Showing posts with label wanna-be historian. Show all posts
Showing posts with label wanna-be historian. Show all posts

Thursday, December 31, 2015

A long book blurb... part 2

Hello Lovely Readers,

I know I don't usually post two days in a row but I want to finish up the details of my "26 book challenge" before 2016 (tomorrow). In my previous post I wrote about books I highly enjoyed and books I pulled at my heart strings... but there are other books I read and I wanted to let you know about them.

For the love of history...

I love history so much that not only did I get my bachelor's degree but also got my master's in history, though I will admit sometimes I have a hard time reading historical books because they are rather dry and so I usually turn to historical fiction. If historical fiction is good the author will make you feel as if the past is a live for you. In my previous post I shared a lot of historical fictions I loved reading this year but I am also pleased to announce I found some nonfiction I enjoyed.

1. A Season of Splendor: The Court of Mrs. Astor by Greg King- I picked this book up a couple of years ago when I visited Newport, RI and was swept away in the Gilded Age and I wanted to read anything about that era. A Season of Splendor is a wide view of the time period focusing on different prominent families, their wealth, their culture including balls, clothing and mansions and what brought about the end of the era. I underlined and tabbed many of the pages in order to go back and use as a reference in future writing projects.

2.  Testament of Youth by Vera Brittian- is the memoir of Vera Brittian who left her studies at Oxford in 1915 to enlist as a nurse in WWI. She served in London, in Malta and on the Western Front and sadly by the end of the war she had almost everyone she loved. I will admit the writing is a bit dry as I think she is trying to sound like an educated woman and to be taken seriously and not to be seen as a frivolous emotional author. I recommend this book with the companion read Chronicle of Youth which is selected pieces of her diary (selected by editor) she kept during the war... I think these two together give a better insight into her life, her experiences, her emotions and the impact World War I had on people. However, if you cannot get around to reading both books I recommend the movie Testament of Youth as I think it blends together both these works.

3. Mary Queen Scots by Anotonia Fraser - I will admit that I got intrigued to read this book because I enjoyed the historical fiction version portrayed on the CW and I honestly wanted to know how much was fact and how much was fictionalized. This book also has a special spot in my heart as I bought it in Paris at the Shakespeare and Company. Though it is thick do not let it intimate you as Fraser is a great writer and tells the history in a capturing way... I found myself tearing through it. 

Books I am glad I crossed off my literary list...

1. Charlotte's Web by E.B White- Though I love reading now I did not read much as a child and sometimes I feel I missed out on childhood classics one being Charlotte's Web. 

2. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury-Is not in my typical genre of reading but I really enjoyed it and made me think about the future and the progress of society. 

General reccomendations...

1. The Chance by Karen Kingsbury- Looking for something light, maybe a beach read or a vacation read... this is a good book. It centers around Ellie and Nolan who years ago buried letters to each other (telling the other one how they felt). Now eleven years later (2013) they are to meet up and dig up the buried letters and read them. In those eleven years their lives have changed differently. Ellie no longer has the faith she once had and lives as a single mom in California and trying to make ends meet. Nolan is an NBA star but has had his own personal tragedies that has only fueled his faith and his athletic drive. Can they go back to the days of their innocent childhood and rekindle their feeling they had for each other as teenagers? Can they forgive past hurts and pains? 

2. The Storied Life of A.J Frikry by Gabrielle Zevin- This was a simple book and reminded me of a good update of Silas Marner by George Elliot. A.J Frikry lives a quiet life owning a bookstore until he meets a publishing book seller and has his treasured possession stolen. Both these actions leave him to create a new life for himself and open his heart to a girl left in his book store. I did not like reading Silas Marner in high school but I enjoyed this update. 

3.The Blue Castle by L.M Montgomery- looking for a little bit of lighthearted frivolousness, look to The Blue Castle, Valancy Stirling as always lived at the service and mockery of her relatives and yet she yearns for a place all her own. When she finally thinks that her life is going to end she decides to live the life she always wants speaking her mind and pursuing love. I think Valancy is a great character for giving courage of those wanting to seek out a place to belong.

