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News: If I could, I'd tie my hair up in dreds and live the life of adventure from the high seas to the mountain peaks, gathering gold and jewels and tales of mystery and action :) but for now, I'll just have to do with writing about these things as if they were truly real.

--12 December 2017 --

Quote: Words are pale shadows of forgotten names. As names have power, words have power. Words can light fires in the minds of men. Words can wring tears from the hardest of hearts. --Patrick Rothfuss, The Name of the Wind

The Fellowship

May 25, 2011

"Little Things" by Squeaks

I wanted to share a poem I wrote with you folks before I get into the topic of writers being emotional creatures :P It's called "Little Things"; I wrote it with a friend in mind who simply makes those little things in life become all the more appreciated :)

Google Images



Little Things

By Squeaks. Dedicated to Night Owl.
25 March, 2011

Green.
Glistening green leaves, swaying back and forth. 
Heavily sagging off of branches.
The smell of wet, crushed dirt,
Mixed with morning sunshine
And rainfall. 
The joy of little things. 

Little things are special jewels
Shroud in mystery. 
Only thieves and only fools
Would cut them out from history. 

Burnt amber.
Eager glow of fire, caressing wooden boughs. 
Archaically snapping & twisting in circles. 
The smell of rusty metal, soft flame,
Curdling with the winter fog
And snowflakes. 
The joy of little things. 

Little things are found in friends
In cheerful smiles and laughter. 
Even if our friendship ends, 
Sweet mem'rys stay thereafter. 

Charcoal.
Calmly rolled like chalk, along the silky face of rocks. 
Silently meandering like Egyptian hieroglyphics. 
The smell of cold
And bruised water. 
The joy of little things. 

Little things are found in pain
In tears and heavy sighs. 
Yet even when our love's restrained, 
A simple touch can ease the cries. 

Cream. 
White clouds, plodding across the expansive sky.
Bumbling by like morning soup.
The smell of fragrant rose-petalled water. 
And the haunting friendly clasp. 
The joy of little things. 

Little things are found in ghosts,
In all the gone have-beens. 
The sweet embrace, the joyful toasts,
The bashful smile, rain dancing spins. 

Blue. 
Oceans pounding, never ceasing--pull and push against the coastline. 
Crashing waves, foaming crests; little puddles. 
The smell of salt and humidity,
The spritz of water against skin. 
The joy of little things. 

Little things are found in eyes,
In gazes soft and kind. 
The blues, the browns; the fool, the wise,
Each beckon, break, define. 

Little things. 
Crisp paper, splattered in ink, destined for you. 
New sunrise: red, orange & pink, rising to view. 
Warm heart beats, scattering graphs, monitors blipping.
Soft embrace, small joyful laughs, puddle skipping.

Little things are found every day
One's the smallest, yet sweetest, delight. 
A hearty grin, brine...ocean spray,
Hope flickers in warm glow of candlelight. 


From the blue beyond,

Squeaks.

May 22, 2011

When Shadows Entice

I was reading Ara's (previously Shilah) blog post "When Silence Wonders" just this morning and felt led to do a post on shadows...and how they entice.

Google Image


I think I can confidently say that writers are emotional beings; in fact, perhaps we're more emotional than the 'normal' non-writing populace. Why? Because we create; we use our words and etch our souls into the causeway of time...leaving behind pieces of ourselves in the works we pen. We become vulnerable by writing, because we allow others to see into our own souls; we open up a part of ourselves that is very special and we share it, because we want to teach, to tell stories...we have this burning desire in us that cannot be quelled by the simple statement, "Ok, just stop." It's not like that. Try telling a writer to stop writing and I guarantee you you'll receive one of those "What-on-earth-did-you-just-say" looks as well as a head-shake and the peppy reply, "Bah, I can't."

I tried. I really honestly did try to stop writing. In fact, when my inspiration left me in November, it was a struggle to write and I thought I'd gotten rid of the bug forever...but then I looked back and realized I never truly did stop. Going through my emails and journals, I see that I simply found another faucet to turn on and let my creativity flow through.

So writers are emotional. And writers cannot stop being writers. Some are just born that way; I'm one of those people. I was born an imaginationist (my own term) and a writer. I thrive off of words and books. To not write or muse would certainly be the death of my spirit.

