLGU, for demonstrating such admirable qualities and always being able to help students
--today’s snow, for filling me with the Christmas spirit

And our cats, for being so photogenic when I was home for Thanksgiving:

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--Emily

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Ransom

I caught that quiver and your eye's hopscotch;
your nose pressed to the earth like a bloodhound
chasing after the convict.
You judged me in less than a second. I saw it.
I saw the thought projected and processed
and stored within your mind's archives,
tucked away for future reference
or ransom.


These roads are too dark for me to drive
and you've told that story to me before.
I've heard those verses a thousand times,
and I don't care to remember them.


I've realized that we want to stand out and blend in
when convenient for us,
but the timing is never quite right.
Someone is always left empty-handed,
walking the aisles of mixed or missed items,
drawing circles in the margins of masterpieces.

--Emily

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Karlee // Portraits

My sister is beautiful. Just thought everyone should know.

We took these photos while waiting for everyone to arrive for Thanksgiving.

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--Emily

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Ryan & Joe // Couple Portraits

Ryan and Joe are part of my family. They're like my adopted brothers.

Back in October, they asked me to take a few photos of them, and it was really a great time. =) I would have gotten them up sooner, but NaNoWriMo pretty much sucked all my free time last month. But better late than never, right?

I hope you all like them.

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--Emily
currently listening to: 9 Crimes by Damien Rice

Friday, November 29, 2013

Day Twenty-Nine // currently: 50,031 words

I just wanted to tell everyone out there that I am an official NaNoWriMo winner.

Not completely done with the novel yet, but now that I've 'won' I'm going to finish some homework, hug my boyfriend, eat cheesecake/brownies/chocolate pie, and watch The Office.

(side note: Deacon recently got me hooked on The Office. Shocking, I know.)

I'll do a whole big "Things I learned from NaNo" post sometime, but for right now, I'm closing this computer and stepping outside. Breathing fresh air. Cuddling my kitty. Reassuring everyone that I'm still alive and breathing.

Hope all of you are having a great Thanksgiving!
--Emily

Monday, November 25, 2013

far from home

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I know you saw it. But it's okay.
That's been my word for the past three years.
it's okay, it's okay.

[It's not okay. But we all have our vices
and mine is the art of deception.]

I've seen your face when I close my eyes
for longer than I can remember.

But I understand; dreams can never
measure up to reality.

You used to tell me I was afraid of change.
I think the tables have turned.

It's [not] okay.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I could never find a way to capture this in ink, in words,
to capture your eyes and all of their shades--
those truth-seekers, those honorable spheres.

But they have captured me completely;
they have me shackled, blindfolded.
They have me bound to truth.

I feel them on me, everywhere.
I feel it rage within me.
and i think i know that you know.

I cannot shake them; nor can I
say the words and make it real.
I cannot look at them directly anymore,

lest I turn to stone. 
--Emily
currently listening to: Pray by Blessthefall

Friday, November 22, 2013

The Door

The door stares back at me, laughing at me.
I've no nerve to approach it, and it knows,
though everyone is tugging me along,
everyone is on the other side whispering back
come along, come along now.
But there will always be a red stain upon that door;
a mark like a hand-print slapped across its face,
scratches from fingernails along the handle.

--Emily
currently listening to: Rabbit Heart by Florence + The Machine

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Day Twenty // currently: 37,310 words

So that moment when you realize you only have ten days and 12,690 words to wrap up this story?
Yeah, just felt that.

  • I don't think that I'll be able to get to the ending with less than 13,000 words. And even if I do, it will be rushed and I will have to expand it later on.
  • So I downloaded the free 30-day trial of Scrivener the other day and have started writing my novel in that rather than MS Word, and I must say, I am absolutely in love with it.
    • If I get to 50,000 words, I get a major discount off the usual $40 price, which is pretty awesome.
    • It's fun to write on, and it will be extremely helpful when I begin the editing process.
    • By the way, this story is going to need a lot of editing.
  • If you haven't heard of Scrivener, you should check it out. It's great for writing and organizing longer works, but for other stuff, too. Like research papers, short stories, etc.
  • I'm still contemplating the idea of completely changing the story's narration. I'm about 60% convinced to rewrite the whole thing using Avarielle as my narrator.
    • For now, I'm going to finish my first draft with the omniscient narrator, though. Just to simplify things.
  • Another struggle: portraying Rae as a strong female character.
    • I'm really drawing on Korra's character from TLOK to try to accomplish this.
    • But she keeps going back to a love-obsessed moron.
    • Another thing I'm going to have to deal with heavily during the next few drafts.
  • I also keep forgetting to include scenes that I've worked out forever ago, and then remembering them and having to shift things around to fit it in.
  • Writing a novel is hard.
    • But worth it?
  • And I keep putting all these things off for Thanksgiving Break, like reading King Lear, but I realized today that NaNoWriMo ends that weekend
  • So yeah, it's been a bit hectic.
I think Week Three is always my least favorite.
But I'm still pulling through.
--Emily

Monday, November 18, 2013

Day Eighteen // currently: 31,436 words

Week three has come.

