It's An Honor To Be Nominated!

My friend and recently published writer Mariella Hunt has nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award!

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There are some rules that come with the Creative Blogger Award, rules that need to be passed onto the bloggers I’ll tag at the end of the post.

  • Nominate 10-15 blogs and notify all nominees via their blogs/social accounts
  • Thank and post the link of the blog who nominated you
  • Share 5 facts about yourself to your readers
  • Pass these rules onto the nominees

Given that I talk about a lot of Catholic and fandom stuff on this blog already, I’m gonna tell you five things about me that relate to creativity.

1) I find inspiration from things I love. Like many people of my generation, my first taste in writing for a public forum came from fanfiction. I still write fanfiction now. The things I love such as Jane Austen, music, travelling, and Buffy inspire me to write poetry, fanfiction, or even my blog entries. If you want to find inspiration, start with what you love. And yes, I consider fanfiction to be creative.

2)I suck at describing things. I tend to write my fiction as a screenplay, with lots of dialogue. Too bad I don’t live in California! Here’s an example of my usual kind of writing from my fanfic “A Different Kind of Intervention.”

“That overly-gelled, brooding…” Buffy search for a word, but spat out, “jerk!”

“The word you’re looking for is poofter, pet,” a familiar British voice said. Buffy looked up and saw Spike. “I also called him Peaches. Or Liam, when I really wanted to wind him up.”

“Why are you here, Spike?”

“I’m part of this guide thing, luv,” he said. “Remember what I told you? About death being your art?”

“Yeah. You also said that you wanted the honor of killing me yourself.”

“Still do. Vampire nature and all that. But I’m not here to talk about that. You need to know some things about Angel.”

“Like what?”

“Just remember that I’m still the guide here. I’m not going to lie to you.”

Buffy sat down and folded her arms. “Fine. What do I need to know about Angel?”

“Angelus was a big influence in me becoming the man I am today. But he always had to do things a certain way. He acted really weird after eating that gypsy girl in Romania and I never saw him again until the Boxer Rebellion.”

“But he had his soul then…”

“Yeah and all he did was try and save some missionaries. Darla got to them, of course.”

“Wait a minute. He told me that the Powers called upon him to help the Slayer. He could’ve stopped you from killing the Slayer?”

Spike nodded. “Truth was he didn’t know what that loophole was until…”

“Too late,” Buffy said.

“Now let’s imagine for a second if Angel really loved football.*”

“Like the Super Bowl?”

“No no! What you Yanks call soccer. Bloody awful name, if you ask me.”

Buffy rolled her eyes. “Continue.”

“Let’s imagine that Angel is wandering around some alley in Europe, eating rats, and he happens upon a scummy pub. On the telly, the boys in green are taking on Spain in the World Cup. Being Irish, old Angel boy, he holds back his breath as Hamilton passes across the middle. It’s blocked, but oh my God, Armstrong is there to put it in, Angel feels it’s all incredible, and POOF, he loses his soul and everyone in the pub is dead before you can say Bob’s your uncle.”

Buffy couldn’t help but laugh.

 

But I’ve been making efforts to improve.

3) My poetry comes from emotional experiences. My poetry has been my best outlet for expressing how I feel when my emotions overwhelm me. Each poem carries a memory or a story that can’t be made into a novel.

4) I like knitting. I don’t knit to the point that it has become an addiction, but I do like knitting every now and then. The best thing I’ve ever made so far was a bag! 

5) I prefer tea to coffee. I love the process of making tea more than drinking it. I feel like the smell of tea helps me to keep focused.

I will nominate my fellow Patheos bloggers to tell me about their creativity and leave you with this poem.

The Nature of Being a Writer

It starts with a hunger for words
As children, we devour the written word
as if it was our daily bread
We read dictionaries and thesauri
try to use the complex words
in our everyday vocabulary

Then, at some point, we get that spark
We go from devouring stories
to wanting to write our own
Whether it’s inspired by a broken heart
or a poorly written book that sells well,
we start taking our lives
and putting them down on paper

Characters start living inside our heads
In the most sane form of schizophrenia possible
We act like thieves and spies
stealing from the greats and making it our own
gathering information most people don’t care about
Putting it all together like a jumbled collage
like a patchwork quilt made of odds and ends
In the form of poetry or prose

The hardest part of being a writer
is coming out of the shells we hide inside
and showing our creations to the world
We become exposed like naked statues
Subjecting ourselves to be ridiculed
As our work gets torn apart

In spite of the critiques, we pick up the pieces
Putting everything back to make something new
Along the way, people find our creations
Like a song, our words resonate in them
Slowly, the words grow from a quiet hum
into a roar that’s louder than thunder
The world joins in the chorus of the song
And for a moment, we become part of the infinite.

Reintroducing Myself

It is a truth universally acknowledged that in every generation, there are many young adults growing up Catholic or learning about the Catholic Church. I am one of these young adults.

 

I grew up a cradle Catholic and I have no regrets about my childhood, but the way my faith grew was very similar to a bamboo plant, which takes five years before it sprouts up from the ground. Catholic School planted the seeds of my faith, but it wasn’t until I went to college that I really learned more of my faith and it wasn’t until after I finished college that I learned how to apply my faith to real life.

