callistahogan: (Default)
[Error: unknown template qotd]Honestly, no. There have been moments where I have doubted Christianity, but never in a "Let's look at other religions and see if they make more sense" way. To me, Christianity just  seems to make the most sense, and I have seen God working through me and others. There are just moments where I lose sight of God for a moment, and I am ashamed of that, because I want to be more dedicated, but... I dunno. I just have to pray for God's guidance, I guess.

Vacation!

Apr. 17th, 2009 09:28 pm
callistahogan: (Default)
So I'm now on vacation, and not a day too soon either, because if I needed to go to school one more week, I probably would have cracked.

As it was, I was so unbelievably stressed over the past few days, what with an abundance of homework, two presentations, and my exhaustion. I've been so tired and stressed, I thought that I was going to snap before the week was finally over. I got through it, though, with no lasting damage, and now I can just relax, sleep and read for a week.

I don't have much planned for tomorrow, so I'm thinking about doing the 24 Hour Readathon, starting at 8 AM Saturday and going until 8 AM Sunday. I doubt I'll be able to do the entire 24 hours, just because I'm exhausted, but I'm going to shoot for reading all day, with only necessary breaks. (Meals, youth group, etc.) Considering I just started Drums of Autumn, I don't think it'll be that difficult.

--

Speaking of  reading, I started reading the Bible straight through. I started with the New Testament, and I'm currently in John 6. I would be further ahead, but there were a couple days where I didn't read. (Those were the days I was so unbelievably stressed.)

Hopefully, I'll be able to pick up over vacation, and read more. I already find that it's helping with my confidence and such, and I feel closer to Him. I never realized how much I missed God, until I read the Bible and realized that He didn't possess a spot in my heart as big as He used to, or I just couldn't feel His presence. I'm feeling Him now, though. :)

Anyway, I'm tired, and should probably do more reading before I head to bed. I'll definitely be posting tomorrow, just to update on where I am in my reading and such.

callistahogan: (Default)
I have spent the whole day reading, and over the course of the past two days, I've gotten five hundred and eighty pages of Dragonfly in Amber under my belt. I won't spoil, but "get prepared to be taken through the wringer" is definitely a very accurate representation of what the book has been like so far. Just like the first one, I can't put it down, and expect to have it done by tomorrow.

As always, reviews will be forthcoming, just as soon as I can get myself off my butt and write them. I am so happy my reading has picked up and, along with that, the length of the books. It's so nice, to have a big healthy tome in your hands and just know that you have a whole day's worth of reading and sitting on the edge of your seat and laughing and just pure joy in the written word ahead of you.

--

Also, youth group is getting better.

The music has grown drastically since the last week we had it, and I found myself enjoying it. Our youth group is small, but friendly, and I like the crazy atmosphere around it, almost like you can do anything and people will laugh with you about it. Unlike the year or so where we were lumped in with the younger kids, I feel that we are with more mature people, and that we are actually learning something, instead of watching people lick tape off the floor and a youth leader wrestle another kid to the ground. (Yes, that actually happened.)

I am also glad that we are starting work in a little book of sorts that goes along with our lessons, which is about spiritual emptiness and "refueling" when we feel spiritually dry. Considering I feel as though I have been going through a dry spell recently as well, with everything and not just God, I think that this is going to be good for me. It might help me get better with my self-consciousness, which is definitely something I need help with.

As I've said before, I'm sick and tired of it, but it will take a while to fix. But it's possible, so I'm going to try my hardest to do so. :)
callistahogan: (Default)
At the moment of starting this post, I am singing along to the song Strong Tower by Kutless, after rearranging my MP3 player and adding new songs. I am singing as loud as I can while writing, and contemplating the fact that we (attempted to) sing this song in youth group.

My youth group isn't bad, really, but it's... very inconsistent. We still haven't figured out what works for us yet, so we're going between different options. Right at the moment, we are going back to a schedule that worked before my sister got pregnant and couldn't come to youth group. However, it's not going as well as any of us hoped, especially in the music department.

Tonight was not very successful. First, we could not find Strong Tower on a CD, so we had to sing a cappela, which is bad, considering none of us can hold a tone very well, and I'm not comfortable in singing in front of people, even though I should be if it means singing my praises to God. That song was a disaster, and then someone played the guitar for another song (Awesome God by Rich Mullins) and that was a little better, but not by much.

And just a few minutes ago, I was singing at the top of my lungs, and... I suddenly realized: I tend to live my faith in private.

