Friday, November 25, 2011

Hiatus (and Doctor Who pictures)

Not that I haven't kind of unofficially started this already, but it bothers me when other bloggers drop off the face of the earth without warning and for weeks, so here's the proclamation.

Awesome picture that has nothing to do with this post (except I haven't watched Doctor Who in a month. *sniff*). I don't know who drew it, but you're awesome.
I have stuff to do. Lots of it. Biggest thing being college application deadlines that want to eat me at the moment. I'm hoping that after my trip to New York it'll be better, and I think there's an even better chance after December 15th, but I can't be sure until around the 1st of January that I'll be through with this stuff. It's a bit nuts. I'm applying to 8 colleges (I've done 1 so far), and they basically all have supplements of extra essays. My mom and dad are currently working overtime trying to put together all the homeschool and financial aid stuff together.


I'm trying to still do school while distracted by this, and it's ridiculously hard. Stress doesn't do well for my ability to focus. Maybe I'm easily distracted, but ah well.

Doctor and horse (Alpha).
Anyway. I'm shelving the blog for at least a week or two, possibly until the first of the year, when I definitely plans to come back in, words flying. Could be I'll be able to shoot off a couple in the month of December, but we'll see.

Because Ten can save the world in his jim-jams.
I'm officially putting myself on hold on this so I don't have to feel guilty. I'm still reading blogs ('cause that's easier), so if I'm following you I'll still be around some!


And I'm off. God bless!



P.S. In the meantime, check out these cool blogs:
Jody Hedlund
Bookmarked Page
Miranda Lynn Hajduk
Rachelle Gardner
Pro-Life American
Writ in Water
WordServe Water Cooler
Rowan of the Eyrie

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Scared Stiff


I’m not your average young person when it comes to (at least) one thing: I don’t like change. I hate new situations where I don’t know what to do or what is expected of me. Change isn’t exciting. It scares me.

Even change in myself frightens me. I remember when I was changing from a child to a young adult; I cried buckets over the fact that stuffed animals stopped “talking” to me and playing with them was no longer the way to pass afternoons. I felt my imagination was dying, and I felt it keenly.

Of course it wasn’t. Being a writer allows one very wild part of the mind to continue to engage in those adventures. They were young adult and grown-up adventures, and the characters were medieval people, not stuffed cats, but it was still in a place for my imagination to live and thrive.

Back in 2007, approximately, my intense concentration and love of playing my violin began a long waning process. Considering I didn’t stop taking private lessons until last spring shows how long I clung onto something that I used to devote hours even as my interest faded (though I still love orchestra). This too hurt and still hurts. I feel like I’ve abandoned my beautiful violin in the same way I used to feel I’d abandoned Calico.

Now, with the college process underway and hopefully drawing near a close at least application-wise, I’m scared again. I’ve been a serious novelist for four years. I’ve been writing for ten. I still love my stories, but I have new loves crowding in. Economics. Philosophy. Government. History.

I’m applying to Princeton and Rice, Davidson and Hillsdale.

And The King’s College.

This little nondenominational Christian college, nestled in the basement of the Empire State Building, is tugging at me. I already have a basically half-tuition scholarship and recently found out about a chance at full-tuition through a contest that involves an essay...and a presentation. We’re going to visit in December. Me. In New York City.

I’m terrified of falling in love with this school.

Mom says she first found out that I was good at public speaking was at a Young Stateswoman Society meeting, way back when I was twelve. Knowing my shyness around people, she said she honestly had no idea what I would do when I got up in front of that little group for my presentation. Then, according to her biased opinion, I hopped right up and did better than anyone.

Dad re-confirmed this with my participation in the speech class with TeenPact in 2009. He too said it was one of the best speeches presented. Granted, I was talking about something I loved (Robin Hood), so I almost enjoyed it too. Though I drew diamonds all over my notes while waiting for my turn.

This summer, for love of OYAN, I stood up and did a short, “um”y speech that I didn’t care for that much on critiquing. Apparently the Schwabauers liked it, though, so I must’ve not failed as badly as it felt.

I hated every one of these incidents. I remember stupid things I said, things I executed poorly, and of, course, my pounding heart and shaking hands.

I don’t like speaking anymore than I like new situations or trying to figure out small-talk with other teenagers.

At TeenPact we had a speaker from the Missouri legislature give us a talk. In it, he asked the room for a show of hands--from people who didn’t like the idea of standing up in front of a group and talking. And then he caught me be surprise. He said, you’re the people we need talking.

I think this college would make me talk.

And that's scary. There's still a part of me that would rather sit in dark corners and write novels all her life. But there's the side of me that wants to talk. Wants to be pushed.

Oh God, help me.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hey Nai. I've got this. -God

Jody Hedlund (published Christian author, though not really my genre) posted today about A Writer's Number One Enemy.

What does she think it is?

Ourselves. More specifically, our tendency to discourage ourselves.

I concur with this. I am way more dubious about publishing and my own writing ability then, say, my family, my peers, my readers, and the random people that find out that I write and immediately ask: "are you published?"

As perhaps the fact that I'm reading Jody's blog suggests, I'm keeping up pretty regularly with the publishing industry, with the agent blog I've been following regularly for a long time now (Rachelle Gardner) and a few of her clients. That along with the air-castle squashing lesson from Mr.S. all those years ago has given me a more realistic and depressing outlook on publishing than your average person or young writer.

Combine that with the fact that I don't know how to edit Forest of Lies to save my life and it took me two years to get to my next story (never mind how much I love Quintessence) make me doubt my own abilities.

Which is just and right.

But you know what?

Forest of Lies went up on the OYAN website around two years ago. I still get personal messages from people who read it. I got one today. And it just kind of puts me in awe.

Because, there's so much that I still see as "wrong" with that draft. It's the stinkin' one I've been attempting to edit for the last two years without success. It leans too heavily on dialogue. It doesn't have the improved chapter 7 ending (the one thing I've edited to my satisfaction). The formation and characters of Robin's band don't really make sense. Alan appears and disappears because I, frankly, forgot about him. Jacqueline shows up randomly. The Sheriff is too obviously evil from the get-go and most of my readers admit to wanting to smack my heroine with a 2x4 often while reading what she does.

I have so much to fix on the story side. So many things I'm unsatisfied with.

And yet.

These messages. It's sobering. Humbling. It's "Hey Nai. I've got this." from God. Sure, I poured my heart into this story and these characters, raw, bleeding, longing, and I think people can sense that. But if it was just me in this story, it couldn't end like it does. The Truth. The Love. The Beauty. The Hope. The Light.

Let me tell you something.

I'm not the Truth. I don't demonstrate sacrificial Love--the REAL Love--every day of my life. I am not Beautiful. And without God-given Light, I would be without a Hope.


Maybe Forest of Lies has done its work and will continue to do its work in the unfinished, unpolished state it is in right now. Maybe it's most powerful that way. Or maybe the polishing time is coming.

But whatever it is, God's got this.

May I just say...what a relief.

Not only can I not do this on my own, I don't have to.

God's got this.
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