Depression, YouTube, and The 100 Day Journey

Wow, two blog posts in one day…..I’m just as shocked as you are, believe me.

Here’s fair warning: this post is going to be bouncing a bit all over the place (welcome to how my mind runs on a daily basis).

If you’ve read any of my previous posts, then you know that I struggle with depression – I have for most of my life. As I’ve grown older I’ve realized that being open about it and talking with others has been a huge help to alleviate the symptoms. Mental Illness is still such a touchy subject in society still even though more than 15 million Americans suffer from depression alone (ADAA statistic).

My job as a youth pastor has caused me to have a (painful) front row seat at teens struggling with depression and anxiety. You know, that’s not even correct. I do everything in my limited power to help them through what they’re feeling and to encourage them that it does get better. I offer them the same coping mechanisms that I’ve picked up along the way: don’t shy away from your friends, talk to your parents, write your feelings down, listen to positive music, study the Bible, pray.

I’ve picked up a new coping mechanism from them, that at first I didn’t think was odd but now I’m not so sure. That outlet: YouTube. Personally, I’ve gotten a lot of enjoyment and encouragement from watching Carrie Hope Fletcher, AmazingPhil, and Daniel Howell, and the Fine Brothers React Channel. When I recently started talking to my friends, most of them had no idea who I was talking about or had even heard the term “YouTubers.” This led me to conduct an experiment. I put out a plea on Facebook that if anyone who had struggled with depression and/or anxiety and knew of YouTube to please contact me if they would be willing to answer some questions for my blog.

What I found surprised me.

These are some excerpts of answers I recieved from my questions: “Do you regularly watch YouTube” and “Why do you think people – especially young people – rely on YouTube when depressed.”

“I don’t really watch videos, but certain songs get me through my depression and anxiety.”

“I watch YouTube more than I watch TV or movies anymore.”

“I don’t watch YouTube like at all.”

“Not sure [why young people turn to YouTube] – I know my daughter does YouTube so maybe it is just funnier to her.”

“I can’t go a day without watching at least one of my YouTube channels.”

“Time restraints with schedules these kids keep are crazy, plus they have the attention of a chicklet.” (my personal favorite response)

In case you were wondering, all those who commented positively about YouTube were under the age of 21. The older the responder, the less they watched or even knew about YouTube.

Another interesting thing I discovered is that those under 21 had similar favorite YouTubers and reasons why they watched them:

  • Tessa Netting: positive, uplifting, down to earth
  • Daniel Howell: relatable, funny, down to earth
  • CrankThatFrank: funny, emo, down to earth
  • Carrie Hope Fletcher: positive, uplifting, down to earth
  • Markiplier: funny, weird, down to earth
  • Jackscepticeye: funny, weird, down to earth

All of these have one big thing in common: down to earth. As one of the members of the over 21 group said: “It’s easier to relate to a real person than a character on a show or in a movie, so of course teens and kids will respond to that more. It makes them feel not so alone I imagine.”

The over 21 group had some alternative suggestions to YouTube to help alleviate the symptoms of depression and anxiety:

  • Gardening
  • Walking
  • Exercising
  • Dancing
  • Singing

There’s a common thread here as well: movement.

As these answers were coming in, one of my best friends had started something called The 100 Day Journey. She was taking a half an hour out of each day to do some kind of exercise and making small changes to her diet. Today is her 100th day and she looks incredible – I’m not just talking about weight change here, she looks happy and has more energy. It really inspired me to follow in her footsteps, so tomorrow I’m starting my first 100 Day Journey alongside my husband, my sister Joy, and my friend who is starting over at Day 1 (because she’s a boss). I plan to document my journey on here and my other social media pages.

Let’s see if Elle Woods was right….

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Overture

I’m the first to admit that I can be as over-dramatic as The Phantom of the Opera overture. I own that about myself, but sometimes I surprise myself with how far I go.

Last weekend, for no reason whatsoever, I felt a weight press down on my body and soul. I was alone in my dad’s truck and I put “Roses and Violets” by Alexander Jean on repeat as I started driving. Without really thinking about it I started singing and driving…I can’t even say aimlessly, I knew where I was going.