To see other books I read for this challenge click on this "26 book challenge" page (link)

I have already seen some book challenges on Pinterest for 2016 (link) and while I liked this challenge as it kept me motivated to read post grad-school, I won't be doing another challenge. I have lots of books I want to read or re-read on my list and I think I will be making my way through those. Though through some encouragement of my sister, I will try to be better in 2016 and in the future of having a page of books I like. I currently have "Books to get Lost In" (link) but it is not very up to date and I want to share more books I have read. I will working on compiling a list of books I love and recommend for you all... will keep you updated when that is officially published. 

Monday, November 23, 2015

NaNoWriMo... check in #2

Hello lovely readers,

In my previous post (link) I shared that I was stuck in a scene. I am happy to report that I was able to get through that scene and move it towards the ending I wanted to get to, so thank you for your support and encouragement. I also wanted to share that I got 25,000 words last week, which feels to be a huge accomplishment. In NaNoWriMo the goal is to get to 50,000 words, I am okay if I don't get to that. Writing wise this month has been more about my story taking shape and getting it to what I want it to be, sometimes that means rewriting scenes, reformatting my outline, or realizing I need to do more research. At heart I am writer and I totally believe in creative license, but I am also a historian so I want my story to be as accurate as possible which for me means going back and adjusting details and frequently staring at my story saying "how am I going to do this?"

Alicia Vikander portraying Vera Brittian
I knew when I started writing a WWI novel I was going to have to do some research, as much as I love the time period it is sadly not discussed much here in the United States, so I am kind of coming to my story with very little knowledge. There were somethings I knew I was going to have to research for example: major battles in WWI, trench life, women in WWI. Then after reading Testament of Youth  I knew I wanted Mattie to become a VAD nurse, and I was happy to add that to my list of research because it gave my story and character direction. Next I realized that I had made Marcus a pilot... okay so what did pilots do in WWI? WWI was the first war to have a new battlefield in the skies. So add that to my list of things to research. These are things I expected to research and embraced it for my stories sake. However, the more I write the more I realize there are factors I haven't thought about.

My copy of Testament of Youth, marking passages I liked

For example I have brought the Harrington family to London during WWI, guess what happens? Zeppelin Attacks. While the Blitz of London in WWII is way more infamous than the attacks London faced in WWI, it still happened and now I have to make sure my character's house doesn't get blown up. Thus far I have found no record of Eaton Square being attacked in WWI (though it is attacked in WWII).

Also I want a character to be in a major battle... for my time line it has to 1915. Big battle in 1915- the second battle of Ypres. Great! People shooting at each other, "I can write that" (I think). I have read a few books about WWI, in preparation for this. But then I had this thought "Oh look... Germans used chlorine gas for the first time in battle. Awesome" Add research on chlorine gas to my list of things to research. I will just say my "The War to End all Wars" board on Pinterest (link) is beginning to look a bit morbid with pictures of disfigured men... and part of me feels bad for posting graphic photos but then my roommate told me "half the population is watching Walking Dead I think they can handle it." Okay good point. I also think this actually happened and I want my story to be genuine and as historically accurate as possible. So I continue on with my research that may or may not make my stomach queasy. If I am feeling that way about reading it, I can't imagine what my character would feel living it... until WWI Mattie lived a pretty sheltered life and now she is thrown into the world.
So while I didn't expect this research I actually don't mind researching it... like I said I want my story to be as authentic as possible though as writer I know I am allowed creative licensing, which I plan to take advantage of with in reason of course. To me I know this is a fictional story and it may never get published to me it is important because real men and women served in this war and I want to make sure my work is a good tribute to their lives and sacrifice.

A review of the movie Testament of Youth
So while I may not get to 50,000 words in my story I think it is important that I make a first draft that I can be proud of and that will hopefully make a better second draft.

