Saturday, November 5, 2011

Something About Rain

My first kiss was in the rain.
Or at least, that’s what I tell people.
It definitely beats the story of his second-hand couch upstairs, with Transformers playing in the background.
It was raining the first time I said, “I love you.”
It was raining.
We were just inside at the time.
It was just starting to rain when I said, “Goodbye.”
Not “Goodbye” as in, “Catch ya later!” or “See you around.”
A real, rock-solid, never-going-to-see-you-again Goodbye.
It was drizzling.
I remember being frustrated because the sky couldn’t even match what my eyes were producing.

There’s something about rain that makes memories.
You’re more likely to remember the game you won by sliding through the mud for that last goal, home run, touchdown, whatever.
My mom remembers the years by, ‘That’s the year it almost flooded,” and “That’s the year everything died.  No rain at all.”
Nobody remembers the wedding when the sun was shining perfectly.
But there will always be that one backyard ceremony where,
against all odds,
it started pouring down right after the “I do”s.
Everyone ran inside, holding programs over their heads.
The bride’s dress was completely ruined, but she was laughing,
because all she could think about was the grin on his face when they were pronounced “man and wife.”

It may have something to do with how it just happens.
You wake up one morning thinking it’s just another day, but oh,
it’s raining!
It’s a pain because you still haven’t bought those rain boots you’ve been eyeing at Target,
and none of your school bags are actually water-proof,
but somehow,
it usually all works itself out anyway.
It’s kind of like—the world can be totally wrong, absolutely chaotic,
but then it rains.
When everything is failing,
when you just need something to keep on going,
there it is.
There’s always one thing that can just take care of itself.

Of course, I may simply be biased because I get so much inspiration when it’s raining.
And after all,
my first real kiss was in the rain.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011


Family and Friends,

Hello! I've been applying to scholarships to help pay for next semester, and this scholarship is based solely on voters. It will only take a minute of your time to click on the link, and then click, "Vote For This Essay." I would really appreciate your help on this!  You don't have to sign up for anything!

Thank you!!

Friday, September 23, 2011

The Time Traveler's Wife

Oh, adult novels.  Will they ever be able to redeem themselves in my eyes?  I'm not sure they will.  There are so many things I loved about this book, namely the writing.  Audrey Niffenegger's diction is fabulous and captivating.  The story completely draws you in, and the literary snippets she continuously throws in helps us figure out the characters, their personalities, their passions.  She's really a wonderful writer, and this story was intoxicating.

But there was just too much sex.

Again, one of those books that I cannot, in good conscious, recommend reading.  That makes me so sad.  It's a pity when a book is something you can't share.

In case you don't know, The Time Traveler's Wife is about a man who time travels, and his wife.  Self-explanatory, right?  What I love about this particular science fiction story, however, is not the science fiction.  It's a story about two people having normal, real-life problems and situations in an unnatural setting.  Clare has known Henry since she was precisely six years old, but Henry bet Clare for the first time when he was twenty-eight.  It was never a question to her that they would end up together, and so they do.

I watched the movie again after reading this book, and was very disappointed.  It was very well-done.  The cinematography was great, but the character development was all but non-existant.  Clare's character is completely different in the movie than she is in the book.  So many things are left unexplained... ugh.

Overall, disappointed with both.  Too bad.

What've I done?

I had the opportunity to look at some really old pictures of mine recently, and was shocked at the difference between then and now.  Mostly I'm sad.
I've sense learned some technical things about my camera, cameras in general.  I've learned that rule-of-thirds shots are more aesthetically pleasing than stuff right smack-dab in the middle.
(2010, film)
I look at these pictures and think, "Why did I ever think I needed photoshop?"  Photoshop is a wonderful thing.  It provides an opportunity to do things with photos that you can't with the camera, but sometimes pictures are just beautiful anyway.
My question now is, "Do I want to do those things?"
I think its all deviantArt's fault.  There are so many beautiful pictures there that are very hyper-saturated, and I wanted to duplicate that.  I wanted my blues to be so blue that your eyes water.  I wanted my yellows to be yellow-brick-road.
I think I want to go back.  Back to the originals.  Back to just taking good pictures, and only editing them when I need to.  I want to get back those pictures that I took and immediately loved.

I'm not saying that I hate what I do now.  I just want to be better.  I want to take my style back, instead of trying to make my pictures look like all the thousands of others I've seen.

I'm going back to the beginning.