Within 15 minutes I had my left turn signal on and was waiting to turn down the hill of a place that was once my everything. Pike Creek Christian School/Pike Creek Valley Baptist Church – now no longer a Kindergarden-8th grade school and also no longer PCVBC but Pike Creek Bible Church (I still remember all the high fives and excitement in the congregation when the name change was announced) – was my home from the womb until I was 14. It was my church and my school; and I probably remember more from that time of my life than most people do…or should.

This is the first time I’ve ever driven down the sloping hill by myself. I chuckle through the tears that have started to flow, because I always said there was no way I could drive on that hill myself.

As I drive down the first thing that wrenches my heart is the sight of the playground.

Grant it, I expected there to be some changes – it’s been 16 years after all; however, I wasn’t prepared to see a locked fence around it. How times have changed. I see that the yellow, red, and blue, part of the playground is still there. I start crying harder as I remember the unveiling of it. We were all so excited. While I did love the wooden part of the playground with it’s bridge and how high up it felt on top of it, I always got splinters on it. I remember how excited we were as we slid down the plastic twisty slide and held hands at the bottom of it to see how many people the static electricity shock would travel through. I remember the concrete red tube things that we used to crawl through and hang out in when it was hot. I remember rolling down the hill and laughing. I remember all the field days and ice cream socials and the kickball games (that I surprisingly wasn’t bad at) and the monkey bars (that I unsurprisingly was bad at).

I moved the car to face the church/school itself. I remember how my mom-mom always brought me to school 20-30minutes early. We would sit in the parking lot and talk while listening to WDEL; unless it was during my Sandy Patti or Donny Osmond phases (don’t ask) then we would listen to those cassette tapes. I remember being shocked when one particular morning my name was announced on WDEL for my birthday and they said I won a free Dairy Queen ice cream cake. She sent in my name to surprise me, she was so happy that my name was picked…I think she was more excited than I was. Those front doors I had been in and out of a million times. I sat in the car and just cried as the melancholy piano in the song just fueled my grief even more. I had so much going on back then, and I was so afraid of messing up and letting my grandparents down. I had overheard people say all the time how badly they felt for my grandparents…to be saddled with a child in their golden years. I didn’t want to be a burden, and they never made me feel that way – but that’s still how I’ve treated myself and how I’ve lived my life.

As I turn my head my grief is replaced by dry laughter. If you’ve never been to this place before, let me tell you there are woods right next to it. Growing up I had gone into those woods, sometimes on my own and sometimes with my class. The way to get in was so awkward and I always seemed to slip and trip and fall on the somewhat steep way down to the trail. Guess what’s there now?

A pathway in. They leveled out part of the hill, put in a map, and a put in a bench! A bench! Are you kidding me?! Where was this 20 years ago?!

My laughter quickly dissolves into tears as a million memories start flooding my brain; and at the center of them is not just my place, but my mom-mom. My chest gets tight and I know I should leave. As I make the drive up the hill, I take one last look at the playground before breaking down into sobs. I begin to sing in a cracked voice to the song that’s still on repeat. When the lines “Right when it’s good, time it messes it up” and “There’s something on my mind: You’re miles away, I’m so sick of goodbye” come on I scream sing them with all my grief poured into it.

Life goes by so fast, and it can change course in the blink of an eye. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in what’s happening around me that the grief of what I’ve lost just gut punches me out of nowhere. I don’t know if I’ll ever fully get over it all. After I get home and put the truck and park, I sit in silence for a good 20 minutes.

I feel better, and I realize that there’s a good side to my dramatics. I can move forward with the gusto of The Trans-Siberian Orchestra now that I’ve allowed myself to pour out my emotions in my own special, over-dramatic way.

There will be no wallowing.

There will be no inability to get out of bed.

There will be no lashing out at others.

I got it all out of my system, for now…until it bubbles out again, and then I’ll do what I need to do.

I’ve accepted this about myself.

