callistahogan: (Default)
I can't believe it is going to be 2010 in just six hours. It seems like it was just a month ago that I was ringing in 2009, and now it's the start of a new year and as always, it's time to reflect.

I'm not sure what to think of this year, to be honest. In ways, I could consider this year to be a ringing disappointment. Not only did I not finish any sort of full-length story, let alone write even 10,000 words of an original novel, but my goals of going out more sort of fell through after school started once more. I haven't made too many new friends, although I have met more people that I expected to. I was determined to update my journal on a regular basis, and now I'm lucky to update more than six times in a month. I didn't end up reviewing books promptly, giving up halfway through the year. I haven't become more outgoing, although that was one of my goals. I feel like I have just stayed right where I am; it seems like I haven't grown at all.

Looking under the surface, however, I see that so much has happened this year. For better or for worse, I am growing up. I am learning more about the world around me, becoming a woman. I had my first kiss this year, with a boyfriend that I did enjoy being with, although I haven't talked to him since he broke up with me over the answering machine in September, and the fact that there is no real closure there does not help my attempts to just stop thinking about it. My political views also evolved. Just a few months ago, I was sighing at Maine for allowing gay marriage -- but now I am in support of allowing gays to marry, after thinking seriously about the rights involved in marriage, and how everyone deserves those rights.

My writing has also improved drastically this year. Although I have not been doing a lot of writing, I find that I am able to express myself better. This year has taught me how to write a good essay, how to write a good short story, how to write a journal entry that people can relate to. I might not have written as much as I would have liked to, and even failed NaNoWriMo this year, but all in all, I am proud of my writing this year. I have written some good stories, and as a fifteen-year-old, it gives me a strong boost of confidence in my writing when people say that it is some of the best they have ever seen.

The thing that I regret the most this year is the way that I have fallen away from God. Although I am forever grateful to my sister for getting me to go back to church (although that might change, as she is now too sick to take me to and from church every Sunday morning), I find that I am not trusting in God the way I should. I regret that deeply, and I want to try and become a better Christian this year. And that does not mean going to church and reading my Bible. It doesn't mean that I am going to suddenly exclaim that everyone who doesn't believe exactly the way I do is going to hell. That's not the type of person I am, and that is not the type of person that God wants me to be either. I hope that by starting to read the Bible once more, I will be able to grow in my faith and become a gentler person, because I know that I haven't always been perfectly kind this year.

This year has been the year of the TV shows starting with a G. First, I discovered Glee, when the pilot first came out in May, I think? I enjoyed the first episode, but when it came back on in September (October?), I fell in love with it. Puck/Rachel is one of my favorite couples on that show, but it does not eclipse my OTP on another show, Greek. Although Greek is not as popular as it should be, primarily because of my other favorite show, Gossip Girl, which airs at the same time, it is a great show and Cappie/Casey are as cute as can be -- and they finally got together. Gossip Girl is also a show I just discovered this past week and clearly, it is everything I ever wanted in a TV show and more. Although season 3 is not quite as good as the other two, the fact that THE couple on the show, Chuck/Blair, finally got together is exciting.

So, all in all. This year has been a good year. I feel that I have grown in some ways, but I still have a lot of growing to do. I might have discovered where I wish to go to college (Amherst, Williams), but getting into those colleges is going to take a lot of work. I'm up to it, though, and I have a feeling that 2010 is going to be a good year.

Which brings me to my New Years' Resolutions. Although I do not entirely believe that they work, it doesn't hurt to make them, does it?

1. Read more. I haven't been reading as much as I would like to, so that should change in the coming year.
2. Update LJ more.
2a. Write book reviews in a timely fashion.
3. Start writing in my GORGEOUS paper journal that my dad bought me for Christmas.
4. Get out more (games, school events, church events, with friends).
5. Stop being so self-conscious about my appearance.
6. Eat healthier.
7. Read the Bible every day.
8. Make a new friend.
9. Discover at least one new TV show/author/band that I didn't know about prior to 2010.
10. Write more original fiction.
10a. Start work on, and finish, Yulian.

I think that's about it.

While I'm at it, regarding one of my resolutions: Since there are more people on my friends list than usual, are there any books you'd recommend me reading during the new year? I always look forward to book recommendations, and I am not quite sure what my next few books are going to be, once I finish Frankenstein and Team of Rivals. I did this same post last year, and I got some awesome recommendations. I like anything, by the way!
callistahogan: (Default)
From a post I just read:

Lumping all Christians in with the only ones you ever hear anything from is... inevitable. Learn to live with it, or make some noise for sane Christianity.