(2006, film)


Tuesday, September 20, 2011

My Testimony

Today I realized that I have not shared my testimony with my friends enough.

It becomes easy, I think, when you live, work, and go to school among so many members of the church, you sometimes become a little less vocal about your beliefs.  In my case, I'm not so sure I was ever so vocal about them in the first place.  If I were to die tomorrow, what would my friends say about me?  That I loved photography?  That I was a writer?  That I was obsessed with Batman?  Flattering--but I hope not.

I hope that if my friends and family could remember one thing I've ever said, one thing that is completely important to me, that it would be this: I know, without any particle of doubt in my being, that the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the true church of my Heavenly Father.  I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet of God.  He translated the Book of Mormon--another testament of Jesus Christ--and every word of that book is true.  I know that because of my Savior's perfect life, and sacrifice, I can repent of my sins and one day live with my Heavenly Father, with all of my family.  My family is forever, and I shall never be separated from them, even in death.  I know that because of this church, I am happy.  I am so much happier than I could ever hope to be without it, because I know that my God loves me.  He knows me, knows my name, hears every prayer, sees every event.  He has a plan specifically for me, and He wants me to live with Him again.  I know that Thomas S. Monson is His true prophet on the earth today.  Revelation still comes to us through prophets, like it did in the times of Moses, Abraham, and Elijah.

I know that He loves me, even though I am not perfect.

"I know."  What wonderful words to be able to say in such a confusing world.  What a wonderful expression of certainty in my life!

I think that some people consider religion to be an anecdote to a person's life, unless they're the Pope.  For me, I hope it is front and center: I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.  I have no doubt of its truth.  I have no doubt that I am on the right path.  I know these things as sure as I know that I love my family, and they love me.

I love this church and I love my Heavenly Father.  I love the prophet, Thomas S. Monson, and I love Joseph Smith.  I love that I have the scriptures available to me, and that they contain the true gospel.

"I knew it, and I knew that God knew it, and I could not deny it."

I want to leave these things with you in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

The Way of Kings

One month.  That is how long it took me to read this monster of a book.  It is also how long it took me to realize, once and for all, that Brandon Sanderson is the greatest author of today.  I cannot begin to express in coherent words how spectacular his work is, but I will try to at least show you a sliver of the greatness of this one book.

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson is more than daunting, with 1001 pages of story, followed by an Ars Arcanum, and a note from the author.  Additionally, it is only the first book in The Stormlight Archive.  There is no word on when the next book will be out, but I can promise you I'll be one of the first in line to purchase it.  On his website, he says this book is a basically a dip-of-the-toes into this fascinating world, called Roshar.  That's hard for me to process, as there was plenty of magic, religion, war, and history in this tome.  His writing is styled in a way that it slowly reveals the answer to every question.  There's no volley of information in which you lose eighty percent of the details.  It is well-thought out, completely creative, and told in a way lets you enjoy the story just as much as the mythology, the intrigue, and the individual characters.

I would love to give you a synopsis, but it would take a couple thousand words to do it justice.  I don't really have the time for that, and I doubt you would have the time for reading my mundane summary.  However, I'll tell you that it is very basically about a war, and a coming war that is said to wipe out the entire world.

The three main characters are incredibly deep, and very entertaining.  Sanderson's ability to constantly create, create, create is a never-ending amazement to me.  All of his worlds are so different, but detailed!

Perhaps my excitement over this soon-to-be series should be taken with a grain of salt, seeing as its the only epic fantasy I've ever delved into.  Sadly, the only thing I have to compare it to is Harry Potter, which it surpases in complexity and creativity.  (Did you ever think such a thing was possible?  Believe me, I never even considered it.)  One month ago, I'd have told you that Harry Potter could never be surpassed in the world of fantasy.  I stand corrected.

Go and read this book!


Monday, August 1, 2011

Lock and Key

To say that I enjoyed this book would be a heck of an understatement. I devoured it. What I loved about it, though, wasn't just the story and the characters. I was reminded once again that Sarah Dessen is one of the best authors I've ever had the privilege to come across. For Christmas in 2009, my friend Britny gave me another of her novels--Just Listen. I swallowed that one pretty much whole, and at the very end of it was the first chapter of her next book, Lock and Key. I wanted to read it, but then a new semester started, my mind became filled with other things, and the introduction of this book became forgotten. Then, when I came home for the summer, some lovely librarian (how glorious their jobs sometime seem) put this book on the front display. I was currently reading a different book, though, and by the time I got around to it, it seems that several other people had also seen the display, and there was a line of holds one-dozen-long, waiting for it. Upon finding it on Amazon for 49 cents, however, this book became mine!

