Monday, August 22, 2016

epilogue: erin's brain survives

REPORTING LIVE FROM MY FIRST DAY OF SENIOR YEAR: As the text that just screamed at you was my first day of senior year. Which is insanity. *insert nostalgia here*

I just wanted to say that, wow, it has already been a crazy journey to even get to Monday, the 22nd. A lot of stress. A lot of silliness. A lot of emotion. But, God is good. And forward we shall go.

P.S. Heck yes I'm holding the first newspaper of the semester, and heck yes, it was a radical experience. Bring on the fall, yo.

P.S.S. My brain survived, thanks for the condolences. ;)

+ What are you stoked for this school year?

Saturday, August 20, 2016

i'm just a brain, little ol' me

Here lies Erin's brain. 
It had a good run. 
It dreamed many dreams,
learned many things, 
thought many thoughts.
Sometimes, it even
completed complex algebraic equations.
Not often, but hey, sometimes 
the brain really meant business.
It's such a shame that it
has turned to mush.
There were so many wonderful
brain-oriented tasks ahead of it.
If only Erin hadn't taken on so many
responsibilities for her senior year
of college. Then maybe it would
still have hung around.

1993 - 2016

the youth are starting to change


Hello, humans. I wanted to take this glorious opportunity to point you in the direction of a site that is deserving of #muchattention, BURNING YOUTH. BY is a blog collaborative, and the brainchild of super talented and inspiring sisters, Kate and Abbie. This beautiful site burns with the intense, glowing goal of setting the youth on fire. It's both an outlet and a movement, and I am beyond grateful that I was invited to be a part of it! It launches today, so give it a click, yo.  I'm hoping to get my first post up on BY soon, so be on the look out for that. ;) Until then!

+ Life has been crazy busy lately, but good. Current coping mechanisms include running, Sing Street, and chocolate cake. Anyone else with me?

Thursday, August 18, 2016

labels & loyalties & fandoms, oh my

So, this post may be kinda weird, but I got to thinking, and realized that there are lots of little ways that people categorize themselves. This can be in deep and meaningful ways, or just downright silly stuff; in this post, we're going to focus only on the lighter side. So begins our journey into the wonderful world of labels and loyalties!

Let's be real, this is going to be a post entirely about fandoms, isn't it?

Why, yes, yes it is.

Spoiler Alert: 
*Spoilers for both Twilight and The Hunger Games appear below*


Slytherin: So, many moons ago, when I was just a young lass, I took the Harry Potter Sorting Quiz. The official one. The one that means business. THE BIG LEAGUES. Anyway, to my great surprise, I was sorted into Slytherin house! Slytherin! I mean, I had hoped for Ravenclaw, at least, but Slytherin? It made me feel devious. A little guilty. WAS I EVIL?

So, that was a thing. Then, like a month ago, I got serious -- I thought, "No, this was a fluke. I am not Slytherin. I am Ravenclaw. Gryffindor, maybe? But not Slytherin. Not me, no way." I went so far as to create an entire new Pottermore account just to re-sort myself and see where I'd land. And, well...Slytherin. Eh, might as well embrace it.

Team Edward: Back in high school, Twilight was mega popular. MEGA. But then New Moon came along, and forced everyone to choose: Team Edward, or Team Jacob? (Side Note: What is it about these fandoms and fictional realms that force you to choose a side? I would like to think that it has something to do with brand loyalty and creating obsessive tendencies in adolescents, but I already declared this post *un-deep* and ain't nobody got time for that.)

So, I pick Edward. Edward everytime. Not only because Taylor Lautner isn't that great of an actor, but because Edward and Bella were meant to be. It was fate, they were soul mates, yada yada yada. Let's move on.


Spiderman: Ok, this one I will defend. What superhero is cooler than Spiderman? (Do not say Superman. You are wrong.) Spiderman can not only scale walls, but he is also a journalist, and a great photographer to boot! He's sassy, clever, looks great in red, and was also played by Andrew Garfield in two of the film adaptations. I rest my case.

Gale Hawthorne: Ok, this one irked me. Peeta was a rad guy and all, but Gale and Katniss were supposed to be together. Sure, Peeta saved Katniss multiple times. And yeah, Peeta was pretty selfless. And alright, we can all appreciate the fact that Peeta volunteered as tribute. But Gale was Katniss's best friend. They hunted together! He loved Prim! He was hardcore. What's not to love?


