Saturday, October 22, 2016

Get To Know Me Tag

   Well. I'm back. 
   I wasn't planning on posting again this month, but then I remembered that this was sitting in my drafts and figured that talking about myself was a good way to celebrating my birthday(which was yesterday).
   Or something.
   I literally got tagged for this by my dear sweet Carlyn back in February, I believe. And I totally forgot. But at least I remembered!! Eventually. Sigh.

look at my lovely blurry selfie. i tried.

Name: Kristana Collene Aleman
Nickname: Krissy, K, Tana (by myself, when I was tiny), Stana (by the two-year-old I used to nanny) Naw (by my precious three-year-old cousin)
Birthday: October 21, 1998. (I'm an adult now. Waht is life.)
Place of birth: Anaheim, California. The same city as Disneyland.
Star sign: Libra (but I hate it, ugh)
Occupation: writer, college student, occasional nanny

Hair color: dark brown, but I really want to dye it someday.
Hair length: To the bottom of my shoulder blades, when I straighten it.
Eye color: Blue!
Best feature: Um. My dimples? Everyone always comments on them.
Braces: Fun fact: when I was like, ten, I really wanted braces because a boy I had a crush on had braces. Then I learned more about them.
Piercings: Just one in each ear.
Tattoos: Nope!
Righty or lefty: Righty
Best friend: Emma when I was nine. She moved away two years ago (rude), but we try to stay in contact.
Award: The first one I remember getting is a silver medal from my piano teacher.
Sport: Tennis. The teacher was a friend of my mom's, I believe. I was like, six.
Real holiday: Halloween. I was ten days old.
Concert: Imagine Dragons! My friend took me for my birthday during the Night Visions tour, and it was awesome.
*cue nostalgia, even though this picture isn't mine*

Film: Tangled. But also HTTYD (1 & 2), Rise of the Guardians, The Force Awakens, The Giver, Pride & Prejudice (2005), Harry Potter, LotR/The Hobbit, The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe, and Hercules. And like, a million others.
TV Show: Avatar: The Last Airbender, Voltron: Legendary Defender, Studio C, Granite Flats
Color: Black and hot pink
Song: *literally cannot pick just one and just links you to my Spotify instead*
Restaurant: This AMAZING Thai restaurant near my mom's work. Also In-N-Out.
Shop: Half Price Books, probably, because I'm poor.
Books: The Lunar Chronicles, Fablehaven, The Giver, Harry Potter... *continues for seven years*
Shoes: Converse and combat boots
Feeling: in a good, relatively peaceful mood
Single or taken: Married to Aimee Meester's character Havard. 
eternally screaming over this precious, mistreated, wonderful human being
Eating: Cereal. Never mind that it's almost two in the afternoon. I'm eating cereal.
Thinking About: Havard, dang it.
Watching: ...the words as I type them? do people actually watch movies/shows while doing other things?
Wearing: a green plaid dress I got for my birthday yesterday and black leggings
Want children: Yes? But also no? I know I'll have kids, but I'm mildly terrified.
Want to be married: YES PLEASE
Careers in mind: writer(duh), chiropractor/natural medicine doctor
Where you want to live: Everywhere.
God: Shakily, sometimes, but I'm trying.
Miracles: God and miracles go hand in hand, I think.
Love at first sight: There's definitely attraction at first sight, but you can't truly love someone if you don't know them. 
Ghosts: Sorta? Angels/spirits are a definitely a thing.
Aliens: Who knows.
Soul mates: *cue that one scene in Ever After* (go to the 50 second mark)
Heaven: Yup
Hell: Can you believe in one without the other??
Kissing on the first date: Well I mean, it depends on the situation?
Yourself: 80% of the time, maybe.

   I tag Hannah @ Ink Blots and Coffee Stains, Katie @ A Writer's Faith, Imogen Elvis @ Gossiping With Dragons, and Abbiee @ Sing. Write. Eat Waffles. (i don't actually know the name of her blog??? i'm just guessing because that's in her header. this is tragic)

Saturday, October 15, 2016

Beautiful Books — NaNoWriMo 2016 Edition

   In case you didn't notice, October has arrived. For most people, this means pumpkin spice everything, sweaters, my birthday, and Halloween. But for the odd breed of humans called "writers", it means something completely different.
   NaNoWriMo prep.
   Some plot their novels like the world depends on it. Some do nothing but scream and create a Pinterest board. Still others do a weird combination of the two. Either way, there's lot of panic involved.
   I'm doing NaNo again this year. And to keep my mind off the impending terror, I'm joining Cait and Sky for their annual linkup, Beautiful Books.

