8.31.19 | pros to hiking at 4 a.m.

  • It is pitchblack and you can see the constellations
  • The four-lane highway is empty and forgotten
  • The air is chilly and cool
  • The crickets are deafening
  • You never see another soul
  • Deer pass you
  • The entire walk you can untangle the knotted threads in your mind
  • At the top the valley is filled with twinkling lights of far-away cities.
  • You get to watch the sky wake up from your high perch
  • When everything lightens, you can pass the time watching the thick fog move through the hills and listening to roosters from a distant farm.
  • You can hike six miles and still get home in time for breakfast

 

Traffic in the City

Like a flock of startled birds

flapping out their wings for flight

umbrellas in the crowd

 

open wide. They bob like

bottles in a stream, colors

catching eyes but secrets

 

corked inside. The taxi drivers

honk like geese & grab which

fish they can, pluck one

 

up then drag it off with

squeals and round the corners with

a calling screech.

All the Summer Vibes // hiking, writing, reading, and that glorious sunburn

I’m a very crafty person.

No, no. Not that kind of crafty.

Despite what gossip my character have been spreading, I am not a crafty villain scheming up plans of horror and pain. Maybe.

I mean ‘crafty’ as in, I like to take little string and sit for a couple hours looping it on sticks to try to make hats and scarves.

However, during the school year with school. And school. And more school. I only have time for sitting and translating Latin sentences and learning that the Romans defeated the Gauls.

Again.

And again.

And again.

Oh and that the sailors refuse to pray.

So when I finally finished that last math test and ‘summer’ was here, I pulled out my supplies and dove into the world of waking earlier, living at my desk in the basement, and having my family point out the paint stains on my hands I had missed or the bits of thread I had forgotten to brush off my shirt.

Here’s what I’ve been up to:

cause I am obsessed with bullet points

#1. Quilting

I’ve always been interested in quilting, but it wasn’t until a couple years ago I made my first quilt.

Okay, actually it was about five years ago and it was so tiny my doll would even have trouble using it.

Not that she got the chance because I didn’t finish that quilt until two months ago when I pulled it out again.

In the meantime, somewhere in the past five years I did patriciate in a crazy quilt day workshop and came out with a finished mini quilt, but, while I learned a lot, in the end, it was still mini.

Well after pulling the first quilt out and finishing the binding at the beginning of this summer, I took in the stack of scrap fabric in our craft closest and the bundle of batting and, remembering a book I had once read at the library, decided to try my hand at making a bigger quilt.

I picked the Log Cabin pattern, because I really loved the examples in the book and it seemed perfect for left-over fabric, since really all I needed was two-inch wide strips.

Originally I sorted out these little stacks of fabric: one blue themed, one pink themed, brown, green, yellow, etc., thinking I might be able to squeeze out three or four squares out of each.

Out of the blue stack of fabric, I was able to make twenty 11 inch(ish) squares: perfect for a baby blanket size.

Shows you how much I know about estimating.

I’m that person who always scoops left-over food in a container that is way too big.

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setting out the squares

I sewed the squares over three days, trimmed them and pieced them together another, and then, after a trip to Hobby Lobby to buy some backing and edging, began the actual quilting process (which I should hopefully finish today.)

It was a lot of fun piecing together, and I’m starting to now eye the stack of pink fabric in the closet. (:

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When the back of your stitching creates a perfect treble clef! O.o

#2. Jewelry Making

I began making earrings about a year ago when my sister and a friend organized a craft day at our house.

They’re really fun and fairly easy to make. The hardest part is looping the wire. Especially since I was trying to use the wrong kind of pliers to do it.

Imagine my joy when my grandmother gave me the right type (and more beads!)

To illustrate the immediate affect:

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They’re amazing, thank you GranAnnie! ❤

So I’ve been making tons of earrings lately.

My homeschool co-op community has a craft fair each December so I’ll probably bring my growing stash of earrings.

Or I might decide to keep them all muahahaha

If only I had more ears. 😉

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owls! and everyone goes “awww”

It’s really cool being able to make things that I know will be used. Gone are the days of braiding hundreds of random strands of rainbow colored craft yarn I found.

It’s doubly neat to be able to make those things I’ve always wanted. Whatever style of earrings such as ones with beads partially wrapped in wire.

