Sunday, November 30, 2014


As I sit finishing up NaNoWriMo I'm listening to monks singing and chanting their evening prayers on the radio. It's beautiful. Just beautiful. This type of religious music is my favorite. It is so worshipful and peaceful. To know that these prayers have been sung for decades by probably millions of different Christians gives me shivers.


Yesterday morning we were surprised by snow! Even more surprising: it didn't melt by afternoon and is, in fact, still here! Huzzah for snow!

Wednesday, November 26, 2014


WOOHOO!!! I reached 50,000 words tonight!!

I'm not validating my word count until the 30th, though, because I still have many more words to write. I'm getting to the When-will-this-story-end?!?!?! phase of writing. The next little bit should be more exciting, though. Maybe it's just because I wrote 2,500 words today while I wanted to do something else instead.


In other exciting news, I finished Ivanhoe by Sir Walter Scott the other night! Now I've started reading Persuasion by Jane Austen. I'm enjoying it so far! 

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 24, 2014

"Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well." –Psalm 139:14

Increasingly over the years, I've come to bash myself internally. If I do something wrong, it's because I'm stupid and an idiot. You don't know how many times the phrase Abbey, you're an idiot has floated through my brain.
Almost always the act of "wrong" that sends me spiraling down into verbal self-abuse is relationship-based. I was a shy child. I've worked hard to overcome this shyness and I'm proud of my accomplishment. This does not make talking to people any easier, despite what you may think. Starting conversations is especially difficult.
My bubble of shyness may have been pierced, but there are still certain people I'm not comfortable talking to: namely, the "popular" kids. You know the ones... the vivacious girl, the laid-back-cool-jock-dude. I stumble through conversation with these people, and then worry incessantly that what I've said will be held against me. If I avoid talking to them, I imagine they are behind my back thinking Why is Abbey being so antisocial? Sometimes she'll talk to us, but other times she avoids us. Does she think she's better than us?
The Bible says to rebuke in gentleness (Galatians 6:1) and that's what my mom did last night. I came to her with my worries and she told me that I focus too much on me. She's right. It's selfish to wonder what people are saying or thinking about you, whether or not their opinion is good or bad. It's nice to have compliments, of course, but in the end, whose opinion really matters? God's. How does worrying what so-and-so was thinking when you tripped up the stairs advance God's Kingdom? It doesn't, and that's why that kind of thinking is so destructive.
The verbal self-abuse that follows is also destructive. Think about it: when you say Oh man, Abbey, you did it now, you stupid idiot! you are really saying: Oh man, God, you did it now, you stupid idiot!
Who created me and you? God.
"So God created man in his own image." Genesis 1:27.
"I am fearfully and wonderfully made." Psalm 239:14.
"The Spirit of God has made me, and the breath of the Almighty gives me life." Job 33:4.
"For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in him." Ephesians 2:10.
When you—when I—curse yourself you are, in essence, cursing God, because God made you—made me!—in His own image. He knew us before we were born, he sculpted us in our mother's wombs. Does the God of the Universe, who created this whole world with its billions of brilliant blues and its bazillions of shades of greens, make mistakes? Was the Platypus a mistake, or the beetle that has an explosive chamber in its stomach, a mistake? No. The Platypus looks weird for a reason. The beetle with the bomb in its stomach uses it for self-defense.
What about you—what about me? When we call ourselves stupid we are calling God's creation a mistake. When we wish we were dead, we are shirking our responsibilities to the Most High.
The answer is not self-abuse. The answer is God and furthering His Kingdom. Focus on helping someone, or reaching out to someone who usually stands alone at church or at school, instead of what other people will think. Other people's opinions don't matter! Their opinions will last 100 years at most; or, if they happen to be famous, maybe a few hundred years more. God's opinion lasts forever. I would rather impress Him than all the cool-jock-dudes in the world.

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.
You hem me in behind and before,
    and you lay your hand upon me.
Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
    too lofty for me to attain.
Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
     even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
 If I say, “Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,”
     even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.
For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.
How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
    they would outnumber the grains of sand
    when I awake, I am still with you.
Psalm 139:1-18

Saturday, November 22, 2014

NaNoWriMo day 22

I'm just back from seeing the movie Big Hero 6 with my friend and now I'm ready to do some writing!


