Tuesday, December 14

Poem Submitions

I just sent three of my poems from this semester to a Literary Journal, called Prick of the Spindle. It was part of our last project in class to find a journal we would like to be published in and see if they would accept our work. After finding this journal, it took me a week to get up the courage to submit my work. I am pretty freaked out about what the response will be, although its not like getting rejected would be a surprise.

Here are a few of the poems i submitted, i hope at least you like them!


Footprints
(This poem is called a Pantoum, where there is a specific repeating line pattern, basically where the 2 and 4th lines of the previous stanza become the 1 and 3rd lines in the next stanza, ending with the 1 and 3 lines of the 1st stanza becoming the last stanza's 2 and 4th lines)

The sun slammed onto the sky
Shining over everything.
Then a footprint in the sky
Looked like a smile.

Shining over everything,
I sought for the footprint-
Looked like a smile-
Until I was able to catch it.

I sought for the footprint
While the sun beat down
Until I was able to catch it,
And put it in my hand.

While the sun beat down
I gathered up the footprint
And put it in my hand
When I found it it wasn’t

I gathered up the footprint
Then a footprint in the sky
When I found it wasn’t
The sun slammed onto the sky.





10 Ways to Hold My Hand

1
A hand so little
It can only grab my heart
2
You cling to her hand,
she is the protector of your childhood
3
A chaste kiss-
lips meeting yet not touching
4
A not letting go of hearts
And the will to never be apart
5
fingers intertwined
Hidden behind a table
6
Two half moons coming
together to make a wish
7
Holding so hard
It comes from fear not love
8
Grabbing at my hand
Forcing me to follow
9
A plea for a new hand in
place of your own
10
With a final act
I squeeze your hand and leave


Buttons and High Heels

The Windex
Wasn’t meant for
Furniture.

It ended up ruining
the couch your mother
Bought for us when
We got married.

The couch that’s blue
And yellow and didn’t
Match anything else
We owned.

I had to throw it
Out, put it out for
The garbageman
To take care of.

Your only response
A terse,
Do they even have
Windex for furniture?

Saturday, November 6

Surprise

candles lit
open the door,
SURPRISE!

your fake smile
is so secure
I could never
see through it.

you are only
hiding from yourself.
maybe its time
to let go.


over a piece
of chocolate cake
you tell me:

It can't work
you need space
time
air.

I stare out
I see nothing
nothing but you.


you left your presents
and cake
and walked away

everyone stops talking,
turn to look at me
huddled in the chair
tears streaming,

and I tell them:
eat more cake.

Angel in the Mirror

to see what you see when you look at me—
my wrinkles
my bad haircut
puffy eyes and acne showing
glasses that cover half my face
what do you see when you see me?
my size 10 shoes
and my extra long jeans that are a little too big in the butt
my cracked and torn nails with messy polish on them that’s chipping already.

I see you when I look at you—
your laugh lines mean that you are joyful
your hair is long and thick
I think you are the most beautiful when you first wake up, face fresh from a night of sleep
I see the woman I fell in love with
just as tall as I am,
feet fit to travel
long, lean legs with the best butt I’ve seen
nails that prove to me you work hard and never back down from a dirty job.

I see you, just as you are.

Sunday, September 19

Buttons and High Heels

That Windex
wasn’t meant for
furniture.

It ended up ruining
the couch your mother
bought for us when
we got married.

The couch that’s blue
and yellow and didn’t
match anything else
we owned.

Do they even make
Windex for furniture?

Monday, September 6

A new year, a new me?

So, as you know, I spend my summer in California, at Alpine Camp. My job was to be a Host for the guest groups that stayed there. I was excited about it at first, but the job was quite demanding and very draining. As the summer went on, I lost my enthusiasm for helping, and for serving and it became simply a job to do. I was able to enjoy parts of it, but by the end of the summer I was quite ready to be done with camp.