Good motivation to keep going {pic}

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Getting unstuck...Writing #Littleloves


Hello my lovely readers,

It is Wednesday and that means it is Writing Wednesday... I probably like this time the most because I can share what I working on creatively. In a previous post Writing #Littleloves I shared that I was feeling stuck in my writing. Well I struggled for awhile of what to do, what my story was really about, and why I was writing it? I know many writers struggle with writers block and I see a lot of pins on Pinterest about how to conquer writers block and I am not saying my advice is right but here are some things I did and it helped...

Read a great novel...
I cannot stop recommending The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley. I loved that it was about a writer trying to write a historical fiction. Also I liked how she talked about her process, one thing she did was tape down facts about the era she was writing about on her desk so she could look at them easily. I have notes that have kept about my characters but they are scattered about. So I took out my notes and taped them down.

Rethinking some things down
I am all about following inspiration and letting the characters telling me where the story is going. While that is great in some ways I felt I lost my point of my of my story. I want my story to be a romantic story of hoping in spite of obstacles. I want my story to be about Mattie and Kelby being separated by class, family obligation and war. World War I to be exact and yet I was nearly 100 pages into the writing and these things had not come up. So I decided I needed to rework my writing... but how?

Skip Ahead
 Most of my work in progress is building up to WWI but this is where I was getting stuck because I didn't know how to take my characters from the life they were living and throwing them into War... So I took a step back from my current plot and wrote a scene in the middle of the war. You can part of that scene here... "Author Happiness". Skipping ahead really helped me feel inspired to get back into my story.
Do some research...It can be fun
Okay I will admit I was a history major and yeah I went for Masters in Library Science so I enjoy research...but it can be fun. For example: I found this documentary "Diaries of the Great War" on Netflix and for me I watch the documentaries 8 episodes and take notes of things I want to mention in my story. Also I have a board on Pinterest called "The War to end all Wars" and follow other boards about World War I. So even though you may not be writing a WWI novel I am sure you can find areas of research that are fun. 

Listen to Inspiring Music
When I am writing, I like to have music going. Sometimes I just find a song that speak to me. I am not going to make suggestions on what songs to listen to as I know music taste really vary. Here is one song I have just discovered and feel it well with my story...
Song: Carry you
By: The Native Sibling
Get distracted
If you are not on a deadline (which I am not except my own thinking) it is okay to walk away from your writing. I have really gotten into Poldark on PBS. It is about Ross Poldark who is believed to be dead after fighting for the British in the American Revolution. He comes home to find the woman he loved to be engaged to his cousin, his inheritance in practical ruins, and he has to make a new life for himself. It is great! Plus you get to see Adrian Turner without a shirt...
While it has nothing to do with WWI, I don't care! It is my distraction. 
Okay back to serious writing..
Outline/ Timeline
As I said above I usually about following inspiration and my one weakness is making an outline. When I skipped ahead and wrote that scene I decided that I wanted to weave it into my story as a flash forward.... but then I thought "now what" I have this one random flash forward. What do I do with this. So I was going to have more flash forwards about the war, this would help me pull the war more into my story. So I sat down and actually outlined my work in progress and it feels good to have a direction.
Typed it up/Write it down
I know this takes a long time but I am the kind of writer that has to write down my story and then type it. Only on a few occasions have I been able to look at a blank screen and just type up my story. It really helped me to type up some parts, re-working my descriptions, adding some detailing and even taking out some unneeded dialogue. 
If you are the type of writer who can type up a story and are feeling stuck I suggest maybe stepping away from the computer and hand writing some things out. 

 I know this will not be hard for writers as writing is basically dreams you put on paper. While right now I remain unpublished I think of the day my story will be published and I love thinking about the cover of my story. So I have spent some time while stuck searching Pinterest to get some inspiring art to be the cover of my story. I know right now I do not own this picture and I know that my publisher will have their ideas on what to make the cover look like but right now I am just enjoying the idea of a possible cover. 

When I first started my thesis, for my graduate program, my advisor said choose something you are going to enjoy even when its tough. "Choose your own hell." Enjoy your work, enjoy your research, enjoy your time you spend writing. I know for me writing is sometimes the only thing that make sense to me. I enjoy getting lost in my characters, and lost in my story. If you don't enjoy it maybe it is time to set it aside and work on something you do enjoy, work on something you find passion in. 

