Sunday, April 16, 2017

Happy Easter!

Today was quite beautiful wasn't it? Well, I hope y'all had a lovely Easter full of candy and chocolate. I'm a tad too old to hunt for eggs anymore, but I still love kids running around searching and looking so happy when they find one. Don't worry, I still eat the leftover candy. ;)

But Easter is not just about egg hunts and chocolate rabbits and candy. The true meaning of Easter is to celebrate the Atonement and Resurrection of Jesus Christ, and knowing that through his suffering we can be forgiven of our sins and go back to heaven to live with our Heavenly Father again.

In my church, I take an early morning religious class before school. This year we have been studying the New Testament. But because I'm kind of a lousy student (6:00 o'clock is quite early), I am trying to catch up with my reading. Last week I was reading Luke. With Easter fast approaching, I thought to myself, "Well this is quite appropriate." I read all about how Jesus went to the Garden of Gethsemane to pray. I read about how He bled from every pore because of the pain so intense it cannot be described. Then I read about how He was taken before Pilate to be tried, and even though He was pure and innocent, He was taken to Calvary to be crucified.

But what hit me the most about this turning point in the history of mankind was the fact that Jesus died for us. Many times we say that Jesus died and was resurrected—and He was—but I think we tend to put more emphasis on His resurrection. I don't think that I had ever truly realized that Jesus quite literally, very actually died. His heart stopped beating, His lungs stopped working, and His brain shut down. He was very dead.

I'm not exactly sure why that made such an impression on me, but I think now I see more clearly the point of His atonement. To be resurrected, we have to die. But because Jesus was resurrected, we can all be resurrected. We can all live again. Death is not the end of Life. It is merely a part of God's Plan of Happiness for us.

That's what I learned about this Easter. I would like to share a video with you from my church, if that's okay. I hope maybe it will help some of us better understand the Atonement and the Resurrection of Christ, that we may all learn something new and grow our testimonies of the Savior.

I know that everything I have said is true. That is my testimony of Christ's Atonement and Resurrection, and I believe it with all my heart. May we ever remember these things, that we may keep Him in our hearts at all times and in all remembrance, and strive to be more like Him. I say these things in the name of Jesus Christ, Amen.

Tuesday, March 28, 2017

Blogger for Beginners (by Beginners)

Hello! I recently got asked in the comments by Jessica L. how I put tabs at the top of my blog, and I've helped a couple of other bloggers (I'm looking at you, Danielle and Lydia) start their blogs, so I thought I might do a post on it. Please be warned though, I am a beginner too and have no idea how to do the fancy stuff like code, but I can help you with most anything else. If you have any questions, comment below and I'll see what I can do! I'd like to turn this into a series because I don't see a lot of Blogger tutorials out there, and maybe you Blogger based peeps new to the program would like some friendly help. :)

Enough rambling. XD


Today I'll be answering Jessica's question about tabs. The tabs are actually quite easy to put up, but I included pictures with the verbal explanation in case I accidentally confuse anyone. ;P 

1. Sign into Blogger and select the blog you would like to edit. Once you select a blog, select 'Pages' in the dashboard menu. You must have published pages to add them as tabs, so if you don't have any, click 'New Page' or if you have an unpublished one, click 'Publish Page'.

2. Select 'Layout' in the dashboard menu. 

3. Once in 'Layout', there are these gray boxes that say 'Add Widget'. Select the box where you would prefer your tabs to be. For example, mine is directly under my header. 

4. A menu will pop up with a list of widgets you can add. Scroll through until you find the 'Pages' widget. 

5. A list of options (display, order, title, etc.) will pop up concerning the widget. Select your preferences. To see your results, click save and hit 'Preview'. Now you can see any changes you want to make before you publish your edit. 

6. If you would like to customize your tabs bar to your preference, go to Theme>Customize>Advanced. You can use both 'Tabs Background' and 'Tabs Text' to automize your tabs bar to your liking. 


If you found this tutorial helpful, please comment down below and add any questions you might have about using Blogger. I'd be happy to help! 

Was this helpful? Do you like seeing this type of post? Any other questions?


Saturday, March 18, 2017

Switching Gears: Thoughts on Genre

Good day! Today's topic is on writing, but rather than the process, we're going to be focusing on genre. 