I know this is a bad thing, and I'm trying not to... but it just comes out of my shyness, you know? I'm so worried about offending people, about someone looking at me like I'm some crazy Christian crackpot, that I don't take the risk. It's just like when I refrain from saying or doing something in school because they'll think I'm a freak, when it really turns out that I'm looked at like a freak when I don't say or do anything, not when I do.

My faith, to me, seems to come privately. Sometimes, there are flashes where I am utterly committed to God and tell people about my faith at every opportunity, but how often are those? I am ashamed to realize that those moments are not very often. It was this time last year I was having this issue, and now I am right back where I started, backsliding.

Last year, I was in a different place emotionally and intellectually than I am now.

And yet, last year, I was in the same place spiritually.

I remember saying that I was going to be on fire for Christ, back when I first started this journal; in fact, my titles come from Christian songs that remind me of that devotion. ("Dare You to Move," Switchfoot; "Legacy," Nichole Nordeman; "Set This World on Fire," Britt Nicole.)

I don't want to keep backslidiing. I don't want to have my faith only come out in private, but I realize that this is something I have to work through. I want to be united, strong, powerful, in Christ. The only problem is figuring out how to bring that first to times when I am all alone, and then bring that to light through actions, not just words, when I am in public.

I know that there isn't much in this post for anyone else, but I just wanted to get this out. I've been aware of my spiritual life sliding for a while, and I've just watched it go. Now I'm determined to try and catch it, if I can. And I hope I can.
callistahogan: (This is an icon.)
Comment to this post and I will give you 5 things I associate you with, if I haven't already. Then post this in your own journal and elaborate on the subjects given.

I love this meme. It gives me a chance to post and reflect on my life, and also think about how I perceive other people in my life. It's probably one of my favorite memes.

This latest batch is from [livejournal.com profile] wheatear.

Books - I am so glad someone did this, because I think of myself as so much of an intense book lover. Ever since I learned how to read, I have always had a book I was reading, and over the past year, I've read so many amazing books. I just love the way books -- really great books -- transport you to another world, a world where you can just forget about everything that's wrong with your life and just get drawn into a story that just keeps you gripped and turning pages. There is probably not a feeling I love more in the world than that of picking up a book and not being able to put it down, barring the feelings I get when I feel God working, really working, in my life. Reading, to me, is just magical. Books are magical.

Writing - Geez, another passion. For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to be a published author. I don't even remember why now; all I know is that writing is such a huge, encompassing part of my life, and I will never be able to let it go. I just love expressing myself through words, writing stories that touch people, and letting my deepest emotions loose in the world. Writing is magic too. I might not write as much as I could or should, but I love it so much.

Evangelism - My third passion. For not having first pick, [livejournal.com profile] wheatear, you certainly got me pegged with these three!

Evangelism, to me, is so much more than telling people about Christ and asking them to accept him as their savior. It is about being a good example, refuting those stereotypes about Christians ("They are illogical," "They hate gays," "They are old-fashioned," etc., etc., etc.), and following God yourself. It is about showing people what God is doing in your life. It is about being fresh, not stuffy, about your faith, being willing to compromise with liberals and yet never compromise the most important aspects of your life.  It is sometimes about telling, not showing, but more often, you have to express your faith in the ways you know how and let God, not you, bring them to him.

My spiritual gift is evangelism. I want to bring someone to Christ, but I am under no delusions that it is actually me that will bring them to him. I also try to express my faith, but not be pushy about it. Opinions are varied as to how well I succeed, of course.

Applied ethics - Interesting. I do tend to gravitate more toward those topics, such as abortion and gay marriage, instead of other issues. In my life, I do bring my faith into how I view the world and some of the biggest issues facing humanity. I look at things from a moral standard, but at the same time, that does not mean that I am not rational in my judgments.

Biblical morality -  This is such a hard thing for me to articulate. I do subscribe to "Biblical morality," as in, I am an absolutist, believing things are either right or wrong and there is no middle ground to be had. However, believing homosexuality is wrong does not mean I don't believe they deserve the same rights as everyone else does, just as believing murder is wrong doesn't mean that I support the death penalty for murderers. I believe justice is more important than punishing sin -- which is exactly what separates me from the more staunchly conservative folks.

*is not sure if this makes sense*

Ah, well.
callistahogan: (This is an icon.)
Um, so I said I was going to do this the day I posted the first part, but I just kept procrastinating. At least I'm doing it now.

Christianity was doubled up, though, so I'll do that one last.