Being a writer might sound wonderful to you, especially if you're not one. You think, "Oh wow, I wish I felt that way...I wonder what it's like to be a writer, it must be amazing!" Let me tell you this, it is amazing and I'd never want it any other way, yet there is a price.

As a writer, I'm emotionally vulnerable, and I'm guessing (now this wouldn't be for all writers, but if you're a thinker and a writer as I am, then perhaps it is the same) that you too are emotionally vulnerable. This leads us to the statement about shadows. What are shadows? Let's answer this question first.

Shadows are many different things for different people. For me, shadows are those dark thoughts that linger in the back of your mind and draw your attention to them right away, once you're by yourself...alone...unaware that they're lurking there. They entice you into the pit of despair. Of course, they make it all seem like this luxurious valley with trimmed hedges and swimming pools...perhaps a bit of white sand bordering a small lake. However, it's a farce. It's a lie; don't believe it, my friend. The shadows always lie. However, they're so good at deceiving (for they've done it for ages) that time and again I fall for their tricks.

Perhaps the shadows whisper to you in the night, while you're curled up with your favourite blankets and your head is cradled in your soft pillow...and they say,

Come now, you're all alone. Look, no one cares for you. You don't mean anything to anyone. Of course, of course, they're all just saying those nice things to get rid of you. No one understands you. No one sees things from your point of view...you're too different. A freak of nature.


Yes, the shadows are small, sneaky things, but they're powerful. My advice:

Don't Listen To Them


Plug your ears. If that doesn't work, jam your headphones in and crank it up to some peppy music. And if that doesn't work, then let the shadows speak, but fight them with your sword. Words. Write. Write for your life. Write like you've got nothing to lose. And don't let those shadows win. Or pray. Prayer always helps, it cuts into the darkness like a light sabre and tears those shadows up and down until they're mangled strips of their normal selves. Yes, pray. And write.

Sometimes the shadows take a different approach. They fly into your soul on the words that others spear into your heart. Oh now this is painful. Very painful.

As a writer, I know that words are powerful. You can mould them in your mind to take any shape and form; they are highly flexible creatures, words are; used rightly, they can be very beneficial to the human race. Used wrongly and they'll destroy a person in one swipe.

You've probably experienced the pain that comes when someone close to you uses words as a gauntlet, to wrench out your heart from your bosom. Does it ever hurt; they pierce so deeply it's as though you'd actually been stabbed by a sword. I know, because I've felt that pain. In fact, I feel it almost daily. Unlike real swords, you can't really dodge the blow of words, unless you happen to have your ears plugged. Once they've entered your head they begin this macabre dance that thrashes your soul good. Sometimes this beating is well deserved, however other times, you're the victim of verbal abuse (to put it in very lofty terms; however the word "abuse" in this case does not refer to what the government would call "abuse", rather it refers to any stinging, painful remark made by an individual).

So the shadows enter your soul, riding like little imps on the tips of these verbal swords. Once they're in, it's hard to get them out. They swirl around in your homey darkness, often repeating things like:

You're a failure...a failure...failure...fail...
You look horrible...horrible...horrid...ugly...
Oh really? Oh really? Really now? Hahaha....


How do you get those things out? The best advice I can give is to just let Jesus in to sweep them away. I heard He's rigged up an awesome vacuum system that just slurps all those junkies up. *shrug* There really isn't any other way. Of course, if you wear armour (spiritual armour that is) then there's a good chance those word-swords will simply bounce off your chest and send those blasted imps to kingdom-come. However, very few writers remember to put on their armour. Now that leads me to another point.

Always wear your armour.

I can't explain how important this little statement is. As wielders of words, we immediately find ourselves in a vulnerable position, due to our sensitive emotional state. The shadows seem to direct their demons to assault us heavily. Their poisoned barbs can taint our words and spoil our minds, reducing our effectiveness as creative individuals and rotting our inspiration so that we write what is not pleasing to God. However, if we wear our armour, we're protected from the majority of the shadow attacks.

Now there is one last point I must make; the title of this blog post is based on this last point: Shadows Entice. Yes, they truly do. When they realize a writer has been fitted with excellent armour and is turning a deaf ear to their cries, they seek to entice. And let me tell you, some shadows are exceptionally good at enticing people. I won't get into the details, for I haven't time to write all about it, but the sum of the story is this: when shadows entice, they seek to capture the attention of a well-versed warrior by doing something different...by appealing to their creative intrigue or by posing as inspiration itself (remember they are deceivers). Once that warrior lets down their guard, the shadows can sneak into their lives and attack. The weakened warrior has an even harder time fighting back those shadows that if they hadn't been wearing armour at all.

