May 31, 2011

Childhood Notebook

Dear Reader,
I just was looking through an old notebook of mine from when I was about 7-9 years old. I forgot what a strange little kid I was. *Ahem!* Whom I kind of still am...

I came across a little story I had started awhile ago. It was a typical one of mine I'd written again and again --- with only varying conflicts --- at least four or five times: the bad-guy was always named Phillip, and the main character was always a princess (at that age, in all of my writing, it had to be a princess). Her name was Sara.
    I had a lot of arguments with my sisters back then over whether or not the princess' name should have an 'h' at the end. I didn't want it that way, and so --- being the passionate, headstrong girl I was --- I wouldn't settle for an extra letter. I started out with 'Sara', and I wasn't about to change it.
    At age twelve when I wrote the story again, guess what? I spelled it, 'S-A-R-A-H'. Along with headstrong and passionate, I guess I can also be a little fickle.

 So, this is what I wrote: (I changed the spelling and suchlike a little because as a seven-year-old, I hadn't yet really mastered correct grammar. Oh --- And as a heads-up, keep in mind that I kind of forgot certain details when the story progressed, so a few things will not be completely resolved.)

~Princess Sara~
Chapter 1 - Hope-n'-Help

Today Princess Sara was just waking up to the beautiful morning. "I've got some work to do," said Sara. First she went to the kitchen to eat, then wrote a letter to her friend. In 5 days she would have her 12th birthday! The day after the Party, the Special Princess Ball would come. "Two things to look forward to," said Sara to the cook.
    "Yes dear," said the cook. "You are almost ready to become Queen!"
    Sara smiled. "Thank you."
    "Oh, Sarah," said her mother, "A letter came for you!"
    "Go on!" said the cook.
    "Oh my! Yippee!" said Sara loudly. "Mother! MOTHER! Dad's coming to my birthday! Hurray!"
    "Oh my!" said her mother, "He's been gone so long. Now he's coming back!"
    *Ding! Ding! Ding!*
    "It's the bell!"
    "Go get it, Sara." [I almost spelled that with an 'h'!]
    "Hello, sir," said Sara. A man was at the door.
    "Hi, miss!" The man said to Sara. "Can I see your mother, the Queen?"
    "Yes," said Sara. "Mother! Someone's at the door that wants to see you!"
    "Okay! Oh! Mr. Blackwood. I've been expecting you. Come in."
    "Mother, who is he?" said Sara in a whisper.
    "Mr. Blackwood, Dear," her mother answered. "He's our new butler."
    "Oh!" said Sara.

Chapter 2 - Friends or Not?

"Today!" Sara shouted. "Hurray!!!" For the Party, Sara had tea with her best friend. The ball day finally came. Princess Sara was looking for the perfect dress for three hours! The dress she chose was pink, puff-sleeved, and just the right size for her. At the time Prince Phillip [I used to spell his name, 'Fhilip'] came in, Sara could smell trouble.
    "Sara!" her mother called. "Dear, it's time to meet everyone. This is Princess Amy, Prince Alex, Prince Phillip, Sir Andrew, Queen Sophia [Formerly spelled, 'Sophiya'], King James [totally had no idea about an actual King James at that age], Princess Karen, Queen Charlotte, Princess Margaret Rose, and Princess Elizabeth."
    Sir Andrew asked for a dance. When Sara and Sir Andrew came close to Prince Phillip, Sara felt something heavy clutch the bottom of her dress.

Chapter 3 - Kidnapped!

Sara tripped. She was so embarrassed, she ran all the way to her bedroom, slammed the door, and didn't come out until dinner.
    "I never, ever want another ball again! Never!"
    "Oh, Sara," said her mother, "Do you think one single accident can stop you? It's like saying you'll never become Queen!"
    "It's NOT the same," said Sara. "I'm never having another ball!"
    "Dear Princess," said Mr. Blackwood, the butler, "Nothing can stop some big girl like you!"
    "You need some practice, that's all," Blackwood interrupted Sara. "Remember, a princess is a princess, no matter how many mistakes she makes."
    "Thank you," said Sara, "But still, I won't have another ball!