First, [livejournal.com profile] greatalexanders:

Thinkyness - I do seem to think a lot, don't I? I guess it just stems from my habit of being alone, for the most part, and reading a lot: thinking just seems to be the way I spend most of my time, and I think about everything. I guess that gives me an interesting perspective on the world and opinions that it seems other people don't share. I don't consider my uniqueness is a bad thing, per se, but on a level, I do, because I mostly tell myself things, not other people. I think, but don't talk.

Maturity - Once again, this is kind of because of my "thinkyness" and my bookish tendencies. I read books teens my age might not normally read, and I have had to grow up faster than perhaps other people my age might've. I get along with people older than me, for the most part, which means I often feel like I act more adult than I am. In ways, I understand when I have to reaccess my beliefs, as I have recently about gay marriage and abortion. I may believe abortion is wrong, for instance, but I understand where a mother-to-be may believe it is necessary.

Of course, I don't consider myself as mature as you all seem to. I'm so often just a silly, huffy little teenage girl.

Pack - Ah, Pack. *sighs* You know, it was great while it lasted. For a while, for two years or so, it felt like family. I learned so much from Anne, Beth, Tim, James, Krish, Yuhan, and Archy. (Do you know that I haven't typed that name in so long, and it still hurts?) We were fun and silly and yet mature and supportive all at the same time. Some of my happiest memories are from Pack, and I'll never regret the time I had with all of you.

However, as a part of me always knew would happen, the magic wore off. I felt increasingly distant from all of you, and CotCS helped with that for a while. But even we eventually ended up growing further apart. Internet friendships, Internet families, are fun, but... they're not enough, they're never enough. Eventually paths separate, and my path separated.

I'm a teenage girl, yearning to take on the world, but I can't do that via a computer screen. There are people I tried to save but couldn't, because the physical barrier between us was too great. So now I turn my attention to the people who I can help, the people I can see and touch and understand.

Youth - Heh, I am really a teenager, honest. I am young, but I don't see that as something that defines me, as it seems everyone else seems to do. I am different from people my age, but similar all at the same time.

And now, [livejournal.com profile] miriammoules:

Intelligent - Blame my bookish tendencies and solitary nature for this one. I read, think, and listen. I pay attention. I try to think things through, and I just want to know things, so intelligence probably stems from that.

Articulate - I have been avidly writing for more than half my life, and my goal is to be a published author, so I need to be able to express my ideas in an eloquent and understandable way. Sometimes I feel that I fail, but I am getting better at expressing my thoughts coherently. I just want to share my opinions eloquently with the world, and I manage to do that, I guess.

Evolving - I'm quite glad you actually mentioned this, because I find myself evolving as well. A year ago, I was reading Ann Coulter and was staunchly conservative, and now I am a somewhat reluctant supporter of Obama and find myself squarely in the middle of the liberal/conservative "war." I used to be pro-life and anti-gay marriage, and to an extent, I still am, but I realize that, in today's society, compromise is necessary. I am learning more about myself and the world around me, and growing into a very opininated female. There are some things I absolutely refuse to compromise, but in most aspects of my life, I am continuing to grow. In all aspects, really.

Boyfriend - Whee. *grin* Yes, I have a boyfriend. He is nice and funny and sensitive and similar to me and he calls me and doesn't seem to mind my shyness and he is amazing so far. We've had two dates, and I want to see him again. Soon.

And for the biggest one of all:

Christian / Christianity - There is nothing more important to me than my faith. Without it, I don't know where I would be. I think what I wrote in my first paper for Grade 9 English expresses this well.

I grew up in a strong Christian home, got saved when I was six, and have been a Christian ever since. Without my faith, I am not sure where I would be. There's nothing that brings a smile to my face more than expressing my faith and letting people know that yes, I am a Christian and yes, I am proud to be one and no, I will not change my beliefs just to fit in with the world. I want to make a difference in this world for Christ. Jesus Christ has brought me through difficult times in my life—such as my parents' separation, my peers trying to force me to do things I don't want to do, and my lack of inspiration when it comes to writing—and without Him, I wouldn't be the person I am today.

I feel His presence through everything I do and feel Him guiding me through my entire life. When it comes to my passion for academics, writing, and reading... do I think it would be there if it weren't for Him? No. Christianity means more to me than I can ever express and if people try to take Him away from me, I'll end up growing ever closer to Him. That's just the way I've found He works.

Disciple

Jan. 14th, 2009 02:31 pm
callistahogan: (I'm Christian and I'm Proud)
January 13.