The moral of this is: Always Wear Your Armour; Never Listen to the Shadows; Be Prepared


Have you any thoughts on shadows or the emotional nature of a writer? If so, please share :)

[I intend to write another post concerning the emotional nature of writers; tips/suggestions would be welcome!]

Signed with a smoky cloud,

Squeaks.

May 21, 2011

Yahoo!

Short update:

Issue of confusion has been resolved!! Yay! Now I feel so much better :D Life is still tough, hey...it's always like that lol! But, with Jesus everything works out in the end and I can trust that the sun will still rise tomorrow so ... all is good :)


Signed with a sunflower,

Squeaks.

May 15, 2011

Confusion: How it Got to Where it Did

Not my image :P from google images lol


Confusion. The word rings out like some low tolling bell in a village square on a gloomy, rainy day. Confusion. It's such a hard, snake-like sounding word. I hate it. I don't like confusion; I don't like to be confused, however it seems that I'm at that point in my life right now where confusion is the apex of my low point.

Characters in my stories have been confused before. Confused with life, with their direction and potential, with situations and relationships. I always thought it was funny to set them down inside these scenarios where they dealt with life-destroying measures of confusion. Now I see that perhaps I was wrong in doing so. Of course, a little confusion is good since it keeps your head on your shoulders and sets your feet in the right direction. It strengthens your beliefs and makes you who you are today. However, too much confusion can clamp down on your head like an iron bar. It compounds the minuscule problems in your life and makes living so much harder.

I don't consider myself a fickle person, you see. Shopping is a one-time deal for me. I don't spend hours and hours trying on clothes for an outfit. I see something I like then I get it and go. The only thing that will make me fickle is choosing between one book or another. Now that can be tough; although it is usually remedied by simply buying both books.

So no, I'm not a fickle person, but some things have come up in my life lately that have utterly and entirely thrown me for a loop. They've confused me to the maximum possible level of confusion and beyond. I find myself, like a character out of place, switching between one view and another...sometimes even within the matter of five minutes. How is that possible? I really honestly don't know.

Thus, I conclude my case. Confusion got to where it did because somehow life just opened up its big mouth and swallowed confusion. If that's not a confusing enough finale for you then I guess I haven't proved my point.

In moderation, confusion is good. Too little leads to a boring, unchanging life. Too much leads to a major headache (from being whacked with the iron bar) as well as a very poor life quality. I am highly confused right now. However, I'm praying to Jesus that He'll intervene and stop that confusion, so I don't end up like one of my darling characters that *ahem* got squashed. Jesus is always the way to go when you're having a bad day :)

Thank you for hearing out this rant (or rather reading it out).


Cheerio!

Signed with a squiggly line,

Squeaks.

May 13, 2011

Quotable Pictures

Here are some awesome pictures with quotes and such on them...just random coolness :D [Note: all pictures were found using Google Images and don't belong to me :D]

O.o has nothing to do with quotes XD I just love eating cookies.

Epic Bible verse :D









Excuse all the pink-ness XD just thought these were some cool quotes :D

Signed with a fleur de...something,

Squeaks.

May 8, 2011

"The Map Across Time" by C.S. Lakin


"Heaven is not impressed with power and strength, but favours those with a true heart. Let your heart lead you, Adin, for love is what will drive you and protect you. The solution to all your troubles lies in your past." 
An ancient curse plagues the kingdom of Sherbourne, and unless it is stopped, all will fall to ruin. The King, obsessed with greed, cannot see the danger. But his teenage twin children, Aletha and Adin, know they must act. A hermit leads Adin to a magical map that will send him back in time to discover the origin of the curse. Once back, Adin must find the Keeper, who protects the Gate of Heaven, but all he has is a symbol as a clue to guide him. Unbeknown to Adin, Aletha follows her brother, but they both arrive in Sherbourne's past at the precipice of a great war, and there is little time to discover how to counteract the curse. 
One unexpected disaster after another forces the twins to make difficult choices. Adin's only hope for saving his kingdom is to return to the future to manipulate events so his quest can succeed. Through his trials and failures, Adin learns that nothing can stop heaven from accomplishing its goal, and that all events work for the good of those who trust heaven. An epic fairy tale with surprising twists, embracing the enduring power of love and faith. 

