Wednesday, August 26, 2015

2 Special Things: 100th post and 1st poem!

I utterly cannot believe this is my 100th post. In some ways, it seems like I've written 1,000 and in others, like I've written 5. Oh, well.  But yes, indeed, this is my 100th post!! Totally cray-cray.

Also, today I'm posting my response to the prompt on the incredible Ashley's blog: "Not all haunted places are houses." She's been posting these prompts all summer, but this the last one of the season. Head on over to her blog and leave some comment love and a follow!! She's seriously awesome and hilarious.

I was inspired to write a poem. Which is kind of scary for me, because I've never published any poetry of mine on my blog. I've been writing poetry since seventh grade (that's about five years), and I've written hundreds of poems...probably only about 8% could even be called decent. But, I digress! Here is what I came up with: 

(ALSO: warning, I don't really use punctuation in my poetry. If that bothers you, no worries, just thought I'd warn you before my grammar nazis have heart attacks.)

Butterflies by Anne Marie J. Schlueter

I watched as they spun around

The sparks that issued from their touch

burnt my skin

But she did not see

all she could feel were the butterflies

he poured into her veins

Spinning, spinning, spinning

dizzifying magic that scared me

retreated to a corner

alone, cold, scared

But he did not see

all he could feel were the butterflies

lifting them up

and carrying them away

I looked above the whole time

as they spun between the clouds

with a gust of wind, winter came

driving them apart

falling to the ground

I stood below, trying to catch

But she did not see

all she could feel were the butterflies

shattering into a thousand pieces

the impact exploding in his heart

Breaking, breaking, breaking

disgust that I was right all along

tried to fix, desperate, scared

But he did not see

all she could feel were the butterflies

now ghosts haunting their hearts

I watched as their hearts turned into haunted houses

filled with regret, filled with hurt

Not all haunted places are houses--

hearts will serve just fine

Butterflies tickled their insides

sending sparks of pain through their bodies

Making them blinder than before

all they can feel are the butterflies

ghosts of what they once knew

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Interview: The AMAZING Abigail Post

So this chica I had the privilege of interviewing months ago is absolutely incredible. Abigail Post is an incredible writer and I'm blessed to call her my friend. She is seriously one of the sweetest, realest people I have had the pleasure of interacting with who has provided me with so much support.

I hope you enjoy reading her brilliance as much as I did! Then leave some comment love and head on over to her blog =)

Q: Describe your writing process. You have an idea...then what?

A: If all goes well, and I’m not distracted like I usually am, the idea goes on paper. It’s usually just one line, such as “A man and woman fall in love during the End Times”. Then, depending on how many projects I’ve got going, over the next few weeks I start brainstorming until I’ve got ideas for a protagonist, an antagonist, and if I’m lucky, a few supporting characters.

Most of the time, the story ends up completely different than I first imagined it, which is the case with my recent WIP. It’s an interesting occurrence, and one day, I might discuss it. At any rate, after that, I come up with character goals and motives, a few plot points, and workout the story structure. Then, I “flesh out” the characters, and start writing.

Then, it’s all editing. Ya’ll know how that goes.

Very interesting! For me, the process depends on the project. And hope to see a blog post about that particular interesting occurrence sometime in the near future! =)

Q: Favorite food?
A: Just one? Okay, um, probably Pad Thai. The waiters at my local Thai restaurant know me by name.

You know, I have never, ever had Thai. I'm not even sure I know what it is.

Q: Where do you look for/find inspiration?
A: Ooh, good question. I think it depends. Sometimes, my mind will wander into the deep recesses of the “What If?” universe, and a nugget of gold will pop up. Other times, I’ll read through Pinterest, or StumbleUpon, and stumble upon an article that piques my interest.

Ahhh only you, dear Abigail, could make an interview answer so poetic! I used to use StumbleUpon a lot about two years ago...I should get back into that. Amen to Pinterest! Pinterest's tagline should be "A Writer's Best Friend".

Q: Who is your "fictional boyfriend"?
A: Currently? Well, if I had to choose one…

Chris Redston from K.M Weiland’s Dreamlander. Sadly, though, he is interested in another woman. 

Oh, woe is me, to resign to being a forgotten love!

Ahem, what’s the next question?

*SIGH* Why is that so often the case?! Moving on...

Q: What part of the day are you typically the most productive writing-wise?
A: Definitely the early morning, or what I’ve loving dubbed, Coffee Time. *insert Cheshire Cat like grin here*

Oooh! I've been getting more into writing early in the morning rather than late at night. 

Q: Glitter or matte?
A: Matte, for its clean look.

I think each has its place, but I have to say, I have an incurable obsession with glitter. It's terrible, really.

Q: What is the best piece of writing advice you have ever heard?
A: Oh, gosh, that’s a tough one. I could go for a quote from one of my many Writer Crushes, but, I shall break my own conventions. I had a conversation with one of my favorite people the other day, and he uttered this interesting tidbit of wisdom:

“When analyzing successful fiction, one finds a definite pattern. The story either follows an accepted structure that’s proved successful, such as the Three-Act Structure, or is so vehemently flawed that the masses can’t help but marvel at its ridiculousness. I’m looking at you, Stephanie.”

Best defense of story structure, ever. Do you want to be another Stephanie?

That’s what I thought.

HA. DEAD. Oooooh, Stephanie...(not you, Mom, I do really want to be you!)

Q: How do you use Pinterest with your writing?
A: I just surf around the home page, looking for pictures of fountain pens. Or, you know, search for cute puppy pictures. But you mean in a non-procrastinating sense, don’t you? Yeah, I figured as much.

Pinterest is a great story-boarding, and inspiration tool. Seriously, if you’re on Pinterest, and you’re a writer, there is no reason for you not to begin utilizing this program as a writing tool. I’m going to make everyone promise that after they read this post, they will begin to use their Pinterest account for story-boarding purposes. Now, hold up your right hands, and repeat after me “I will not let Pinterest go to waste, and in conjunction with my boards about cute puppies, I will design specific boards for my work-in-progress.”

There. Now, I shall divulge.

In Pinterest, I have a general story-board for my work-in-progress. It contains basic information about the story world, quotes that relate to the story’s plot, pictures of the settings I could use, and tidbits of knowledge that might be useful. Also, I have boards that represent the major characters in the novel. There, I’ve pinned quotes that sound like them, and pictures that resemble them.
Of course, I also save interesting writing articles to Pinterest, in order to keep them safe for later reading.

AGAIN. DEAD. You're killing me...that is all so true! And girl, repeating after you, loud and proud. Pinterest is awesome for a writing break as well as writing encouragement. Also, it can be a great tool for connecting writers. I owe the discovery of my most recent CP to Pinterest, actually.

Q: Do people know that you're a writer? Or is it something that only a couple people know?
A: Let’s just say I wish more people weren’t aware of this pursuit of mine.

While this debilitating secret is kept safe from strangers and most of those I come into contact with on a daily basis, enough people know. Believe me. All in all, I’d estimate over twenty people know. Not including nosy aunts known to interrogate unsuspecting nieces during Thanksgiving gatherings.

Verrrrry interesting! Those nosy aunts...I have a few myself, though I'd have to say, the uncles of yours truly definitely are quite nosier.

Q: Current favorite song? (Or one of them.)
A: You think you’re clever, don’t you? First, you make me answer with only one of my favorite foods, and now this. All right, I’ll be your huckleberry.

Donde Lieta sung by Sierra Boggess.

Oh, Abigail darling, it's because I am clever. Just ask my brothers. (Wait, actually, don't. Never heard of it! Looking up now.

Q: Who is "author goals" for you? (Which author would you most like to be like?)
A: It’s a tie between K.M Weiland and Bryan Davis. I admire the two authors for their literary achievements, especially Mr. Davis for his prolific writing. Also, I admire them for their interactions with their readers. They both have wonderful blogs, chat with their readers (either virtually or in person). Those are the traits I admire in writers: the willingness to talk with readers, talent, hard work, and ingenuity.

More authors I've never heard of! I shall check them out. ( the library...)

Q: Is there any person or situation that has influenced your writing? Either as a whole, or just a story or something?
A: Great question. Or, in other words, I’m about to tell a story.

All writers are influenced, in some way, by some thing. I think my writing’s influence comes from working with children. Most of them loved hearing stories about bravery, courage, and the like. Maybe it was because I enjoyed telling those stories, but, I digress. I’m a huge believer in getting children to read as early as possible. Heck, I’ve been known to read to wee, little holding babies.

So, the little ones influence my writing. I write for them.

End of story.

*Claps* Beautiful. *wipes tear* I love how you can get little ones to believe anything...that's what fuels my writing magic too, somewhat.

Q: What color is your bedroom?
A: Manila Tan, apparently. Imagine those little manila cookie things, and there you have it.

Ahhh. Sounds lovely!

Q: What made you start to take writing seriously?

A: I think seriousness entered my writing when I realized the impact of stories. As cliche as it sounds, have you ever really thought about it? I mean, “stayed up late at night biting your nails” thought about it? Stories have the power to make you laugh, cry, or question the sanity of human kind. So, I wanted my voice to join the literary chorus. Everyone has a story to tell, why not let mine be one of them?

AMEN to that! That is so brilliantly well put that it belongs on my Quotes Pinterest board. You go, girl.

So there y'all have it! Head on over to Abby's blog and check out more of her awesomeness!!

Tuesday, August 18, 2015

21st Century Lizzies and Lydias

It's interesting-- all summer, not once did I think of an actual post. I shoved away thoughts due to guilt thought about my blog as a whole somewhat. After I managed to type out that last post, ideas kept flooding my mind, making it impossible for me to NOT blog again.

Speaking of that last post, your response, dear readers, was incredible. Your support chokes me up, as well as the fact that you're still sticking around. Wow. I wish I could hug you all and take you all out for coffee. Alas.

But now, onto this post! Recently, I re-watched Pride and Prejudice (Colin Firth, baby. There is no other.) for the twenty-something-th time. I love watching that movie so much, especially as I get older, because there are always parts I can relate to a little more and new insights that come upon me.

Following this re-watching, I got to thinking about Lizzie girls of the 21st century as well as Lydia girls of the 21st century. And wondering which category I fall under.

I think most of us know that girl (or girls) who is so desperate for love that she'll settle for the first guy who blinks at her. She doesn't take into account the man's morals, behavior, or interests. She'll say that she doesn't want to hold him to unrealistic expectations, that there's no such thing as a perfect man, that he's human and that's fine. But then in the next breath, she'll be making excuses and saying that he'll change. She becomes so lost in him because he gives her attention and makes her feel pretty and loved (for his own purposes, no doubt), that she gives little thought to anything else.

She shoves down her emotions if she has an skepticism of her significant other or anything else in life. This she does all for the sake of being happy. She doesn't know how to feel other emotions because she is so set on happiness. But at the end of the she really happy?

It's been said that if you throw a frog into boiling hot water it'll jump right out. However, if the frog is to be placed in cold water that is slowly heated to a boiling temperature, it'll stay right there and be fried. This can be applied to so many things in life, especially relationships. But this girl, she is like the frog. She can spot a bad relationship of her friends a mile away, and maybe deep down, she knows her relationship isn't healthy, either. Either way, the pot is comfortable and sure, the water's getting kind of hot, but she's so used to it, so she'll stay there until it's too late. All for the sake of attention.

She, my friends, is the twenty-first century Lydia. I've seen this happen so many times to so many amazing women who sell themselves short of what they deserve. She has told herself the lie that she can't attain anyone better, that perhaps there is no one better, so she stays in that boiling pot.

On the other hand, the twenty-first century Lizzie is much more skeptical when it comes to men. She is persuaded that nothing but the deepest love will induce her to matrimony (that's basically a direct quote, folks). She is patient in waiting for whatever life holds for her, be it man or no. She knows who she is and thus does not care about the opinions of others (ahem, Lady Catherine). That being said, sometimes she takes things to heart too much, due to the amount of caring that she possesses, and she does get hurt. She is passionate and is not afraid of confrontation.

I strive to be a Lizzie. While watching the movie, I thought smugly, Of course I'm a Lizzie. How could I possibly be a Lydia? But as the movie progressed, some unpleasant memories came to mind. Memories containing some Wickham-like boys in my own life.

All of a sudden, my thoughts switched to how could I possibly be a Lizzie?!

Wonderings such as this plagued me for days as I searched for some relief to my conscience. Finally, I realized how unfair it was to put the entire female gender into two boxes and label them LIZZIE and LYDIA and expect them all to stay put. Women hate staying put when you tell them to. I should know. I came to see that perhaps in every women, there is both Lydia and Lizzie. Perhaps one shines more clearly than the other, but aspects of both are there.

This was all well and good, but I was still convinced that I had previously been a Lydia and that really hurt. Until. I had the starting realization that....


Lizzie, who by no means is perfect, was enthralled by Wickham and perhaps even thought herself to be in love with him. Blindly, she let Wickham lead her onto the path of hate for a man who was indeed good.  Mr. Darcy!

And here, readers, is where the biggest distinction of all is between Lizzie and Lydia. Lizzie may have liked Wickham, but she didn't pursue him and did let him go. Indeed, regarding Wickham, Lizzie said something along the lines of (I can't find the exact quote), "yes, go, go, I shall not wish you back."

AH YES! SO POWERFUL! And why is that? Because she's realized what a loser he is! But she calls that he's a loser even though he's made her feel and she lets him go! She doesn't try to fix him and she doesn't try to make excuses. She seems him as he is and doesn't try to hold him to unrealistic standards. She doesn't live in regret, but again, lets him go.

Imagine if she hadn't. If she had continued the relationship and Wickham had married her. She would have completely missed Darcy.

How sad it is, all the girls today, clinging to their Wickhams out of the fear of the unknown and of being alone. How sad that they are missing their Darcys.

I don't pretend to be perfect and I know that I don't have all of the answers. But I do know that there is such a thing as second chances and that people can change. I know that God is in control and He wants our happiness more than anything.

But the thing is, we'll never find it in anyone. Not Darcy and not Wickham.

God created our hearts, He gave us the ability to why shouldn't he be the first one we love? How could I ever learn to love a flawed human being if I cannot first love my perfect God? Why should we look to Cosmo or Seventeen for relationship advice? Rather, let's go to the maker of love (He who is Love) and let Him lead us and direct our longings and desires.  He's healed me from past hurts that have seemed unhealable...He is so faithful.

Jesus, teach me how to love.

And can I just say-- bravo, Jane Austen, for creating amazing characters that cause such ponderings!? Author goals, man, author goals.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Back Again....

So here I am...back again. Pleased?

I have had an incredibly interesting summer. Not good or bad...but interesting, chalk full of good moments as well as bad ones, but neither overpowering the other so much as to give the entire summer a label of "best" or "worst". We're just going to have to settle with interesting.

If you've been a regular reader of AM Station, you know that I had major writing aspirations for the summer. I would like to take a moment to say that all of none of them were accomplished. As you know, I've neglected my blog (even going so far as to consider never blogging again...I know, the HORROR). I haven't worked on a single WIP and I certainly haven't even opened AWAKEN to continue edits. I haven't scribbled a single poem and have scarcely made time to journal.

So many reasons, so many excuses, so many thoughts...where do I even begin?

CYSC (the camp I attended in June) really threw a curve-ball at my life as far as my schedule was concerned. It was an amazing experience and I'm still pondering how it has impacted me. However, taking a whole week break from writing when I'd written nearly every day for this past year was really rough. And then coming home to spending two weeks with my cousins (another amazing thing of this summer) also messed with my goals for the summer.

Add to all that my job, getting ready for a huge festival my dad's nonprofit put on this past weekend, as well as typical summer, family, every day life sorts of things...even when I did have the time to write, it was hard to find the energy.

Shout out to all your writer mamas out there. I don't know how you do it.

Anyway...even deeper than that, however, was the nagging feeling that I'm going to have to take a whole year off of writing. At least, not in the way I've been used to. I'm going to be applying for NET Ministries for the school year of 2016-2017 and basically what NET (National Evangelization Team) is is teams of young adults who go around the country and give retreats to middle and high schoolers. I'm really excited and feel like this is where God is leading me...but nonetheless somewhat fearful of all that I'll have to let go of to fully dive into the year. I'm not exactly going to have the time and energy for the next great American novel, unfortunately.

Knowing that I'm going to have to take that break is really killing me. I'm just so confused as to why God has given me the talent of writing when He keeps asking me to give it up in different ways. But yet I know that He doesn't want me to stop writing...I just need to figure out what He wants me to do with my writing.

So, friends, here we are at the end of another long, reflective, perhaps too-deep blog post. I do want to apologize to all to whom I promised interviews and blog tours and such. Another reason why I slipped away from the blogging world is I definitely over-committed. Anyway, I've missed you all desperately and hope that you're all doing well. I'm trying to figure out a healthy balance between my blogging/blog visiting/writing WIPS/etc. as summer starts to end and I look to beginning my senior year. I really feel like I'm in great need of some writer support as I "get back in the game".

Also...I just realized that tomorrow officially marks three years since I created this blog. Wow. Insane how fast time flies. So much has happened!

Looking forward to hearing from you all about what you've been up to and hopefully "visiting" some of you soon! Thanks for reading, as always, and sticking with me.