That was the date of the Disciple concert.

To put it as simply as possible, let me just say this.

IT WAS AWESOME.

Yes, it warrants the huge letters, because it was literally amazing. I was right there, in the first row, just a foot or so away from the stage at all times. I could literally reach out and touch the lead singer, and I got him to give me knuckles too. Which was amazing.

I seriously didn't think I was going to get that close, but I was right there. Everyone was so nice, we didn't even have to push our way by, people just stared at my shortness and said "Hey, do you want to move ahead?" I was a little hesitant, but my friend and my sister just pushed me ahead, and the entire group got as close as we possibly could.

There was no better place to be in order to get in the mood.

At first, the opening act (The Chronicles) made me kind of headbang a little, but not much, because I was a little self-conscious at first. But then Disciple came on and I couldn't stop screaming. Every time the music stopped, my ears were muffled, but I didn't care. I screamed, I started to headbang and go insane, and I jumped and sang and screamed and just rocked out as much as I possibly could.

This was my first rock concert, but I doubt it will be the last. I let go so much during that concert. At first, I was nervous, but then I just forgot about it and let the music just make me let go of all my thoughts of looking stupid and just rocked out. And now I want to go again.

Disciple has so many amazing songs. Regime Change, After the World, Things Left Unsaid, Scars Remain... They played all of those songs and, while I sometimes couldn't make out the words because I'm not too familiar with the songs, I still sang along to the songs I knew. The passion was just there. You could feel the love they had for Jesus through their song, and the atmosphere just made you want to be excited and show your passion too.

Their music would make almost anyone excited. I'm probably the most self-conscious person ever, but I was rocking out with the best of them.

I don't think I can stay anything else about the concert, just that it was amazing, and I am SO GLAD they said they were going to come back. I hope they come back soon!

Also, in case anyone's interested in checking them out, a few of their songs are under the cut, as are the lyrics. I'm really sure you'd like them, but they are so much better live... if that's even possible.

Cut )

Oh, and as one last word, their message at the end was great, powerful, just made me just want to recommit to Christ. Like one of the youth group teens said, it's definitely one of the best I've heard in a while. The lead singer, Kevin Young, can sing, scream, headbang, and yes, deliver a spoken message wonderfully. :)

Now I wanna go see them again!
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)
I love my brother, but sometimes he drives me up the wall. Especially today.

You see, during supper, all three of us (my dad, my brother, and I) were talking about homosexuality. At first, it was a conversation about Obama's choice of Rick Warren to give the inauguration invocation, but it evolved (haha) into a conversation about homosexuality.

Honestly, I'm all for gays being treated just like any other decent human being on the planet (although I have some very specific ideas of how to resolve the "same sex marriage or no?" issue), even though I might not consider homosexuality moral, as such.

So I got slightly snippy when I brought up Prop 8, how I thought it was wrong what California did, and he said this:

"If they don't like it, they should just go and live on a deserted island."

Those weren't his exact words, but they were close. I got angry about that (you can't ostracize someone from society just because of their sexual orientation), he said "I'm not saying we should do that," I said, "I know, but they don't want to live on a deserted island because hey, you know, they're people too and they want to be treated that way in society, not living huddled together on a little deserted island," or something like that, and he said again, "I'm not saying we should."

And I blew up. "I KNOW THAT, DAVID!"

There was silence for a few minutes after I said that. Like I said yesterday, there must be something wrong with my hormones. Maybe it'll clear up in a few days.

I hope.

But honestly, my brother seriously ticks me off sometimes. His views are even more conservative than mine, even more conservative than my dad's. And while my dad isn't ultra-conservative, he's a bit more conservative than I am.

My brother... really needs to get out. He can't experience the world through a computer screen. (Neither can I, I know, but I'm working on that.)

--

Quiz.

BeliefNet's Belief-o-Matic Survey

Results )

The results were pretty much exactly what I anticipated, although I was surprised with how high Mormonism was on the list.
callistahogan: (Default)
My throat is so dry today. Sometimes it just gets this way and I have no clue why. At least it only lasts a day, maybe two if it's really bad, so it should be better tomorrow. I still feel kind of blah, though that could have something to do with the fact that I thought I was going to have no school or at most a half day and ended up having to go a full day.

Bleargh.

And there's this really annoying guy that I talk to during classes and, while he's not annoying, he's actually kind of nice, but UGH. Today he was just obnoxious. Of course, that's probably just my stupid hormones lately. They've been wonky.