*Note: All material above was copied directly from the back of the book and all rights belong to the publisher*

The Map Across Time is the second book in The Gate of Heaven series. Compared to the first, I enjoyed this one a LOT more. What did I enjoy about it? Well, first of all the characters were amazing, the concepts were mind-boggling (get this, traveling back into the past, then into the future, seeing yourself do things and wishing you acted differently, living in three separate times all at once with three separate futures). It was slightly confusing, however I enjoyed the challenge. Compared to The Wolf of Tebron, The Map Across Time was not choppy at all. The storyline flowed quite smoothly and it was an altogether enjoyable read :)

The one thing I did dislike about this book was that the plot could have been deepened a fair bit. Through the span of the story, we get know very little about the bad guys and why they do what they do. I'd also like to know a lot more about the curse business. For instance, the scene that explains the beginning of the curse was  very short and, since the whole novel revolves around this pivotal scene, I think it should have received much more attention.

Despite this, I found the story very enjoyable. Perhaps the most surprising part (and this isn't a plot giver-away-er...thing...uh, yeah), was that the story didn't end when I felt that it was going to end. In fact, I think there were some 50-100+ pages left before it actually finished. That slog into the backstory wasn't all too necessary...it did kinda read like a very long epilogue, however I enjoyed the added detail and the plot of the whole book makes a lot more sense now that I know what happened after the little drop that follows the climax.

If you're interested in reading about strange birds, magic, curses, time travel, and multiple persona's I think you'll love this book :) I do note, for the sake of the male race, that there is a wee bit of romance, but it's not too ooshy-gooshy and it certainly doesn't take over the plot (although it is critical to the direction of the plot) but don't let that phase you if you were interested in this read from the beginning!

Signed with a gold feather,

Squeaks.

[p.s. check out the cover art for this book, it's amazing!]

"The Wolf of Tebron" by C.S. Lakin


"Go to the house of the Moon. She is there, with your wife...Your dreams will point the way north, but it is beyond the ends of the world, and the traveling perilous..." -- The Goose Woman 
Joran dreams of living a simple life as a blacksmith in his forested village of Tebron. But when his wife, Charris, disappears in a whisk of magic, his dream shatters as he is forced to go on a perilous journey to the ends of the world to rescue her. The goose woman tells him he must solve the riddle of the three keys, and will wear out three pairs of shoes before he battles the Moon -- who has trapped Charris in a sand castle perched above the sea. 
Dismayed and fearful, Joran sets out alone, but along the way finds unlikely companionship in a wolf named Ruyah, who becomes his guide and trusted friend. In true fairy-tale tradition, Joran must face daunting challenges -- within and without -- in order to bring Charris safely home.
The Gates of Heaven series celebrates the reinvention of the fairy tale in the tradition of C.S. Lewis's The Chronicles of Narnia. These hope-inspiring tales, replete with unforgettable characters and engaging plots, will delight readers of any age, reawakening the simple joy of a tale well told. 
*Note: All above material was copied directly from the very back cover of the book and all rights belong to the publisher*

My mom brought home The Wolf of Tebron (and the second, of which a review will be coming up shortly). To my current knowledge she has not yet read them, as they've remained in my room since I've received them from her...in beautifully new condition :) The cover of this first book captured my attention instantly. It looked curious, particularly with the strange face the moon is making.

Without giving away details or particulars, I will tell you straight up that the plot was intriguing but the writing was quite poor. I had a hard time following Lakin's choppy style right from the beginning and while I hoped it would get better, it proceeded to be choppy straight through to the end. Yet, if you're able to read around the choppiness, I do believe you'll enjoy this plot. There were several cool twists added and the originality of the entire "find the moon", "find the sun", "find the south wind" concepts was very refreshing. However, I might add that the conclusion of this book was not as good as it could have been. In fact, I was quite disappointed with it. Despite this, I still think it is a good read and I did become attached to the characters quickly, particularly Ruyah and Bryp.