I love the way Dessen writes. It is entertaining, serious, deep, and intense, without being too heavy or tedious. I do love the story, but I will be forever blown away with the way she writes. I may even look into reading some more of her novels. Never have I been so reluctant to set down a book. Also, it had a great length. Just-over-400-pagers are my favorites, usually.

I would be remiss if I didn't chide the publishers at least a tad for the several elementary spelling and grammar mistakes... Come, now, read through it before you put it in print.

This book is about a girl, named Ruby, who is abandoned by her mother and is suddenly sent to live with her estranged sister and wealthy brother-in-law. Convinced that all the needs to survive is herself, Ruby is reluctant to accept anyone's help, even when she desparatel needs it. As she starts to settle into her new life, however, she starts to realize--helped on by Nate, her ever-helpful next-door neighbor--that connections and friends aren't such a bad thing to have. She starts to redefine her perceptions of family, and who she is, even as she stumbles across someone that needs the same help just as much as she did, and she's the one to give it.

I give it a hearty 10/10!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Hattie Big Sky

The only quarrel I have with this book is that it didn't quite end the way I wanted it to, which, in reality, can't really be a quarrel at all.  After all, it isn't my book, and I still enjoyed it.

I'm once again pleasantly surprised with the Denton North Branch librarians' pick to sit directly in the center of the display table in the young adult fiction section.  Otherwise, I probably never would have come across this book.  Hattie Big Sky by Kirby Larson was a great, interesting read with an impossibly mature sixteen-year-old at its center.  Hattie Here-and-There, as she calls herself, has grown up as an orphan, being passed from family member to family member.  Then, out of the blue, a long-lost Uncle Chester dies and leaves her his claim of 320 acrs in Montana.  Eager for a place to call her own, Hattie takes the next train from Iowa and settles down to prove up on her Uncle's claim, but finds that friendship is the more valuable possession.

This story was based on the author's great-grandmother by the same name, as well as a few other people she grabbed out of history's folds.  I love that it's set during World War I, and that it deeply affects the book and its characters, just as it did in real life.  That was a great insight to read.  I also love that Hattie was such a writer.  She constantly writes to a relative and a school friend, Charlie (whom she undoubtedly loves, though she never really realizes it).

Entertaining, informative, and sweet.  I wish some of the more intense chapters had been expanded a bit.  It's definitely worth the read!  I almost cried a couple of times.  The characters in this novel are just so real and vibrant, and the hardships and happy times they face are things that really did happen almost a century ago.  At any rate, it was a nice break from werewolves, witches, ghosts, aliens, and everything else I am normally surrounded by.

I'd give it an 8 out of 10.

Prelude to a Quilt

Yesterday, while digging through one of my mom's sewing kits in search of a patch to put on the knee of a very awesome pair of jeans I want to be able to wear on BYU campus, I found several quilt squares that never got used.  I immediately fell in love with the navy blue ones, and decided that I was finally going to get around to making my very first quilt!

Since they were botoh navy-based, I wanted to make a BYU-themed quilt.  I immediately hopped on the computer and drew up what I thought to be the perfect quilt pattern!

It took a little doing, but I talked my mom into helping me out.  She did try to teach me how to sew when I was little, but I just wasn't interested in making pillow cases when I was 8.  Then I had a Utah-born college roommate that could do all sorts of domestic things that I couldn't--including make beautiful hand-sewn quilts.  When I saw the quilt she had made all by herself, I wanted to run to the fabric store right then and there!

I figured we probably had a pretty good stash of navy blue material in all of my mom's stores, so we set to searching.

We did find some cute navy material, but definitely not enough to make an entire quilt out of.

So, today, mom and I went to JoAnn's to pick out some more navy material to match what we already had.  JoAnn's is so cool!  I've always loved that store, but for their paper crafts.  I didn't realize just how much material they have until I was combing through it, looking for the perfect match to the polka-dot and paisly squares I already had.

There is so much gorgeous fabric in that store!  I just wanted to grab it all and make a hundred quilts (which my mom keeps reminding me I may not even like).  There were just too many options.  We ended up getting six different kinds of new material...