I know I am not a published author so you can take my words with a grain of salt but these are things I have found useful. 

Just Dance

Monday, July 6, 2015

My world...#Littlelove


 Hey lovely readers,

It has been awhile since I posted a #littleloves post. I feel I need some lightheartedness in my life right now. Hope you enjoy...

At the end of June my friends had a Yankee Swap style book exchange. What that means is we wrapped up a copy of one of our favorite books and write the genre on the front. Without knowing really anything about the book we picked which book we wanted with Yankee Swap rules of being able to steal. Previously, my friend recommended this book as a part of my 26 Book Challenge.

It is about an author Carrie McClelland, who is an author as she is writing her next novel. Her novel is set in 1708, an invading Jacobite fleet of French and Scottish soldiers nearly succeed in landing the exile James Stewart in Scotland to reclaim his crown. But when Carrie discovers her novel is more fact than fiction, Carrie wonders if she might be dealing with memory, making her the only living person who knows the truth (for more).

James II of England{pic}
I don't know much about this era in history so it has been fun to read and I will admit that I have looked into more on Wikipedia. Besides the history I have enjoyed about Carrie, and as she is an author it has been great to hear how she goes through the writing process.

Working on
This blog as been really good for me. For most of my writing life I have been very secret about my writing life. I have always seen my writing as very personal because it was my truest way I could escape from whatever I was going through and live a completely different life and I didn't want people to know about me. Then one day someone joked and said "if you don't let someone read your writing how you ever going to be published." I guess they had a point but it took me a few years more till I got this blog. I think this blog and other forces have inspired to share more about my writing. I do share parts of my story here but I am also trying to mention it in my daily conversation. This has been a big struggle because I how personal I view my writing. And yeah it has been easier to share my writing here on this blog...where I am not sure who is reading it then to actually talk about in real life (that might sound backwards).


As I have written about I am not much of a photographer, but I would like to be better at capturing moments so I have set up an Instagram account. Right now I am just trying to understand it. And yes I have already posted a pic of my cat...

Thanks to Netflix I have been going back and re-watching The Office when it was first on, I was kind of a fair weathered fan, meaning I didn't watch it that much after Jim and Pam got married. I tried watching most of the last season but I don't think I was even successful at that. So I am enjoining re-watching all the cute Jim and Pam moments.

In working on my story I have been trying to get in the mindset of my characters, which is sometimes hard for me to do as my story is set during WWI and I live in a world of computers, the internet, Pinterest, YouTube and all other matters of distraction. So one thing I have done is track down albums (thanks to Spotify) to listen to music from WWI. The song "If you were the Only Girl in the World" is probably the most popular now thanks to Downton Abbey but it is amazing what other songs I have found. I have also tried to find movie sound tracks that are set in that era and sometimes I hear a song and I feel it speaks about my characters I have added those songs to my writing playlist. It has made an interesting and fun playlist. 

Here is one of my current favorites: "Distance" by Christina Perri featuring Mary and Matthew

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Dwelling in the Past

Hello Lovely Readers,

I love to dwell in historical fiction in most everything in my reading, the TV shows and movies I watch, and my own personal writing. I am personally still a romantic about history and probably idealize it too much even though I studied history I know it is not clean cut and glamorous as I wished it was. One time I hear a quote "we study the past to know how we got here" (sorry paraphrasing so might be a misquote) and I think it is accurate. I like studying the past to know the struggles, the battles and the times of glory and hope people went through to get where we are now. Even though the stories I read are set in the past, if the book is written well, I feel I can relate to them and I wonder what I would do if I was in that circumstance?-- I know you can do this with really any genre of literature but there is something about historical fiction in that pulls me in.
I think I owe my love to early 20th century upon seeing Biltmore.
For my own writing there is a comfort in knowing the outcome. For example: In my story I am currently writing it is about WWI and I know what happens and I know who is going to win the War. But then there is this weird comfort in not controlling the outcome. I know what is going to happen in the grand scheme of things and I just put my characters in those events and seeing what happens to them and how they are changed by their circumstances.

