Thursday, March 31, 2016

dream guitars: a list

It's time, y'all.
I have now officially reached the point in my Blogging Journey
where it's time to tell you about my list of dream guitars. 

I don't spend as much time as I'd like in music stores; while I frequently hit up the record shop for vinyl albums, I rarely gaze at guitars at my local music shop. (What a shame!)

But lately, I've been listening to more rock music and have found myself obsessed
with not only the wonderfully bright sound of electric guitars, but also how they appear.

Side Note: At what point did this blog became indulgently over-saturated with gifs?
And yes, if you're wondering, I have a gif for that. ;)

Listening to more rock music has also driven me to practice my own guitar skills.
The best part about this is deceiving myself into feeling like a rock goddess when in reality, no.

Feeling like a rock star when really:

Even if I'm not a rock star, having the right guitar can make one feel at least a teensy bit more hardcore.
Not that I own any of these beauties, but hey, a girl can dream!

By no means comprehensive!

The "I want to play in a Beach Boys cover band" guitar

Also known as the perfect guitar to play on summer nights, or when singing Alvvays songs.
I've never been a fan of powder blue, but light blue guitars like this one are just so old school.
Groovy like a drive-in movie, baby.

Possible name: Chloe, or Juno

The "I want to feel like every classic guitar hero ever" guitar

Something about this is just so rockin'. I love the black pick guard. 
In life, you really can't go wrong with black and white combos, 
and that logic proves true when it comes to guitars, too.

Possible name: Ramone, or Sergeant Pepper

The "Jet black heart" guitar

I just discovered the existence of this limited time Fender Strat, and though it has sadly sold out, I like the idea of having an all black instrument. This one is probably my favorite! 

Possible name: Onyx, or Jett

There you have it, my current list of dream guitars. Snazzy.

+ What about you? Do you have a list of dream instruments? Which guitar is your favorite?

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

character inspiration: grace

So, I have already introduced you to my character Jed, but I have yet to introduce you to Grace.
Grace was always the main character of my novel, until she wasn't. (For a shy person, Jed can be awfully pushy about being included.) Anyway, as my story has 2 protagonists, I figured it was only fair to include Grace's side of the story.

Meet Graceface.

1. What first inspired this character? Is there a person/actor you based them off?
Since I started writing my novel around the age of 16, I initially based Grace's character off of myself. I know, I know, that's cheating. A writer's way out. A lack of creativity. But how can real life not inform the fictional world? It's always merged, at least in my mind. But now, Grace is more like the person I wish I could be, not who I actually am.

2. Describe their daily routine.
Grace is an early morning adventurer. In the summer, she frequently wakes up before the sun, taking her great grandmother's camera along with her into the fields to photograph the sunrise, light, and nature. Then she'll sit quietly at the window of her favorite coffee shop, sipping a cup of tea and simultaneously drinking in the sun through the window panes. She's a very contemplative soul who makes the most of each moment.


3. If they joined your local high school, what clique would they fit into?
Grace isn't the clique sort. She's everybody's friend, primarily because she's a great listener. Sometimes people take advantage of that fact, but most people appreciate her. In a stereotype, she's the shy, sweet wholesome girl that takes photos for the school yearbook.

4. Write a list of things they merely tolerate. 
Anyone who has hurt her friends or family.

5. How do they react in awkward silences?
With great patience. Especially if the silence comes from someone she knows has more to say.
She's very good at waiting, discerning the rhythms of the person she's speaking with, and makes an effort to ensure that the company she keeps always feels at ease. Even in the silences.


6. Can they swim? If so, how did they learn?
Oh, yes! Grace learned quite naturally at a young age thanks to her brother, Ben.
She first swam at age five or six in the creek that her friends hang out at in the summertime.

7. What is one major event that helped shape who they are?
The death of her great grandmother, for whom she is named. She was eight at the time. Grace inherited her vintage camera, and it inspired her to become a photographer. Ever since, she has had a deep love of the past, and is often nostalgic for a time she never lived in. This makes her frequently melancholic.

8. What things do they value most in life?
God, nature, art, family, friends, sincerity, loyalty, the beauty of life,
books, tea, photography, sunlight.


9. Do they believe in giving other people second chances? Do they have any trust issues?
Yes, wholeheartedly. Grace believes in forgiveness, though sometimes it is hard for her to extend it to those that have personally wronged her closest friends. But, like her name, Grace is inherently forgiving and patient. She does not have trust issues. She trusts and loves almost too deeply.