The next day, Sara was going to visit Prince Phillip. Her mother was coming with. When they got there, they went into a big room just for visitors. They talked about stuff, until Phillip led them on a trip around the castle.
    *Wang!* [I have no idea how I came up with that sound-effect...] Sara got hit on the head with a long piece of wood, and got knocked-out! Someone took her away into a small room with no windows, only candles. They put her on a chair and tied her up with rope. When Sara woke up, she was feeling dizzy from the log. When her head finally got better, she noticed that she, herself, was indeed in terrible danger! After about thirty minutes, she saw a black figure in the room close by her. The figure pulled on it's black head, a dark mask, revealing a face. It was Prince Phillip! He had his arm behind his back and pulled it from behind --- he was carrying a hot sword!!!
     Sara was so scared, she fainted! But soon she woke up. She looked up at the ceiling and saw a big black board with long sharp points hanging from it! And Prince Phillip had seventeen other men with him. One was holding scissors up to a thin rope which was tied to the big black board above her!
    "Help!" Sara cried. Soon after, one of the men ran up to her, took a handkerchief, and tied Sara's mouth all up! Sara again yelled 'help', but this time it was very quiet, muffled by the handkerchief.
    Prince Phillip walked up to Sara, held his glowing orange sword out to her, and touched it to her cheek. "You'll never escape from ME, you little peasant!" he shouted aloud. Sara began to cry. She KNEW there was no escape.

Chapter 4 - An Old Friend

Sara was even twice as scared when Phillip said, "If you move a single muscle besides your eyes, I'll make Simon cut the rope." The threat was terrible. Sara forgot her fears, but before she could move to speak, Sir Andrew burst in with Princess Anabelle, Prince Collen, Mr. Blackwood, and Sara's mother, the Queen.
    "Oh! Hello miss --- uh --- your Highness," Phillip said in a small voice.
    "Hello Mr. Kidnapper," the Queen answered.
    Sir Andrew was a favorite of Sara's, and today she was being rescued by him! The real secret was, that they both loved each other. [And of course my little kid mind could not wait a few more sentences to put that in.]
    "You snake!" cried Princess Anabelle to Phillip.
    "My dear girl, are you okay?" the Queen asked.
    Sara tried to say yes, but with the handkerchief, she couldn't.
    "Oh, I should have known that old Mr. Blockhead would have done something so terrible!" said the Queen. [Where had I come up with that nickname?]
    Simon was not even close to forgetting he was supposed to kill Sara. As quick as a flash, he cut the thin rope!

Chapter 5 - Finally!

Sir Andrew ran fast and grabbed the rope to stop it from falling.
    Prince Phillip was in a rage. "Princess Sara, you were about to die, and soon, VERY soon, you will!" he threatened.
    "Mmmhh!" Sara tried to talk.
    All of the other men with Phillip gabbed Princess Anabelle, Sir Andrew, Mr. Blackwood, the Queen, and Prince Collen. Prince Phillip grabbed Princess Sara.
    Now everything is turning out wrong! Sara thought.

    For three weeks, the group stayed tied up under the roof of Prince Phillip's castle. On the last day of the three weeks, Prince Collen got an idea, but didn't tell anyone. Simon took Princess Anabelle in a room. He put a long sword in a VERY hot fire. He took it out, and stuck it forward at Anabelle. He put it near her skin on the neck threateningly, and soon Prince Phillip came in a took the sword from Simon. He touched the hot sword to Anabelle's throat. She screamed loudly. It hurt her BADLY!
    During this, Prince Collen somehow untied his ropes, got out of his chair and ran away. Prince Phillip kept on sliding the burning sword over Anabelle's neck. She shrieked every time.
    The next day, Prince Collen came in the castle with one-hundred men!
    "Collen!" Anabelle cried happily.
    The day was saved.

Chapter 6 - Married

Sir Andrew and Princess Sara got married in April. They moved to Europe and had a baby girl named Mary. The end!!!

I wish you could have heard me laugh as I typed this out. What a strange little kid I was! I always had the same main elements in a story: a princess, a prince, a villain, a kidnapping, one or two near death experiences, a happy ending. I never had anything truly original except for strange names for characters that I would sometimes make up. But reading this --- although is has been thoroughly embarrassing --- has revealed how incredibly far I have come in my writing since then, and therefore has greatly encouraged me!
   (And again, if anyone would like a copy of the first taste of my either of my two novels in the making, I'm willing to send at least  part of the first chapter by email to anyone who asks. Visit my Contact page to find my email address, or comment on this post below. I haven't yet finished the first chapter of either novel yet, but they're close. One is Medieval-styled, and based on the life of a royal family. Believe me when I say it FAR exceeds, in every way, the ridiculous tale you just read! The other novel I'm working on is a cross between the life of a human and a dragon. Both are the two main characters, and it concerns how they meet and must work together to save the world.)

Thank you for taking the time to read this!
God bless! ♥

May 21, 2011

Blessed and Blessed Again!