I have only written 61 words today, due to having to complete that research paper that is due tomorrow. And I only managed to write 1,000 or so words yesterday.

Week Two = suffering from discouragement due to my crappy writing.
Week Three = suffering from complete lack of motivation to write.

I'm still slightly ahead, though. And I still have time to get my word count up for today, so I have not given up hope.

~~~~~~~~~~~~

I will leave you with the last scene that I wrote yesterday:
(P.S. please remember that this is a first draft)

“I thought he said we would have a different task,” Rae yelped.
“We don’t even know what he had to do last time,” Sash replied, nodding reassuringly.
Mylan mumbled something that nobody managed to catch. They all took half a step forward and craned their necks to isolate their hearing.
“What did you say?” Zohar whispered desperately.
Mylan’s eyes flicked to him, then over to Sash, then to Rae. His lips were still trembling.
“D-did they sting you?”
Rae shook her head, surprised at the question. “No.”
His shoulders did not relax. His eyes went back to Sash, who raised his hands before him in innocence. “They didn’t touch me.”
He then looked at Zohar, who stared back at him in silence for a few very long seconds. Finally, he answered, “No.”
Mylan’s breaths slowed down to normalcy, but his muscles were still tense.
“Mylan,” Rae said hesitantly, “what did Makani mean? What is the task?”
His eyes fell down like he had been shot; his chest heaved under the weight of the words. Pain climbed upon his back.
“The Sershii didn’t kill my mother,” he admitted. His voice was strained and both of his hands rose and cupped around his eyes, catching a sob.
“I don’t understand…Mylan, what happened?”
He sniffed and wiped at his eyes, but it did little to stifle the leak.
“It was me,” he said, looking up at Rae. “I—I killed her.”

~~~~~~~~~~~~
--Emily
currently listening to: Cat and Mouse by The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus, performed by Vitamin String Quartet

Saturday, November 16, 2013

i am, i am, I am.

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I don't hear the silence very often anymore. The places I live are filled. And when something is empty, like the drive back home or sitting in a restaurant trying to write something, I instinctively put on my head phones and turn up the volume.

Why am I constantly trying to fill that void?
Am I afraid of what might happen if I embrace it--am I afraid of thought?

I used to listen to them. The breaths of the people in the room with me, the rustle of leaves outside my window, the horn of a train echoing from a distance. My heartbeat as I sprawled out on my bed and allowed my mind to roam into distant lands.

We used to call each other on the phone and talk for hours at a time, talking and listening back and forth like a game of ping-pong. We didn't just read the words someone wanted us to read, we felt them. We deciphered them. We could recognize someone just by their voice, like a fingerprint. We knew it by heart.

Things are changing now. We're afraid of silence and we're afraid to speak.
Mostly, we're afraid of thought.

--Emily
currently listening to: the hum of my computer

Friday, November 15, 2013

Day Fifteen // currently: 26,357 words

23,643 more to go.
I'm officially over the halfway point.

There are now less words to be written than have been written.
Keep repeating it, Emily

Week two is over! Thank the Lord. The beginning of the week was awful. The middle of the week was awful because I was on a huge chapter and nothing was really happening. Yesterday, however, I wrote 2,400 words. It was crazy and awesome and I wish I could do that every day. I actually had to physically pull my fingers away from the keys so I could study for a test I had this morning.

So, what's been happening? in life, in the novel?

I managed to clean my room this week! That was a big triumph.
I came up with an idea for my Final Project in my Romanticism class.
I took two tests...no word yet on how those went.
I came up with a topic and checked out a book for my Structure paper.
...which is due Tuesday and has not been started yet. Oops.

As for the novel? Well, I've been a bit discouraged. As I'm doing fine on quantity, there's a fine lack of quality going around. And I know that's okay, that that's kind of the point of NaNo, but it is really getting to me. I keep wanting to share an excerpt with you guys, but literally none of it is ready to be seen by another human.