I read about seventy pages of The Portable Atheist today, which is quite a few considering how some of the earlier atheists wrote.

I also have a new favorite song, Favorite Christmas Story by Capital Lights. It's so sad, but it's just AH. Amazing.

Here's a video, though not very good. I'd recommend you all give it a try. :)

callistahogan: (Default)
I ended up asking my English teacher for an extension on my materialism essay. He granted my request, but also gave everyone else one more day to finish it as well. Considering I was panicking about it (my Sunday Facebook status was "Heidi is panicking panicking panicking about her essay. HELP" or something along those lines), it continually strikes me how things work out the way they do.

My dad said that "sometimes, you have to put things like this in God's hands." And right now? I can see why he says that.

I also feel as though my essay is good. It might not be the best I've ever written, and I've had much struggle in trying to get those stupid words down on paper, but while I was reading it, I found that it flowed fairly well. There are a few little things I might change (the conclusion, to me, still seems slightly abrupt), but this time, I've got to leave it in Mr. P's hands and hope he likes it.

It also seems as though Mr. P thinks I'm the weirdest girl he has ever met in his life. A few weeks ago, when I was reading Freakonomics, he glanced at me and said, "You must be the most eclectic reader I have ever met." Yesterday, when I first brought in The Portable Atheist, he read the back of the book and then said that I was "something else." In a good way.

I think I like being eclectic and "something else." 

But I also want to be normal sometimes. Just sometimes, I want people from school to ask me to do something with them.

Enough of that, though.

I am currently about fifty pages into The Portable Atheist and, believe it or not, I am actually enjoying it. Admittedly, I don't agree with much of what they're saying, but it's fascinating, seeing how atheistic thought has changed, from Lucretius all the way up to Christopher Hitchens. I wish that there was a book of Christian thought throughout the ages, from the time of the Apostles up until now.

That would certainly be interesting.

Also, since I seem to have time to actually do things today, instead of writing an essay, I'm thinking three book reviews will be coming soon. Four more to go until I reach my goal of sixty-five books! Woot!

Oh, and please read this if you're a writer. That's why I like Elizabeth Bear!
callistahogan: (Default)
Yesterday was nice. For once I didn't spend the whole day in front of the computer, which is something I've been complaining about lately. Instead, I started playing games with my family around 12:30, and didn't stop until 4:30 or so. There was only a slight lull when my father went to put supper on (hot turkey soup), but then we went right back to playing.

It felt nice to do something with my family for once. Even though they annoy and frustrate me, they're still my family and I love them. We haven't played games in a while, so it was nice to play for four hours. I never even got bored!

My brother won most of the games (probably because he was the scorekeeper, wink wink), but my grandmother won a few. And I was so determined to win a game that I insisted on another round of Greed (a dice game), which I won by... more than a thousand points, I think.

I also went to youth group yesterday, and that was fun, even though I am still too much of a chicken to ever tell my crush that I like him. Regardless, I enjoyed it; my sister always does the best lessons and she really made me want to read my Bible more often. I am toying with the idea of starting my read-through of the entire Bible and posting my thoughts here as I go along. Would anyone be interested in that?

If so, comment here and I'll add you to a filter. The posts, however, probably won't start until January.

--

Today, it was a typical Saturday. I went to the library, got four books, went to the store with my father, and then came home. I have already started one of my books, Red: The Next Generation of American Writers—Teenage GirlsOn What Fires Up Their Lives Today, edited by Amy Goldwasser, and I'm currently sixty pages into it.

It's amazing so far. I first heard of it from Bookslut's review, and it is just so empowering, to read all these tales by teenage girls, just like me, who are as passionate as I am and just have this utter realness about them that just bounds off the page. And it's nice to hear the opinions of real teenage girls, although I have to wonder: Would it be possible to give teenage guys the same opportunity to speak their minds? Now that would be interesting.

You know, though, I wish I could be like some of those girls. The problem is that I am shy. Crippingly so. And self-conscious. Crippingly so. And I have no clue what I can do about it. Maybe something in this book will help somewhat.
callistahogan: (I write.)
10 Things Teens Should Know About Writing

As a teenage girl, I have to say that this advice is particularly sound. Of course, as a teenage writer, I don't like hearing my writing sucks, but I have to admit that even if it doesn't, it's still not as good as I want it to be. I have so much more to learn.

And the whole "You have to write every day" is something I've heard... oh, about a million times before, but I don't seem to be able to drill that into my head enough in order to actually do it. Because blogs don't count and schoolwork isn't really creative writing, so I doubt that counts.