Well, we didn't have very many of those squares to begin with, and it was all on sale, and I got a discount for being a college student... :)  I went through every excuse in the book, and in the end, we ended up with these new materials.  It's still a navy blue base... sort of.  But it's going to be so pretty!

We spent four hours in that store.  And major kudos to my mom for her math skills.  We had to recalculate how much material we needed so many times...  We also had to make a new pattern.

I can't tell you how excited I am to get started on this quilt!  It may not seem like a very big thing to some of you, but I'm ecstatic!  Not only am I going to be making something with my own hands that I can actually use; I'm also gaining a skill (hopefully) that I could potentially have for all of my life!  Who knows?  Maybe I have a talent for it!

Its more likely that I'm going to get frustrated a lot, and my stitching will be awful (it isn't like I've had a lot of practice).  I can't even sew a button on straight.  But I'm going to try anyway!  You never know until you take that step, right?  :)

If any of you have any quilting know-how and have some tips you'd be willing to pass along, let me have 'em!

Here's to hoping that I actually finish my project for once!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

The Time Paradox

You know those movies where there's a big, epic adventure, but then something tragic happens, and at the very end, the main character gets to go back in time and stop it all from ever happening?  Sometimes, the whole movie is everything to do with going back in time to change the past.  And sometimes it's actually a good movie.

It happens in books, too.  There are also the stories of love transcending time: the lovers that belong to different decades, centuries, or even millenia.  These never end well, and annoy me to end!  You know as you pick up the book that it can't have a good ending, but the first few pages make it sound so worth it...  Ha!

The Clearing, for example.  I know I've already posted a review of this book, but I would like to say just again how awful it was.  Really!  It was disappointing, and the end was just a--"Oh!  I have to end the book now, but I don't have a mind-blowing resolution...  I'll copy everybody else!  The main character dies!"  (Oh, were you planning on reading that book?  No, I didn't thinks so.)

It all comes down to three things: the ending, what was changed, and how it was addressed in the rest of the story.  These three things are what determine the quality of a time-related story, in my opinion.  I'd like to give you a couple of great examples of this story type.

One of my absolute-favorite movies, this story does it right!  What I love about this one is that nobody is travelling through time... it's just letters transported two years into the future/past by a magic mailbox that never gets explained.  I think I like this time-related story most because it's about the romance, and not really the concept of time-travel.  The photography helped, too, as did the beautiful writing. :)

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban!  I have to admit that, without a doubt, I think Harry Potter is the only book I've ever read that does the time-travel thing well, as well as the only film that included all the details I wanted.  What I love most about how J.K. Rowling approached this one is the little details she throws in the last few chapters.  Before Harry and Hermione give three turns to her time-turner, there are details in the action that are later explained by the time travel!  I have to ashamedly admit that it's been a long time since I've seen or read it, and I therefore cannot recall all of the specifics.

Neither of these movies use time travel as a way to erase the entire story.  I hate those!  When you get to the end, you're like, "Okay, so it never happened..."  I also love that the story was more important than the action.  Action is important, but it can't smother the actual plot, or it gets tiresome.

What do you think about time stories?  (No, I haven't seen Doctor Who, though I hear it's really great.)

Monday, July 18, 2011

Phoebe in Wonerland

It took me a long time to convince myself that it is okay to post more blogs, because this is my 84th blog post.  The number was at 83 (my favorite), so I didn't want to ruin that.  Haha.

Pheobe in Wonderland was a beautiful film.  You know how much I appreciate writing in movies, and it was certainly well-done in this one, but I have to give some major kudos to the actors.  They completely blew me away!  I was so invested in the main character's dilemmas and joys that I could hardly stomach pausing the movie for eight hours so I could go to work.  It's on Netflix instant play, if any of you are interested.  It's definitely worth your time, and it's a family-friendly movie, too.  Very clean, and even a little instructional.

The photography could've been better.  But, I respect that it was probably a low-budget film (even though it was actually in theaters--did you ever hear of it??).  For what they had, though, it was great.  It helped tell the story, and at times is was really cute.  I loved getting into the little girl's head.

Where are my manners?!  I have yet to tell you what this movie is even about!

Phoebe, a fourth-grade student and daughter of an author writing about Through The Looking-Glass, lands the lead role in her school's production of Alice in Wonderland.  Her patient, strange drama teacher helps her learn a little about acting and a lot about life, but the more stressed out she becomes, the more she begins to see the characters from the book come to life and speak to her.  Her parents aren't sure how to handle her new behavior, and even Phoebe doesn't know what's happening to her.  What she does know is that she was born to play Alice.