I’ve accepted myself……finally.

My only regret is, I wish I had done this sooner.

Confessions from THAT Friend

I think we’ve all had THAT friend. You know the one I mean. The one that doesn’t really go to anything  you invite them to, no matter how much you encourage them. The one that doesn’t text you first, no matter how many times you tell them that you’re there for them no matter what. The one that you begin to roll your eyes at the mention of inviting them to something, because what’s the point?

Hello, I am one of those “that” friends.

shy wave

I can only speak from my own experiences, so if there’s any other “that” friends reading this that feel the same – please reach out, we can form an awkward, pressure-free support group!

Here are my confessions:

  1. I know that I’m frustrating (I cringe every time I send a “can’t make it” text)
  2. When I say I’ll try to make it to something, I’m not lying
    1. I really do try
      1. Sometimes my anxiety gets the best of me
      2. Sometimes something ACTUALLY does come up that I can’t help
    2. No matter the reason, I still beat myself up for not coming out
  3. The merry-go-round drives me insane
    1. I deal with the same insecurities I have for years
    2. They annoy me, so why would I burden you with it too?
  4. I hear you when you say you’re there
    1. I agonize whether or not to reach out
    2. When it’s the same thing over and over, again why bother?
  5. Social Media kills me, and I sometimes need to take breaks because it kills me to see everyone hanging out with each other with ease
  6. It kills me when people give up and stop reaching out/inviting me out
  7. I KNOW I BROUGHT THIS ON MYSELF (This is probably the biggest one in relation to 5 and 6)

 

I’ve been struggling for weeks with this post. Hear me now, this isn’t a look at me or pity me or please help me post. No, this is a post to maybe help you think twice before you disregard “that” friend. Every “that” friend has there own reasons why they are the way they are; but deep down, they just need extra reassurance that they are loved and wanted. Whatever has them trapped in their own head has them thinking otherwise, and – let me tell you – that’s a hard thing to live with.

Have you ever seen or read The NeverEnding Story? Whether you have or haven’t, let me put it to you like this. There’s a part of the story where the hero, Atreyu, and his faithful horse (and best friend), Artax, have to travel through The Swamps of Sadness. The Swamps of Sadness is difficult to go through because an inexplicable sadness weighs you down until you sink in the mud. Atreyu battles through, but Artax…he can’t fight the sadness (it’s more devastating in the book, because Artax can talk). Atreyu encourages him gently, encourages him forcefully, calls him a stupid horse, screams at him, pulls at him, and does everything in his power, but Artax eventually sinks down and succumbs to the swamp.

artax

Sometimes it feels like that.

Speaking as “that” friend, I hope you don’t give up. I hope that you fight like Atreyu – encourage, scream, fight – do what you can to help them. Sometimes all it takes is a text or a call after an event that they’ve (once again) cancelled on or declined. Just something to let them know that you still love them even where they’re at right now.

Who knows, you may be the reason that they keep fighting.

Revamp

So you may have noticed a few things…

  1. I haven’t been on here in ages…again
  2. There’s a new title/web address for the page
  3. There’s a new cover (temporary…I have a better one in progress)

Being an author is still a dream of mine, more of a pipe dream I guess…whatever that’s supposed to mean. Whenever someone uses that phrase I automatically think of plumbers…

Anyway, I’ve been struggling with anxiety and depression for most of my life. I’m only just now being really open about it, and I felt a strong pull to blog about it. As always, I spent more time trying to think of a new name than anything. The word ‘phoenix’ kept rolling around in my head. They’ve always been my favorite mythical creature; and the phrase “like a phoenix rising from the ashes” has inspired me to rise up more than once.

Then I thought, we’re all more like phoenix’s than we think. Every single person reading this is here, alive for a reason. Every single person has reading this has been through something that they thought for sure would end their world one way or another – but you’re here. We can get so consumed by the chaos and the darkness that surrounds our lives and our world that we lose sigh of the fact that we’ve survived it so far.

I know this post isn’t eloquent and it’s all over the map, but I just wanted to drop a short post to share my thoughts and get used to writing again. So here’s to a new blog, a new theme, and hopefully some new perspective.

