I've finally started creating videos to supplement some of my blog posts! I'm really excited to be getting this done, and I'm enjoying it!
This week, I filmed a video about lesser-known (or unsung hero) books that I absolutely adore (and mentioned a couple of self-published books as well!). Here is a list of the books I mentioned, as well as the links to them on Goodreads. If you want to watch the video, it's posted above (as well as the first one I uploaded with is about self care).
The Seven Realms series by Cinda Williams Chima (fantasy; adventure)
The Chaos Walking Trilogy by Patrick Ness (sci-fi; adventure; dystopian)
The Gifting Trilogy by K.E. Ganshert (fantasy; adventure; paranormal)
All The Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr (historical fiction)
Farryn by Joy Chappell (adventure)
The Blood Race by K.A. Emmons (dystopian; sci-fi; adventure)
For my March wrap-up post, I'm not going to write as much or list off things that happened in March; instead I'm going to let this mainly be a compilation of recent photos.
It was pretty cold for most of March. The cats were very on-edge about it.
My amazing sister, Layne, took my senior photos for me! Here are a few of my favorites.
I graduate in less than two months, and I am thrilled.
Joy, Hannah, Layne and I got together to eat lunch at the park and to enjoy the spring weather (which decided to turn rather cold and cloudy the morning we had planned to get together...this weather makes it hard to plan outdoor activities). Nevertheless, it was lovely! I have some very fabulous friends.
I actually will include a bit of writing in this post, because I have a couple of pieces of very exciting news that I wanted to mention to you guys...
I'll start by telling you all that I have completed the first draw of the third book of my trilogy... therefore, THE CONTINUING FOREVER TRILOGY IS NEARLY COMPLETE AND I HAVE WRITTEN AN ENTIRE TRILOGY.
I am so so so excited about finishing book three. I handed/sent out copies to my spectacular team of pre-readers yesterday, and began my own read-through today. I'm planning to publish the third and final installment this August.
The other piece of news:
A little over a month ago, I found out about an opportunity to go on a mission trip and take the Gospel + Jesus' love to another part of the world. I applied, interviewed, and was accepted by AIM to go with a team on a month-long trip to Guatemala this summer. I am beyond grateful for this opportunity (plus the fact that I've been able to raise all of the funds needed for my trip) and I cannot wait for this experience.
Well, that's it for March. Thanks for reading, friend! I hope that the rest of your April is fantastic. What are you most looking forward to this month?
This is a post I've been writing and re-writing for a while. This morning I finally decided to complete it and publish it. There are two parts of this post. The first part is about phone use in social settings (in general); the second part focuses on what I believe to be the leading cause of the latter: Snapchat.
Let's begin, shall we?
We are living in a day and age where nearly every teenager is in possession of a cell phone, smart phone, iPod, etc. This fact itself is not bad. On the contrary, I’m glad that I have my phone as a way to share photos and communicate with friends, even when we’re not able to see each other in person.
Even still, is online communication (i.e. texting, IMing, Snapchatting) a decent substitute for socializing and communicating with someone in person?
The short answer: Absolutely not.
The long answer:
I will always value in-person interaction with my friends a thousand times as much as I value texting with them. As I said above, I enjoy texting my friends- when I’m not hanging out with them (or others) in person.
You cannot compare text messages or Snapchats to a real conversation with a friend.
And when we’re spending time with someone, that should be all that we are focusing our attention on.
We’ve all been in a situation where we’re hanging out with a group of people and everyone is constantly scrolling on their phone. And it sucks. It’s hard to carry out a decent conversation with someone who’s busy staring down at a screen and trying to be involved in many different conversations at once. Staring at your phone while supposedly “hanging” out with someone else says “I’m bored”. It says “You are not entertaining enough for me”, and it says “I would rather talk with the people in my phone than socialize with you”. Maybe that’s not always the intended meaning, but I do think that's what is says, whether it's intentional or not. We all have situations where we’re with friends and have to take a call or text a parent, but unless it’s 1. An emergency or 2. Involving a parent, it can wait (rather like texting and driving).
Being able to spend time with a friend (or with a group of friends) is one of the greatest things in life. Enjoying the company of someone I care about and having real conversations with them is something I value very much, and I wish our generation as a whole would stop taking it for granted. Every time you’re in the company of friends and you pull out your phone “just to check up on things”, whether you’re writing a text to another friend or sending a completely meaningless photo of the floor, the ceiling, or your face to your snapchat streaks, you are wasting time that you could be spending with a friend.
So let’s stop. Let’s save our “Snapchatting” and “social texting” for when we aren’t surrounded by peers, friends, and family. Let’s try to make the most of the opportunities when we get to enjoy the company of the people we care about.
