Friday, January 20, 2012

writing, editing, and reviewing

/begin rather long, random musing on a bunch of writerly things you probably don't care about/

I love to write. Absolutely, positively love to write. There's nothing better than curling up with a notebook and a pen--or my laptop--and pouring my ideas out onto a formerly empty page. So far, I've written three full-length novels, have another in the works, and am working on the rewrite of one of the three. I've written a novella, and have two more in the process of being written, though one might turn into a novel. That's not counting the plethora of projects I've begun and abandoned over the years, always with the mental resolution that I will return to them someday because I love the idea.

Most often, those ideas get relegated to my plot bunnies notepad. It's a long document, full of ideas from terror plots to romantic twists to full plots summed up in ten words or less. It's a place where I shove ideas that push their way into my head in the midst of NaNoWriMo, so I can focus on my novel without a bunch of little rabbits interfering with my actual plot. It's a place of occasionally twisted logic, where 11pm notations are made as my fingers fumble across the keyboard, finding their way somehow.

Sometimes, these ideas actually get written. And then I get to edit them. Yay, but actually not. I absolutely loathe editing. Hate it entirely. If I could somehow discover a way to never do it again, I would be so blissfully happy that I might just up and spend a week dancing around my bedroom singing the theme song to Sherlock. Oh wait--I do that anyway. Never mind. The point is that I don't like it. It's ridiculous and wasteful and...okay, not really. It is very necessary. I just wish it weren't, because it annoys me.

So I usually gloss over editing or let somebody else do it for me. And I edit other people's things and give them reviews on what I thought. has a thriving reviewer community. There are some of us that go out of our way to give long, constructive reviews. I like to think I'm one of those people, and maybe I'm not, but we all think more highly of ourselves than we ought. Somehow, reviewing and proof-reading doesn't seem nearly as dull when it's someone else's book. I suppose it's the same basic principle as the feeling that makes cleaning someone else's house enjoyable while cleaning your own house is akin to getting your fingernails pulled out in a Gulag prison.

This has been a very short, random look into my life for no apparent reason. You're welcome.

~Liberty (紫涵)

Thursday, January 19, 2012

I know, I know

I failed.

My resolution was to make one post a week.
I made one post at the beginning of the month, and this is the only other I've made so far.
I am exceedingly sorry.

In my defense, I've been busy. Books, Sherlock, and fundraising have consumed my thoughts. Not necessarily in that order of course--on some days, it's been more like Sherlock-books-fundraising, and some days fundraising-Sherlock-books. But those three things have always been present.

Sherlock is, of course, a BBC television show. (If you'd like to watch it, be wary of the first episode of the second season. It gets a bit risque.) But it's a beautiful TV show and I love it and I dislike Steven Moffat and Mark Gatiss with the fiery passion of a thousand suns. Okay, maybe not that much, because they did bring Sherlock to TV in the first place. But still. They are cruel to we, their poor captive audience.

As to books--I'm delving into Tamora Pierce this week, with Trickster's Choice. I've never read anything by her before, and it should be interesting. I'm also continuing Anna Karenina and beginning Brave New World. Yes.

Speaking of books, you can now buy mine on Amazon! Yes, that is my name and my shiny novel and a low price of $1.00 for the Kindle version (the physical copy is $12.00, but in my defense, that's the lowest price my self-publishing website-thing would allow me to set it as). Any royalties I get will go directly toward my Romania trip funds--

Which brings me to the third topic that I've been unceasingly devoted to for the past two weeks!

Okay, in all reality, I've been barely dedicated to it at all. My writing creativity has stalled and, with it, my ability to write a solid support letter has taken a nose-dive. It's also been snowy and rainy and ridiculously cold and my house has been full of sickness. So please pray that I will be able to make up for lost time.

In closing, I know this hasn't been a tremendously in-depth post. There haven't been any sincere, heart-felt outpourings of love for God or protestations of my desire to serve. I know that. So hopefully, in the next several days, I will be able to craft some sort of sincere, deep post. Even if it's just ten tips to write your own novel. You know.

Also, check out Altogether Separate, a new blogging/forum project I've embarked on with several other Christian homeschooled girls!

~Liberty (紫涵)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Aspirations for 2012

It still feels odd to type 2012.
This is the year the world will end.
Apparently we're all supposed to die.
Know what I say to that?
Watch my God, you cowards.

2011 was an amazing year. I went to China, something I'd wanted to do for so long. Christmas was amazing. God taught me so many radical, unbelievable things. He gave me what I still believe are miracles. Yes, there have been things that have been hard--things I felt were impossible to get over at the time. But here I am, still safe, because God is faithful. Such is life.

My track-record with resolutions is notoriously bad. Last year I aimed to read 52 nonfiction books. I ended up reading 52 books total, but in my defense, some of them--like Les Miserables and Creature from Jekyll Island--were very long. Not my fault that people write crazy-long books.

However, that bad track record isn't going to keep me from making a list of my aspirations and goals for 2012. Because I do have some.