My love of WWI might be owed to Downton Abbey
As I stated I am currently working on a story that will go through WWI. And while I studied early 20th century history in school I know vague details about WWI. I have read various novels, biographies and other non-fiction books and I sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the amount of information I am learning. I felt so overwhelmed I thought "maybe I should put this story aside while I research." But then I thought "I am never going to know enough to be completely accurate." This is true of all historians... we take the sources we have and as best we can we put a narrative. However, the thing about history is that unless we build a time machine we will never get the full story, which give historians and writers some freedom. So when I saw this post on Pinterest I was highly intrigued:

And I felt it was okay for me not to know everything about WWI, that doesn't mean I can't attempt to write a fabulous story. So I will keep pressing on through my first draft. If I find out anything interesting I will keep you updated.

Monday, February 16, 2015

Some random thoughts on writing

Hello Lovely Readers,

I am sorry I have not posted this month yet. It has been a hectic month with working full time (between two jobs), all the snow we have gotten and trying to work more on my novel I haven't made it to the blogging sphere in awhile. So first let me say Happy Belated Valentines Day.
I have been trying to work more and more on my story so in someways I am thankful to have snow days that I can't leave my house because I use them to type up my story. I know I have said this a few times, but the way I write is by handwriting out my story then slowly (very slowly) I type it up. Yesterday during the storm I was typing up a section that I had written over last Christmas. Uh it feels good to type it up but sometimes I wonder with this process it might take forever to become a published novelist. I will try not to be discouraged by this fact because I'd rather write and enjoy the process than thinking about being published. However, my friend told me just through this blog I am a published author and that feels pretty cool. 

For my last story I set up a separate blog for it (Sisters of Pine Haven) and while that is mostly my first draft of the story it kept me motivated to keep writing the story by just knowing people were reading my words. I have posted a few bits of my story (The Secrets Days of our Past ... working title) here on this blog but I thinking about producing another blog for that story so I can keep any readers updated. But I am still hesitant because one day I would like to be browsing the book store and see my works published... If you have any thoughts please let me know. 
Yesterday, I finished re-reading The Tea Rose by Jennifer Donnelly and while I love the plot and the characters the thing I loved the most this time of reading it were her words and her historical points. I can tell she loves language and it seems very precise in the way she chooses what words she uses. Also it is clear she has researched a lot for her books. But the books aren't at all stodgy or hard to get through because of her historical details, they are fast paced and intriguing and I marvel at how she does that.

I love her words so much I read the question and answer portion about the author in the back of the book. Don't want to plagiarize, so I will just copy the parts about her writing because these intrigued me most. 

Where and how do you write?
I write in an office in my house. I always have a pot of strong tea and bar of dark chocolate for company and courage. 

Okay tea I can do, I might have to switch dark chocolate for milk and work out more to do that diet.

Why do you write?
Because I love words and stories so much. Because I would grief stricken everyday of my life if I couldn't write. Because I'm obsessed and compelled. Because I'd be utterly useless at anything else.

Yep I feel that way too especially "the grief stricken part"... I remember when I was writing my thesis I couldn't wait to get back to my story.

But the question that got me the most was...
How do you conduct your research?
For me, research is more of an art than a science. I usually start with a good, general history of the time period I'm researching to give me a solid grounding then I roll up my sleeves and get dirty. I visit archives, libraries, museums and and historical societies to try to dig up as many primary sources as I can. 

Okay I don't do that. But I do love research. Another thing I love about Jennifer Donnelly is that she must do a lot of research. The fist book I read by her took place in 1900s in upstate New York, the Rose trilogy takes place in London (primarily) from 1888 to WWI and then she has another teen book about the French Revolution. Ugh that is such a wide range of topics. I love that she lives in New York but yet writes about London and she lives in modern day but writes about the past. It is very inspiring for me. Because I too live in the states but my writing is about England and the Edwardian Era up to WWI. I do my research by reading novels, memoirs, biographies, and spending too much time on pinterest. I recently finished A Season of Splendor about the Gilded Age in America and the elite class that ran New York City and underlined so many passages I felt I was back in school.