 

Growing up these days seems to be really different from how it used to be one generation ago. It’s harder to get a job, people seem to compartmentalize their lives even more, and extreme points of view tend to get more headlines and talking about than actual civilized debates. I still live at home and am looking for a steady, well-paying job, but like everyone else, I see my life as a work in progress.

 

I’m still learning more about what it means to be Catholic every day. I subscribe to online Bible studies, learn new prayers, pray more novenas, and keep up with the latest news on EWTN News Nightly. I’m also planning on going back to school in order to become a teacher so that I can plant seeds of my own.

 

But in between prayers and grad school preparations, I watch Agent Carter, Scorpion, Doctor Who, Castle, NCIS, and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Sometimes, I watch movies, especially ones with memorable characters and witty dialogue like The Princess Bride and Avengers. I listen to Taylor Swift, Danielle Rose and similar artists, songs from various Broadway and off-Broadway musicals and movie musicals, and obscure bands like Ghost of the Robot. Sometimes, I dance all over my house when no one’s watching. I raid my local library and bookstores for new things to read. And like many other young adults of my generation, I take pictures and posting them onto my Instagram.

 

Mostly, I write. If I’m not writing, I’m thinking of what I want to write about. I write letters to God in the morning and then I pray the Examen using a journal at night. I write about what I’m grateful for. I write random thoughts onto a memo pad app on my tablet. I even write poetry. And like most writers out there, I live with the delusion that some day I could write the next bestselling novel. Except I’m actually trying to make that delusion a reality. (Did I mention that I tend to be self-depreciative?)

 

So this blog will cover a lot of things. There will be vocation stories that go beyond the convent and seminary, movie reviews, commentary on shows I like to watch (whether they’re currently on air or not), and some fangirling here and there. Because being Catholic and young means that faith becomes a part of everything in your life and everything in your life becomes part of your faith.

Lent Day 32: Get To Know Me

Fr. Robert Barron’s Lenten Reflection echoes one of my earlier Lenten Blogs.

But thankfully, my friends gave me an interesting prompt: Post 15 random facts about yourself along with your best selfie and your worst selfie. So here goes!

  1. I am a Texan by choice, not by birth
  2. I have weird taste in music
  3. I love reading Jane Austen and books about her more than I can say
  4. I love listening to musicals and can get all the songs stuck in my head
  5. I like to knit
  6. I tend to cook the same things a lot, but I do experiment every now and then
  7. My first concert was Audrey Assad during her Fortunate Fall tour
  8. My favorite flowers are cherry blossoms, sunflowers, and roses
  9. I haven’t seen cherry blossoms in real life yet
  10. I have traveled to the Grand Canyon
  11. I went on a road trip
  12. Even though I’m 24, I still love listening to Taylor Swift
  13. I consider 13 to be my lucky number
  14. My first memory is of me climbing up a stairway of an old house
  15. I have lived on both the East and West coasts. I have yet to go North.

Image

The selfie on the left was from a retreat. The selfie on the right is a “screenshot” of my 5 second-cameo at a news station that I interned at. 

My Journey to…What?

As you can see from the subtitle of my blog, I am a writer and I am on a journey. But a journey to what exactly?

To be frank, I am on a journey to finding my vocation, my calling. If this is sounding Catholic, it’s because I am Catholic. Catholic by birth, choice, and hopefully Catholic til the day I die. I love my faith. Part of being Catholic is figuring out your vocation or calling. Most Catholics assume this means a calling to religious life of priesthood and while I have a strong desire to be a nun, vocations go beyond choosing either religious life or marriage. All Catholics are called to holiness in their own unique way.

According to James Martin, S.J. in The Jesuit Guide to (Almost) Everything, vocation goes deeper than just a job or a career. It “extends to the kind of person we hope to become.” So what kind of person do I want to be?

First of all, I want to be a writer. Even before I had the desire to be a nun, I knew that I wanted to be a writer more than anything.

Ever since I could remember, I loved a good story and tried to write my own. It wasn’t until I discovered fanfiction that I found a good outlet. So yes, fanfic writers, everyone starts somewhere and fanfiction was mine. I wouldn’t go as far as to say my writings on fanfiction.net were any good, but there is such a thing as good fanfiction out there. Eventually, I wrote a short story at the age of 14 and wanted to turn it into a novel. I’ve been writing ever since.

In my many attempts to write a novel, I found a lot of growth in my writing. I learned what made a good story and writers who inspired me. And now I’m blogging as I edit my novel. What is this novel about?

It’s about a young woman who starts college and tries to figure out what she wants to do with her life. Like a lot of college students, she doesn’t really think things through and makes mistakes, but she learns from it. Sounds boring on paper, but then again, so does Pride and Prejudice, which can be summarized as “Girl meets boy in the 19th Century.” My current novel can be summarized as “Girl meets Life in the 21st century.” It’s not Sex and the City or Girls. There’s not a lot of partying, but just moments that help my character grow from a teenager into a young woman.

I hope I can show some stuff about the novel to you without revealing all the spoilers. Come with me as I hope to get this novel published!