   "Oh no," I hear you secretly moaning. "Not another chance for Krissy to ramble about Children of the Nameless."
   Cease your moaning, my little blogglings.   Because I'M NOT WRITING CHILDREN OF THE NAMELESS FOR NANO.

   I see the disbelief on your faces, but it's true. Truth be told, I've felt stuck with CotN for a while. It's not that I don't love the characters(I do) or don't think it has potential(it definitely does). But I've been writing this story since I was fifteen. I'm almost eighteen now. I need something else to work on. I need to expand my writing horizons and explore new stories.
   Also, my friend Emily demanded that I write it now and I am easily peer pressured.

   So, without further ado, onto the questions!!

Describe what your novel is about!

   The short version? Disabled, mostly POC fairytale retellings of Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, Rapunzel, The Little Mermaid, Sleeping Beauty, and Little Red Riding Hood, all squooshed into one book.
   Okay, that was a lot longer than I expected. And, if you think I'm biting off a lot more than I can chew, you're probably right don't worry. Sleeping Beauty and Little Red Riding Hood only make small cameos in the story.
   I also a quick, sloppy synopsis. But hey I tried.

What inspired the idea for your novel, and how long have you had the idea?

   A large conglomeration of things, honestly. The first part came to me a year or two ago. It went like this.
   "Whoa, what if the prince couldn't recognize Cinderella, the girl he'd danced with all night and was apparently in love with, because he was blind?"
   Genius, I tell you.
   So, I made a Pinterest board but promptly got distracted by all the other shiny new ideas. Then, not too long ago, I had another brilliant idea.
   "What if Ariel was a paralyzed girl who worked on the first floor of a library and had a crush on one of the workers from the upper stories?"
   A bit more specific, mind you, but still a good idea.
   So, I combined the two ideas and made a new Pinterest board, because that's what I do with my plot bunnies. Then, a few weeks ago, my mom and I were talking about fairy tale retellings (because she's a Cool Mom), and I remembered my idea and sUDDENLY I WAS SCREECHING WITH EXCITEMENT ABOUT IT and I haven't stopped since.

What is your book’s aesthetic? Use words or photos or whatever you like!

   The aesthetic is very lovely but rather...odd. (you can check out the Pinterest board or Spotify playlist to get a feel for the feel of it. ha I'm funny.)

   rustic. victorian. magic and technology all at once. tiny skulls and old books. souls and barbed wire. dirt and anger and fear. rusty wheels and bright smiles. rough stone walls and old gowns. household dragons and love.

Introduce us to each of your characters!

   So, if you didn't know already, I think I am physically incapable of writing anything but ensemble casts. When I was first brainstorming for the story, there were ten potential main characters.
   I almost cried, I tell you.
   After doing some brainstorming/planning, all of the characters are still in the book, but with varying levels of importance/POV time. The Red Riding Hood and Sleeping Beauty characters play minor roles, so I'm not going to include them below. And since the girls are the only ones who really get any POV time, they're the only ones who get collages. Deal with it.

"Beauty". the Stern Mom Friend. sharp-witted and a hard worker. caring words hidden behind a sharp tongue. barbed wire and dirt under your fingernails. the responsible one. her trust is a treasure: hard to earn and something to be valued. loves with all her strength.

"The Beast". quiet, cautious. thinks it's easier for people to fear him than love him. has epilepsy. a good leader with a good heart. a mask of strength, the night sky, a hand to hold. misses his family.

"Ariel". book lover. lonely like a winter night. organized, punctual, sticks to the rules. the scent of old books, the squeal of a rusty wheel, a soft sigh that no one else hears. longs for something more. uses a wheelchair. clever words swallowed by a fear of speaking up.

"Prince Eric". a little too prideful and a little too selfless. loves to laugh, which isn't the best idea when you work in a library. is friend to everyone but has no one to confide in. hushed laughter, a sly wink, the comfort of everything being in its place.

"Rapunzel". lover of the strange, the peculiar, the unusual. definitely a dog person. speaks her mind, even though there's no one around to hear it. longs for freedom. could totally shoot you but probably won't. long wild hair, dry and cracking earth, freckles. a toothy grin.