I have also found other books that have been rich with knowledge and have enjoyed them. I kind of feel like a sponge trying to read anything about this time period... If you have any suggestions let me know.

I will keep you guys updated on any progress of my writing or my random thoughts on writing. I know writing can be a lonely task but I love sharing my life you, my readers, and I want writing to be a big part of my life.
I like this picture when I am thinking about my writing

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Looking Back, Thinking Ahead

Done with my thesis 

Hello lovely readers,

It is Christmas time and I feel this a curious time of year, at least for me. It is a time of reflecting about the year that shortly ending and it is a time that we are preparing for the year to come. 

Looking back at this year I feel this year has been filled a lot with my thesis...and maybe thats how it should have been but lately I have felt I spent so much energy, so much time, and devotion to it that I kind of lost focus on what the most important things are in my life. On mentally preparing this post I began to look through my photos (on Facebook) to remember all that has happened over this year. Some of the highlights have been getting to spend so much time with my family; I spent some time with my family in May, August, October and just recently when my parents came up here to see me present my thesis. If you don't know I live in Boston and my family lives all over so I usually see them only twice a year (minus skype dates) so I feel that has been really neat this year. Another highlight this year has been moving in with my current roommate and friend. Last year (until end of August) it was a struggle with my apartment. I never felt like my last place was home. Moving into my new place has felt like home the moment I started unpacking my boxes.
with niece and nephew in May

So as I began to think about 2014 and everything that happened, there have some parts of it I wish I could put behind me and never think about them again, but I know those moments have shaped me. And instead of looking at them with regret I am going to try to give them over to God and let him use them as moments of development. While 2014 has been a mix of both of ups and downs (as years are) it is what 2015 brings that I am most interested in.

Lately, I have been praying a lot to hear God's voice to feel his guidance but in reality I have felt distant from God. I know He is with me and He is the hope I have anchored my life to. Hebrews 10:23- Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful- has been a verse I have had to repeat to myself a lot through the year. I think it is more true lately as I am coming to terms with the fact I am done with school.

Birthday celebrations 

For 23 some odd years, I have been a student and I have almost placed my identity in the fact I am a student. Especially in undergrad and grad school my life has been about the next homework assignment, the next chapter to read, and the next paper to write. In grad school I felt life was on hold until I finished school and sometimes I felt angry I couldn't do things because I was in school.

I have been praying for God to use me in such a way that I would make an impact in this world for Him.  I have also been praying to hear God's voice and feel His guidance.  But I have felt stuck and sometimes useless. I am not blaming Him for this... actually I am holding myself responsible. Because I know I have filled my life with clutter, I sought fulfillment from temporary things. So one thing I really hope for 2015 that He prune and cut things out of my life that are not from Him. This is going to take work on my end, because it is easy for me to turn on the TV, go on Facebook or Pinterest, listen to Spotify and block Him out. But I don't want to do that anymore.
Being a bride's maid in my friends wedding, in July.
On Monday I prayed:
Lord I pray you lead me. Lord there are so many big questions on my mind now. What do I do for a job? Where do I go from here? Lord I need your guidance with these questions. Lord, you are the only one that makes my life make sense and I pray oh Lord I pray you lead me on. 

Then on Tuesday morning I read the passage: 

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is -- his good, pleasing and perfect will. -Romans 12:2. 

Visiting my sister's family in August...
Sadly my nephew was in the hospital.
With nephew in hospital I got to spend a lot
of time with niece... blessing in disguise 
These things may not seem immediately linked but they are in my mind. I think one thing I really need in upcoming year is to renew my mind and heart in God. In that I believe I will be able to truly know what God wants from me. However, I have no idea what that looks like. 

Over the fall my church went through a series called "Resistance" and it was about remembering why we have the Sabbath, a time of rest, a time of remembering what is important to us, and a time to remember what God has done for us, I think over the last year and especially this last fall I have kind of forgotten that.  I say my faith, my friends and family are the most important things in my life... but I felt distant from those things. I have felt very much like I have been drifting through life, not really making connections. So, another thing I would like in 2015 is to really invest or reinvest in things that are important to me. 

