Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Thai-Inspired Noodles (with chicken) + Flashback to Japan

I think I'm Asia-sick.

It's like homesickness. But Asia.

One year ago today I was flying from home to Japan.

We got there in the middle of the afternoon, their time, but it felt like 2am or something like that, to our bodies.

We persevered.

We watched the sun set behind Mt. Fuji from our bus.

We ate dinner at a little cafe in downtown Narita where no one spoke a word of English.

I learned how to use chopsticks at that meal.



We bought "small" coffees, not realizing exactly how small coffees are actually capable of being made.

We ran as fast as we could when we thought we were going to miss our bus back to the hotel. We talked American politics with Australians on the bus. It took like an hour and a half but we finally did make it back to the hotel.



And we slept. Hard. For like four hours. Then jet lag kicked in.

But it was the best. We spent most of the next morning at the airport and feasted on soba noodles and took pictures in all of the gift shops. And then we flew out for Myanmar.

(Origami displays in Japan's international airport.)

I remember being so scared getting on that plane for Rangoon. Not because of my actual self. The plane looked safe enough to me. (And we had a couple very sketchy ones later on in the trip.) But the last word I heard from my family before boarding the plane was that they were all sitting in the guest half-bathroom (yeah, all eight of them) because there were tornadoes in the area.

Ding ding! "Now boarding non-stop to Yangon, boarding group C, please."

Yikes.

Monday, March 27, 2017

The Realities of Daily Struggles



They say hindsight is 20/20, and sure that makes sense, but do you remember what you ate for breakfast on this day three weeks ago?

We remember the time we broke our arm, but not the ten million times we stubbed our toe on a chair leg.

We remember the times when God really brought us through a valley—when life was at its worst. But we tend to forget that time last week when we, oh, I don't know, left the laundry in the wash and had dark and white clothes bleeding together. But that happens, doesn't it?

And, while the big things definitely do change us and our lives, I think it's probably equally if not more so important that we're handling the little things correctly, also, for those happen every day. Whatever attitude we have facing the littles will be the basic attitude everyone around us attributes us with and the children in our lives copy. Whatever mindset we have facing the littles will be the mindset we have when we face the monstrous.

It's so hard, right? 

Because we speak English here, there are quite literally hundreds of adjectives and adverbs we could put in here.

Depressing?

Embarrassing? 

Frustrating?

Unnecessary? 

Things just don't and won't go our way every day.

How are we handling that?

Recently I had been practicing a viola part to an orchestral arrangement of 'Sunlight in My Soul' by Tracy Ann Collins. For weeks. It's in alto clef and I was more or less using this piece of music to teach myself to read alto clef. I had played in said clef before, but, after a couple years of not really practicing, I had lost the skill. My motive behind working so hard on this specific song was to audition with said piece for the ATI Big Sandy Family Conference orchestra. At some point in time, this was the required audition piece for violists.

So.

Just picture my horror upon randomly opening up the website at the last minute to discover

Friday, March 24, 2017

Motive? What Motive?: When Books Parallel Life



I have had one freelance editing project or another going almost all of the time for the past year. Before then, most of my projects were more "beta reading" jobs. While editing (at least line editing/copyediting, as I do) is an intensive check on grammar, spelling, and sentence structure, beta reading is more like just reading the book thoroughly, looking for loops in the plot or such. Because I'm just a cool editor like that, I always include some "beta reader analysis" when I finish the project, even if it is technically a line editing or copyediting job.

One specific thing I have had to point out to several authors, now, is motive.

Humans don't just do what humans do. Humans always have a motive, whether we see it or not. We always have a motive, whether we're willing to admit it or not. So, in a book, if the main characters don't have something driving them, even if unexposed to us, it's unbelievable. It's unrealistic.

So this is my advice to any aspiring writers out there, especially if you're doing fiction: give all of your characters real, believable motives, even if you're the only person in the universe who knows them.

What are they driven by? Fear of... something? Fear of failure? Fear of what people think about them? Are they driven by greed? Lust? Anger or revenge? Love and compassion?

Find the motive.

But this parallels real life, too. 


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Coming Soon: Peculiar on Purpose Q&A

Hey y'all!

Happy spring!

I do have tons of posts in draft awaiting my finishing touches for to publish here on the blog, but in the mean time, I was wondering if anyone has any questions for me?

I get questions sometimes, in comments or private contact forms, about myself, my family, what I believe, my education/homeschooling/college work, photography, blogging, writing, editing, and etc. Why not answer them all at once?

So! If you have any questions for me, feel free to comment them below or send a contact form (via the contact page)!! The contact form does require an email address, but comments may be submitted anonymously, if you'd like. And ask multiple things; I don't mind!

I don't know yet if I'll answer all questions at once, or spread out, but be sure to subscribe to the blog, so you'll see the questions and answers as they're published! [Just as a reminder, you may subscribe via the subscribe bar on the top right of the page in web version or via the contact page in mobile version.]

Disclaimer: a question submitted does not guarantee an answer. Questions will be made public and answered at my discretion.

Thanks, guys! Have an awesome week!




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