It's really intriguing, and Elle Fanning is such a talented little actress.  I can't wait to see more from her!

I give it a 9/10.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Water for Elephants

Water for Elephants by Sara Gruen was... well, amazing.  And entirely frustrating.

I saw the movie in mid-May with one of my best friends, and walked away knowing that it was one of the most spectacular films I had ever seen!  The characters were real and relatable, the filming was beautiful, and the darkest parts were so incredibly intense!  I can't wait to see it again (hurry up, redbox!), and I think it might actually wind up in my collection.

Therefore, when I saw the book in Target the other day, I couldn't resist picking it up.  It was a good price, it had Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon on the cover, and the movie was great, so the book's supposed to be better, right?

For once, I really have to say that the movie did some things better.  Let me say this--Sara Gruen is truly one of the best writers I've ever read.  The way she relates a person's opinion along with their train of thought is so well-done!  Her descriptions are detailed, but not too lengthy.  I love the way she brought in all of her research and the tiny details and anecdotes she picked up from what she learned of circuses from the time period.  I really admire the amount of research she had to do for this book.  For several nights, I felt like I could be falling asleep on a train circus.  She really drew me into the world of the story.

This story is set in the summer of 1931 aboard a train circus.  Jacob Jankowski, a Cornell-educated almost-veterinarian, jumps a train in the middle of the night and ends up being roped into working for The Benzini Brothers Most Spectacular Show on Earth.  There he gains unlikely friends, becomes very attached to an elephant, and is helplessly drawn to his boss's wife, Marlena.

At first I was frustrated with the way the book was structured--an old man recalling the summer of 1931 almost absent-mindedly.  By the end of it, though, I really liked it.  It wouldn't have transferred well to the big screen, though, which is why I guess they used the end of the book for the whole movie.  Clever and effective.  I like both ways.

My only qualm with her book is the amount of sex it has in it.  I am very grateful that the movie was rated PG-13, because I thoroughly enjoyed it.  While the book was also great, I was annoyed by frequent side-tracks from the actual plot to mention something sex-related.  None of it was at all necessary.  Yes, there is one scene in the book that is somewhat important to the plot--the night Jacob and Marlena actually have the affair--but there is a way to write that gracefully, and Sara Gruen definitely did not.

Therefore, I have a dilemma.  It was a wonderful book, but I honestly can't--with a good consious, at least--recommend it to anyone.  Too many f-bombs, too much nudity, too much.... just too much.  It really makes me sad.  I have half a mind to take a black marker to those unnecessary bits.  Then I could hand it to all of my friends and squeal, "READ IT!  It's soooo good!" like I so desperately want to do.

Everyone should see the movie, however.  Robert Pattinson and Reese Witherspoon have great chemistry, and it's pretty clean.  Not a whole lot of cussing (though I can't blame him for letting one slip when he almost lost his arm to a lion).

Monday, May 23, 2011

Just a Blog about Books

Hello!  It's certainly been awhile.  However, I just wanted to pop in and link you to this amazing blog called Just a Blog about Books.  It's really nifty, and I like it.  There are a few different girls that write for the blog, and they all have such different, though insightful, things to say about the books they read.  It's just a lot of book reviews, but it gets me thinking about reading something I've never heard of before.  Most of the book titles and authors are some that I've never come across, so it's nice to get that kind of exposure.  Check it out, if you feel so inclined.  :)

Over and out,

Monday, May 2, 2011

Heat Wave by Richard Castle

Richard Castle is the mystery writer I can enjoy!  Mary Higgins Clark could never keep my attention long enough, and Betsy Brannon Green was a tad too slow, but Richard Castle's writing is witty, engaging, and very exciting!

Heat Wave was a great read.  I'm glad I didn't figure it out in the first ten pages--that always scares me off, fast.  It kept me guessing, and was good enough for me to stay up several hours past my bedtime trying to get to a stopping place.

I can't wait to get my hands on the sequel, Naked Heat!  Bring it on, Castle!


Haha... Yes, I'm a really big fan of the show Castle on the ABC.  These books are the books published by Castle in the TV Show, but a couple of weeks ago I found out that ABC actually published books!  I eagerly rushed to the Denton Public Library as soon as I got home and found the first book.  I'm really glad it was good, and that it wasn't disappointing like a lot of books-from-TV tend to be.  I'd really like to find out eventually who actually wrote this book, since Richard Castle is a fictional writer.  I haven't been able to figure it out.  Oh, well.  Here's to hoping my library decies to buy Naked Heat sometime soon!