My Mind is Wrecked

img_1797My mind is wrecked.

Those are the only four words my brain can wrap around. The only four words that play on an endless loop for hours.

Monte Carlo is playing, but I’m not really paying attention. In fact, I chose this movie on purpose. It’s light and funny in a predictable way, and it won’t make me feel anything. I cling to the hope that my uncanny ability to bounce back quickly will take over any minute.

The credits roll, the movie exits, the tv returns to Nickelodeon. I barely register Rocket Power playing when my husband nudges me.

“You really into this,” he asks smiling.

Panic tightens in my chest; and the overwhelming urge – no need – to get out of the living room and into my bed takes over. I fake a smile and excuse myself to bed, even though it’s barely 10 o’clock.

As I run down the stairs to bury myself in a mound of covers, I can’t even will myself to cry.

My mind is wrecked.

All night long I dream horrible memories. I jolt awake sometime in the early hours to throw up. My nerves are so shot, it feels like my insides are vibrating. I haven’t felt myself slip this far down in at least a decade. Somehow I manage to get back into yet another nightmare induced sleep. My husband woke up and decided to let me sleep. Little does he know, I’m awake and there’s a new mantra added: I just can’t today.

I’ve always prided myself that no matter what happens or how I feel I always push through and do what needs to be done. Today, I can’t move from the spot I’m curled up on in the bed. The only thing I do manage is to pull up Spotify and put “Dear Agony,” by Breaking Benjamin on repeat. This is a bad sign for me. I think it was my way of crying out for help. Next thing I know, my husband’s at my side, making me shut off the music, and gathering me in his arms. That’s all it took for me to break. Sobs that were stuck and twisted within my chest were pouring out of me now. The only response I could choke out when he asked me what was wrong was, “My mind is wrecked.”

He soothed me as he rocked me in his arms and stroked my hair. I felt so guilty. My husband is the most carefree and lighthearted person I have ever known; and I’m just so dark. He deserves so much better, and I tell him that.

“I wasn’t even supposed to be born. I wasn’t wanted. From the time I came into this world all I ever do is mess up people’s lives. I’m a complication,” these words spill out uncontrollably as I continue to sob.

I don’t even recognize my own voice, it’s cracked and weak. All of a sudden I’m 7 again, and everything is my fault. I despise this victimized mindset, but I can’t fight it. Not today. All it took was some passive aggressive words from one person to set me on this spiral.

People don’t really talk about mental abuse; about the long term effects. They don’t talk about the little quirks that rise up. How you can’t trust yourself over little things; like setting your alarm then checking it 4 and 5 and 10 times (in a row) to make sure you did it. How you don’t trust your own mind for anything, so you always triple check yourself before speaking. How you feel alone even with people you love more than anything, because how can you begin to explain what it’s like living in your mind? Why you can’t be confident no matter how hard you try to fake it…

I’ve been blessed with a truly unique, patient, understanding, and loving husband. I don’t think I’ll ever come to terms with it. I don’t think I’ll ever feel that I deserve him, or stop believing that he deserves better. That being said, he did something that surprised me. He said what I thought he would, “God doesn’t make mistakes,” (which I know) “We are perfect for each other and I love you,” (which I’m always grateful for that reminder) and “You’re not broken, you’re a good person,” (maybe one day I’ll believe that completely). Then he said what I did not expect, “It’s okay to not be okay today. In fact, I’m going to go get you some food and you can lay in bed today: read, write, nap, listen to positive music; don’t worry.”

In 20 minutes he was back with KFC, Mountain Dew, and Hershey’s chocolate; and I’m overwhelmed by how well he knows what I need when I don’t. He doesn’t force me to talk or leave. Instead he ruffles my hair and kisses my forehead, telling me he’ll be right in the living room should I need him.

An hour or so later, he lets me know that he’s leaving for work and that he’s praying for me. His kindness and understanding help to renew my faith. My mind is still wrecked, but the fog is beginning to clear. I’m able to pull myself out of bed and into a scalding shower.