2:47: I've only written two pages. But that's two more pages than I had half an hour ago! I'm going to try get to three pages before 3:00, and then I will go play a board game with my dad.
Listening to: Catfish Row by George Gershwin.
Last sentence: "No, she's not dead yet."

2:52: What does it mean to have your voice "thick with emotion"?

2:52 cont. ARGH! I can't write a sad, sappyish, emotion-filled scene for the life of me! Here I am, with a character dying of a poisoned wound... and I write. "No, she's not dead yet, but she will be soon."

*facepalm* ABBEY: THIS IS NOT MONTY PYTHON! YOU CAN'T QUOTE MONTY PYTHON IN YOUR NOVEL! Not only does it change a serious moment into a slapstick one, but is it also plagiarism!! *slap slap slap*
Okay. Eleven words in eight minutes doesn't cut it. GET GOING, GIRL!

3:09: Off to play a board game, and practice piano too, I think. See you later!

4:50: Back from the game! It's a really fun, quick, Star Wars card game. The Dark Side was victorious. >:] Mwahaha... I've written almost another page. That puts me at four. I'll get a fifth done and then go practice piano. Would you like to know what I'm playing?
Here you go:

5:08: Okay, I lied... I'm finishing up my six pages right now. I can't stop writing yet!
Listening to: The Friends of Mr. Cairo by Jon and Vangelis.
Last sentence: "He nearly scratched my eyes out when I wouldn't let him come with us."

5:24: There we go, my six pages are written for tonight, though I will definitely write more later. I'm at an exciting part! Here's a hint:

Listening to: Nothing.
Last sentence: They clattered through the town, receiving many odd looks, and then they were in the wild lands.

6:51: Time toooo.... start writing.... *some words in a different language* la la la la... LA LA LA, LA LA LA LA LAAAA!!! Time to start wri-i-ting...

7:22: Look, I made a pencil-shaving bookmark!

...No, it doesn't really help my writing... except that now I have a sharpened pencil!
Listening to: A Sarah Brightman concert on youtube
Last sentence: "I can't leave her alone" (unfinished sentence. Oh yeah. Sometimes I get busy doing other things and forget to finish writing and a week later I'll come back and find an unfinished sentence and I have no clue how I was going to end it).

8:55: I'm clocking out with nine pages! Woohoo!

NaNoWriMo stats.

Anyone else see Big Hero 6? Anyone else think it was super cool, but a little too sad for an animated kid's film? (Unless kid's are more resilient these days... That could be true. There were a bunch of little kids in the theater when I went to see Star Trek Into Darkness. Um, yeah, bad parenting decision, in my opinion.)

Live long and prosper!


Do you ever read something, or smell something, or touch something, or taste something, or hear something that thrills you to your very core?
Here's just a little peak into my own soul:

The first 42 seconds may just be my favorite 42 seconds of music ever...

Books. Books. Books. Or, shall I rephrase it and say... well-written books.

Writing. Writing alone at sunset by the ocean, with God's mighty and awesome power all around me.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Beautiful Books Linkup #2: How's the Writing Going?

I'm doing the second Beautiful Books linkup with The Notebook Sisters! 

1. Be honest: how is your writing going? 
It's going really well! I've surprised myself: I didn't think I would be able to maintain hand-writing six pages a day, but so far I have been able to. Today I wrote ten pages. The first week was hard because my hand would get really sore. Now, however, the muscles are used to the strenuous workout they are receiving, and don't hurt so much at the end of the day anymore.

2. What’s your first sentence/paragraph? 
(This is from chapter 36, by the way, since I didn't start at the beginning.)
"This is how this torture will work," the man said to Mr. F, "I will start with your toes, then move on to your feet, and then your legs, and I will continue up your body until you are so burned you will be unrecognizable."
Mr. F's brain wasn't working. Burn...? He was still trying to figure out what that meant when he felt warmth on his big toe. It slowly permeated his calluses and then his toe started to burn.
Fire! Of course! Mr. F grit his teeth and prepared for the pain.