Allow me to transition into part 2 of this post...
First of all, yes: I have at one point in my life had a Snapchat account. I got one and kept it for a few months, but then deleted it because there is absolutely no point to Snapchat.
Second of all, I'm not trying to come across as mean or hateful; this is simply my opinion. If you're a Snapchat user, don't let this offend you (and know that I don't hate you just for using Snapchat).
That being said...
Unpopular opinion: Snapchat sucks.
And, if I'm being honest, I find that to be an understatement. I simply do not understand why anyone who isn't a thirteen-year-old girl feels the need to have a Snapchat (not that 13-yr-olds benefit from it at all, either).
While it is true that Snapchat could be looked at as a different form of social texting, I think that for the most part, it has no meaning whatsoever. I've heard the argument that "Snapchat is basically texting, but it's better because you actually see people's faces".
Sure, okay... You're texting a friend and you get to add your own facial expression to supplement your words. I see the appeal of that. But then the conversation ends, and all you and your friend are doing is sending pictures of your faces back and forth for weeks (months, even) on end. And from there it turns into pictures of the ceiling, or the wall, or the floor, or random objects around the room. Meaningless.
Even worse is when the only Snapchats you receive from someone are the impersonal pictures they send to all of their "streaks".
Speaking of streaks... Why? Why, why, why, why, why,? There is no point at all to that number that appears beside someone's name because you've "faithfully" sent each other meaningless pictures for days on end. People get so worried about streaks ending- honestly, sometimes you'd think that losing a streak was the end of the world. You're earning these streaks ("points", if you will), but what do you win/gain? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.
My main points about Snapchat:
Honesty: I hope that Snapchat dies (or at least that people stop being addicted to it and cease to spend an appalling amount of time "keeping up streaks".
If you use Snapchat, maybe take a few minutes to think about why you use it/how it adds anything positive to your life.
If you're not using Snapchat, thank you (and please let it stay that way).
Again, this is my opinion- I'm not trying to be mean or to say that all Snapchat users are terrible people. I just think that it is an increasingly-serious issue that really does need to be addressed (and hopefully fixed).
(I will add a quick note to this: I know a few (very few) people who have Snapchat accounts but do not let it control their lives and who don't really worry about keeping up with streaks and such. And some people probably do have meaningful conversations through Snapchat. However, those are few and far between, and I still really do believe that this communication could be done elsewhere and that no one needs Snapchat.)
Thanks for reading, friends.
It's a few days late, but nonetheless, here's my February wrap-up.
February was a pretty chill month, but I got to hang out with friends a lot, so that was really nice. Joy, Layne, Ben, Hannah and I reunited (after not seeing each other much over the Winter holidays) for Hannah's birthday and tried a new smoothie place near us (we've been trying to go to this place since last Spring but they never opened when we thought they would and then we forgot...). My sister and I went roller skating/bowling with some friends one weekend, and that was really fun. I attended the GO Conference (a missions conference) with my youth group; it was a really great weekend filled with awesome praise and worship, great teachers, and fantastic friends. My friend Jesse and I went to a lake and ate lunch/talked/enjoyed the Spring-like weather one afternoon after class, which was quite lovely. My clogging team had our annual Awards Night in February. This kicks off our season each year so I was really happy because I got to see people after a couple months of break (and now our regular practices are back, yay!). I also spent an afternoon writing with Joy; writing with other writer friends definitely motivates me more than writing alone.
I wrote more of "Continuing Forever III" than I thought I would, so that's a win! I read Infiltration again (reading your own writing is much better after some time has passed, in my opinion). I also started a sci-fi/horror book called "The Deadlands". It was better than expected, but I still didn't get very far into it. I re-read some of the "Throne of Glass" books; I need to read Tower of Dawn soon and find out what's up with Chaol!
My most-listened to bands/artists this month were Bon Jovi, NEED TO BREATHE, Francesca Battistelli, and Paul Cardall. However, I really didn't listen to very much music this month because I broke my earbuds (yay me...) and haven't had a ton of time to think about correcting the problem...
I pretty much did not watch Netflix this month... Yeah. I've decided that I have no time to find and begin new series, so I'm holding myself to not looking for anything to start and to just taking a Netflix break for a while. I'm actually being pretty diligent in this- I watched one movie with Layne. That's it.
I did, however, watch Les Mis with my family for the first time. I probably don't need to announce this, but it was pretty amazing.
February = chill month.
I'm thankful for lots of time spent with friends + beautiful spring weather (even though it's cold again now) + the fact that I'm (pretty much) staying afloat with school.
How was your February?
Thanks for reading.