My mind is wrecked.

While I’m able to get up and be around others, I’m functioning more like a ghost than a human. In the back of my mind, I wonder if this is going to be the new normal for me. It was that moment when something in me sparked. I have to fight this. I cannot let it win. I cannot let people rule my mind like this. I was created for more than this.

It’s been four days, and my mind is still wrecked; but I’m rebuilding…and that’s okay.
Until the next page…

No Apolgies

Two times, in just as many days, I have been ridiculed for a part of who I am. 

I am turning 30 this year and, according to most, you would never know it. As much as I wish I could say it’s because of a youthful face, I can’t hide behind that any longer. It’s because of my taste in entertainment. After all, no woman approaching 30 should love fairy tales and superheroes as much as I do; it’s embarrassing. 

Surprisingly enough, I’m not embarrassed. What I am is tired. I am tired of being forced to explain why I post on Facebook about Once Upon a Time, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, Agent Carter, and so on. I am tired of the eye rolls when I answer the question, ‘So what did you do this weekend?’ I am tired of the snickers and the comments when I use instances from said books/tv shows/movies to explain a point or give advice. 


To the untrained eye, I know how I look. I look like an overgrown child with the IQ of a kindergartener. Let me tell you something, I graduated in the top 5 of my high school and the top 10 of my university. I have my minister’s license and a BA in Clinical Psychology. I am a pseudo-mom or a ‘big sister’ to several teens who feel like there’s no place for them and their quirkiness in the world. 


I am the furthest thing from perfect, but I finally like who I am; and part of who I am is a Fangirl. This is a dirty word for anyone over the age of 18 I feel. You want to know why I obsess over these things that aren’t real? At one time or another I have drawn strength and learned lessons from these forms of entertainment, and they have helped me grow as a person. 


Now those of you who know me, or were paying attention to what I wrote earlier, I am a minister. It has been said a time or ten that I shouldn’t be so interested in these fictional worlds. Honestly, I used to feel convicted. As time has gone on and I have prayed and thought on it I realized something: the conviction I felt came from other people, and was based on who THEY thought I should be. 


Jesus, himself, taught in parables because He knew that as humans stories connect with our spirits. Through works of fiction we are taken out of our own heads and put into a position where we can see things through new, unbiased eyes. As a result of this new perspective, we learn something about ourselves and the world of reality around us. 


I refuse to feel ashamed for liking the things that I do and to the degree in which I enjoy them. 


Until the next page…
PS I know the gifs aren’t working. I just downloaded the app and am still figuring it out. 

What am I Doing with my Life?

This title is actually a question I ask myself whenever I forget what I’m doing. Seriously. I can’t remember why I came into a room and I ask, “What am I doing with my life?”

I don’t remember why I opened up a messenger window to a person, “What am I doing with my life?”

You would think I would know the answer at nearly 30 years old, but I don’t…not completely. This used to scare me and now, well, I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about it.

Let me get a few things straight: I am a wife. I am a Christian. I am a Youth Pastor. I am a fangirl. This is what I know of who I am, this is what I do with my life. I try my hardest to be the best at all of these things, and I get fulfillment out of them. I wouldn’t trade my family, my faith, my friends, and my youth kids for anything; and you think that would be enough.

Then there’s this “writing thing.” I haven’t been on this blog for 2 years – 2 YEARS. I know that I’ve been MIA, but I didn’t realize it was that long until I logged in (and believe you me I was shocked that I remembered my password).

reaction what despicable me wut minion

During the course over two years, this blog has been in the back of my brain just nagging at me. “You promised yourself you were going to be faithful.” “You were doing so well.” “You were enjoying it.” “Why can you never follow through with anything when it comes to yourself?”