3. Do you have a book cover, and/or pictures that reflect your book?
I don't even have a name yet... so definitely no cover... Here are some pictures, though:

This picture cracks me up. :P
4. Do you have pictures of each of your characters? If not, describe them for us! (Be as descriptive as you can.)

Rozella, the Princess

Mangle, the Bard
Alonzo, the Cat

Inspiration for Mr. F.
Hag is my other main character and she is a warty, ugly old woman. But I couldn't find any pictures of ugly old women online, so you'll just have to do with that description. =)
5. What scene are you most excited to write?
The scene where one of the main characters is shot with an arrow. Heh heh...

6. Share a snippet or a scene that you really enjoyed writing. 
"This is how this torture will work..." 
Just kidding. I'm not sure. And I'm watching The Scarlet Pimpernel so I don't want to go searching through my notebook for a good scene.

7. Now that you're writing, have any of the plot details, or the process itself, turned out different from what you planned or imagined?
Hahahahahahaa... yes. I've been writing this story for the whole year and you'd think that by now I'd have all the characters figured out. Nope, a new character showed up a few days ago and demanded to join my main characters on their quest. This rarely happens to me and it threw me for a loop. I had no clue what to do! For now I'm letting him tag along.

8. Is there a character or aspect of your plot that's difficult to write?
Well, this surprise character is making himself difficult. He's toying with me. He won't tell me whether he's twenty-two or nineteen. He's condescended to let me know that he comes from a large family.

9. What’s your favorite aspect of this novel so far? Favorite character?
My favorite aspect is the potential for this novel to become something great; that through copious edits I can craft something with only words that will be a masterpiece, even if I'm the only one who knows all its secrets.

10. Have you drawn off of any life experiences or people you know to create your novel and your characters?
Mangle the Bard is based on my piano teacher and his wife, my choir director. Sometimes I catch glimpses of myself or my friends and family in my characters.

11. Do you have a playlist or certain song for your novel and/or characters?
Not really. To inspire the fantasy setting I listen to the Peer Gynt Suites by Edvard Grieg and The Sorcerer's Apprentice by Paul Dukas. Otherwise, I've been mostly listening to Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, and Vince Guaraldi. Strangely, A Horse with No Name by America is strangely fitting right now. Haha.

12. Let’s have some fun for a moment: imagine you are somehow transported into your book’s world. Which character are you most likely to be found hanging out with?
We haven't been having fun already? :P
I'd probably be found hanging out with Draegond because he's epic, or Mangle the Bard because he's epic too.

13. How do you keep yourself motivated to finish your daily wordcount? (Pinterest? Internet breaks? Chocolate?)
My story is actually keeping me pretty motivated right now! I really want to finish it before year's end!

14. What your favourite writing quote or piece of writing advice?

Not only young authors, ANY author.

15. How does this book make you feel so far? Are you laughing? Crying? Frustrated?
This book is making me feel excited about writing. Today, while researching Iambic Pentameter for my book, excitement thrilled through my heart; not an excitement I commonly feel. Actually, I can only remember feeling this excitement once before, when I was reading about outlining. Is this how you know that you're meant to do something, when you get a deep excitement through the core of your heart? That, or I'm weirder than I thought... do you know anyone else who gets excited about outlining essays with sub-sub-sub-sub points? I don't.
It's the little parts of writing that make me excited... Knowing the "rules" and utilizing them to my advantage. There are so many more than you'd think... I didn't fully know how much there is to writing until I started my writing class. It's fascinating and exciting and it makes me want to spend eight hours a day just molding sentences!

Well, we're just coming to the climax of The Scarlet Pimpernel so I shall end now.

Sink meh! 'Tis the end!  

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Why is John Ratzenberger in my math program?!

Most of you probably know John Ratzneberger as the recurring voice actor in Pixar's movies...

Or even for his small role in Star Wars...

But in the 80s he starred in the popular sitcom "Cheers" which ran for eleven seasons.

