Adventures in Writings

Shameless Plug

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I originally began this blog as a medium for writing down my thoughts and reviews.  Since I wanted to be a Theology professor, I thought it would be helpful to start writing.  Since that moment it has merged into a theological workbook of collaborative stories, book interests and topic studies.  A page I am proud to put my name on and hopefully will reach some sort of status online (hey-one can dream, right?)

Thanks to my husband and my deep desire to create something new and unique, I have finally begun to write my stories down to hopefully reach public consumption.

From now on my writing will be available on my alternative site here.  It is called “Words of a Phoenix Spirit.” The name came from my love of the phoenix mythology (rising out of the ashes to live vibrantly again) and how my soul has searched to rise out of the tragedies of my life with color and flare. I’ve been through a lot as a 30-something (more than some who are twice my age) and as a result my imagination has learned to take itself on occasional trips. It has also learned to process my emotions through stories and how to understand my frustrations through a good dream. It was only until recently that I learned writing these down was a way to release stress and help me feel better. Again, my husband Shawn encouraged me to secure my own domain online and start another writing blog.  But this blog will be my alter ego.  A different side of me that tells stories about love, romance, relationships, maybe about struggle, about pain, about ignorance. They will come from both the light and dark places of my thoughts. They will and will not be from my own life, representing both people I know and people I have never met.

And hopefully, one day, it will be what we called the beginning of creativity 🙂

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Story part Two

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Last week I mentioned how out church started a new year long study of looking at the book The Story. I mentioned concerns about simplifying the biblical text and how it can lead people in crazy directions. And I mentioned my faith in the family and friends of Messiah Lutheran to bring life to something I may get lost or turn away from. Here is the update:


1) the text: I am still annoyed by the simplification. I get that everyone cannot understand the Bible and I agree to have some guidance. But if the biblical text is not understandable, you need to walk through it and walk through the interpretations. So you can see both, as they are insicidualally and respect the Sacred Text. Our pastor managed to state “it is a companion to the Bible” which helped me digest reading the book. This was beautiful for me because I was about to walk out on the book all together. However, I fully admit that I search through the Biblical text first before picking up the Story. Then again, that’s the point, right?

2) the family: Messiah never ceases to amaze me. I went to the meeting Wednesday in hesitation and left in joy. There were people in our group who gave me a unique perspective, sharing their own personal stories, the interpretation of The Story, and their own interpretation of what it means to follow Christ. And I shared my opinions and understandings. I am going to keep going until it bothers me and I realize that may include a few bad weeks (its reality), so thank God that went well.

On a positive note, my story writing abilities increased this week. Be sure to check out my other page 

Wordsofaphoenixspirit.wordpress.com

I am working on transferring it to its own domain (I have it already) and hoping it grows. Here’s to dreams!

Creative Juices following

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It has been a while since I have felt creativity. Maybe yes because this week I went back to church choir or maybe it’s because I connected back with my spirit and with God. Who knows. 

You see, I used to be a traditionalist. The one who only read original books, original story lines and wanted to buy every original piece of art. To put it in Star Wars terms–I idolized episodes 4-6 while loathing 1-3. But all of that is beginning to gradually change. 

First, I have realized how intermingled cosplay and creativity are. It’s not about duplication what has already come out, but building and forming something completely and uniquely new. And this has always been my guide since I was a child–to want to invent or create something completely new. Which is why is started in traditionalist creative arts. 

  But tonight I read this comic. Yes-_I mean seriously took a moment to read and understand all the pictures. Originally what caught my attention in this series was the tombstone to the left: it shows characters I know to be from other universes. Other stories. At the most 50 years ago. But definitely not 1872. So I decided to indulge a little….and discovered the wonder that is fan fiction/ unique creativity. 
Trust me–the names are just coincidental. But it’s not the first comic or storyline. In fact, look at Star Wars, Star Trek, or even Shakespeare. There are themes, repeats, reorganizations and bonds between some of our most beloved characters. And yet we consider them all different, original, unique. 

So the next time you see a sequel, prequel, a whatever-quel, dig a little deeper into your mind and explore the world in a new way, maybe with a little more creativity under your belt. 

Comic con adventures, day 2

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I apologize for the spacing on my travels over the past years. I tried to keep travel journals and such… but when you have limited signal or are just too tired after walking around with almost 100,000 smelly people on a convention floor, typing a blog seems farthest from your minder.