"Flynn/Eugene". angry. doesn't know what he's doing 90% of the time, should probably chill. born with only one leg, resistant to all kinds of magic. an outcast, but it's partly his fault. bitter words, bunched-up anger, rough leather, a deep breath. loves his little sister.

"Cinderella". tries so hard to be brave and kind. slave to a coven of witches. keeps her own magic mostly hidden. a shy smile, a newly hatched dragon, thick dark hair, fragile hope. no stranger to sacrifice. believes the world is a good place, despite everything.

"Prince Charming". if sunshine could be contained in a human form, it would be him. blind. next in line for the throne. piano music, soft wax, a steady hand. wants to do the right thing, always. mama's boy. a smile as warm as a summer's day.

How do you prepare to write? (Outline, research, stocking up on chocolate, howling, etc.?)

   Outlining. In past NaNo events, I only wrote Children of the Nameless. I haven't worked on a new story for over two years. Because I'd been working on CotN for so long, I had a basic idea of the plot, and that was enough. But I have less than a month to figure out this story's plot, so I'm doing I'm doing some serious planning. 
   Plotting this story is a little tricky. I know the villain's goal and how she plans to accomplish it, and I know the plot lines of each of the main characters, but it's tricky weaving it all together. I'm using this story format from the GTW blog to make sure I include all the main points of a good story, and I'm also outlining it like I would an essay for school. Each section is a chapter, and I write down the things I want to happen in that chapter.

What are you most looking forward to about this novel?

   I've felt a little trapped by Children of the Nameless. It's really the only thing I've allowed myself to think about for almost two and a half years. So it feels good to break out of that rut and explore a new world. This one doesn't deal with so many heavy themes, which means there's less mostly self-imposed pressure. Also, there won't be as many fight scenes. Thank goodness. I suck at fight scenes.

List 3 things about your novel’s setting.

1. Stone cities, full of people
2. Open fields full of golden grass
3. Dry earth and hardy trees growing in a thousand shades of green and brown and red

What’s your character’s goal and who (or what) stands in the way?

   Oh boy. 
   Jane's initial goal is to earn enough money to help her father, and while that never goes away, helping Thayer soon becomes very important to her. #ishipit The main thing that stands in the way of her second goal is everyone's disapproval of a servant girl and a lord having a relationship.
   Clara's main goal is to get Cole to fall in love with her, which is hard because she, y'know, can't talk.

   Essi's main goal is for freedom and happiness. Ryker is both a help and a hinderance. He encourages her to escape and is a good friend, but he freaks out slightly at the idea of a relationship. And by slightly I mean that he yells at her and runs away. He's got issues. We're working on it.
   Afrah just wants to be a good person, but when she discovers that her owner may or may not be attempting treason, her goal because to uncover the plot, no matter the cost. Which is difficult, because no one trusts a slave.

How does your protagonist change by the end of the novel?

   Jane becomes more selfless, Clara changes bodies twice, Essi becomes smarter and stronger, and Afrah gets braver. Beyond that, I've got no idea.

What are your book’s themes? How do you want readers to feel when the story is over?

   Do people actually know their book's themes before they write it? Everyone I've heard from is like "I've got no idea, man.". 
   For real though, I want people to be happy when they finish it. It's a fairy tale retelling, for heaven's sake. I want it to be fun but terrifying at times. Because what's the point of a book without some drama?
   And, if I had to pick one thing I want the readers to come away with, it's that ordinary people can make a big difference. You don't have to be incredibly special or unique to do something big.

   So, congratulations if you made it to the end of this post. I didn't mean for it to get so long. *hands you congratulatory Skittles* But hey, I had fun writing it, and hopefully you had fun reading it. I probably won't post again before November, so good luck to all of those doing NaNo! Speedy writing, frens.

Monday, September 26, 2016

Beautiful People — Kaleth

   At the risk of sounding really conceited, I'm gonna say right now that I really like Children of the Nameless. It's a bit of a mess, but it's getting there. It has great potential, and I think it's pretty beautiful.
   There's just one problem. And his name is Kaleth.

   I love Kaleth. I really do. He's the first character I came up with(more on that later) and he has an incredible character arc that I'm so excited to write.
   I just have such a hard time writing him! I don't know exactly what it is. Maybe it's because we're very different. or because I'm trying to hard to portray him the way I want him to be seen. But he's difficult. So I figured that doing a Beautiful People post for him could help.
   (Click here to learn more about Beautiful People!)

The Questions

1. How did you come up with this character?

   When I was imagining the start of CotN(find out more here), Kaleth kinda just popped into existence. I didn't know anything about him, but he was there and (sorta but not really) ready to tell me all about him.

2. Have they ever been starving? Why? And what did they eat to break the fast?

   I don't think he's ever been starving, but he's definitely been very hungry. Farming doesn't always go well, especially when the Feor are going around destroying crops and stuff. But there's always hunting and foraging when things get rough.

3. Do they have a talent or skill that they’re proud of?

   A better question would be if there's anything he's not proud of. Kaleth's a pretty prideful dude, but he's definitely very proud of his swordfighting skills.

4. List 3 things that would make them lose their temper.

   1) Disregarding his advice/authority
   2) Hurting someone he loves
   3) When his plans go wrong

5. What is their favourite type of weather? Least favorite?

   His favorite is hot sunny days, and he hates humidity

6. What is their Hogwarts house and/or MBTI personality?

   Kaleth is an ESTJ Gryffindor.

7. Are they more likely to worry about present problems, or freak out about the unknown future?

   He definitely thinks about and plans for the future, but he sees no point in freaking out. It's better to focus on what he can do now.

8. What is their favourite thing to drink?

   Water? My worldbuilding has not yet extended to food and drink.

9. What is their favourite color? Least favorite?

   Green might be his favorite; it's one of the colors I always associate with him. And I've got no idea what his least favorite is.

10. What is a book that changed their life?

   I don't know if he's ever seen, much less read, a book in his life.

   Well, that did seem to help a little. If nothing else, now you guys know more about Kaleth! My life is pretty crazy right now, since my family just moved and I'm in college now, but I'll try to keep posting consistently! I have a bookish post planned for next week, so keep your eyes open!

What do you think of Kaleth? Do you have a character you struggle to write? If you did Beautiful People too, share the link in the comments so I can check it out!

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Beautiful People — Appearance Edition

   Greetings, kids! I kinda talked about this in my soul-baring post last month, but I finished the first draft of Children of the Nameless in April!

actually me: happy, proud, utterly exhausted
   Now I'm working on the second draft, with the help of my lovely betas Katie, Hannah, and Anna. Love you children. <3 The beginning of the first draft was absolute crap so I have to completely rewrite it but that's okay. It's so much better already.
   And since I've been thinking about CotN so much, and since I want to post here more often, here's a writing blog meme about my children! Go check out and/or join here!

(I'm doing this for all six kids, so forgive me for the long post.)

1. Give a brief overview of their looks. (Include a photo if you want!)

Basically, just combine Lucas Till, Alex Pettyfer,
and Bradley James.

Not perfect, but it's one of the the best pictures
I've found. Her hair should be longer.

His hair should be a little more red. Honestly his
face/expression is so hard to capture.

She also looks a lot like blonde Kristen Stewart.
(that's a real thing, I swear)

I've only found 3 pictures that even come close to looking
like her, and this is one of them. Finding POC pictures is hard.

He's basically just a short Eddie Redmayne.

2. Share a snippet that involves description of their appearance. (Okay, I'm the kind of writer that gives people a basic idea to start with, and then adds more detail as the story goes on, so I'm just going to include the first description of their appearance. Also, only Kaleth and Danica have been described in the second draft. I apologize for my first-draft writing.)

Kaleth: "the yellow-haired boy with the strong dark eyes and bright smile"

Danica: "Danica could imagine how she’d look, the pale flowers standing out against her dark hair. She imagined her face a little less plain and her grey eyes a little less dull."

Barrow: "A boy with dark red hair and a smirk"

Allorie: "tall with golden hair"

Katria: "the girl with tan skin and a murderous glare"

Egin: "one with eyes like the forest in spring and freckles like the stars in the sky"

3. What is the first thing people might notice about them?

Kaleth: how attractive/confident he is (I'm sorry but it's true)

Danica: her eyes; they're gorgeous and you can see a lot of her personality in them

Barrow: how freaking tall he is and/or his smirk

Allorie: her height; she's rather tall for a girl

Katria: her constant murderous glare; it makes up for her short stature

Egin: how small and soft and reserved he is

4. What are their unique features? (Ex: freckles, big ears, birthmark, scars, etc.)

Danica: grey eyes

Barrow: scars on his arms and chest

Katria: she has lots of scars, but I don't really know where/what they look like

Egin: lots and lots of freckles

5. How tall are they? What is their build? (Ex: stocky, slender, petite, etc.)

Kaleth: 6'1", with a broad chest and strong arms

Danica: 5'3", slender and delicate with small hands and feet

Barrow: 6'3", very lean and muscular

Allorie: 5'10", curvy and muscular

Katria: 5'2", small but incredibly strong

Egin: 5'5", pretty delicate for a boy but has strong arms from archery

6. What is their posture like? How do they usually carry themselves?

Kaleth: shoulders back and standing tall, very confident and self-assured

Danica: shy and nervous, shoulders curved in and head down

Barrow: usually slouching a little, but in a "I'm so cool and casual" way, unless he's trying to one-up Kaleth

Allorie: stands very straight because of her soldier's training

Katria: confident but guarded, always has a weapon close at hand

Egin: slouching and doing everything he can to be invisible

7. Your character has been seen on a “lazy day” (free from usual routine/expectations): what are they wearing and how do they look?

Kaleth: I don't think he understand the concept of laziness

Danica: something loose and comfortable; her hair is either very fancy because she has time, or simple because she doesn't have to take the time

Barrow: something casual but still attractive

Allorie: loose and casual hair and clothing; basically the exact opposite of her soldier uniform

Katria: loose pants, her chest binder, and a sleeveless shirt; her hair is pulled back so it doesn't get in the way while she trains

Egin: barefoot, not wearing his cloak's hood because he's out in the forest, away from everyone watching him.

8. Do they wear glasses, accessories, or jewelry on a regular basis? Do they have any article of clothing or accessory that could be considered their trademark?

Danica: she always has very pretty/elaborate braids in her hair

Katria: she keeps knives in her jacket/boot/literally anywhere she can hide them; does that count

Egin: his cloak, he almost always wears it with the hood up

9. Have they ever been bullied or shamed because of their looks? Explain!

Kaleth: nope, everybody likes him too much

Danica: she was never bullied but she was definitely ignored by most boys because she's a little plain

Barrow: only by other boys who were just jealous of his ability to get all the girls

Allorie: most of her country is short, thin, and dark-haired, and she's the opposite, so she got mocked for being different

Katria: being mean to her will result in great pain, so no

Egin: he's been teased for not being very manly

10. Are they happy with how they look? If they could change anything about their appearance, what would it be?

Kaleth: he's perfectly happy with his looks

Danica: she wishes she were prettier

Barrow: he's hot enough for the girls, so he's good

Allorie: she's never really had time to worry about her looks, but she's ashamed of her scars and bruises

Katria: she'd be happier with a more boyish figure (don't hear that often do ya)

Egin: he wishes he was stronger and less of a twig

I swear I meant to post this before the very very end of August. Sigh. At least I tried. My life is incredibly insane right now, so posting will probably be sporadic. I still love you though, I promise! <3

Saturday, August 6, 2016

30 Bookish Facts About Me

   no I totally didn't steal the title from Cait what are you thinking

   In case you haven't noticed, I'm really bad at posting. But a few days ago I found a post/tag thing that seemed pretty easy, so here it is!

1) Currently reading?
Hattie Big Sky. It's a cute story about a girl homesteading during World War One, but...historical fiction is just not my thing. I'm only reading it because I've got nothing else at the moment.

2) Should’ve read, like, yesterday? The Neptune Project. I saw it at Half Price Books foreverrrr ago, but never got around to it. AND THEN I BOUGHT IT AND DEVOURED IT IN A DAY AND A HALF. WOW. WHERE IS THE SEQUEL BECAUSE I NEED IT.

3) Book that impacted you? The Giver, wow. I know it's so stereotypical to love this book, but I love it. It makes you think and really question the world around you. (And I cried like twice during the movie so you should watch that too.)

4) Hyped vs backlist titles? I...actually don't read that many popular books/series? I love finding random, unadored books and then sobbing over the lack of fanbase/shoving them in everyone's faces.

5) Current series crush? THE LUNAR CHRONICLES, FOREVER AND EVER. I'm so obsessed; it's a problem.

6) How strong is your self-control around books? My mother is my self-control. Every time we go to the bookstore or the library, I come back with like ten books and she talks me out of most of them. It's very annoying but also good for my money/time.

7) Plot vs characters? Characters. Always. A good plot can't redeem lame characters.

8) Would you write under a pseudonym? I've actually considered it, but that's something I'll figure out later.

9) Would you marry your bookshelf? Actually, my bookshelves are rather...boring? I have no pretty organization. But I do have them organized by genre. Well, I did, before we had to pack them up to move.

10) Do you ever get sick of reading? Who doesn't? I get sick of everything sometimes.

11) Random bookish memory? When I was a small child and still lived in California, we would go over to my grandparents every Sunday for dinner with all the aunts and uncles and cousins. My sister would usually end up wrestling with the cousin her age, while I would read the picture books my grandma had. #bookwormfromthewomb

12) Character you relate to? Abigail Rook from Jackaby, honestly. I adore her. And Cress from (who would have guessed) Cress.

13) Do you own bookish merchandise? I've got a Gryffindor t-shirt, but other than that, my life is sadly bookish-merchandise-free. But there's this artist I know on Tumblr, and she has pictures of Cress, Cinder, Scarlet, and Winter as the four seasons, and sells them on redbubble. And, because I'm ridiculously obsessed with mugs for someone who never drinks coffee or tea, I'm going to get all four mugs eventually.

14) Controversial opinion? I do not care about Divergent. At all. Or The Mortal Instruments.

15) NOTP? Laia and Elias from An Ember in the Ashes. Please. Do not.

16) Why didn’t I love this? The School for Good and Evil. As Mia Thermopolis said very wisely, "The concept is grasped. The execution is a little...elusive."

17) Hardcover vs paperback? Hardcovers are heavier and harder to hold, but this also increases the damage when you hit someone with them. Or when you drop it on your face. They are very pretty, but so are paperbacks. Basically I have no opinions someone help me

18) Do you ever like villains? I am one of those rare people who doesn't like villains because they're, y'know, evil, and usually trying to kill the characters I actually care about.

19) Cringeable reads? Honestly? Fahrenheit 451. I read it freshman year and kinda hated it. I'm thinking about reading it again, though, because my 14-year-old self was a cranky little muffin about school, and also not all that smart.

20) Where do you get your books from? Half Price Books, because I am poor.

21) Haunting read? Challenger Deep. If you've ever read this, you know what I mean. It's about a boy's struggle with mental illness, and, to be honest, I probably shouldn't have read this while my own mental health was shaky. Because it left me very weird and freaked out for a few days. But dang, it was good.

22) Highly anticipated upcoming release? Heartless by Marissa Meyer. I NEED THIS AND I NEED IT NOW.

23) Annoying character qualities? When they don't see very obvious things that are staring them in the face. When they spend forever moping over stupid things. WHEN THE GIRL CHOOSES THE BAD BOY IN HER LOVE TRIANGLE, AGAINST HER WILL AND BETTER JUDGEMENT, BECAUSE HE'S HOT. OR SOMETHING.

24) Least favorite genre? Well, I've never read horror, and I probably never will. Historical fiction definitely isn't my favorite, but I'll read it sometimes.

25) Best tropes? If I'm being perfectly honest, I'm still not quite sure what a trope is.

26) Rereading? Reread alllllll the things. Always. I love rereads(and since I rarely buy books or go to the library, I have to reread a lot).


28) Series you quit on? When I started Ember In The Ashes and Legend, I couldn't stop...then I finished them, set them aside, thought about them, and realized that I just didn't care. I don't hate them, but they're very "meh" books and I definitely don't care enough to finish the series. And
 OH MY, HOW I WISHED I HAD DNF'ED THE MATCHED SERIES. I enjoyed the first book, but everything just went downhill and none of my ships sailed and THE ENDING! I'm still bitter about that.

29) Wish it wasn’t a standalone? Book Of A Thousand Days. I don't even know what it would be about, but I want more of Dasthi and Khan Tegus and Saren and everythingggg.

30) Bad bookworm side-effects? Increased vocabulary, lack of satisfaction with one's boring life, the urge to write a bestselling novel, staying up late because "one more chapter", incoherent rambling, and more.

What character(s) do you relate to? What book impacted you? What's your favorite series? Are you glad I'm back or should I stay in the deep dark hole of blog-less-ness?

Sunday, July 17, 2016

I Think I Forgot

   I think I forgot how to love myself.

   In between all of the inspired messages, the reassurances from church leaders, the daily reminders of love, and the occasional moments of pride, I forgot what the words really meant. I knew how to love others. But I didn't know how to give that same courtesy to myself.
   I forgot that I'm fragile. I forgot that I'm still just a kid in so many ways, that I'm still growing, still learning, still a little shaky. I forgot that I'm...allowed to be imperfect.
   I wanted to be a girl of sunshine. It seemed impossible right now, with the way my life was. But oh, I had visions in my head of a girl everyone loved, of a girl who seemed to glow from all the joy in her body, who couldn't seem to contain all the love she felt. "I'll be that girl one day," I told myself. "Everything will be perfect," I'd say. "I can't wait to be her." So I waited anxiously for the right time to become that girl, and while I waited, I began to fall apart.
   Because I wasn't that girl right then. I wasn't, and it broke me. I was a messy girl, with a dark and messy mind, who couldn't seem to do anything right. I knew I could, but at the moment, I couldn't.
   So I thought I was worthless.
   And I reminded myself.
   Every day.
   "Look at them," I'd say to myself. "The three of them are going to writer's conferences, together, with beautiful stories. They're younger than you, and better than you. You're a failure as a writer."
   "Look at that wonderful, friendly, outgoing, and deeply loved girl. You will never be like her." There are so many girls I've said this about.
   "Look at all the ways that your sister is better than you. You have no good qualities like she does," I'd remind myself. "You're such a disappointment."
   "You're pathetic," I'd say every time I did my schoolwork. "You're so bad at this. You'll never succeed at college, and you'll never get a job."
   As I ignored the flaws in others and ignored the good qualities in myself, I fell apart. It happened slowly, with many breakdowns along the way. Many nights of tears, many days of self-loathing. I hated who I was, and I didn't quite realize it until I opened my mouth a few days ago.
   It was just a bit of chastisement from my mom, but I began to rail on myself. Out loud. I was saying terrible, cruel things, about a girl who was a pathetic disaster, a failure, a mess. I said things about the girl I believed I was.
   It scared me. But it happened again. The pressure that had built up for months and years was spilling out, not for the first time, but I was finally realizing how destructive it was.
   And then, there was last night.
   After a busy and stressful week, and then a day that started out happy but turned downhill, I broke down.
   You see, I haven't written in a long time. I'm in the beginning of the second draft of Children of the Nameless, and it's going badly. I had to force myself to write, and every word, every sentence was torture. And so I broke down last night, admitting my frustration to my dear friend, and she said something I wasn't expecting.
   "Krissy? I mean this in the most loving way possible, but is writing good for you right now?"
It was something I knew, but had been too scared to admit consciously. Writing hurt. It honestly hurt, but I wouldn't let it go. I didn't know how to make it stop hurting. It was scary, but even scarier than that, I realized that I didn't know how to make myself happy.
I can't tell you how scary that was. I'm the happy girl! I'm the friendly, loving, playful, and sorta weird girl! I can't not be happy.
But I wasn't. I was basing my self-worth on my writing, on my talents and skills, on the way people viewed me. And as someone who is very good at doubting herself, I had no real foundation for my self-worth.
I didn't love myself. I didn't know what that meant anymore.
I realized that I needed to learn how to love myself. I couldn't wait until I was in college with a good job and a cute boyfriend. I couldn't wait until my book got published. I couldn't wait until I got my life together.
Because, for me, I won't get my life together until I love myself. I can't spend my time obsessing over the writing I'm not doing, beating myself up for procrastinating my homework, and then be successful at life. It won't work that way! I'm a fragile girl, just beginning to find myself. I'm not perfect. I won't ever be. But I can, and will, get better.
And so that, my dear friends, is why I am setting aside my writing for a time. I may write short stories on occasion, and I will certainly still write poetry, but I don't have the mental and emotional capacity to write Children of the Nameless right now. I might come back to it. I might not. I'm still figuring this out, you know? I'll be honest, I'm a messy girl. I don't have a handle on this life thing yet. But I'm working on it.
Starting today, I will learn to love myself. I will be gentle when I make mistakes. I will not hate myself for my flaws. When I fail, I'll let myself cry for a minute, then get back on my feet and try again. I will understand that my brain does not function as well as others' do, and I will not hate myself for it.
Starting today, I will learn to love myself. I will learn to love every curve, every inch of the body I still sometimes think is unattractive. I won't be ashamed of my smile. I will embrace my style, even if I don't have it figured out yet.
Starting today, I will learn to really, truly love myself. It'll be a process. It will definitely take time. But I'm going to work hard at it. And someday, I will be a messy girl, with a love bigger than her body, and sunshine glowing through her broken pieces, and I won't be quite all right, but I'll be happy.
I think I forgot how to love myself. But I remember now.