Dear Reader,
I apologize for the long gap between now and when I last wrote. The blog site was undergoing a few changes and I couldn't access my account to post anything. But this did however provide plenty of time for me to work on some more photos! (Happy-moment music)
    This photo you see on the left is of my beloved grandmother when she took me out for lunch and on a walk for my birthday. I saw this tree off the side of the path of the park, and insisted that I capture my lovely grandma posing for it. You can NEVER have too many pictures of the people you love! I was quite satisfied with the way this photo turned out, and learned a new technique for how to edit-in that dark border, (not the widescreen effect, but the shadows in the upper corners on either side). Oh yes, it's a new favorite. ;)

I was in a drama class this year with many of my good friends. It was one of the best experiences I've had this spring! Drama over these past two years has helped loosen up my shyness, enhanced the little skill at improvisation I have, and just plain brought me joy because of my teacher, my dear fellow participants, the numerous practice sessions, and the actual performance itself. This photo is of two of the boys in the class, brothers. I honestly think they are the best actors out of everyone in the class; they are great at improvisation, ALWAYS have something hilarious to say, and play the parts given to them really well --- even if it means playing a girl. ;) It wouldn't be Drama Class without them!
    This year, we did our own rendition of Sleeping Beauty. The boy on the right there played the Prince Methuselah, and ironically his brother on the left played his father. (Technically, his father-in-law.) Which made me the former's play-mother-in-law and the latter's play-wife. We had a lovely lady play the Princess, whom was referred to as 'Aurosa', a cross between 'Aurora' and 'Rose'. There were good fairies, evil henchmen of the wicked fairy (more commonly understood to be a witch), the aforementioned king, queen (me), prince and princess, and two special children --- although in truth were teenagers --- who retold the tale from their perspective. It was great fun to rehearse, and just as much to perform. I'm going to miss Drama Class, but I can scarcely wait until next year!

 I've been taking piano lessons for over a year now, and just recently had my first recital. I played two songs: 'May It Be' by Enya --- a personal favorite song --- and a medley composed of the hymns 'Oh, How I Love Jesus' and 'My Jesus I Love Thee'. Perfect for me! The former song I had already been playing for several months and knew the whole thing by heart. I played it almost perfectly at the recital, and I actually enjoyed it instead of just freaking out about how I was doing. 
    Not so for my second piece. I had just barely learned the whole thing a few days before my final lesson, which was about four days before the recital. I stumbled on the first page and ended up having to skip a few measures to get myself back on track. The ending was the only part that truly satisfied me, and since my teacher told me that that was the most important part of any piece because people remember it the most, I was able to be a little more at peace about my performance.
    Right now, I'm learning to play Scarborough Fair, a song I've always loved. I have it almost memorized (it's not very long, just over a single page), and I enjoy it almost more than any of the other songs I've played this year!

 This photo is of my precious mom and younger sister, Emily. I suppose I should have posted this with the rest of the photos from the same day, which was in fact Easter, but I couldn't bear to wait. Aren't they cute? =)
    This was taken at a park near my cousins' house. It's about a block from their home, and while we were walking there, I realized I didn't have my camera with me, and ran back to go get it. You know me. I can't survive a special trip like that without my camera! (Forgive me if I accidentally mention this clip of my Easter Sunday story when I post the rest of the photos later on. I don't mean to be a broken record!)
    I don't know what I would do if I didn't have my family. Obviously, God planned my life out really well because He put each one of the members of my PRECIOUS family in my life! Oh, it hasn't always been easy to live with them; every family has disputes. But the blessings have been greater than the hard times, I know, because even the trials have brought about wonderful things, just like the promise Paul wrote in Romans 8:28, 

"And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose."

    The last experience I would like to share is the Bible study I went to with some of my friends just last night. They had been going through a book that explains the details concerning other religions, and how we as Christians can effectively witness to them. This week, we were going through Judaism, and it was perfectly fascinating! The study was brilliantly in-depth, and FAR better than I had dared to hope for! I found that I was already acquainted if not also friends with everyone in the study, and God really blessed my time there. I'm grateful that the friends who first invited me to come have also offered to drive me there continually throughout the summer. Boy, do I owe them, big time!

God has truly been so incredibly good to me!