INFJ/Introvert: This last label is a little less silly. (I promise I won't get too deep on you.) If you haven't taken the Meyers Briggs personality quiz, I would highly encourage you to go ahead and do so. (My family laughs at me because I'm constantly trying to get them to take this quiz and they won't, haha.) But I discovered that I am an INFJ personality type, which is apparently pretty rare. Who knew? (My friend Sophie recently wrote a post about being INFJ that you can read here.) Also, I am most definitely an introvert. But that probably comes as no surprise.

+ So there you have it, I have officially labeled myself. But what about you? What "groups" do you belong to? Are you also an INFJ? A Slytherin? Or something different? Let me know down in the comments!!

Monday, August 15, 2016

peace will win & fear will lose

I was listening to twenty one pilots' Vessel album yesterday (#throwbacks) and found myself paying more attention to the lyrics than usual. This part of "Car Radio" really jumped out at me:

"There are things we can do, but from the things that work there are only two. And from the two that we choose to do, peace will win, and fear will lose."

That last line is especially important, because lately I have been swallowed up by fear. I regularly struggle with worry, that's nothing new, but in the past week, my anxiety has grown into a gentle terror. This has something to do with the fear of the unknown (I got a second job as the News Editor of my college's student newspaper and I am reallllllly nervous), but possibly also my lack of peace and trust in the Lord.

It's odd; I know in my head that everything is going to be alright, but not knowing what will happen, or even how it will happen, can send me into a bout of fear. I was thinking about that this morning while listening to this song from Paramore's Riot! album ("I try to patch things up again, to calm my tears and kill these fears").

Then, after my morning devo and bowl of cinnamon blueberry oatmeal (#praise), God gave me this verse:
"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by Him we cry, 'Abba, Father.'" 
~ Romans 8:15

I love when God sends me verses like this. I regularly check the Verse of the Day site (check it out, it's pretty rad), and many times the Scriptures posted there just sing to my heart. Not to mention that yesterday's Daily Bread passage included this verse:
"Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." 
~ Matthew 6:34

Ok, God, I get it. I don't need to have any fear. I know I'm far from finished learning this lesson, but it's nice to know regardless that I have a God who wants me to allow Him to give me His power and peace.

+ What about you? How do you handle fears and worries? Do you have a favorite song that addresses anxiety? And what is your favorite breakfast food?

Friday, August 12, 2016

character list: jed


Hello, friends.

Firstly, I just wanted to say how much I appreciate each and every pair of eyeballs that somehow finds this little corner of the Interwebz. Y'all brighten my day, and to think that even one person would read my words is so encouraging.

Anyways, I recently participated in the A Novel Idea writing link-up (that post can be found here), and I thought I'd give it another go!

This week's prompt:
"Make a list of 20 things about your character. They can be as simple or unique as you want, but hopefully it well help you learn at least something new about your character and their backstory." 

Gnifty! I'm in.


The character I chose is Jed, from my as-of-late untitled novel
(I have a few new title ideas, but none are *just right* yet.)

1. Jed would rather listen than speak. He's a very quiet, private person by nature, and somewhat withdrawn, especially around strangers.
2. He was more talkative as a child.
3. His middle name is Atticus.
4. He is fairly anxious.


5. Jed surrounds himself with the words of people printed on pages, rather than real, live humans. This is his cowardice and comfort, inspiration and insecurity.
6. He only has one friend at school, a boy named Elias, who is tall like a lightpost and twice as bright.
7. Jed collects records, partly because of nostalgia, but also because it was something he and his father used to do together.
8. He wears an old, ragged black coat as a security blanket.


9. Jed is an old soul.
10. His favorite sandwich combo is peanut butter & bananas.
11. He is deeply empathetic and often very selfless in caring for those closest to him.
12. Jed has a crappy car he named Henry David the Honda, hoping that naming his vehicle after Thoreau would endear him to it. It didn't.
13. He is a romantic.
14. Jed is extraordinarily talented at playing the piano, but he can't bring himself to even look at the instrument anymore. This is made especially difficult by the fact that the only place for his piano is at the foot of his bed. It is the very first thing he sees when he wakes in the morning, and the last thing his eyes avoid at nightfall.

