Sunday, October 27, 2013


The lovely Mrs. Clare Asper of Come Further Up has a weekly post called {teatime} where she discusses the sorts of things friends do discuss over tea.  Yesterday she tried something new - a video format!  As soon as I saw her video I knew I had to make one too, so, a new youtube account (with a nom-de-plume), some slow processing, a bout of crippling stage-fright, and many venomous thoughts towards Google later, it was done.  Now I can't get it to come up in the video box here on my blog, so I'm afraid I'll just have to give a link.  I do apologize.

I do ramble a little, and a few times I totally could not figure out how to phrase what I was trying to say.  But I enjoyed the experience, and I'm looking forward to next time Clare has a teatime video!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Photography: Kentucky.

Last month my family and I went on a roadtrip to Kentucky to visit old friends and see if my parents would like to retire there.  (Results: one doesn't, the other seems undecided.)  Anyway, I took the opportunity of a hike around the campground wherein we stayed to practice a bit of photography - I've been really neglecting this hobby lately, and it was a gorgeous place.  I think the photos came out rather nice, all things considered, so I decided to share them.  Also I haven't posted anything in a while and I'm drawing a blank, so this is to fill it. 

I know that these first two are a bit over-edited, but I can't help it.  I like things to look "atmospheric," for lack of a better term, and because I'm not artistic enough, this is the way I get the atmosphere right.  Deal with it.

I'm pretty sure this is a cornflower.  It's hard to tell from the photo, but they are just the loveliest blue...

These are my boots.  I'm quite fond of them.  Awkward angle, I know, but I couldn't stop long enough to set up a good picture.

About the above picture: there were various water pumps stationed throughout our walk, so of course they must be tested.  As my siblings' wet clothes testified, the pumps worked.  My baby sister shown is obsessed with water, and was gleefully squealing "wa-wa!" the whole time.  (She also thinks that fire is wa-wa, but I've explained that it is something very different.  I'm not sure she listened.)

Truth be told, I'm obsessed with water too.

Isn't it beautiful? It's like a watercolor painting, the lake is so still.  Yet there was a lovely little breeze blowing as we walked.

I am in love with the light in this picture.

Yes, that is my hair.  Don't ask.  (Okay, I was proud of the focus.  It's not easy to focus correctly while holding a camera behind your head with no mirror.)

Though I don't fancy living there, Kentucky is a gorgeous state and I'm glad I got to visit it.  Seeing new places is always exciting.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Novels and Why I Won't Write Them

I was told today that I should write a novel. I have absolutely no expectation of doing anything of the sort, but I do rather miss the thrill of writing, the feeling of a story flowing out of me and onto the page, sitting in one spot for hours and then emerging from the screen like a diver coming out of the sea. My writing is an uncertain and undirected thing, but, no matter its flaws, it can be so vivid to me that I think it actually happened. I have, while doing something completely innocuous, had an image flash through my head which I could not place, and after trying to remember for some while when it happened, realize that it was simply something I imagined for a story. 

But I cannot write a novel. I am not humble enough. I would want it to be real and fantastical, beautiful and painful, true and subtle. And if it fell short (which it inevitably would), I would give it up in frustration. I do not even know that I am capable of writing a worthless novel. My imagination is very useful for scenes and impressions, but I cannot sustain it for the length of a book. I cannot draw the reader in and capture him or her, not letting go until the last page. At least, I do not think I could. We never really know what we're capable of, do we?

I am much more comfortable with nonfiction. Nonfiction, whether it be about facts, or ideas, or feelings, is limited and safe. If I write about myself, I am limited by what I am; if I write about an event, I am limited by its duration; if I write to inform, I am limited by what I know. Fiction is an an endless expanse of nothing just waiting for someone to take some of it and craft it into a limitless variety of details and personalities and storylines. Perhaps fiction is simply a higher art than nonfiction. When God created the world, He created, in a manner of speaking, a work of fiction. That is not to say that it wasn't (and isn't) real: it's as real as anything material can be. But insofar as God created something where before there was nothing, something detailed and linear and complete, with original characters and plot and settings, He created a novel – a beautiful, terrible, fantastical fairy tale. And all the tales that came after are simply shadows of the one real story – the story that each and every one of us, from Adam to the Apocalypse, is part of. And that is why novel-writing is beyond me: it is too large and terrifying a task for my puny talents. I shall stick to writing about novels (among other things), for the present, and perhaps, in five years, or ten, or thirty, I may find myself capable. Or perhaps not, and that's all right too. Novels are not the only form of beauty we humans can create. There are so many, and we must each simply find which one is meant for us.

All images via tumblr.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Of Expectations

*Taken from a diary entry written on August 29th.  Yes, I am incredibly premature.  I have been since I was born - literally.*

I've been thinking about winter.  I've always had a long "preparation season" for the cold months, though I certainly don't long for them like I long for summer in January.  But the thing is, my visions of summer are usually not quite fulfilled, while my expectations for autumn and winter, being more realistic, often are.  I envision summer as a sunlight-soaked time interspersed with storms, with most of one's time spent outdoors.  Books, iced tea, flowers, companionship, and pretty dresses are almost always involved in these imaginings.  But, in my experience, one get a few days like that in spring or early summer, and then it's just moping around the house trying desperately to employ oneself (or trying desperately to finish school), surrounded by equally bored and very quarrelsome siblings, with the cold, stale air conditioning poisoning the air.  Don't get me wrong, there are lovely moments in every summer - it's just not like I imagine it during the winter.  When I look forward to the cold months, though, I know I'm going to spend at least part of it freezing and exhausted (being cold makes me painfully tired sometimes), hungry (that too), and desperate for fresh air but not willing to freeze my nose off for the sake of an all-too familiar prison-walk round the neighborhood.  But I also know that there will be fires and autumn walks (before the nose-freezing time) and, later, Advent candles and eggnog and beautiful Christmas ceremonies - not to mention cozy sweaters and tea and boots and berets and many batches of fresh cookies.

Bring it on, Autumn. 

(No, seriously, bring it on.  Stop with the green leaves and almost-ninety high temperatures already.)

All images mine.
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