Here are the 2nd day adventures, Comic Con style…

Friday was CRAZY! …but honestly what day isn’t at comic con. We finally managed to get into our favorite panel with the Big Bang Theory writers where we saw Mayim Bialik and Kunal Nayyar!  It was great hearing that all is not lost in one of our favorite shows and as always, we get to enjoy the gag wheel from the previous season.  And the crowd questions were not rude or too inquisitive to those not caught up this year which made it fun to listen to.  Not to much the fan romance scene between Amy & Raj that Mayim and Kunal read. We walked the floor again in hopes to find Adam Savage but failed.  It’s fun because he dresses up in a crazy costume and if you find him you get some sort of prize. Sad day. We ended the con with a panel about writing in the industry, held by the same people from last year which had its positives and drawbacks. Positive–people who have worked their way through the industry including some who wrote/acted on Living Color and other popular shows. Even one guy wrote and drew his own comic. However, drawbacks? they were explaining things to do that Shawn and his colleague from school not only had already done, but could argue that it isn’t just about getting those materials.  And the struggles of those writers were definitely different and much more complex than the people who have no experience trying to break in.  We headed back to the hotel, ordered grub hub (which inlaced poutine from a local college delivery place) and enjoyed relaxing–except for the fact that I was still sick. DayQuil and NyQuil were truly keeping me running. Everything was fun and as always–just with a ton of people.


  
  
One of the places we enjoyed at random was a little off the beaten path. It is a BBQ place off seaport village trolley stop. It’s where they filmed “Top Gun” and the food there is amazing. BBQ ribs, mac n’ cheese that tastes amazing and beans with r just the right amount of flavor. Highly recommend stopping here if you  need a break from the craziness of Comic Con or of Gas Lamp.

Inside Out Review

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********WARNING: SPOILER ALERTS*******


Sorry everyone–buts it’s hard to talk about the wonderful-ness that is this movie without traveling through the whole storyline. Meaning?–GO SEE IT! Then come back to my review 😊

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Inside out is a beautiful movie about the emotions of a 11year old girl named Riley and her experiences of moving from Minnesota to San Francisco.  At first you hear from Joy and how most of Riley’s life has consisted of happy moments making joyful memories. There is also anxiety, disguist, anger and sadness. All five work together with Riley but Joy works very hard to keep Sadness out. Make sense, right? To be happy, you can’t be sad.  However, Riley begins to go through an emotional shift on her first day of school and after her father becomes slightly distance starting his new job.  Her “core memories” take a turn  for the worst–destroying her old ways of feeling about her friends, her family, and even what it means to be her “goofy” self.

These experiences cause havoc in Riley’s emotions.  Joy (the born leader) and Sadness to fall out of their normal headquarter and into the long term memories. They travel through Riley’s , run into her imaginary friend with the song-powered wagon who end up saving them and helping them get back to Riley’s core mind and emotional center.  

There are several moments that really make you think–especially the ending where all the emotions realize no one memory is controlled by one emotion forever. Sadness and joy realize they need to work together to be a healthy person and to help Riley Get through life. There are also plenty of moments where the emotions have a rational thought despite being controlled by one type of feeling or thought. And there are plenty of moments of laughter because whatever the character just said is the one thing you wish everyone would say out loud but doesn’t. 

Inside Out is a new set of movies trying to open people up to talking about feelings–ALL OF THEM. I hope live action and animation take more advantage of a topic that could help millions of people.  Keep it up, learn something fun or new and continue to laugh. Thank you Pixar!

Adventures In Writing

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small tidbits before they jump ship to my upcoming phoenix-spirit.com website

2300 and not even a chapter done

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Hello everyone! I am so excited I couldn’t wait to publish what I am about to tell you…

I have finally managed to get the first 2000+ words done for what will hopefully be my very own novel.  Right now I have three main working ideas for stories but since this story has the most written and probably the most worked out about the details, I thought I would share a piece. Feel free to comment away (positively or critically); Please note that this is a FIRST DRAFT and while I hope to be a good writer, I was hardly ever a good grammar student.

Anyways, here it is:

Chapter One: Meeting for a Meeting

Anna mumbled to herself as she burrowed through her closet like digging puppy dog.

“I cannot believe I am even concerned about what I should wear! It’s just another meeting.”  But she was more concerned than ready about her appearance and how she looked. Her eyes ran her closet again and again, her hands pulled back the hangers one at a time looking for the attire she knew would look best on her.  Her thoughts racing through her mind

“I never go with the intention of dressing up.  It’s just this once-I feel as though something important is coming.  I need to be ready—to look nice without all the special effects.” Normally the dress was white, just like all her other clothes, but the moment Anna touched it the dress would beginning to reveal its true nature.  She knew she had found the one. The dress was simple yet elegant, with cuffed chiffon sleeves and a heart shaped neck line.  It revealed just enough to catch a well-mannered man’s attention but concealed enough to turn away the sleazy, desperate jerks at a dinner party.  She slipped it on, gathered her hair out of the way to carefully pull up the zipper from behind while glancing over towards the mirror.  This dress always just fit right.  No matter how much time had passed or for what event Anna decided to wear it for.  After she smoothed out the wrinkles-Anna pleasantly remembered how the fabric cautiously touched the back of her legs just below the knee.