I do have to wonder, though: Is being a part of a school newspaper really as geeky as Scalzi makes it out to be? Because I think I might become (gasp) an editor of the paper if my English teacher and I can get it together.

Other news:

* Reviews haven't been coming lately, even though I have two books finished. I'm thinking I'll hold out on writing them until I finish The Blind Assassin. I wish I was farther into the book than I am (I'm only two hundred pages into it), but I hope to be done with it by Saturday, in any case.

* I requested The Portable Atheist by Christopher Hitchens via interlibrary loan and it's currently in transit. Even though I am (obviously) not an atheist, I felt it was high time I read one of those books by a prominent atheist, and I decided it'd be better if I started with an anthology of readings rather than a full-blown book. As a counterpoint, I also requested To Everyone An Answer edited by... several writers/scientists, including J. P. Moreland.

I figured it'd be nice to read those two in conjunction with one another, just to compare the worldviews more than perhaps I have.

* I want to get out more, but I have no clue what I can do. Any ideas?
callistahogan: (Default)
Huh, interesting fact I found out on the news today:

Apparently there are many people in Maine that are saying they're going to push for a constitutional amendment legalizing gay marriage.  They want Maine to be the fourth (I'm counting California) state to actually legalize it. Of course, most every state agrees with this sentiment, but I just found it interesting to catch that fact, seeing as I live in Maine and all.

In other news:

Ugh. I reached 35K (not yesterday, but a while ago), and am pushing for 36K tonight. I was originally looking for 40K, but that's not about to happen.

Oh well.

I hope to get at least that amount by tomorrow, though, and finish by Thursday or Friday. Hopefully Thursday, because I'll be gone on Friday. I'm going to an overnight at one of the biggest youth groups in Maine, with Seventh Day Slumber (a really, really amazing Christian rock band) as a performer there. It's going to be so much fun. I just thank God for providing the thirty dollars necessary to pay for me to go.

All right, I think it's time for me to get that last 500 words out of the way. Sorry for all the pointless posts lately; I'll definitely write more posts of substance after NaNo is over.
callistahogan: (Books)
Today was a library day.

Thankfully, I got most of the books I wanted. Although The Spiral Staircase by Karen Armstrong was not there (I wanted to read it partly because of [livejournal.com profile] miriammoules' recommendation: thanks!), I did get the following: The Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood, Kingston by Starlight by Christopher John Farley, Kitchen Confidential by Anthony Bourdain, and Freakonomics by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner.

I started reading The Handmaid's Tale and Kingston by Starlight a few moments ago and, so far, they are very good. I am thinking I will like my introduction to Atwood, and the language in Kingston is just so rich, and the prose is just so flowy. The prose is actually something I'd want to write! I adore flowy prose, so I'm sure I'll love Kingston for that reason.

And, of course, I have heard wonderful things about Atwood.

The other two nonfiction books I checked out... well, let's just say I am probably one of the last people on the planet to read them, just judging by my trawling through [livejournal.com profile] 50bookchallenge because I am bored out of my skull and procrastinating on my novel.

Speaking of which.

35K, you are mine. Tomorrow.

Friends: please kick me if I don't get it by tomorrow? *grins*

Okay. Now I'm off to read for a bit!

Oh, and because I'm bored and I want to know a bit more about you all, I'm snatching something from [livejournal.com profile] technophile's journal, just because I loved the question:

What sort of God do you/would you believe in? Don't just say "Christian God" or "Muslim God" or whatever. Be specific. Even if you're an atheist, disregard that for a moment. Just, what god would you want to believe in (or think would actually exist IRL)?

MILESTONE.

Nov. 10th, 2008 10:17 pm
callistahogan: (National Novel Writing Month)
I REACHED 30K!

I seriously didn't think I would reach it today, but I did. This is partly due to my ingenious strategy of figuring out how many pages makes up approximately a thousand words (in OO, it's between two and three pages, by the way), and then not letting myself stop writing until I've filled that amount of pages. Or, you know, until I finish one page.

This is helpful because, instead of waiting to take a break after a thousand words, I wait to take a break until after a page is done. Then, while I'm taking my break, I can calculate about how many pages I need to fill before I have written a thousand words.

Rinse, repeat.

This strategy is working quite well. I hope to use it tomorrow and who knows? I wrote four thousand words in about four hours (would have taken me less than that, probably, had I not gotten sidetracked by Dancing With the Stars), so I might be able to double that tomorrow.

I hope so.