The truth is, I’m so immature when it comes to my writing. I don’t want anyone to read what I write, but I want everyone to read it. I want people to be honest, but I don’t want to know what they really think because I already know it’s terrible. I want to just write for myself for the sake of writing and enjoying, but I want to write something that will make an impact others and maybe help them in some way. I want to have constructive criticism, but I don’t think I have the intelligence to change my work to make it up to par.

confused prince cricket what huh

I hate living inside my head sometimes. The phrase, ‘you are your own worst enemy’ is painfully true. No one is – or has ever been – as mean to me as I have been to myself. I’m drowning in insecurities, and to stubborn to grab onto all the life rafts around me.

Sidenote: I don’t thank my husband enough for being who he is. I have a tendency to close myself off and hide under a smile when I’m feeling my most insecure and paranoid, and he sees right through it. He never fails to encourage me and draw out of me what I’m feeling so he can help me work through it. He is truly the most extraordinary man I’ve ever met; and he fills my heart with so much joy that I don’t get as weighed down as I did before.

movies other once upon a time ouat snow white

While I’ve been away, secretly swearing off writing for good, I’ve had nothing but writing opporunities slapping me in the face. My uncle bought me On Writing: A Memoir by Stephen King for Christmas last year; my cousin has sent me writing pins and info on a  writer’s retreat as well as a submission opportunity; one of my best friends/sisters encouraged me to do NaNoWriMo with her last year (we still need to finish that Liss!); and the list goes on…

Needless to say, I have received the message. I’m not going to give up, but I’m going to stop putting so much ridiculous pressure on myself (or at least try to).

So here’s to trying again.

Until the next page…

It’s More Than How Much You Know

best friends

I don’t know about you, but I see posts like this quite frequently on Facebook and on decorative tings you would put on shelves around your house. It’s cute and to a point I guess it is true, but it’s not the whole truth by any means. friendshipLet me tell you a story about these 4 girls (in the top left picture from left to right: Lissie, Leslie, Kristin (me), and Deborah; I’m sure you can decipher us in the other 3 pics with this key.). We have been close friends for 14 years (with the exception of Lissie and myself – we’ve been friends for almost 27 years); and from what I’ve been told by several people this is an amazing feat. While our friendship is not built on seeing each other at least 5 days a week and trading stories and dreams and laughing extremely loudly during lunch anymore – it has morphed into something even stronger.

These bonds have been strengthened by fire – a fire that I thought (much more than once over the years) would destroy our ties. Over the past 14 years the 4 of us have, at one time or another, been backbiting, childish, and just down right ignorant towards on another.

snowDon’t worry! Everything has turned out all right. No matter the reasons for acting the way that we have during those dark periods, we always end up gravitating back together; even when each one of us has felt “why bother” on the surface. Just a few weeks ago, I was out shopping with Lissie and Leslie to find dresses for Deborah’s wedding. We saw a plaque with the same sentiment as the ecard at the beginning. The 3 of us laughed and agreed that we certainly could never let go of one another because of the secrets and knowledge we all have about each other. The truth of the matter is; if you care about someone you try, no matter how you feel in the moment.

fightOver the past 14 years, we may not have always gotten along, but we have always helped each other. Through a house fire, through school trials, through ministry, through life-altering opportunities, we have always encouraged, prayed for, and given advice whenever it has been asked for; no matter how we felt at the time about the person asking.

There was one time in particular when I was on the outs with the 3 of them, and I was in an unhealthy relationship (a big part of our separation). I finally realized the gravity of the situation I was in, but I didn’t feel strong enough to end it. The only solution that came to my head was to seek Deborah’s advice, she was the one who lived closest to me; but I was terrified that she wouldn’t let me in. i took the risk, and I was happily surprised. Not only did she let me in, but she prayed with me and listened to me and gave me the courage I needed to end it. Shortly after, the 4 of us were once again ‘the fearsome foursome’ (as dubbed by Leslie in high school).

understanding

Why am I sharing all this? I have seen many relationships torn apart due to stubbornness. If there is a person or more than one persons in your life that mean something to you – fight for them! Don’t let petty differences or arguments keep you from the people you care about. Now, I’m not encouraging unhealthy relationships. If someone has been in your life (no matter how long) and they continue to bring you down or bring out the worst in you – move on, you deserve better. I’m speaking about your friends – the ones who know you and love you anyway; the ones who will unashamedly hang out the car window with you in a parking lot and pray out loud with you for backstage concert tickets; the ones who will listen to and pray with you even when they have no idea what you’re going through. Don’t allow yourself to become so hardened and angry over things that won’t amount to anything in the long run. Work things out!!! After all, Regina said it best:

alone

Until the next page…

PS I’m really not sorry for all the Once Upon a Time gifs.