“Always the perfect spot” she thought.  Anna never owned nor wanted a dress to land above her knee — no matter how skinny, how tall or how beautiful she was. Not only was anything above the knee one of the most unflattering parts of her body but it seemed the shorter the dresses seemed to be, the more untangled her emotions  would become.  She could not figure out why but she imagined it had something to do with the sexed-feeling short attire created.  As a result, Anna never wore a swimsuit, never wore shorts and never wore a dress above the knee.

The dress wildly flourished from its blank white canvas into a dark royal bluish-purple galactic night sky setting with flashes of shimmering diamonds meant to represent the millions of stars shining throughout deep space and time. It was a perfect image for a night such as tonight. Anna was thankful her emotions had not run off on an unrelated tangent to the evening’s events.  She knew now that the dress would remind others of the great accomplishments that the Emotions Global Organization, or E.G.O.,  had made in science and space travel.  People always thought of E.G.O as a psychologically based organization-looking to understand the emotions of others and of those defined as Emomans (emotion-based humans) such as Anna. Rarely did people remember the great strides the group had made in harnessing light travel and its connection to space, time and the Milky Way.  So Anna wanted to make a bold yet subtle statement about E.G.O’s science connections and between her comet-flamed hair and spaced-themed attire, she thought she was making the most subtly bold statement possible.

“It’s just another meeting” she sighed again in thought. To Anna-every E.G.O. meeting was just another meeting. She had seen and heard them all. Special demonstrations, video presentations of old and new material, and all the unique guests ranging from the new hire in the copy room (who did manage to provide a lengthy and rather lackluster presentation of why one must shred all documentation to protect paper fraud) to dignitaries and leaders from around the world. Yet somehow Anna knew that this evening was meant to be different. The Chief had been unnaturally stressed and overbooked with meetings, especially with the new Investigative Division, or ID, of E.G.O.  And he had purposely not included her in the discussion of the project despite their morning ritual of catching up over coffee and tea. In fact, yesterday the Chief had Anna just drop off his cup of joe with a lack of dialogue and a slam of his office door.   She knew he was up to something. Something extremely important.

So Anna made the extra effort to look clean and classy for the evening’s festivities.  It would show the Chief that she was not just the innocent child he had brought into the organization, but a woman.   And with her starlit dress and jeweled necklace, there would hopefully be others noticing her new look.

Now onto hair and makeup. Anna’s hair was her defining character. Along with her beautiful pearl shaped eyes. You see, being an Emomans has some minor advantages. Since one wore their emotions “on their sleeve”, their appearance could chance at any moment. Yet it still required the standard attention to detail and practical grooming habits of your average human. Except for Anna. She had the uncanny ability to arrange her hair in such a way that would line in exactly with how she felt. Tonight she had beautiful black curls that fell down to the middle of her back with flashes of purple and blue streaks to match her dress.

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While she was adding the finishing touches of her makeup, Anna heard the door bell ring.

“Coming” she yelled, as she quickly tip-toed across the wooden floor of her condo to pick up her wedges laying near the front door.  She quickly glanced over at the kitchen stove, checking the time before opening the door: 7:00. He was early. But then again, the Chief was always early.  A habit he wanted to instill in every member of the E.G.O. A habit that Anna had not quite grasped yet.  She was hoping for once-for at least this one night-that the Chief would have taken his time to grease his bald head or straighten his tie for just a few minutes longer. It would have given her a few minutes more to style her hair or decide on a matching eye shade before he arrived.  Instead  he had shown up earlier than usual-even for the Chief.  Another awkward behavior displayed by the man who never acted out of the ordinary.  Something important must be part of the new announcements for tonight.  Anna quickly grabbed her shoes, checked the peephole and unlocked the chain-linked lock and deadbolt to see her oldest and dearest mentor-friend pacing on the other side of the door.

“I hope you’re ready.” The Chief ushered himself in before Anna could formally say anything and continued talking.

“I’m sorry I’m a little early but I forgot one small detail.  When I said I would be picking you up  I forgot to say that I’m also responsible for picking up the evening’s guest.”  Anna’s forehead burrowed again.  Another unusual maneuver and purposely left out detail from the Chief.

“A reminder would have been helpful.” Anna chimed in.  She was getting frustrated at the Chief’s intentional lack of inclusion. The Chief gave her a quick grin out of the corner of his mouth. Anna could tell he was trying to be sincere while realizing her disappointment.  But she didn’t have time to contemplate the Chief’s emotions any further.