If you read a large variety of books, you know that a science fiction novel has a whole different feel compared to a fantasy novel or a contemporary novel. There are certain elements that make them different from each other. To name a few, science fiction normally is very science and technology related, often futuristic. You find things like spaceships, planets, crazy mutant science experiments, and so forth. Fantasy novels are often noted for their elements of magic, their well-developed story worlds, and fictional races like elves, dwarves, and fairies. See how different they are from each other?

 So if you are writing a science fiction novel, it will be very different from a fantasy novel. Many writers choose a single genre to write in because that’s what they enjoy writing best. For me, I love the creative freedom of fantasy, so the majority of my novel ideas are fantasy. But then there is the occasional urge to write in a different genre, per say contemporary or science fiction.

Here’s your dilemma: you are so used to writing one genre that when you decide to write another, you don’t know how to write it.  Should you even bother? Maybe you should just stick to the familiar.

If you would like to try a different genre, do it. For my Camp NaNoWriMo project I am writing a science fiction novel, which as I previously pointed out is a stark contrast to fantasy. Brainstorming it, I have found it fresh and liberating to try something new. It’s a new area for me to explore, and I’m eager to see what I can come up with.

But in trying new genres, I have to remember the guidelines. These are two different genres I am writing. In sci-fi, everything is science-based which means I can’t have any magic like I would normally put in my novels. I can’t create whole new story worlds with portals—it has to be based on theories. It’s different than the freedom I am used to, but if I want people to recognize it as a science fiction novel, I have to follow the rules. Learning the rules is the first step in trying new genres.

So where do you learn the rules? There aren’t any official rules* written in blood and sealed in preserving chemicals, but it is easy to pick out the rules in what you read. Read lots of books from the new genre you want to try and, comparing them to other genres, take notes on what is the common trend. You can also research in writing guides, writing blogs, and other sources.

Once you know the rules you can begin to write. Your novel’s chances of being recognized as belonging in your chosen genre are much higher when you have studied the rules and know what you’re doing. You will also find it easier to write the novel, because you know what to not do and what you should do and where you can bend rules a bit.

Even if you don’t write a specific genre and are still deciding what you want to write, this process should be followed. It will help you decide because it gives you the rules of each genre, the interests, and how much freedom there is. I tried contemporary and quickly found that I hated it if it wasn’t romance, but I loved science fiction because I am obsessed with time travel.

Writing in different genres can be different, but as long as you know what you are doing you will be okay and so will your novel. Study helps you decide what genres you do and don’t like. So that was my spill on writing different genres. How about you?

How do you work with genres? Do you like experimenting with different genres? What have you learned from that?


*For some genres, like romance, there are special structures that must be followed for it to qualify for that genre, but most can conform to the common three-act structure.

Friday, March 10, 2017

Birds of North America (Like, three)

Goooood afternoon, readers! Skip the chit-chat and straight to the topic for today. ;) (I have come to realize that I sometimes talk too much. Like now. Lol.)

This week has been a very popular week for the birds to come flocking to my neighborhood, and these are not just your classic chickadee or sparrow. These are some pretty cool avens. So I thought I'd throw together a post and show you some of the birds of North America living right in my backyard!

First up on this wild safari, we have the tame little birds. Here is a—you know what? I'm going to skip the chat and just show you the photos with captions. XD (Partly because it's a lot to write and partly because I'm pretty sure y'all would be bored by me.)

The first three pictures are of a mating pair of Cooper's hawks:

Mallard ducks:

Various songbirds:

Northern Bluebird

Red-shouldered hawk:

AND BIG SURPRISE!!!! BALD EAGLE GUYS!!! (And yes, it's eating a duck. I have the video and I wanted to post it, but that would take forever to load, so I might post it later if y'all want to see it. [It's slightly traumatic])

So what do y'all think? What types of birds do you see in your backyards? Do see any of the ones in this post? Do you like birds?


Monday, March 6, 2017

BIBPC 4th—Entry #7

Hello! First things first, Megan, here is my entry for this category. (I hope an hour isn't too overdue?)