Monday, April 11, 2011

Dear Blank, Please Blank

A few weeks ago I stumbled upon this website.  There are a few inappropriate ones here and there, but these things are so clever and funny!  Some of them are kind of sad or weird, but whatever.  It's still entertaining as heck.  Here are a few samples:

Dear doorknob,
Almost... just... please just... TURN... I want to get out of here!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

What Real Love Looks Like

Memoir for my creative writing final exam.~

If I’d thought it through, I might have spent more time sitting in my granny’s hospital room with my mom and the rest of the family instead of running through the stairwells, playing hide-and-go-seek with my cousins. I was ten years old. I knew better.

Bud, Darla, Tammy, Sandy, Rita, Kathy, Cinda, Jerry Wayne—everybody but the Utah branch of the family was there, including cousins and family friends and aunts that I’d never met. I don’t remember how many days she was there, but I do remember everyone being upset that a couple of days before, she’d been fine. She’d just been there for something routine and simple, but had gotten sick in the hospital. Adults murmured about neglectful nurses, who would take care of Papa, and who hadn’t come yet.

My mom cried and cried, and eventually made herself sick from it. I felt like I should do something to help her, but what was I supposed to do? Rub her forehead and tell her it was going to be okay like she did for me when I was sick? She had good reason to be sad. Her momma was dying. There wasn’t anything I could do for her. When I found out all the other kids my age were sitting in the lounge, I didn’t think twice about staying in the room with my granny hooked up to a bunch of machines and tubes, my sick momma sleeping on the floor, and every other empty white hospital floor tile being filled with a teary, mournful adult.

Sarah, Brandon, and I could’ve helped anyone walking in the front doors find whatever wing they were looking for in that hospital by the second day. We played around in the elevator, skipped down every hallway, and played hide and seek on the fourth floor when we got kicked out of the stairwell. We watched nurses bring newborns into the nursery, drank from the bottom of the paper cone cups we got at water machines, hurdled over bushes in the courtyard, and played “the white tiles are lava” so we had to hop from pink square to pink square all the way down the fifth floor hallway. We had an absolute blast. I’d heard of people being scared of hospitals, but at that time, I honestly couldn’t understand why. There were endless possibilities of fun for a three kids with lots of time on their hands. But then Courtney scolded her little brother.

Courtney was only four years my senior, but she was at least a foot taller, and the epitome of everything I wanted to be. She played the flute, was on the volleyball team, and nobody could ever find her when we played hide-and-go-seek at Granny and Papa’s house. She actually played with us for a little while, but after lunch, she stayed in Granny’s hospital room. Several hours later, when I saw her in the lounge, I invited her to come play with us again, but she declined. She was frowning something fierce, so I didn’t press it, and I ran off to find Sarah.

Before I was actually gone, however, I heard Brandon ask her why she wouldn’t play. Brandon and Sarah were a year older than I was, and Brandon and Courtney were brother and sister. Maybe that’s why Courtney got onto him, but didn’t say anything to me. I remember exactly what she said to him, because as soon as the words left her mouth, I felt the most debilitating sense of shame I had ever encountered.

“Don’t you understand?” she hissed at him. I peeked back around the corner to see her towering over him, her long curtain of light brown hair obscuring her face from me, but not from Brandon. He didn’t seem too concerned with what she was saying, but then, Brandon never really listened to Courtney back then.  How many little brothers do? “Ni is dying, and you three are running around like a bunch of little kids. That’s not respectful.”

I knew the words weren’t meant directly for me, and had Courtney talked to me about it, she would’ve been a lot nicer to me than she had been to her brother, but I knew she was right. My granny was dying, and I was laughing and running through the halls.

When I shuffled into her hospital room to sit next to my mom, now claiming a spot on the window sill, the sad smiles and back-pats I got from a couple of cousins were probably meant to console my sorrow for my granny, evident by the tears running silently down my cheeks. I didn’t want her to die, of course. I was sad about that, but what was really eating at me was that I didn’t have the decency to sit there patiently, and just be with her in her last days. Guilt was what had an iron grip on my stomach.