As for a moral, this story was undeniably wound around Biblical truths and analogies. I thought Lakin was quite witty in the way she wove everything together. Remove the choppiness and poor ending and this would be an utter masterpiece! Thus, because of the great plot and loveable characters, as well as originality, I would suggest this book to anyone who feels up to the challenge :)

Signed with quotes,

Squeaks.

"The Book of Awesome" by Neil Pasricha

"Sunny without being saccharine, it's a countdown of life's little joys that reads like a snappy Jerry Seinfeld monologue by way of Maria Von Trapp." -- The Vancouver Sun

Sometimes it's easy to forget the things that make us smile. Sometimes it's tempting to feel that the world is falling apart. But awesome things are all around us:
Popping Bubble Wrap
The smell of rain on a hot sidewalk
Hitting a bunch of green lights in a row
Waking up and realizing it's Saturday
Fixing electronics by smacking them
Picking the perfect nacho off someone else's plate
The Book of Awesome reminds us that the best things in life are free. Based on the award-winning blog of 1000awesomethings.com, it's a high five for humanity and a big celebration of life's little moments. With wise, witty observations, The Book of Awesome is filled with smile-inducing musings that make you feel like a kid looking at the world for the first time: AWESOME
"LAUGH-OUT-LOUD FUNNY." --Wired.com
"Strangely heartwarming...perfect for rainy days." -- The New Yorker
"1000 Awesome Things is the #1 awesome website." -- Frank Warren, author of PostSecret
"THE AWESOMEST PART about The Book of Awesome is the realization that if you enjoy the simple moments in your life, you will be happier." -- Ben Huh, author of I Can Has Cheezburger?

*Note: above quotes and synopsis were copied from the very back cover of the book; all rights belong to publisher*

When I first saw this book it was at our Canadian Wholesale Club. Usually I don't bother to look at the book bins because they're often filled with humourless junk. In this case, however, I was randomly talking to SOTK about witty books and out of the corner of my eye, the multicoloured cover of this book nabbed my attention. As soon as I saw the big word "AWESOME" on it, I knew I must look into the book. As I cracked open those fresh smelling pages I knew I had to get it. Besides, it was 40% off the original price so it was a good deal.

I would definitely recommend this book for everyone who needs a brightening read. Some of the entries are absolutely witty and undeniably humorous. Others are more tranquil and make one sit back and muse upon the suggestion placed forth. I can totally see this as being the type of book one would curl up with on a rainy day.

Talking about rain, it's hailing outside right now. The sun is shining brilliantly through the clouds (which are large puffy white monstrosities) and it's rather warm outside. Probably like...15 or so degrees.


Signed with crayons,

Squeaks.

May 6, 2011

Absolute Pain + Why Writing is a Bother + Three Treats

Hello Folks,

Yes, as the title suggests, I'm in absolute pain. Actually, it's not that bad, but it isn't exactly pleasurable. Why am I in pain? Well, you see, after being in university for the last 4 months, I've not been exercising. Aaaand as a result, I've lost my muscle tonage XD lolzy! So yeah, I'm back to running 45+ minutes a day as well as Taekwondo training :D I can't wait to get back in shape so I don't huff and puff every time I go to sprint :P but trust me, it's coming back quickly and I'm quite happy with that.

Noooow, onwards. Why is writing a bother to me these days? Well, I just can't seem to find something captivating to write about. I've got this story line strumming in my head about an ex-assassin, current bodyguard named Danor, but he's just not really alive to me right now. The plot is there, but yeah, nothing is really coming...and that is frustrating. Another word I use for frustration is "bother", thus at the current moment writing in a "bother" :P

I suddenly just ran out of words to say to you (which is really really sad, considering that I'm actually going to publish this poor excuse for a post) so I figured I'd give you three treats. All of them are youtube videos. The first is a cute adorable Christian love song type thing, the second and third are HILARIOUS songs. I think Jake will like the last two :P I think it's a tie for Most Awesome Song of the Day between "Alien Conspiracy" and "Roast Beef" hehe!! Enjoy!!


Dancing in the Minefields by Andrew Peterson (yes the Andrew Peterson of The Wingfeather Saga)




Alien Conspiracy (The Cheese Song) also by Andrew Peterson




Roast Beef  by Andy Gullahorn (a friend of Andrew Peterson; Andrew is sitting to the far left with the guitar)






Signed with an enchilada ;)

Squeaks.
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