BLOG SWAP! Feat. my sister Erin!

Hello and welcome to the first edition of BLOG SWAP!

I’m about to get married this Saturday (!!!!!) so I don’t have much time to post, BUT I had this idea forever ago and finally Erin and I have executed it so I didn’t want to have to wait a moment longer!

My younger sister enjoys writing and making beautiful (and sometimes quite intense…) illustrations.  I highly encourage you to check out her stuff at her blog, Darkness That Shines.

I wrote a post for her blog (this is a SWAP, after all!) and you can read it there.  Without further ado, here is my little sister’s little treat for you!

My sister thought maybe she’d post something on my blog to show the things that she likes to post, and I’d post something on her blog in exchange, so maybe a few followers would cross over.

Even if I only have like, 3 followers.


So I drew this picture, it took me 3+ hours, and it’s of a character of mine named Smiley.



She’s not completely human, she’s more like some sort of demon or spirit, and her real name isn’t actually Smiley, it’s just a nickname. Her brother’s nickname is Frowny, who obviously wears a frowny mask, and he can’t speak, but he can make noises such as laughing and screaming and such.

They’re twins, go everywhere together, are inseparable, and if they could choose from saving the world or saving their sibling, they will choose to save the sibling, every time. They cannot live without each other.

They are only about 5′ tall, and always wear black. You cannot take their masks off, only they can take off each others or their own. They’re sort of urban legends, and no one is positive they’re real or not. They love to steal things, especially shiny things, and are extremely stubborn. They rarely kill, but if you bother them enough they will, and they definitely can; they can “summon” pinkish-red ribbons of any thickness, and they can make them float around and stuff like tentacles and strangle people and tie them up and such. Their ribbons don’t stay, though, they sort of have a time limit, so after a day the ribbons will be gone, so theres no trace they were ever there at all.

Smiley is usually the one that kills people, and she of course does all the talking. She somehow always knows what her brother wants to say, so she’ll always speak for him. She’s extremely sassy and has a fiery temper, so you don’t want to get on her bad side. Her mask distorts her real voice, so she doesn’t sound like a female or a male, and people tend to think of her as a guy. She likes it that way, though, because she feels like no one will take her seriously if they know she’s a girl.

I might write a story about them, and I might post it on here, but I’m not sure how it’s going to go plot wise and stuff.

Let me know if you like it! I drew it with my new drawing tablet which I’m still getting used to, so constructive critisism and advice is highly welcome and recommended!


If you would like to give Erin any feedback feel free to comment below!  Also feel free to comment on her blog and follow her as well!  She is just bursting with talent and always amazes me with her boundless creativity, and I’m glad I got to share one of her creations with you.



PS:  Let’s do this again!  If you have a blog and would like to trade posts with me sometime, send me an e-mail at!  Or comment below.  Later!  🙂


The Reunion

Reunion — war-torn — Titan
Reunion — war-torn — Titan

Those were the three words that The Brainstormer gave me that sparked this story.  The Brainstormer is a fabulous little app created by Andrew Bosley, a free-lance artist that I know from church (he’s really amazing, make sure you check out his stuff!)  The pinwheel app gives you three random words or phrases: an object or person, an adjective, and a conflict idea.  It’s meant to be a way to get you, well, brainstorming, and I can testify that it works magically.  There are endless possibilities.

Why this particular combination struck me I can’t be sure.  Maybe it’s because I saw it soon after I had just gone to my family reunion.  Maybe it was the word “titan,” which has always been a favorite word of mine.  Whatever it was that made me choose to use this as a prompt, the result was interesting.  I tried to pretend I was a war-torn titan at a family reunion.  What would that be like?  Would it be a relief and a joy to be home, or maybe more stressful than comforting?  And then somehow some romance crept in there.  Sometimes it amazes me what leaks into my writing.  “Where did I even get this?”  I wonder. This piece is a perfect example, since I’m no titan, I’ve never been in a war, and I’m not super knowledgable about romance either.  That’s the beauty of creativity, though.  We don’t have to experience every situation to try and find a way to understand it.

The title of this piece so far is The Reunion.  I hope you enjoy it, and make sure to listen to the song I posted at the bottom, it’s awesome and I thought it fit nicely with everything.

The Reunion

It was like a nightmare.

People came at him from all sides, reaching out to him and staring him down with wide eyes.  He stepped back, but the door had already closed behind him; he was not fast enough to grab the handle before the first pair of arms wrapped around him.

“Welcome home!”  The woman smelled of fresh-baked cookies and other noxious sweets, and he tried to recoil but found he had nowhere to go: he stumbled straight into another claustrophobic embrace.

“We missed you so!”

“My, would you look at that scar!  However did that happen?”

“Oh don’t talk about that now dear, he’s only just gotten back…”

“It’s such a blessing that you could make it back in time for the reunion!”

“My son just thinks you’re such the hero…”

“How are you feeling?  We were worried about you after…”

Suddenly a hand found his, and he would have pulled away, except that his hand remembered that hand.  The fingers laced between his familiarly, and something warm and lovely ran up the length of his arm and spread through his whole body.  The twittering old women faded away as he turned and met eyes with her, his anchor in the sea of uneasiness.

“You all right?”  She asked him, her big brown eyes soft and comforting.  She was the only face he had ever wanted to see when he was gone, and now that he was back, her face was the only one that didn’t make him feel unsafe.

“Sure,” he replied as she carefully steered him around the little blobs of inconsequential relatives.

“It’s a lot all at once, I know,” she said, and suddenly he felt a pang of guilt.  These were his relatives, after all, not hers; it should have been him who was leading her around the hall.

“No, it’s fine,” he lied, squeezing her hand and ordering his lips to smile.  One side obeyed, but only very weakly, and he silently cursed it as it fell back to it’s usual limp state.

“We don’t have to stay the whole time,” she said softly, pulling out a chair for herself and sitting down.  He sat next to her, still holding her hand.  He was trying not to grip it so tightly, but it was hard.  She was his lifeline, but he couldn’t hold on to her the same way he did to real lifelines, he told his hand.  This wasn’t the ocean.  This wasn’t a battle of that kind.

“Whenever you want to leave, just let me know,” she continued.  He looked around the room— countless faces, some strangely familiar, some just strange.  Then he looked back at her.

“I don’t want to leave,” he said finally.  He felt his heart jump even as he spoke; he, the war hero who had faced droves of armed men without flinching, could feel his blood begin to chill at the thought of staying in that room with all those people.  “I can’t.  I already left all this once…  should at least try not to walk out on them again.”

She leaned over and kissed him.

“You’re the bravest man I know,” she whispered, smiling at him warmly.  He smiled back at her, and even though it was still a small smile, it was a real smile this time.  The fear wasn’t gone, but it was smaller now, as if she had taken some of it away when her lips left his.  He looked over the crowd again and felt a calmness settle over him.  He could do this.  Or, if he couldn’t, they could.  Together.


Burning bridges and saving the pieces.

I would like to dedicate this post to the book that really inspired the writer in me to stop hiding and write, and also to one of my favorite authors:

Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine

Writing Magic by Gail Carson Levine

Some of you may say, “Really?  Gail Carson Levine?  The writer of Ella Enchanted and Fairest?  Not Harper Lee, not John Steinbeck, not Mark Twain, but humble Gail Carson Levine?”  Well, yes.  As much as I love the greats, and as much as they have affected me and my writing and my reading, I think that Mrs. Levine and this particular book have more personal significance.  I read it in middle school, and in doing so I learned the two most important things about writing that have carried over into real life as well:

1. Writing is putting a piece of you on paper.  A piece of you!  It’s difficult, scary, nothing can make you happier than getting it right, and nothing can irritate you more than getting it wrong.

2. Everything you write, just like everything you do, is worth something.  Maybe not a lot.  Maybe you have to really think about it to figure it out, but there is worth there.  Don’t destroy things you write!  Levine recommends you wait fifteen years, and then if you still want to throw away something you wrote, you can— but don’t do it lightly.  We shouldn’t discredit anything we do too eagerly— everything can be learned from.

Continue reading