Then last week my mother was out running errands when she noticed a small artisan shop in our downtown that is opened only a couple times a month.

She stopped and looked around and decided to take me that afternoon for inspiration and ideas.

Such as quilled paper earrings:

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setting them out to dry

 

#3. Writing

Yes!

Despite what this post has so far implied I have been writing this summer. I’ve been continuing my attempts to capture everyday, little things in a fresh new way, and have been plowing away at 51 usually late in the evening or early in the morning. I’ve found over the past year that those are the most productive times for me.

When people ask whether I’m a night owl or morning bird, me: “Um…both?”

Who said owls aren’t birds… 😉

51 has been going well though.

A week or so a writing friend mentioned during a conversation about names how they once read somewhere about a writer using elephant in all caps as a place holder in the rough draft stage.

So of course I had to steal borrow the idea.

 

ELEPHANT in the Room

 

Who knew Zeb had such big pockets?

Or that he was that strong. 😉

As a technical update: 51 is at 21,651 words and maybe through one fourth of the story written.

The good news is, I have the ending planned! and written shh don’t tell anyone.

Now I just have to fill in the rest of the middle… 😛

 

#4. Reading

I’ve been reading a nice amount of books too. A lot of revisiting for old favorites, but also some new ones.

Current book I’m reading?

The Mollhill, Vol 3!

It’s my first one to read and I’m really enjoying it.

Basically, for those who don’t know, it’s a collection of poetry, art, essays, stories, and recipes from The Rabbit Room, a community of Christian artists.

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Also! I was forced to join joined a local book club started by a writer-friend.

The first get-together that I have been able to attend yet will be tomorrow. Book for that meeting?

The Book Thief!

I’m excited. (:

#5. Hiking & Swimming

 

Summer did not feel truly feel like summer until last week when we finally went swimming.

It had been a full year for me because of the craziness of moving and settling in and life.

But after spending a day splashing in the sun, and I came home and collapsed on my floor, limbs aching and with raisins for fingers, and my shoulder burning with the most glorious sunburn, it was suddenly summer.

I had never realized how nostalgic that feeling is…

I’ve also gone on a couple hiking trips. The most notable one was with my Dad a couple Saturdays ago. We packed some water, books, and hammocks and hiked up to a private little overlook. There we spent a couple hours swinging lazily in a mossy clearing, swatting flies, and (for me) reading Canterbury Tales.

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When I said it was mossy, I meant it was mossy.

This gorgeous clearing gave an entirely new meaning to the common phrase “the forest was carpeted with moss.”

 

#6. Sketching and Painting

And one of the other things I’ve been doing quite a lot is experimenting with is mixing ink sketching with watercolor.

As you can see, I’ve only been doing little simple projects of things I’m familiar with. (i.e. plants, elephants, and my school drawers)

And finally…

#7. Prepping for school

And here we are at the end.

My first day of class with my weekly homeschool co-op is three weeks away, so I’ve pulled out the brick of biology flashcards, put tabs in my math book, and sped up in my reading of the literature books I will be writing papers on through the year. (Right now it’s Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. And I thought the first part of the book was weird…)

I’m surprising excited for the school year as a whole. This year focuses on British literature, I’ll be studying paintings, music, and art in general, more Team Policy debates, and more Algebra and Trigonometry.

 

Which finally brings me to a quick note about one last thing that’s been going on around here: my brother’s wedding!

I am suuuper excited about my (soon-to-be) new sister! She is just soooo amazing and fun! And just… well I probably could write another five paragraphs about it but I better not. (:

I must say it’s weird growing up though. (Any one else agree out there? *raises hand* Anyone?)

Well, because of this joyous occasion of amazingness but also the busyness that comes with it (did I mention it will be held in our backyard?), I am not going to promise a post next Friday.

Maybe I’ll throw out a poem or something, but we’ll see. (:

What time of day is best for writing for you? How has your summer been? Are you prepping for school yet? What will you be studying?

~ evelyn ~

 

i am a writer

I’m a writer, I’m a poet, I’m a
chapter I’ve written. A character built
out of nothing but my life and hands. They
stain my pages because I bleed and wilt.

I’m a writer, I’m a poet, I form
worlds out of words and people out of trees.
Watch me resurrect a dragon, a storm,
a tower of Babel out of dust and debris.