--

In other news:

This morning in English class, we were discussing Elie Wiesel's Night and somehow it turned into some sort of whole theological debate, about whether God can be paralleled to Hitler or not, whether Moishe the Beadle's words to Eliezer were saying "You are God" or something else, and all of that incredibly dense stuff that people spend lifetimes studying.

I found it interesting, but after the Hitler comment, I spoke up, and I think I made a lot of sense. Of course, I could be wrong, but I just had to say something. There are so many differences between Hitler and God, definitely, and I could write a whole post on that sometime. Oh, and a whole post on a parallel I saw, about how Voldemort pretty much parallels Hitler in ways. I might write that.

Hmm.

*goes off to think*
callistahogan: (Default)
My post yesterday didn't say much, I think. I just ended up talking about my English teacher, but more has been going on than that. And since my brain has gone kaput, I won't even bother putting it in some coherent manner. So excuse the possibly-incoherent nature, please.

  • Research Papers: I have one of those evil things due October 31st. It is on French Polynesia, and I have no clue how to start it. Most of my research is already done, but my French teacher's stress on thesis statements seems to be prohibiting my creativity, or something. It's not deliberate, obviously, but I hate trying to force myself into a mold of what I believe the teacher wants, and I feel as if that's what I have to do. So I'm trying to just forget about the thesis and just write it. Oh, and then start that stupid visual, which I have to finish by October 31st. *sigh* So freakin' busy.
  • California's Proposition 8: Is it a bad thing if I am irrationally interested in the results of this? I mean, I live on the opposite side of the country, but I can't wait until I hear the results. I have my own views on this issue, but in interest of not starting a debate, I'll keep those issues to myself. Honestly, I think this is one of the most important things (a portion of) America is voting about this year.
  • Elections: Is it over yet? It seems as if it's just getting dirtier and dirtier as the days tick by. There's only about ten days left, but it feels like ages. John McCain doesn't look like he has much of a chance to win, unfortunately, and I have no clue what to think of Barack Obama. I will soon see, though.
  • Objections to Christianity: Recently one particular issue in regards to Christianity has been coming up constantly. This issue is summed up easily: "What gives Christianity the right to force their views on other people? Why can't I believe what I wish?" Or in other words: "I don't like being commanded or forced to believe in a religion. After all, there can't be just one true religion, can there?" I feel strongly on this issue and wanted to write a post about it, but couldn't figure out how to word it correctly. I might write it sometime this week, if people want to hear it, that is.
  • NaNoWriMo: Eeeeeek. There are only six days and two hours left until NaNo starts. This is exact; at the time of writing this post it is 10:01. I have quite a few things planned out so far, but I still have to flesh things out. I am now officially going into "panic mode." That is, I'm freaking out about not reaching 50K, even though I know I'll be able to do it. I just tend to go into a mode where I am second-guessing myself. That'll go away once I've got about 20K, though.
Oh, and did you know that over 60,000 people have already signed up for NaNo? That means that if only 20% of all writers reached the minimum goal, we would have written 600,000,000 words. That is insane. And that's not even counting the words of the people that won't win, the authors that will exceed 50K, and the writers that are yet to join. I find this amazing.
  • NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month): I'm doing this, I think. Expect lotsa updates in November about NaNo and me moaning/celebrating it. Oh, and if I don't seem to post by say, seven my time, kick me. 'Kay, thanks. :D
  • Brisingr by Christopher Paolini: I think the fact that I have yet to finish this book after a week says everything. This book isn't bad, not at all, but... wow. There are so many things I would change. The book could be cut in half and it would go over the same thing. If it was cut in half, it would have been good thing after good thing after good thing, but as it is, it is just blah. The dialogue is choppy (I mean, honestly, who ends a statement by saying "Those are my thoughts"? And why must everyone speak in such a formal language?), and it just doesn't appeal to me at all. However, it's a decent book. I should have it done tomorrow. I hope.
  • HSM3: I want to watch this movie. That is all.
  • Um, me?: I think I've been discovering a lot about myself lately. I feel as though I'm growing as a person, just by looking back at my reactions. For example, this morning I nearly had a fit and deleted my previous post because my brain kept saying "ugh, my last post was so stupid, why don't I just delete it now?" This just shows the fact that I am too insecure for my own good. And I remember a time when I was young, when I was determined that I would never get insecure, that I would always be comfortable in my own skin.
*sigh*

I feel so naive admitting that now, but it's true. I wish that my younger self is more a part of my older self. Not that I'm not happy with who I am, I guess, I just... don't know how to express that. I'm cripplingly shy, and I just want to quit it. I've been trying to but, like, what can I do? I'm trying, and I guess I'll just have to see where it leads me.