It wasn’t until later, as I watched them bring my papa in and situate him in a chair that turned into a bed next to Granny that I really felt the mourning I should’ve been feeling the whole time. He cried, and muttered “Oni” as he held her hand as best as he could with his weakened ones. He’d been paralyzed for six years, and his loving wife had been taking care of him all that time, but then she was the one that was dying.

“Ni… I love you,” Papa whispered, and as I watched a tear fall helplessly from his blue eyes, I suddenly understood what real sadness looked—and felt—like.

Summer Reading

Summer is coming!  Boy am I excited.  Ten more days and I'll be lying in my queen-sized piece of heaven after a long, long, long drive.  That being said, if anyone wants to suggest an audio book to me, by all means, tell me!

And on that note, I'm gearing up for my Summer reading!  Oh boy.  If nothing else (which there actually is plenty "else"--friends, family, Summer courses online, Texas, etc.), Summer means I have time to read.  :)  I definitely want to read these books:

The Way of Kings by Brandon Sanderson
The Body Finder by Kimberly Derting
Lock and Key by Sarah Dessen
Hero by Ron Woods (my Creative Writing professor!)
The Lost Saint by Bree Despain
City of Fallen Angels by Cassandra Clare
Vampire Diaries, Return: Midnight by L.J. Smith
The Lost Gate by Orson Scott Card
The Work and the Glory, Vol. 1: The PIllar of Light by Gerald N. Lund
Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship by J.R.R. Tolkein
Rachel and Leah by Orson Scott Card
Ava's Man by Rick Bragg
Othello by William Shakespeare
Tennis Shoes Among The Nephites by Chris Heimerdinger
Wings by Aprilynne Pike
Graceling by Kristin Cashore
The Adoration of Jenna Fox by Mary E. Pearson
Cracked Up To Be by Courtney Summers
The Kite Runner by Khalad Hosseini
The Perks of Being a Wallflower by Stephen Chboskey
Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld

Yeah, okay, so I probably won't read all of these this Summer, but I intend to at least make a considerable dent in my list.

Now I want to know what you think.  What are some of your favorite books?  What are some books that you think I absolutely have to read?  I'd also really like to find some LDS literature.  I know my sister Kathy has some Betsy Brannon Green books; I think I'll look at those (I've already read Hearts in Hiding by BBG--really great book).

Any suggestions?

Monday, April 4, 2011


This poem I wrote for my Creative Writing class is about people in America that celebrate their culture from other countries.  Specifically, Mexican-American.

She flips her long black pelo forward
and brushes it nice and suave.
Two studs and one hoop in each ear,
todos de oro, and gifts from her novio.
Un crucifijo hangs from her neck,
marking her a Católica.
Everything else about ella
screaming her Mexicana American

orgullo – pride
pelo – hair
suave – smooth
todos – all
de oro – gold
novio – boyfriend
un crucifijo – a crucifix
ella – her
Mexicana – Mexican girl

Saturday, April 2, 2011


My first semester at BYU, I took a Natural Hazards class.  It was very interesting, and we learned a LOT about avalanches (so much so that by the end of the third week we were talking about them, I was really wishing we'd go back to mud slides).  Anyway, I learned what avalanche damage looks like.  When I went snowshoeing a few weeks ago, I pretty much spent my memory card on all of the avalanche damage I could see!  It was such a big deal to me, and I couldn't believe it was that noticeable.  Wow.  I was just blown away.  Here are a few of those pcitures:

I know I'm a dork, but you've got to admit THIS IS SO COOL!!!

*ahem*  Well anyway... showshoeing was fun... :)

Monday, March 28, 2011

Alice in Wonderland

This book is absolutely, positively ridiculous.  And I love it.  Everyone needs to read this book.  It's completely magical!  Having finished it a couple of weeks ago, I don't actually remember much about it (see? memory like a freaking goldfish), but you should at least try to give this very short, whimsical book a try.

I never liked the old animated Disney movie of the same name.  It didn't have a direction, or motive for anything at all!  One might say the same for the book, but I disagree.  Everything is still pretty much pointless in the book (if you're not dissecting it and looking into the subtext that is really quite obscure), but makes a whole heck of a lot more sense than the movie.

My friend Megan made a point about reading the classics that I completely agree with, though I'm not as dutiful at reading them as she is.  However, I'm starting to get there. :)  I like to think that Alice is a step in the right direction.

Overall, I enjoyed it very much!  I give this one a 10/10... which is unheard of.  So go read it.