Here I want to say I am sorry to anyone that I was not there for over the last year...even if you understood why I am sorry I got so blocked by other things I could not see what was important. 

Fancy night with roommate. 
On the job front I will take my time to figure things out. Fortunately this year I have been blessed with two part time jobs that have really been relief when I have been stressed about money. I think it is important right now to get things worked out in my relationship with God... so I am not going to dwell on that.

I am thankful for this year I have had the support system (friends and family) that I have had. I don't know how I would have been able to get through the struggles I have gone through... and I promise I will not forget it.

I am excited to see what 2015 has in store for me and I am already starting to shape my New Year's resolutions.

1. Invest or re-invest in the relationships I have
2. Work on transforming my mind in order to understand God's purpose for my life.

Those are 2 pretty big things so I will leave it at that for now... if I fail I will (with God) pick back up and try again.

There are other things I am looking forward to as well in 2015.

1. My sister and brother-in-law are expecting their third baby... from the pics above you can see they make cuties so I am excited for this new little one. 
their birth announcement.
2. My mom and I have been dreaming about and plotting a trip to Paris and now done with school, we have been planning one for May. 
Mom and I from recent trip to Boston 
3. Also I have been thinking about going on another short-term missions trip. I remember how impacting my trip to Honduras was and my church does a trip to the Dominican Republic every year and watching the videos of the trips have made me want to go.
4. I am also looking forward to getting back into doing some of my own fun writing. Though I might be writing more with pen and paper than typing... my eyes are getting tired looking at word document. 

"Mary did you know"-Pentatonix
This has been my favorite song this year. 

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

From My Thesis Cave... Part 2

I am not sure how many parts of "from my thesis cave" there will be... I like to keep you guys (who ever is reading this) up to date on my life but right now my life feels like my thesis.

Right now I am feeling a little overwhelmed, I felt I was doing on my progress about thesis almost to the point of being cocky (sorry if I came off that way). Well I had a thesis advising meeting and she kind of told me I had done my historiography all wrong... BIG GULP! Well so let me get back to the drafting board. It is a set back but I am not going to let it get to me. I have changed into my yoga pants and flannel shirt (a frequent writing outfit), sipping on some tea, and taking a breath as I begin again. 

Any way, in this overwhelmed moment I thought it would be good to list things I am looking forward to once this thesis is over... 

1.Just being done will be so great- This thesis has kind of been a dark cloud hanging over me and once it is done I think I will just feel more free.
When this is true... it will feel so good
2. Watching mindless television. Is it sad that I am looking forward to this? I mean I do treat myself to episodes of Chuck and I watch some TV with my roommate but sometimes I feel guilty for not working on my thesis even when I am brain dead. 

3. Reading fun books. Another thing I do treat myself to... but mostly to keep my sanity in this time. But  I am looking forward to reading more book and at my own pace and not having to put down fun books because I have work to do.

4. Writing my story... As much as I would love work more on my story "The Grand Days" (working title) I feel I really have no energy for it. 

5. On a more serious note...I look forward to finding my passion. While I have been in school, especially more as I have been facing the end of school, I have felt a stirring that I am not living out on my faith. Looking back on the past few years the last time I felt truly passionate about something was when I was preparing to go to Honduras and doing Living Water work. I keep praying God to guide my steps and help me follow my faith (though I am not sure what that looks like). I would like the freedom to explore this idea more...Probably not full time ministries, but being open to trips and opportunities.  

In Honduras at the well sight

From outside thesis cave: When I was meeting with my advisor she said for my historiography (as analogy) "I need to stop eating the cookies and think about how they were made." I started laughing because it reminded me of the FRIENDS episode where Monica is trying to discover Phoebe's Grandmother's secret recipe of chocolate chip cookies. That is what a Historiography is... it breaks down past research, the way research was done, and how research on my topic has changed or progressed. 
That's all for now... back to thesis cave.