To raise all the money for, and go to, Romania. I feel as if God is going to do something great. Not only do I firmly believe that God revealed this trip to me before I even knew I was going on it, but my best friend and her World Race team also went on a prayer-walk around Bucharest. That country has been prayed for, prayed over, and prayed through. I firmly expect great things to happen. I don't know what great things, but they will happen.

To finish my novel, True. Started for NaNoWriMo, currently hating me for whatever reason. I will finish this novel if it kills me. I will conquer. And then have to edit it. Hey, nothing's perfect.

To blog at least once a week. I have been very remiss over the last several months in this respect. I apologize. I promise I will try to remedy this situation. There will be a blog post of some kind--whether a random musing, a deep idea, or just a "hey guys, I'm still alive,"--every week. Feel free to leave me angry comments if I fail.

I hope 2012 will shape up to be a great year for everyone. I know mine is looking like it will be amazing.

~Liberty (紫涵)

Monday, January 2, 2012

I want to dream big dreams

My very best friend in the whole wide world, Chelsea, came back to town this past weekend. For those who haven't been on my blog for very long, she's been gone for the past eleven months on an epic missions trip known as the World Race. Basically, she traveled to eleven different countries, including Thailand, Nepal, Moldova, South Africa, India, and Swaziland. I missed her very, very much, so getting to just sit and talk with her about all that's happened over the past year was amazing. Hopefully she'll be making another trip here before she leaves the country again so we can catch up even more. (There's also a prospective year-long trip the two of us might take to China sometime in the future. So we can really catch up.)

In any case--most of that is largely irrelevant, I just wanted to introduce you to the amazingness that is my best friend. Last evening, we drove together to church (well, she drove; I sat in the passenger seat and talked. Since both of us driving, or even just me driving, might have led to quite a bit of confusion), and we were talking a little about praying big and, as an extension of that, dreaming big.

While I was in China, the campers would attend lectures on different subjects. Teamwork, changing the world, that sort of thing. One of the lectures at Sunshine was about our dreams--the things we want to see happen, the things that would make our individual worlds perfect, the things that we would die happy after having seen. The speaker had us all write down our dream. Then he told us to look at our dream and ask ourselves how "big" it was.

Things like wanting to be a doctor, wanting to travel, wanting to get married, those are "little" dreams--so little, in fact, that they're hardly dreams at all. They're attainable goals, things we're looking forward to doing. A true dream is the absolute height that we can imagine. It is the deepest desire of our heart. A true dream is something so hugely audacious, so ridiculous, so fantastically absurd, that it seems as if it will never come true. A true dream is something that only a miracle can bring you.

My dream, if you'd like to know, is that there not be a child in the world without a home.
That there not be a home without adequate food and water.
That there not be a person who has to die because they didn't get a pill.
That there not be corruption.
That there not be wars that cause so much harm to ordinary people.

That is my dream. It is something so amazingly, ridiculously huge that only God could bring it about. And that, truly, is what a dream is. It's something that seems impossible--is impossible--without God. It is something that, even with God's help, we can barely imagine. It is something that seems almost absurd to us. It's the stuff, literally, of dreams.

We have a God who delights in making dreams come true. He's the one who took a poor shepherd boy and turned him into the greatest king ever known. He's the one who took a lowly fisherman and turned him into one of his most important apostles. He's the one who took a prostitute and made her an ancestor of his son. He's the one who took so many mess-ups, rejects, and disappointments and turned them into masterpieces. He's the author and finisher of our faith, a master painter who delights in blowing our minds.

He's the one who said "whatsoever ye ask, ye shall receive." That, to me, is a challenge. He's saying--"Yeah, you can pray for the health of your dog. You can pray for all sorts of small important things. Or you can pray something completely crazy, and watch me work."

Sometimes we have trouble with that "whatsoever". It's implied over and over that praying for crazy things just hurts us. Praying for things that we know won't happen will just hurt our faith. That, ultimately, they might even be selfish prayers and hence sinful. But I don't think so. I mean, sure, if you pray for a million dollars, not only will it hurt your image of God when you don't get it, but it's also very selfish. But that's not the sort of prayer I'm talking about.

I'm talking about praying for the presence of God to settle on a mosque.
I'm talking about praying for the healing of a family that's rejected God.
I'm talking about praying for the miracles that God can do to settle upon a nation.
I'm talking about praying for God to reveal himself to a tribe that's never heard.

Sometimes these prayers can be answered in the craziest ways, it's true. Sometimes God will answer those prayers by sending you to that mosque or those tribes or that nation. Sometimes God will completely blow your mind, and even make you a little afraid, with the way he'll answer things. But if he put you into it, he has a plan. He had a plan since before you voiced the prayer.

Don't be afraid to dream big dreams, and to pray big prayers that go along with them. Dream big, pray big, and do it with freedom, because you have a God that's bigger than any dream you could possibly imagine.

~Liberty (紫涵)