Awe

image

I wrote this piece a few years ago; I can’t believe that I forgot about this night. I’m so glad I found this – I truly needed the reminder.

Breathless, fighting fatigue I bitterly trudge up the seeming never-ending dune. Why am I here? It seems like such a miniscule question in regards to the way I originally thought of the answer – that is until the sight before me becomes clear.

All thoughts of mindless entertainment to dull my senses were banished as I stared, completely awe-struck. The midnight sky littered with stars; some bright as silver flame, others faintly twinkling in the soft black blanket above me. Sand – which had been such a bothersome annoyance before – stretched out before me as far as my eyes could see to the left and to the right. In front of me, as endless looking as the night sky, was the roaring power that is the ocean. Even in the midnight hour I could still see the rolling white caps of waves crashing upon the shore.

The possibilities of “Why am I here?” became so broad that I just dropped my useless wonderings all together. After all, here I am such an insignificant – and now humbled – being in the middle of such beauty and power it was unsettling; yet at the same time empowering.

No matter what I’m dealing with; no matter if the world as I know it changes once again; no matter who feels what for me – even if it’s nothing at all – there is hope.

If my problems, irritations, limitations, and expectations can come storming onto a mere beach in the middle of the night to just (begrudgingly) take the dog out for a walk, and become humbled by God Almighty’s creation…well then, nothing else matters does it?

As I stood in the middle of the beach holding my dog, Finnegan’s leash, all I could do is look around in total awe. All at once millions of stars were in place, the ocean steady ebbing and flowing, and tiny crabs making there way around me and Finnegan to do what they had to do – the surely God has everything else in control.

He’s got this.

I don’t have to.

I’m not Superwoman, Batwoman, Spiderwoman, X-Woman – or whatever superhero knock-off you can think of.

I am simply Kristin…a daughter of the King; and as one of his princess’ I have the honor of the certainty that everything will work out for the good.

It is in that I rest tonight…and every night hereafter.

Until the next page…

Faelynn

realtranscript.jpgAs promised in yesterday’s post, for this week’s Transcript Tuesday I have an excerpt from my first completed novel, Faelynn. What’s interesting about the inspiration for this one, is my cousin told me about a story she wanted to create about 4 faerie cousins who have adventures. She told me that she didn’t have the gumption to really write it, and asked if I could try to put it down on paper. As she went to take a shower, I put on my favorite Enya CD and ideas just came pouring out of nowhere. To date, it is the most surreal brainstorming experience I have ever had. I was so excited to show my cousin what I had written, and was quickly crushed when she said that it was nothing like what she had in mind and to not use the title she had in mind for her story.

Instantly, I thought that meant she hated it and here I was still in love with the ideas I had come up with and desiring to expand on them. Her adverse reaction gave me pause. Later on that evening, we were watching a movie and she asked if I was okay. I told her what I had felt about our earlier discourse and she began laughing. She proceeded to tell me that she thought that what I had written was excellent, and she wanted to find out where that story was going to go; it just wasn’t the story she had in mind – she would rather me make my ideas wholly my own story. Thus, I had my very first NaNoWrimo novel ready to go!

The synopsis:

Brucie is a free fairie who has come to live in Faelynn. Like all the other places she’s tried to live in she’s met with hate and prejudice. However, things start to turn around when three lifelong faerie friends take her under their wings. Just when she thought things were beginning to look up, mysterious disappearances threaten her new found home – and she is at the center of the blame! Now she must steel herself against the odds to prove her innocence and find and free the missing fairies.

The excerpt:

“Hey, hey you,” a bright and high-pitched voice said, “yoo-hoo, are you still in there?”