10. Your character is having a rough day. 
What things do they do to make them happy again? Is there anyone they talk with to get in a better mood?
Grace will drink a cup of tea by her favorite morning window; develop photos in the dark room; spend a quiet moment with a pet; talk to her older brother Ben; pray; take a nature walk in the fields and hug her mother.


+ Well, there you go, a glimpse at Grace. 
Sometimes she is harder to write about than Jed, because I feel like there are still some things I haven't discovered about her yet. But I'm excited to keep learning!

Sunday, March 27, 2016

hoppy easter

Happy Easter, my fanciful friends!!
I hope this Easter Sunday finds you all well. 

As much as I love holidays, Easter kind of snuck up on me this year!
And to think, it's almost April? 2016 is such a little trickster.
I seriously don't know how it's possible the year is going by so fast.

Goodness, I sound like an old person!

Anyways, regardless of my personal melancholy and physical exhaustion (it's been an odd & tiring week), Easter always reminds me that my biggest problem in life has been solved by the sacrifice of Christ:
"You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly. Very rarely will anyone die for a righteous man, though for a good man someone might possibly dare to die. But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us." ~ Romans 5:6-8

I don't know where each of you stand on your views about God, but I would encourage you to give it a little thought today. If you're interested in learning more, Romans 8 and the book of John are great places to start. To know that God's great love has covered all of my filthy stains and rid me of my greatest mistakes is a constant source of comfort.
"For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through Him." ~ John 3:17

+ Happy Easter, friends! 
Dye an egg and sing a song, for Christ's death has made our lives worth living!
Also, I wanted to thank you all for your kind comments on my vlog. They made me smile! :)

Friday, March 25, 2016

vinyl geekery & teleporting to Rome: a vlog

Hello, friends! I hope you all are having awesome Good Fridays!
Mine has been rainy, so I thought I would spend some time indoors
Actually Filming The Vlog like I promised.

I'll warn you: the resulting video is not going to win any awards anytime soon.
Like I said, I've been a bit nervous about "vlogging" and so my first video is a little silly. Bear with me!

I tried to embed the video below, but if for some reason you can't see it,
comment and let me know. I promise it exists.

Featuring dragons, Blurryface on vinyl, & international teleportation
(Vinyl shenanigans at 3:40)

So there you have it. My first vlog. *shudders*
Thank you all for enduring my horrible webcam and sassy self. 

+ What's your Good Friday been like so far? 
Have a favorite flavor of cheesecake? And would you ever "vlog"?

Tuesday, March 22, 2016

the vest

It happened at Target.

The woman on the mobility scooter and I were both in the clearance section. I was impatient to browse through a section of clothes, but her scooter was blocking most of the aisle. I waited and looked elsewhere until I had nowhere else to look; then I situated myself at the end of her aisle and perused the items near the furthest edge of the rack as she searched in the middle.

“Does this look alright?”

The woman on the scooter was now sporting a luscious faux fur vest, one of the ones my sister and I had laughed about on previous trips to the store. But she was smiling. She was hopeful.

“Yeah,” I heard myself say. “It’s nice.”

I felt my cheeks growing warm with the half-truth.

But I couldn’t bear to say anything else.

The woman adjusted the vest, patted her middle.

“Not too tight?”

“No,” I said, shaking my head. “Not too tight.”

She looked so happy, wearing that vest. 
She gave me a small smile of relief, of confidence.
Of vulnerability.


“No problem.”

“It’s only $10, you know?”

“Yeah, they’ve been having a lot of good deals.”

She was so kind. I felt an instant heap of guilt for my impatience.

Then, thoughtfully:

“I used to ski, you know,” she said. “I loved skiing and the outdoors…”

The woman trailed off. 
She gestured vaguely at her body, which was a little plump and 
entirely dependent on the scooter for getting around.

I was stung.

“I’m sorry,” I said, not knowing what else to say.

But, then:

“I give it to God.”


"I give it to God.
Because of what He did.
Because He died on the cross for us, you know."

Who was this remarkable lady?

Overcome with emotion and feeling like I might cry, I nodded.

“Amen,” I said. “I believe it.”

“I do, too.”

I’m not really sure what it was that prompted that woman to speak to me that day. 
I’m sure that on the surface, it would appear that she wanted nothing more than the opinion of a younger woman on her fabulous black vest.

But the spirit of this particular woman and the strength of her conviction makes me believe that ours was no chance meeting. I wish I had asked her name. I wish I had thanked my sweet grandmother-for-a-moment in my neighborhood Target.

She was beautiful.