15. Jed borrows books from the library without actually checking them out, because he doesn't have a library card. He stacks titles and tidies his secluded reading nook for the librarian to compensate for this flaw.
16. If he had to choose between cats and dogs, he'd pick dogs.
17. When he was younger, he used to sit in his closet and softly say his name, Jedidiah, to himself, over and over again, nice and chant-like. His name was his most prized possession for years.
18. He is both morning, and mourning.
19. Jed doesn't understand why growing up means abandoning your childlike spirit. He thought everyone would be friends forever, and then middle school happened.
20. He loves nature.
I hope this gave you some insight into one of the many people inside my head, haha. Thanks again, Sky, for hosting this link-up. I had a blast!

+ How about you? Can you relate to any of the things on this list? What is something about you that would make for an interesting story? And is your middle name Atticus?

Thursday, August 11, 2016

the tag of musical proportions {space travel}

Hello, humans!

So, today's post is going to be all about music. And that is because the radical Abbiee tagged me in the epic Music Tag!! Y'all, this is basically just an excuse for me to geek out about music at length....even if I wasn't tagged, I would have found a way, because I KNOW PEOPLE (Just kidding, I really don't, but I really love music, can't you tell?)

In attempt to Create Diversity and Deviate From Your Regularly Scheduled Programming, I wrote the post and hid it somewhere secret in the World Wide Web. You could search for light years and never find it. In fact, I've heard rumors that you can only get there by space travel. (I started those rumors.) Only the boldest and bravest of astronauts can make the pilgrimage to the post, yo.

I'm really milking this, aren't I?

If you've suited up and got your rocket ready, click here.

Monday, August 8, 2016

are we out of the woods yet

When I look back on this hike, I will remember long car rides with road trip games, tired nights spent in my tent, steep, prolonged ascents {#ThisSlopeISTreacherous}, sweat and still air, the truth of John 4, abounding stress, bees, Chocolate Brownie Clif bars, vocal owls, conversations with cousins, mountain mist, and family, family, family.

Sometimes I think it's hard to see the beauty in a difficult trip, especially so soon after it ends, but right now I'm trying to. And I'm praising God for the sometimes underappreciated facts of air conditioning, personal space, and running water. Yes, please.

What are three things you are thankful for today?

Friday, August 5, 2016

and all the mountains, I count them my friends

It's been a long time since I last hiked. For a while I was not sure that I missed it, because sometimes memories of hiking can be difficult: trekking up steep inclines with sore feet; getting caught twice in an unexpected afternoon hailstorm. But there are tender memories, too, like the gentle, fading light of this blissful sunset on the side of a mountain. And it's time to embrace that view once more.

If you're reading this, then I am currently hiding in the woods somewhere. {Weird to think as I type this from the comfort of my air-conditioned room.} I'm heading out for another trip on the Appalachian Trail, and I'm filled with both nerves and elation. I'm asking God to make this trip an absolute adventure. 

+ I hope you've all been well, and enjoying your summers. 
Wherever you are, be all there.

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

author inspiration

Sometimes I liken my little space on the Interwebz to a secluded corner that seldom ever find. So today I am going to Actually Attempt Socialization and do a link-up with Sky and the writers of this week's A Novel Idea post. {I've participated in a similar tag once or twice before, and hope to join in more in the future! See my Beautiful People posts here and here.}

Now, for this week's question:
Who is an author (or two or three) you aspire to write like? What is it you admire about their work or their writing style? Are there any similarities between you and your writing role model(s)?

This question is difficult to answer, because I feel like I am significantly lacking in my knowledge of truly great authors. I don't read as much as I'd like, but here are the authors that are both my inspirations and aspirations:

Jonathan Safran Foer. I have only read his Extremely Loud & Incredibly Close novel once, but I remember curling up in a chair with it in Barnes & Noble my freshman year of college, and being amazed. Foer breaks boundaries in the way he writes, completely tearing apart the structure of the ordinary novel. There are multiple narrations, sentence fragments, odd formatting, typographic art, pictures. His work is rich, and dramatic, and real. When I get the chance, I want to read his first novel, Everything is Illuminated. He's a peach.

J.K. Rowling. Because she has such a vast imagination. I want to harness the people and places I see in my own mind and spit them up onto paper like she does, creating a world that feels so real you could touch it. I also love that she writes in third person. I wrote my novel in first person for so long, but her choice to write in third influenced me to switch over. #converted

Any author who can write short, succinct prose. I feel like I tend to babble, crafting really long and arduous sentences in my novel, even more burdensome than this one. People who can pack a punch with a short sentence are my ultimate envy. Maybe one day!

+ Well, that's a wrap! But what about you? Who is your writing role model? Also, do you fancy the new blog design? We're expanding to two columns up in this place, yo. Tell me that's not progress.