I find this statement especially true after certain things that have happened to me lately. I just loathe it when people clump all Christians into the "lunatics who would start the Crusades again" category. Or the "intolerant, bigoted, homophobic Xtians" category.

I might have conservative values. That does not mean I act on them in a conservative fashion, nor does it mean that I can't see the point of liberal values/liberal fashions. In fact, the way I act when faced with strong issues is perhaps more akin to liberals.

I can't deny that I am a creationist. I can't deny that I take the Bible literally.

I also can't deny the fact that I believe I am intelligent, and that I wish to be respected for my opinions even if you might not personally agree with them (or, heck, even think they have any basis in fact). I also want to make as much noise for Christ as I can.

And for Christians reading this: I ask you to do the same. Make some positive noise for Christ, yeah?

--

I. Hate. Public. Speaking.

Yesterday, I had to memorize Romeo's balcony speech (But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, and Juliet is the sun...) and then, today, I had to write it down from memory... and then recite it.

And I obviously got nervous. I suppose it was okay, reciting it, but... that obnoxious guy I've talked about a few times (I might as well just abbreviate his name to OG, 'cause I talk about him fairly often) said I was shaking. I also looked down three times.

Blah...

--

Since my Flist has grown since I last asked this question, and a new year is starting soon, could you all please recommend me some of your favorite books, so I can get a quick start out the gate for the 2009 50 book challenge?

Recommend as many as you want; I'll try and get to them. I'll read anything (fiction, nonfiction) so long as it's good!
callistahogan: (Default)

*yawns*

I'm tired. Even though I slept more than ten hours (I went to bed around 11:30, woke up around 9:45), I can't seem to stop yawning. All I want to do now—all I have the brain power to do at the moment—is to read my friends list, go to the library, and read. And post on LJ, of course. Can't go a day without posting on LJ, can I?

I really should be writing, though. My Camp Rock oneshot seems to be calling my name, but I'm ignoring it. I should be writing it, considering my readers over at FFnet will kill me if I don't write something sometime, but I can't bring myself to be bothered. I guess it's a combination of my writer's block (I can't seem to write more than a few paragraphs of story at a time) and my procrastination (I don't want to write more than a few paragraphs of a story at a time), and if I don't get rid of both of them at the same time, I probably won't be writing.

*sadface*

So does anyone have any quick ways to get over writer's block and procrastination at the same time? If you do, I'll love you forever!

--

It seems like my post on abortion last night encouraged a few people to comment. I appreciate that more than you can imagine—although I'm a procrastinator and don't often comment back, I love it when you guys let me know your opinions on what I'm saying.

Abortion is a very controversial subject for a lot of people, but it's nice to see that people with vastly different views on the issue can debate civilly and intelligently with each other. I've gotten into some harsh, throwing-barbs-back-and-forth-at-each-other debates before, but this time, it wasn't like that. Once more, I appreciate you all so much, I can hardly believe it.

*hugs friends*

--

I heard that Obama chose Biden for his running mate. Does anyone have any neutral information about Obama/Biden/McCain that I can read? Although I obviously can't vote, I'm interested in the whole race, and I want to look at things from both perspectives. I'm disillusioned with McCain at the moment, so I want to know more about him, to see if I want to continue "supporting" him. Also, is there any more information on Obama I can read? And Biden, 'cause he's the one I know the least about?

Thanks for any help on that—politics is muchly intriguing, and I wanna know more, more, more.

--

And this is probably the last thing I'm going to ask you guys to do for me in this post, but do any of you have any quick, easy reads to recommend? When I go to the library, I want to get a few books that are quick and easy to read, but the only author that's coming to mind is Tamora Pierce, and I'm planning on taking out a few of her books when I go to the library.

Again, thanks for the help. :)

callistahogan: (Default)

Unfortunately, I don't have any book recommendations.

In fact, I was actually searching for some. For some reason, I can find books well enough for about a month or so, and then I get into this "dry" period where I get books that don't capture my attention. Since I'm taking standardized tests in a few weeks, I'm going to need lots of good books to read, and I want to reach a goal of reading 50 books a year.

Since I've already read over 20 or so, that won't be difficult, but I'm starting from scratch from my first book review. So, I need some books to read.

It doesn't matter what they're about--they can be nonfiction, fiction, fantasy, historical, romance, sci-fic, absolutely anything. All I want is to find out what some of your favorite books are, so that I actually have something to read.

I'm currently reading through Guardians of the West by David Eddings, which is all right, but not my favorite. I might read the rest of that series if I can get into it, but if I don't, I might end up abandoning it.

So... before I go off rambling, please recommend some of your favorite books! Any and all suggestions are welcome. Also, the more the merrier, so recommend as many as you like!

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