Story for extra points: I was originally looking for a much more valid entry for "Animal Closeups" (I have one purely of a mallard head and you can see all the feathers and the lighting and its gorgeous), but for some reason, the photo disappeared. Oh no! So, I sneak out during school, my camera disguised in my chemistry book, and bribe some ducks with cheerios so I can snap some shots of them. This is the one I chose out of the rather blurry photos I had. Best part? I got some thrilling shots of hawks! I spent more time photographing the hawks than the ducks, but that's beside the point. ;)


Okay, so now we can move onto the bloggy stuff. After my short hiatus, I am back! I have several posts planned for this and next week, so expect at least one more post this week. I promise I'll try to have it up. ;P Also, I'm doing Camp NaNoWriMo, this year (eek!). Does anyone have any tips and stuff? I barely survived NaNoWriMo in November. 


Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Philosophies #2

(Credit to photographer)
Don't let one part of who you are define you. If you're not careful, you might lose yourself in that one thing and you will be so narrow-minded you won't be able to see the rest of you. It's like staring at the night sky and seeing only the moon and not everything else that sheds light and beauty. I let dance define me, and it left me heartbroken in the end.

For as long as I can remember I have wanted to dance and for the last five years I defined myself as a dancer. And I am a dancer, but that was all I saw. last November, I quit Irish dance. It wasn't fun for me anymore, I wasn't competing well, and I realized that I needed to move on. I wanted to try different styles, but there was no guarantee that I would be granted the opportunity to take dance classes. I spent a whole week at war with myself trying to decide what I was going to do about it, and when I finally made my decision to quit, I felt like my heart was being torn in two. But it also felt right.

I spent the next month or so in a funk. I had a hard time trying to find myself again and I couldn't help feeling as if everything I had worked so hard for was swiftly disappearing. At one point I even started to regret my decision. But through help from God, I was able to stop staring at the moon and notice the stars.

During the month of November, I also participated in NaNoWriMo. The night I broke down in tears after class after having decided that I was quitting, I pumped out the last 5K words I needed to win NaNo—and it was one of the most amazing feelings in the world. I almost forgot about all my previous trauma and I celebrated my victory, because I deserved it! I had written half a novel!

The next day, I saw the stars.

My dad suggested that I turn my attention to my writing until we could find another dance class opportunity for me. And so I did, but I wasn't healed enough to say that  I was a writer, so I searched for the other stars and I drew constellations. 

Yes, I am a dancer. And yes, I am a writer. But I am also a blogger, a dreamer, a film photographer, a friend, a sister, a student, a photographer, a designer, an artist, and many other things I have yet to discover. And I think that none of us should let one talent or part of our lives define us because that's not all we are. Just like the moon, the stars, and every constellation existing makes up the sky, we are silver, gold, and rubies. Our other talents are there. We just need to realize it.


Friday, February 17, 2017

BIBPC #4—Entry #5

Hulloooo!!! Long time no see, eh? Always, tonight I have my entry for Megan's BIBPC #4. The topic for this fifth category was "Nighttime." This was really hard. I have almost no nighttime photos in my portfolio. But, I managed to pull this off:

Okay, so it's not the most amazing photo. But at least it's something. XP I used a Canon EOS Rebel (DSLR) for this photo on the night portrait setting because I couldn't find the night sky setting (lol), but it worked for the most part. Maybe I should have used the sport setting...? GO TEAM FOX!! WE CAN REGAIN THE LEAD!!

Story time!—(for extra points):

Ever since Megan posted this category, I was like, what the heck am I going to do for this? And I had to do something because I missed the last category (sorry, team). So I was puzzling over this, listening to music, stressing out over tomorrow, and then—there. Out of the corner of my eye, I see a golden glow flickering in the black night. I whirled around, thoughts racing through my head. "Is it a star? Is it a WWII bomber from the past? Is it a constellation coming alive?" All those guesses were wrong. They were lanterns! And my heart melted right there because, hey, I can't see a lantern anymore without thinking of Tangled. But this was my chance! So I grabbed my mom's camera, stuck the zoom lens on, and sped out the back door in a desperate attempt to take a photo. And I succeeded! (mostly)

Do you have any tips for nighttime photography? 

Have a wonderful day/night/afternoon wherever you are!