But some highlights:

  • I'm currently on Chapter Ten, which may actually be Chapter Eleven if I decide to split an earlier chapter.
  • I'm currently on page 50.
    • (that's with my adjusted settings. If I put it in Times New Roman, 12 point font, single-spaced, 1 inch margins, I'm on page 59.)
  • Rae finally knows the truth about Mylan. (Squeak!)
    • ...well, at least the part about him saving her in the first chapter. There are many, many things she has not figured out yet.
  • Rae, Mylan, Sash, and Zohar have finally started their quest to find Avarielle.
  • I got to introduce the Kan’proxsershii yesterday...which are more or less big, gruesome gargoyle/vampire creatures.
  • Zohar may or may not have been infected by one of them...it remains to be seen.


Some troubles:

  • I'm having a difficult time having Rae connect with anyone other than Sash.
  • I'm really considering going back and rewriting the whole thing in a different perspective. Something isn't flowing right...and I think it's my omniscient narrator. I feel I write better in first person, but I don't know how I would do it with this story.
  • My vocabulary is the most limited thing ever and I'm a terrible writer/English major.
  • My plot becomes extremely fuzzy after this point. I had the first half pretty lined out, but this next half is kind of a mystery.
  • Even if I do make it to 50,000 words, I have a feeling that I'm not going to reach the end of the story. Which is technically okay, but still stressful.
  • My school life has fallen to the wayside and I don't even care...but I'm not sure whether this is the fault of NaNo or just plain senioritis.
  • Also, I'm glad the group has finally left Lux, but I'm really going to miss scenes with Channery.
I realize I haven't given you guys a synopsis yet, unless you've gone to my page on the NaNo website and looked it up there. I've been waiting until I can formulate a better one, but it doesn't look like that's going to happen, so I'm just going to copy and paste the synopsis I have there:

Synopsis
Her name means "into the light," and that is exactly the kind of life that Eraelyn's parents had planned for her. But upon her birth, her golden-blood revealed her to be a proxii--the children chosen to act like surrogates for the Earth's corruption. To be a proxii was long ago thought to be a great honor, but times have changed, and now it is seen as a curse.

Eraelyn is now fifteen years old, which is the most common age of death for the proxii. When Mylan, a boy from a distant village, finds her after a mountain-climbing accident, he rushes her to a medical center, but learns that the proxii are forbidden from medical care. Mylan secretly smuggles Eraelyn across the border and to his home village.

The attempts to revive Eraelyn seem to have little effect, however, and Mylan learns that the only one that can heal her is the guardian of life, Avarielle. Together, Mylan, Eraelyn, and a few companions travel to find Avarielle, but they must first accomplish four tasks from the other guardians and pass through strange, foreign lands filled with mysterious creatures...

~~~~~~~~~~~

In other news, our campus has been completely flooded by Christmas trees. They are seriously everywhere.

And I won't be home until Thanksgiving. =(

--Emily
currently listening to: Enchanted by Taylor Swift

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Day Twelve // currently: 20,115 words

29,885 more to go.
Can you taste it?

It's starting to get hard. Really hard. You hear all these stories that Week Two is the hardest. Last year, that wasn't so for me--it was Week Three. But this year, Week Two is stepping on my feet as I try to trudge on.

School (and life in general) is part of the problem. Assignments are beginning to pile up. Final papers are due. Presentations must be given. Pre-final tests must be studied for. Clothes must be washed.

Novel must be written.

I've been forced to cut some corners. I had a pretty difficult test today in my Christian Doctrine class...and I really don't think I did so great on it. This morning, I skipped my first class...the first time I've skipped a class the entire semester. I've put off reading assignments. I haven't washed laundry in two weeks. I actually had to use my one skip for room checks last Thursday because I simply did not have time to clean.

NaNoWriMo is beginning to look like a poor life decision.

But then I write scenes like I did today, and I fall in love with it again. I feel lost if I'm not writing, if I'm not pushing forward.

I haven't fallen behind yet, by some grace of God. I'm still on track, but it's surely not coming as easily as those first few days did.

I just passed 20,000 words, though, and the feeling. You can't replicate that.

Halfway is just around the corner.

--Emily
currently listening to: Best I Ever Had by Gavin DeGraw

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Tyler & Amanda // Engagement Session

Last month, I got the amazing opportunity to photograph Tyler and Amanda. It was my very first time doing an engagement session, but they really made it easy and quite comfortable...and it doesn't hurt that they are simply a gorgeous couple.

We actually took the photos at Engler Park, the place where Tyler proposed. It was such a beautiful day and excellent weather--in fact, we encountered many other photographers during our session there. Everyone wanted to capture a bit of the beautiful day.

I feel so honored that they asked me to shoot for them, and I know that they will have a happy marriage together. =)

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If you wish to book me for a shoot, send me an email! I hope to have my Photography page up and running in the near future, as soon as my school work dies down a bit.

Have a happy weekend!

--Emily