God bless you all! ♥

P.S. I must apologize for not having posted the first chapter of my novel yet as promised. I'm still working on it --- however, life has been busier than anticipated. But fret not, those of you who have been looking forward to it. I shall try to have it completed soon. For the sake of copyright issues, I have decided not to share it publicly, but I will willingly send the first chapter to any of my followers who are interested. Thank you! =)

May 10, 2011

Fairytale in the Making

Dear Reader,
Great News! I've been working hard on my novel today, and it's already on a great head start! I may even be able to post the first chapter as early as tomorrow! The title is still giving me grief; I've had it one way for awhile now, then thought maybe it should be just a little different, and now I think I've come back to the same title again. It's kind of fitting. I just hope that people will be able to pronounce it. ;)
    It's really hard for me to get my thoughts out sometimes, but this is one of the seasons where words are practically flowing out of my head. It's awesome! The weather's awesome, summer is almost here --- which means school will be over SOON --- and there's a whole bunch of imagination pent up inside of me, bursting to get out!
   Please pray for me to pound this story writing; a finished novel has actually been years in the making, and I'm ready --- as well as my VERY encouraging family --- to have this blessed fairytale completed at last!

Thank you all! God bless!

May 7, 2011

Dear Reader,
My grandmother sent me a link to this video, and I (naturally) needed to share it with you! =D

May 4, 2011

He is the Saving Grace of the Galaxies

Dear Reader,
For a few weeks now, I’ve known about and been listening to a beautiful song by my favorite music artist, Owl City (Adam Young), and at last, a very dear and helpful friend has helped me learn how to post music on my blog. I am so thankful to her! (Check out her blog at either her Blog Design page or her Photography blog.)

Please enjoy 'Galaxies'! (For ultimate pleasure, turn up the volume REALLY HIGH and dance - even if it's just a little - to the delicious rhythm and flow!) Listening to this song gives me more than just pleasure, however. It makes me confident in my God and Savior; no matter what this life provides - whether it be hardships or a smooth path - in Christ alone, my hope is found. ♥

May 2, 2011

Tender, Loving, Wise

Dear Reader,
I was just reading Charles H. Spurgeon's devotional from April 30th, Evening, and I thought that I simply must share it. At first, I intended to simply add part of it to my favorites quotes page, but I realized that it would be better to share the whole thing - which would be far too much to consider a mere 'quote'! 
I dearly hope that it speaks to you.

"How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God." -Psalm 139:17

Divine omniscience affords no comfort to the ungodly mind, but to the child of God it overflows with consolation. God is always thinking upon us, never turns aside his mind from us, has us always before his eyes; and this is precisely as we would have it, for it would be dreadful to exist for a moment beyond the observation of our heavenly Father. His thoughts are always tender, loving, wise, prudent, far-reaching, and they bring to us countless benefits: hence it is a choice delight to remember them. The Lord always did think upon his people: hence their election and the covenant of grace by which their salvation is secured; he always will think upon them: hence their final perseverance by which they shall be brought safely to their final rest. In all our wanderings the watchful glance of the Eternal Watcher is evermore fixed upon us—we never roam beyond the Shepherd’s eye. In our sorrows he observes us incessantly, and not a pang escapes him; in our toils he marks all our weariness, and writes in his book all the struggles of his faithful ones. These thoughts of the Lord encompass us in all our paths, and penetrate the innermost region of our being. Not a nerve or tissue, valve or vessel, of our bodily organization is uncared for; all the littles of our little world are thought upon by the great God.
Dear reader, is this precious to you? then hold to it. Never be led astray by those philosophic fools who preach up an impersonal God, and talk of self-existent, self-governing matter. The Lord liveth and thinketh upon us, this is a truth far too precious for us to be lightly robbed of it. The notice of a nobleman is valued so highly that he who has it counts his fortune made; but what is it to be thought of by the King of kings! If the Lord thinketh upon us, all is well, and we may rejoice evermore.

{End of quote}
I love to think about that first line, "Divine omniscience affords no comfort to the ungodly mind, but to the child of God it overflows with consolation." It is sad for the sake of those outside of such a blessing, but all the more glorious for the Children of God to know that He cares! Holding onto this kind of promise is infinitely precious.
I am grieved to think about how often my thoughts reflect selfishness rather than praise to the God who saved me from sin and eternal punishment! He deserves far more than what I can give, and although He knows this, day after day He continues to give me life. Every breath we take is evidence of His incredible mercy. After all that we have done against Him, even still, '...He causes His sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.' (Matthew 5:45)
We humans can hold grudges for a long time, and we become angry with each other so quickly. But think about God's mercy; not only does He think about us, but He cares for every one of us with tenderness and incredible mercy, even though we have done NOTHING to deserve it.
I utter this phrase with awe, on my knees, "our God is an awesome God!"
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