I’m a writer, I’m a poet, I see
angels in the dirt. There are pilgrims who
cross the dusty roads of life with me
shadows behind them of friend that they knew.

I’m a writer, I’m a poet, I play
with hearts of the young and dreams of the old.
I try to weave a story that may
drip in their house tiny drops of rose gold.

I’m a writer, I’m a poet, but just
a person too, striving to catch meaning
out of air, catch something to cling to. Gusts
of the wind in my bucket are singing.

a little post named “random”

Have you ever just wanted to write for the sake of writing?

Nothing planned. Nothing plotted.

After a long day of pounding out papers and scratching out math equations, just you and your thoughts winding out slowly onto the page, forming little splotches of black on white.

The itch comes every once and a while for me. A little itch to be wild and dreamy with some prose; to make some words purr with my wandering ponderings and watch them stretch out and then curl up before the fire.

Maybe EvEn BREAK the RUles and cApitAlIzE in STRANGE wAys

like I use to get away with.

Well, the itch has come today, and I’m afraid I will indulge myself in satisfying it with a scratch.

I might ending up sounding a little philosophical. I might end up sounding a little poetical. Maybe silly. Who knows, but are any of those bad things?

Already I’ve made some alliteration for the sake of alliteration. I’ve sprinkled in some personification and metaphors, and stirred in a tasty verb or two.

Art is easy to compare to soup.

You dump in a little of this and a little of that, like Amelia Bedelia baking up her lemon meringue pie, and then watch the colors swirl. Add a pinch of seasoning, and take a deep breath of the spicy smell.

You make mistakes. You learn to differentiate the walnuts from the pecans, the salt from the sugar, and the vinegar from the water. You learn there’s a reason they tell you to stir your concoction and that there’s a reason they say to set timers on ovens.

There is something unmatchable about learning from trial and error. It is personal and it is physical, unlike that advice found on scraps of paper books. These lessons learned have scars to prove it.

Well this past month was Camp NaNoWriMo and I learned a few things.

When you have a complicated time-traveling plot that twists and turns on itself, you might want to plot it out in greater detail before diving straight in.

Who knew my six pages on the workings of time-traveling would not be enough? Maybe I should have written more than half a page on the actual plot?

I reached 23,000 words about two and a half weeks into April, but the story was falling apart. There was also a lack of unique creativity that I was trying to go for. Plus I had yet to discover how it would end. Though that is typical when I start a project, at 23,000 words in I usually want to know before continuing. I brainstormed and brainstormed and brainstormed, but I could not work it out.

At that point, I was going to essentially burn it to ashes and then throw those out the window, but my oldest brother was visiting for the week and we began talking about it. Suddenly, explaining the plot, I began questioning my decision: Wait, what am I thinking? I love this story! I love these characters! Why give up on them??

Well, thankfully, said brother came to the rescue and gave me a good picture of what happens in my story, giving insight and blowing my mind!

Yes… a picture. Literally.

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There, doesn’t that clear everything up?

One of my other brothers saw it sitting out the other day and asked, “Were you guys just destressing?”

No, I promise that graph makes sense to me.

Two words: Time travel.

So, at the moment, instead of throwing out the lovely, tangled manuscript, I will lock it up and wait for it to gather some dust, and until then I will work on fleshing out some timelines and charting the plot.

I also want to brainstorm different ways to tell the story. I was having trouble telling such a complicated plot through my third person narrative. (Maybe time to try the fun of rambling in my character’s personas?) Well, I have a couple ideas up my sleeves.

Beyond all that, I discovered that even the worst of times can be turned into great art!

Frantically finishing finals” is an amazing alliteration, don’t you agree? 😉

Now they are officially done! *throws confetti*

…but I have some math to catch up on. Sooo… *gathers up confetti to save until that glorious day of true freedom*

But! Tuesday was the one year anniversary of The Flabbit Room’s Ildathore project. *throws confetti again*

I might say something more about my writing family, but it would end up being a mix between sappy sentences and a incoherent jumble of inside jokes.

So, instead let me delight over my Google drive folders which I discovered can be colored!

 

ALL THE COLORS

 

Isn’t that just amazing??

Well, fare thee well, friends! I wiLL REturN neXt wEEk for mor chicken fun.

~ tA-Ta-fOr-NoW! ~