“I hope you don’t mind, then, me finishing my face on the way over. ” She grabbed her travel makeup kit, a couple colors of eye shadow and her favorite necklace she commonly referred to as “Ice Fire.”  It was a blue string of reflective heart-shaped beads, varying from white to yellow to orange that started at the back of her neck and increased in size until they reached a single red heart that hovered over her chest.  The heart was surrounded by cerulean colored stones that appeared to glow whenever Anna felt a sensation of love or charity.  It had been an anonymous gift left in her office mailbox a few months back with no tag, no note, no nothing.  She attempted to return it to its rightful owner but for some reason, the necklace always spoke to her-tugged at her heart strings.  Anna was glad when no previous owner came forward.  As for the reasons why the necklace spoke to her – and only to her- she had no idea.

“He doesn’t live that far away. Let’s get going-I have the car is waiting downstairs.”  Anna shuttered back into the present.  She scooped the round wine glass quickly off the kitchen counter for a last minute swig of water.

“The car?” By this point, the Chief was already grabbing her coat and half way out the door.

“Yes-the car. You know-something with four wheels and a horn under the hood?”

“I know what a car is, Chief. I just didn’t know E.G.O. had “the car.”

“Actually, its a Chevy Suburban and yes, there is “the car.”  It was purchased several years ago, when the Organization wanted to promote itself.  But E.G.O doesn’t do a lot of traveling. That’s the problem and advantage  with being based in a major metropolis like New York.  The need for an actual car, let alone a large car, is almost pointless.  The clicking of the rails on the subway or the sweet hum of the city you hear while walking across any of the grand plazas takes precedent over any four-wheeled gas guzzling box.” Until that moment, Anna had forgotten The Chief’s deep love for self-sustaining communal life.  Now she was reminded that maybe she should get him a herb garden gift set for Christmas instead of another sarcastic coffee mug.

“I guess you’ve made your point.”

By that time, Anna had followed the Chief down the stairs of her complex and towards the shiny new black Suburban parked illegally on the street in front of her building.  The Chief grabbed the front door and helped Anna into the vehicle then quickly moved jogged around to the driver’s side.  He turned the key, released the brake and zoomed off towards the next step on his evening’s taxi route. Anna sat quietly, pondering all of the Chief’s curious behaviors over the past few weeks, including tonights actions. Using the car? Arriving early? What could be so important that would cause the Chief to overreact in every action he preformed? Or why he continually hide himself from her view during what appeared to be extremely important gatherings? Maybe because she is tonight’s special guest. That he would finally reveal her true nature to E.G.O. Or maybe it was just her emotions running around in her head. Whatever the reason, she figured that there was no use confusing herself with questions about “what if” scenarios.  She decided to start with an easy focus.

“So who are we going to be picking up?”  The Chief appeared to ignore her

“Huh?”

“I said who are we going to be picking up?” Distracted as always, Anna thought.

“Oh, yes. The special guest. Well-I’ll let you see for yourself. He lives right around the corner.”

Anns could see that her dress design was starting to twist and turn from the galactic dark blue beauty to a midnight blue filled with white and silver lines cutting across the pattern like glass.  The design change even made her more upset for she was determined to keep the same attire for the entire evening and not let her emotions get the best of her.  She had only learned recently that her thoughts and feelings could work together in attempt to control her physical appearance so that random hair explosions or pounding headaches didn’t debilitate her for an afternoon or an entire week.  Nevertheless, Anna was still frustrated that the Chief continued to keep secret all of the evening’s festivities.  She rolled her eyes at him and laid her head to rest in the palm of her hand positioned carefully against the handle of the door.

The car brakes screeched to a halt.

“Looks like we’re here!”

“Oh joy” Anna huffed.

“Hey-you should be lucky I even included you tonight.” The Chief unbuckled his seat belt as he simultaneously opened the door and shut of the car.

“Why don’t you wait here in the car while I go get our guest. Shouldn’t be more than a minute.”

“Sure. But be sure to bring him out without a bag over his head. I’d like to meet the person I’ll be sharing a car ride with.” Anna could tell her eyes were beginning to turn the same pattern as her dress.

“Don’t worry. Just promise me you won’t jump out of your seat.” The Chief smiled back.

Anna relaxed into the leather seat.  Somehow knowing the Chief was not going to hide any longer was a soothing and comforting feeling. She was able to regain her composer and the bitter sharp glass lines began to fade. Anna managed to retrace her emotions and bring back the original pattern of her current attire, solar systems and all. Her eyes went back to a soft moonlit midnight- until she looked up out the partially cracked window towards the combination of footsteps approaching the vehicle she was sitting in. First she saw the Chief, galloping in wide strides towards the driver’s door.  He turned to reveal a man she knew all too well but at the same time not at all. He had been promoted recently to E.G.O. Investigative Division and commissioned with a task of investigating something “top secret” and off limits to even the Chief at times. His name was Freddie Graham. And Anna, for once, was glad she was sitting down instead of standing.  For she would have definitely collapsed on her knees by the sight of Freddie in a sleek black suite complete with black dress shirt and tire.  Especially as the twinge of shimmering blue sheer fabric that flickered with every moment of his body towards the car.