Maybe starting that literary magazine will be good for me...

All right, I've rambled long enough. I can see there are some things that perhaps merit elaborating on (Proposition 8, elections, that objection to Christianity, NaNoWriMo, my... um, me-ness), so just tell me if you want me to say something more. I'll try to do so, if I'm not too busy tomorrow with writing that research paper and doing that visual.

(See my bouncy penguin? Isn't it cute?)
callistahogan: (Default)
I have entered into a high point of my life.

I'm not sure how or why. I just have. It's nothing I have done, that's for sure. I feel as if things are coming together. Although my social life is dreadful, my academic life couldn't be better, and my spiritual life bears improvement, but I promise—not to me but to God—that I will strengthen that. There's nothing that acts like a gray cloud hanging over my head, and for that I want to praise Him.

But let's start with my academics.

Recently, my grades have been great. I have all As in my classes. At the six week mark, my lowest grade was a 93 in Health. That's gone up since then, and my highest grade is now a 100 in French. English and Algebra are also quite easy, and I have upper-90s in both of those classes. Can I do better than that? Yes, but much better than that? No, and I'm exceedingly happy with my grades. If I keep them up, I could very well get valedictorian my senior year.

My favorite class, by far, is English. The teacher seems to enjoy my work, and he's even used some of it as examples in class. He also shows an interest in who I am as a person. He's noticed my passion for writing, and he cares. I brought up the subject of NaNoWriMo with him a few weeks ago, and he's talked to me about it in passing a few times. He also went to me about maybe starting a literary magazine—and mentioned how well it would look on my college app if I started it. And I'm still only a freshman at this point, not even a full two months into school yet. He already sees that much potential in me and, honestly, I respect my English teacher incredibly. It honors me that he sees that much potential in me, and you know what? I want to make him proud.

I want to make all of my previous English teachers proud, of course, but he is the only one that's really shown that much of an interest in my passion.

So... as you can see, my favorite teacher is my English teacher. Not that I don't like my other teachers, though, because they're all good in their own way. He just seems to take more interest in students themselves, not just their work, you know?

...okay, I'm blathering on and on. I think I'll quit while I'm ahead. Maybe tomorrow I'll email my friend and see if she wants to just wander around and go into the boookstore for a bit, or I'll end up planning. Or possibly doing homework. Or praying and reading my Bible.

*sighs happily*

My life is going to be busy for the next month or so. I don't care, though, as long as this high point lasts. Don't you wish they lasted forever? I do. :)
callistahogan: (Default)
This time, it's gacked from my newest LJ friend, [livejournal.com profile] wheatear, who is seriously impressing with the comments from some of my earliest entries. :)

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 56.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next seven sentences in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don't dig for your favorite book, the cool book, or the intellectual one: pick the CLOSEST.
6. Tag five other people to do the same.

Before I quote, let me just say that I had two books close to me at the time of writing this post, The Battle for the Beginning by John MacArthur and The Case for Faith by Lee Strobel. Since I haven't gotten to page 56 of The Battle for the Beginning, I chose The Case for Faith, because I had finished that one.

And, of course The Case for Faith has no page 56 (or at least no page 56 with text on it), so I'll just gack the third closest book, which just happens to be Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis. Am starting with sentence four to add context.

"If God was prepared to let us off, why on earth did He not do so? And what possible point could there be in punishing an innocent person itself? None at all that I can see, if you are thinking of punishment in the police-court sense. On the other hand, if you think of a debt, there is plenty of point in a person who has some assets paying it on behalf of someone who has not. Or if you take 'paying the penalty', not in the sense of being punished, but in the more general sense of 'standing the racket' or 'footing the bill', then, of course, it is a matter of common experience that, when one person has got himself into a hole, the trouble of getting him out usually falls on a kind friend.

Now what was the sort of 'hole' man had got himself into? He had tried to set up on his own, to behave as if he belonged to himself..."

Now that was long, but you know, I remember the context. And C. S. Lewis is amazing at laying down his main points understandably, even if you might not agree with them.

That is why I love C. S. Lewis.

Profile

callistahogan: (Default)
callistahogan

March 2010

S M T W T F S
 12 345 6
78 910111213
1415 1617 1819 20
21222324252627
28293031   

Syndicate

RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 26th, 2017 07:20 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios