january // keep moving

We've made it through one month. A fraction of the year. It was a really good month.
With some bumps.
A lot of stress. A lot of things going on. Just being busy and catching up. Yay.

It's mostly been me trying to be productive and working on some things to help that. I've needed to step away from a few things just to get restarted and pumped. It's been sweatpants and big headphones and get all the things done fast kind of month. With school at least.

and thinking about this good truth + 2 corinthians 10:4 // source

Uh school obviously.

I started a bullet journal yay! I'll have a post on that soon. Maybe. I'm not so good at the arting part of it. But I have it all set up for February and I am going to be very organized this coming month.

I've been watching Series of Unfortunate Events. AND GUYS IT IS SO GOOD. I could really relate to Aunt Josephine and her grammar obsession. Also, it is like them reading straight from the book.

A lot of activities and going places.

trapdoor // twenty one pilots 
my shot // hamilton 
doubt // twenty one pilots 
Lord of glory // whittaker feat tyler joseph 
all we ever knew // head and the heart
lonely // colony house 
where were you // ghost ship 
crags and clay // gungor 

So many good books. 14 books to be exact. Especially the Unwind Dystology, Bruiser, Chasing Forgiveness, and Firefight. (ooops those were like all Shusterman) 
Okay and re-reading some Lemony Snicket for the shows. Which are awesome. They deserve a whole post of me flailing. Really. So many good things.

Not much of anything big. Well.....

I'm plotting a new novel for NaNo in April. I might post on that and stuff AND TELL YOU ALL THE THINGS. It's really exciting. I'm working on a synopsis for it which. Ew. It's hard. But this next project will be the next big one. But this Camp NaNo is going to be the best. 

I started editing my novel 'Scarlet' which underwent some big changes and exciting things (a post on that later too because I must flail forever) But this draft will be really hard. I'm rewriting a lot of it because my brain must have gone on vacation when I was writing it. It will kill me, but it'll be worth it. I just finished reading through and it's okay. But I want it to be at it's best. 

I've been trying to find inspiration. One thing.... I've been playing around with is music and putting all the sounds together into something. Just for fun. It's really interesting. 

I have a few other story ideas bouncing around. I just need to tie them down and get them plotted. 
I talked about things that have inspired me and have shaped me as a writer // things that have shaped my writing

A few jumbled thoughts about life and Twenty One Pilots // i've been thinking too much

and a short discussion on darkness and morality in our books // let's stop being dark for no reason

how was your month? was it a good start to the new year? tell me all the things. 


let's stop being dark for no reason

obviously marvel gifs are the best way to start posts 
So. I'm here today to chat a bit about darkness and morality in our books. The ones we write and read.

I'm a Christian. I'm a writer. I like the Stars Wars stuff where there are battles between light and dark. 
I can't take my worldview and my writing life and put them in two separate boxes. My beliefs and writings are all tied together like a giant spider web. 
But how do we know when we've crossed that invisible line?


I'm the writer who wants to show the world as it really is. People make mistakes. Bad things happen. There's blood and war. There are regrets and tears.
I don't want to make everything seem like it's better than it is. Yeah happy endings and a bunch of joyful fluff stuff is good. I enjoy those stories. The ones that you read and say 'aww' at the end and your ship runs away happy. Those are good books and I enjoy them. So I'm not putting those down... I'm just using them as an example.
If I'm writing/reading something, I WANT IT TO BE SOMETHING MEANINGFUL that might change the way someone thinks. What they believe.

In my story, The Second Misery, I don't have witchcraft or anything of that sort since I'm pretty against that, but there are shadows. Yeah, we can argue if shadows are 'magical' or 'dark forces' but we can save that for another time.
They sort of 'continually hurt' the main character and sort of follow her around like a shadow. The thing is, those shadows aren't there to make darkness seem cool or to glorify violence. They are there to represent something. They are there to represent the things that attack our minds. Anxiety, stress, rejection. Those shadows are a form of darkness that are eventually defeated by the light.

I think it comes down the the intention. The intention behind what we write is a big deal. The reasons behind it all. The why?

Why are you writing this? 
Why does it have this element?
Is this beneficial? 

I think the key is: the darkness has to be overcome by the light. It cannot rule. It cannot win.
And another thing.
The darkness cannot be glorified. We can touch upon issues like abortion and the value of human life (Unwind Dystology) and write it in a way that shines a light and doesn't overrun readers minds with darkness or glorify it.
We already live in a dark world and we shouldn't be contributing to the bad side of it.

If we want people to go towards/appreciate the light there has to be a clear line dividing the dark and light so that they can see the path. 

But adding dark stuff is a fine line to walk, because many heroes and villains are blurred into this grey category where they are more like antiheroes and these unpredictable people. We need that line dividing the light and dark. The black and white. There are books that seem okay but when you really look at it, they are glorifying the darkness and there is no hope or redemption. The villains are seen as cool. They get aesthetic boards where it's all edgy and bloody. They become these idolized humans when they are representing darkness. Grey morality isn't cool. We need need need that line between light and dark. If it's blurred, how will we know what to cling to? How will readers know what to cling to?

I think a lot of secular writers write really dark and edgy stuff because it's cool. It's cool to have a book on the shelf that's been littered with language, extreme violence for no particular reason, and so much other content that shouldn't be there. It's cool to write those gritty things. Especially in YA.
We can't write dark things and expect to walk away without redemption and light.

Not all fiction has to have dark elements. Like I said up there, there are those stories that don't require it. Actually none of our stories require darkness BUT we want to represent the light.
And to represent the light, we have to show the other side of the coin.
But many stories actually benefit from having those elements (angst, war, etc) in the right situation.

If we can't grasp/know what darkness is, how will we know what is the light? How will we know to cling to the light?

To boil it down to one statement really, everything we write has to glorify God. Whether you want to include violence, language, war, etc. in your book that's your personal choice. BUT IT HAS TO GLORIFY GOD. We were put on the earth to give glory to our Creator and as a writer that is what I want to do. We have one life to live. I have one life to live and wasting it with writing things that don't draw people closer to the light is not what I want to do.

So. I don't want to write those elements for fun. I don't want to do it cause edgy things are cool.
I want my writing to have purpose and shine a light and to do that, I have to shine the light through something.

Those are just some thoughts. Maybe they were a bit jumbled, but let's chat about this. What do you think about darkness in the books we write? How do you deal with it? 

i've been thinking too much

i've been thinking.
a creative mess around me.
on my desk. on the floor. two guitars, amps, notebooks, and old thoughts. new thoughts.
a spiderman mug full of tea that's already cold cause i forgot about it as it was cooling.
i do that a lot.
my fingers curled around the pen i love.
scribbling down weird sci-fi ideas for a new story. stars, the sky, gold things, and sterile rooms. bright red explosions.

it’s a bunch of random thoughts on paper but to me, it’s something meaningful.

picking the strings of my guitar cause music shoves some of the thoughts away. the blurry things that attack my head sometimes. there are so many different fingerprints on the glossy blue.
from playing so many things. it's close. i need it close.

there's twenty one pilots entering my head. loud at the parts i really need to hear. staring at nothing. thinking about everything. writing in blank spaces. my head has no blank spaces. feeling something cold go down my spine and feeling paralyzed with a kind of fear when i look at the broken pieces of myself on the ground. like a shattered piece of glass i look in to see what the next step is. but i can't see through. i look at myself looking at me and at the glass the holds the other me inside it.
it's like i'm stuck in this inception of mirrors. it doesn't end. but there's a light shining through those pieces. shining through the wounds.
thinking about music, stories, God, words, and life. thinking thinking thinking thinking. trying to push through this invisible barricade to get everything done in one day. trying to figure out how i can catch up. how i can write this book and edit that one. how they will make a difference.
but mostly thinking about music. music put's me in my place and is this light illuminating things. showing me that i don't have to see the next step to be ok. to be at peace. cause things aren't ok all the time.
life is messy. there's creative mess like the mess of files on the laptop or papers on my desk.
there's weeping mess when everything is chaotic and broken. and there's regular mess when life is life. there are twists, turns, and unexpected journeys.

i get anxious. sad. stressed. we all do. but then i can be joyful, relaxed, and at peace. at night when i think about it. we've all done it. and it weighs down. down. down. because there's a lot of pain. it comes with the package of living.

okay this is one of my favorite songs. perfect. 

but in every situation there's always a little bit of hope you can grasp. then there's peace. not the peace we conjure up with our minds when we lie to ourselves that everything will be ok.
that only lasts a few moments. then we're back to blurs of grey slashing across our vision. everything muddled and the word 'life' seems like a bleak and dreary word. some things can pull us out of that hole.

the place where you try to stay alive. fight against the devil with bleeding knuckles and cracked bones. fighting with everything you've got left inside your broken body.
trying to stand your ground when the earth under you is shaking. rumbling.

i was listening to holding onto you. and
we've got to hold onto God no matter what. He has to be the sound going through our minds.

ask me why i love twenty one pilots and i'll tell you this.
the lyrics are real. they deal with that anxiety that freezes your mind and kills it. they sing about light. and darkness. overcoming it all even though it might be hard. the songs are emotion filled. overflowing with so many feelings.

Together, let's breathe
Together, to the beat
But there's hope out the window
So that's where we'll go
Let's go outside and all join hands
But until then you'll never understand

the songs are a story. each one. each song is special. the deep meaning. i love them all very much. and i appreciate music like that. so so much.

(and i can sum most of my love for tøp in this video so go watch it. and tyler dances so yep it's a winner + they are sound masters and i love that a lot)

but. all these thoughts.
about music. how it changes us. makes us emotional. digs in our hearts and pulls out the dirty stuff we wanted to get rid of.
it's something really special to me. really special. and i could talk about music for a long time. i've been wanting to talk about music for a long time. maybe another time there'll be a thirty mile long post.
but you've got to appreciate music for what it is and not dismiss it as background noise to block out the thoughts you don't want in the front row.

so go listen to twenty one pilots. push the anxiety off your shoulders. the stress. everything weighing you down. live life like it was meant to be lived. don't fret about the petty things that won't matter and a few years.
we've got one life.

idk what this long rambling was about to be honest haha. just some thoughts.... i have no clue whether they were pretty or annoying things (you can tell me).  but let's chat about all the music things. i love talking about songs and stuff. and music recommendations. throw them all (okay no country because i have a strong aversion to it) at me...... or i'll throw them at you. 

things that have shaped my writing

This is where I'll rant about a couple of the things that have inspired me and have made me a better writer. 

A lot of things have really shaped me as a writer. 
Lot's of people, books, music, and things. Even just seeing and talking to certain people inspires me. 
I've grown a lot as a writer in the past couple years. Its actually been about three years since I first tried to write my very first novel. (More on that down there).
I mean, I hope I've grown as a writer. But ever since that attempt at writing a book, my creativity has been doused in oil (good influences for my writing adventure) and set on fire so that so many ideas and such are just leaping out.
No seriously.
It's true.

Out of Time Series 
These books are the reason I tried writing and first person present tense and fell in love with it. 
This series is the reason I tried writing dystopian. 
This series opened up the world of putting God in your story without being forced and odd. 
Wow. The Out of Time Series has been a huge influence in my writing. Like, creating a story that is so impactful. 
Okay go read this series because it's amazing. And Nadine is a wonderful person who has an army of ninjas and if that isn't cool I don't know what is. 

Neal Shusterman 

GUYS GUYS GUYS. Neal Shusterman is now one of my favorite authors ever. I'm still finishing up 'Unsouled' in the Unwind Dystology.
His writing is so thoughtful. Vivid. One of his books (Chasing Forgiveness) made me, the seemingly heartless reader who never really cries in books, tear up and just become a shredded mess. Ugh.
His Unwind Dystology is one of the best series ever. For real. I could talk about it for a long time.
Neal Shusterman's books are thoughtful. They touch on deep subjects. Sometimes it's difficult to read. There are a lot of emotions and truths and morals. He's just amazing.  I am never going to write like him, but his books have taught me so much about characters and themes. 

Twenty One Pilots

Have we talked about Twenty One Pilots here? Like a long talk where I scream chat about all the songs and their meanings? Okay. We can do that later. 
All their songs have a story. Actually, the whole Blurryface album is a story. You have to listen to it in order. Trust me.
So many of their songs have helped me. Shown me new things. 
BUT I LOVE THE MUSIC SO MUCH. So many of their songs connect with me. With my stories. And it makes them so much better. 
All that up there was me rambling, but their music has really made me write better. I don't know how to explain it..... 
It just happened. 
Yes this is my favorite shirt ahhhhhhh

My grammar/english teacher 

She's the reason I'm a grammar geek-- the reason I can write stories that aren't a bunch of meaningless words. The reason I can write stories that have structure.
She's the reason I love dissecting sentences (yessss it's the best) and started writing legit stories that weren't just for school.
Those were some good eleven year old Hannah times. Mrs. Werder was one of the best teachers/tutors I could've got at that homeschool co-op. I was really blessed to have her in my life at that time.

Pre-blogging Hannah had a million very cliche story ideas that got about 500 words before they became far off dreams and discarded papers.
My very first book I tried to write at 13 was about this kid you went through some dimensions to save this fantasy world from a 'devil' like character. It was..... stupid? It was actually me copying another book I had just read but with some different elements. That's why it was stupid. 
I was very uneducated on all writer things and just was a clueless kid who wanted to be an author. And yep.
I kind of stopped after trying that. Just did some scattered poem things that came from hard times.
I started another book, World War Two this time, in late 2015. It had four POV's and was set on a boat full of teens trying to escape from being put in a camp. I didn't really research that one at all (and yo historical books require tons of research) 
That failed after a few thousand words. After that there were about two more started stories that I quit on.
I started blogging last March. Wow it's almost been a year..... anyways. (All that was the short version how Hannah started writing)
I met a lot of amazing people through Nadine and her overflow cabin from Camp NaNo. They've really inspired me. Then meeting some other AWESOME people at Realm Makers. All my writer friends are just amazing amazing people. The reason I actually finished a WHOLE NOVEL is because of all of the amazing people I have met the past year. They have inspired and motivated me and now I FEEL LIKE WRITING THE 8392 IDEAS I HAVE AND TAKING OVER THE WORLD.

There are a lot of other things I could mention. Things that deserve whole posts. Some of these things could have a whole post. There are other things like my family, friends, bookstores, and Pinterest. Also another big one-- God and His redemption plan. All the stories in the Bible that are filled with messy people who are faulty, yet they can still shine a bright beacon in the darkness. 
But these are the important things I've drawn inspiration from. The things that have shaped me for the better. 
Writers are messy people. We gather a bunch of random ideas, dialog, and character traits and make a book. 
We have messy brains that like to make creative messes. 
Beautiful messes.
So you all, keep writing. Look at the things that have inspired and shaped you, and be thankful for them. There are things and people in our lives for a reason, and maybe it's to carve something into us so we can shine a light. The things we write may change lives and it's cool to see how many things/people played a part in that process.

what things have shaped/inspired you with writing? any books? movies? people?

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