Brucie was slowly coming back to her senses. She could still feel the thick fog swirling around inside of her lungs and throat. Trying to open her eyes and respond to the unfamiliar voice was too much, too soon and she started coughing uncontrollably. “Don’t die on us now! You’re one of the first faerie’s that I’ll get to officially meet in my whole live-long life!”

“I’m not,” Brucie coughed, “dead..I’m very much –“

“ALIVE,” a chorus of voices rang out.

Just as Brucie had started to open up her eyes a rush of bodies flung themselves at her. “Woah, what’s going on?”

“You are okay! You are all right,” cried Nyx, “I thought we had lost you and I would never get the chance to say how sorry I am and how much I am thankful for you and –“

“NYX,” the three faerie friends cried.

As innocent as a newly formed butterfly Nyx replied, “Yes?”

“Anyway, Nyx and I had decided to tail you and Parisa. Well, we couldn’t exactly catch up with you because you had such a head start, but when I saw what direction you were headed. I knew there was only one place that Parisa could be taking you to, because Parisa’s Donna lives in the opposite edge of the forest. By the time we got here the light fog made it a little –“

“Light fog,” Brucie said incredulously.

“Well…by the time we got here it was a light fog. Anyway, Nyx and I saw the strangest outline through the fog. At first Nyx thought it was a floating horny toad, but I told her that was just silly. The closer we got we saw that it was a faerie trying to carry you and Parisa all on her own,” Maruelle explained.

“Maruelle had a fit,” Nyx interjected, “she thought that the other faerie had drugged you and was going to do some sort of unspeakable things to you…but she was wrong! Turns out you guys did yourselves in! Little Miss Merri here was just trying to get you guys inside!”

“Who,” Brucie asked.

“Me,” said the bright and cheery voice from when Brucie first came out of her unconscious state, “I heard all the banging and commotion outside and decided to check. Thankfully I found you guys just in time!”

“Yes, thank you,” Brucie said still stunned, “but how did you see through the fog?”

“Oh that wasn’t fog…that was smoke, but I found you through this!”

Merri grabbed a strange looking contraption off the shelf, and put it on her head. It looked like a garland made out of branches and leaves with a huge flower on each side of her head. After Merri shook her head rapidly from side to side the insides of the flowers lit up brightly. “Yeah,” Merri commented, “there are about 150 fireflies in each flower it is great for seeing at night…or through tons of smoke in this case. Basically, it is very useful when you are the assistant to the great and mighty Elder Barry – not to be confused with Elder Barry wine. After all wine must be fine and aged…and Elder Barry is neither one of those.”

“So what was with all the,” Parisa started.

“Smoke? Oh that was one of his many experiments gone awry. Thank goodness I have good hearing; because there is so much hubbub in here I almost was not sure there really was anything happening outside. That Elder Barry is a genius…but he is not one for cleanliness and quiet. Speaking of Elder Barry, I wonder where he went. He was just here not too long ago checking on Parisa.”

Brucie was about to say something when she felt something tug on her right wing, causing her to jump up and fly straight up to the roof of the house. When she looked down she saw a kindly faerie man with hazel eyes that still held the sparkle of wonder and youth. He was almost completely bald save for tufts of unruly grey and white hair on either side of his head. Looking up at the startled faerie the old male faerie, that could be none other than Elder Barry said to her, “I know where you got your wings.”

Brucie cocked her head to the side and raised an eyebrow as she looked at him confused while the other faeries in the room half giggled and half groaned.

“Where?”

“On your back.”

The answer was so simple, so obvious, and so unexpected that Brucie could not help but laugh hysterically as she floated back down to the floor. “Finally,” Elder Barry said quite pleased with himself, “some new blood to laugh at my jokes.”

“Don’t get used to it now,” Merri chided jokingly, “it will wear off quickly. After all, you don’t have many jokes and they aren’t that funny.”

Elder Barry glanced back at Brucie who was still in hysterics, “Well…I’m holding out hope for this one anyway.”

What did you think? Let me know in the comments!!

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