Sunday, March 20, 2016

casual sunday

Hello, humans!

I had to, don't judge me.

It may be the last day of Spring Break,
and I might be crying a little inside just thinking
of all the assignments and projects I've procrastinated,
but today is the bomb and I know the week ahead is going to be radical.

Ain't nothing stopping me today, yo.


Also, I just got back from another brief but blessed trip to my favorite little Writing Cabin, and it was a rockin' weekend! And by rockin', I mean I spent hours writing, and then watched a film with my parents.
But I prayed beforehand that God would bless the trip, and He did.

- I ate cookie dough brownies. Cookie dough brownies! If you've never had the great delight of consuming one of these Frankenpastries, you seriously need to go bake a batch because they're splendid. Whoever thought to combine the hearty and fudgy brownie with the humble and crumbly cookie was a genius. Aaaand now I'm craving one.
- I ran a total of twelve miles on the little nature trail just outside the house, and during one run I kicked it old school, sans iPod. This was mostly because of the threat of so-called "imminent rain" (which never did materialize), but it was nice to not have to attend to my sometimes unwieldy earbuds. You should try it sometime. The birds were chirping and I had no way to check my distance, so I just ran. Kind of freeing!

- I went to a diner and tried bread pudding.
That stuff is moist and tasty, but it ain't no cookie dough brownie, son.

- The Lord gave me a revelation about my novel. I don't know if any of you other writers can relate, but out of the blue God just hit me with a plot twist/backstory I should include in my novel that I never saw coming. Adding to the epicness was the fact that this revelation came while I was listening to the powerful and poignant Simon and Garfunkel track,"Bridge Over Troubled Water," during my morning nature walk.

- I finished reading Jackaby. As casual a reader as I thought I was, I actually got a little bit emotional when this book ended. I don't know, sometimes I get attached to characters. I didn't think I was that invested, but wow, I guess I was...? Jackaby blindsided me with his lovability, what can I say?

P.S. I'm in the process of making the vlog, aka bearing my soul to you all. Which is fun and a bit nerve-wrecking, but dare I say it's in the works, folks.

+ What about you? How has your weekend been? 
And tell me, would you pick brownies or cookies if you could only eat one?

Saturday, March 19, 2016

romans 5:8

You are not worthy!
You are not worthy
You are not worth 
You are not wort
You are not wor
You are not wo
You are not w
You are not
You are no
You are n
You are.

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

freedom & confidence 2.0

First of all, I wanted to thank you guys so much for your kind comments on my original freedom & confidence post. It means a lot to know that I can be open and honest about my feelings and that you all will respond with encouraging comments and awesome insights. Y'all seriously blessed me! So, thank you!

Second, I wanted to give you a little update.
Since posting about my insecurities, the Lord has blessed me with another breakthrough.

Yesterday, I was combating the same old lies that make it miserable for me to simply enjoy life.
It's kind of hard to celebrate this glorious existence when I'm always worrying about calories, exercise, food, how others perceive me and how I'm constantly failing myself. But that's what happens when you try to strive towards perfection in this broken world.

This time, I was at the end of myself with it.

"For where two or three come together in My name, 
there am I with them." 
~ Matthew 18:20

I was telling my mom about my struggles, when she took my hand and prayed for me on the spot.
Now I've prayed about these insecurities before, but there was something so powerful about my mom interceding for me at that particular moment. I don't know exactly how to put it into words, but the Lord honored that prayer and has given me peace of mind and even more freedom from my body image insecurities. And it is the most liberating thing!

"God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day."
~ Psalm 46:5

If any of you are struggling with this right now, do not hesitate to ask a parent, mentor or strong Christian friend to hold your hand and pray over you. There is healing and power in prayer, which is another lesson I've been learning lately. I know I will still have ups and downs with insecurity, because no one is perfect, but God is, and He can give you victory -- in every struggle, in every moment.


This may not seem like a big accomplishment to any of you,
but today I hit 30 followers on this little blog!

The fact that even one Actual Human would take the time out of their day to sit in front of a screen and read my words is just beautiful. So while 30 people may not seem like a massive audience in terms of today's big name blogs, I'm just glad to see God growing and expanding Acoustic Erin the way He has. Seriously, I pray for you guys and you all mean a lot. Thank you!

Also: if you read my last post, you might know that I am thinking of making a vlog. I'm still a little on the fence about that, a bit unsure, but if you want to leave ideas/questions for me to answer, it would greatly help me in the creative process.

+ How about you? Has God given you a breakthrough recently? How is life?

// All photos found online; not my own photography //