Where everybody knows you naaamme... and you're always glad you caaaammeeee...

John Ratzenberger plays the loveable Cliff Clavin, mailman extraordinaire, and maker-up of facts.

Today in math, Cliff made an unexpected appearance...


Live long and prosper.

Friday, November 7, 2014


Sometimes you have weeks like this:

Sometimes you have weeks like this:

Sometimes you have weeks like this:

Here's hoping your week has been like this:

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Books, hats, and masks, oh my!

Anon Sir, Anon:

Saturday, November 1, 2014

NaNoWriMo: Day 1

My Saturday was empty... and then I found out we had hair appointments... and then a wedding came out of no where (not mine)... and suddenly my Perfect NaNoWriMo-ing day went out the window! Oh well, I will still manage. The wedding isn't for another hour, so let's see how many works I can wrack up before then!

11:50: I'm beginning to think writing this book out by hand was not the right idea...

12:16: I got three of my daily six pages done and now I need to take a shower! Perchance you will not hear from me again until this afternoon or evening.

3:34: Back from the wedding and it's time to write again! I'm going to try get ahead today because it's always good to get ahead.
Listening to: Pandora radio on a shuffle mix of Elton John, Paul McCartney, Vince Guaraldi, and Antonio Vivaldi.
Last sentence: "I'll tell you about it later tonight, but just let me rest first."

3:48: I just finished my fourth page!
Listening to: Blackbird, sung by Paul McCartney.
Last sentence: "I think we're safe to talk freely down here."

4:07: Onto page six!
Listening to: Another One Bites the Dust-ah! Dun dun dun dun dun dun. By Queen.
Last Sentence: "The leaders with a particular vision and the ability to inspire others."

4:41: Nearly finished with page seven. I've made my word count for today! Huzzah! I will keep writing until 5:00 and then take a break to watch a Doctor Who episode.
Listening to: Another Queen song. Can anybody, find meee... somebody to looove...
Last sentence: "You're welcome. Well, I couldn't let you die!"
Word count: 1,700ish words.

5:25: So much for a Doctor Who break... I'm on a role and am now at nine pages. I really want to finish this chapter. One or two more pages... Maybe I'll just keep writing until I get to the end of the chapter. Hee hee.

5:53: All right, I'm done for the day. Ten and a half pages! Not too shabby. And I wrote one whole chapter. That doesn't often happen in one sitting/day.
Listening to: The end of a Star Trek episode in the background.
Last sentence: Draegond didn't like that look.
Final word count for day 1: About 2,900 words! Huzzah!

For those of you doing NaNoWriMo, how many words have YOU gotten on this first day?

Live long and prosper.

Just popping in to say...

...that After the Twelfth Night has been reviewed! My lovely friend Miss Jack has reviewed it over on her reviewing blog which you can find HERE. Thanks for the review, Jack!

This is a very fitting time for a review because After the Twelfth Night has been out exactly one year! Woohoo!! Last year, on this date, November One, I published my first book!

If I were some put-together author I would have a big blog party; I thought about it, but this year it was just too much. Next year I have high hopes.

Still, I didn't want to do nothing so... until Sunday, November 9, After the Twelfth Night will be 40% off!
I feel like a used car salesman: "Just click the link to take advantage of our BIG BIG savings." To be read in a deep voice, very quickly: "Offernotvalidifyouareunderfifteenoroverfifteenandahalfbuthaveyourparentscallandwe'llgiveyouafreeejectrseatotallyfreeonlywecan'tshipoutsideofNewYorkorPortlandsoyouhavetocomeheretotakeadvantageofthisspecialofferwhichendstwominutesafterthiscommercialdoes."

Also, I would like to give away a signed copy of After the Twelfth Night. You can enter by commenting one of your "favorite book(s) and why" below. Even if you already have a copy of the book, feel free to enter! If you win, you can send your book to me, I will sign it, and send it back to you with your postage money included. A winner will be chosen on Wednesday, November 5.

Meantime, don't forget to check out After the Twelfth Night's trailer!

And tell your friends!

Live long and prosper!