The group of summer staffers that I lived with were really great, and the time I was able to spend with them was awesome. The major drawback to my job was the hours, and that I worked almost every weekend. This meant that when the counselors and leadership staff weren't working, I most likely was, and vise versa. Even so, I got to know some really great people and I miss them a lot now that I am back in Chicago.

I have been back in the city for 8 days. I flew back last Sunday and started school last Monday. This past week has been so crazy! With school and my job sitting desk at one of the dorms, I spend most of my free time sleeping. It has been mostly fun, catching up with friends and meeting new ones, getting back into the rhythm of school life. One thing that I am going to focus on this semester is making sure that I will be able to graduate in December 2011, and then looking at grad schools. I have a dream of being a novelist, and I need to really try and figure out if that is possible.

In the next few months, I will be posting many poems and maybe even a few short stories, and as always my commentaries on life in general and at a Christian college.

Let Junior year begin!

Tuesday, August 17

Things

Sitting
on a box
full of
things-

my
things.

Do you know
how much I love you?

I can't seem
to fully see
just how many

things
you have done for me.

I keep trying,
and that's the
important

thing.

cords,
blankets
clothes
books

these
things

are all I have

and I have you.

what are these
things
compared to you?
You are

so much
more
than
things

I wish I could
express to you
how much I am
thankful for
that
thing
you did.

It can't compare
to my boxes-
to the
things
i am giving you.

You did the only
thing
that can truly save me,

and so I will keep my
things

and continue to
thank you
for that
one
thing.

Tuesday, July 6

Change for a Dollar?

So, according to a personality test, I am a Golden Retriever. Some of the characteristics are a need for peace and harmony in life, as well as a desire to have a few friends and to know them deeply, a third is the inability to change. There are more, but if you know me at all, these three are enough to know that I am a Golden Retriever through and through. The characteristic I have the hardest time making sure it doesn't become a hinderance is the change. Now, this isn't like I can't change my schedule for the day, or have something different for dinner, it is a big picture, I had plans and now I can't do those plans change.

Take for instance, my summer plans. I had it planned out that I would go to summer school, overload on classes next year and graduate a year early. I was super excited to be done with college that early and on to the next phase of my life. God had other plans. He wanted me to take my time, enjoy my time at school and focus on Him. I found this out by having all of my plans fall through in a span of 2 days. Talk about a frustrating time. The thing I struggled with most was that I couldn't do what I wanted to do. I had ideas of how my life was going to go, and I can't do that anymore.

I slowly was able to get over my desires and to focus on God's instead. But, again, this summer is not going as planned. I expected free time at night to hang out with my friends who work in different departments than I do, time to sleep normally and especially time to hang out with my boyfriend. I am getting that, but in smaller doses and at different times than I expected. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it is a change in my plans. Also, this week I had expected to work days, and I found out today that I am actually going to work nights.

Now, there are 2 shifts, 6am-3:30 and 3:30 to 1am. I didn't really like working the morning shift, but I hated working the night shift, and was actually looking forward to working 2 weeks on the day shift. This shift allows me time to hang out with friends, go on dates and have more interactions with the guests. During the night shift, there is a lot of sitting around because the guests are all asleep. I am there just in case.

But, I am working the night shift, and I know that God is using this as another tool to mold me into a better woman and a more flexible one. I need to be able to handle change easily and to not fall apart whenever my plans go a rye.

I am also working on not complaining this summer, and the funny thing is, that when I don't take the time to complain about something going on and simply focus on accomplishing the task at hand, I can be cheerful and the time goes quickly.

I know that someday I will be able to handle change and to simply take what is given me with no complaints, at peace in the knowledge that it is all a part of God's plan for my life.

Thursday, June 24

Serving

Today I said the phrase, "I am here to serve you." It's an interesting feeling, living my life to benefit others, especially when they want silly little things and can't be satisfied easily. This summer, my job is to do what ever it takes to make the guests at camp happy and impressed. My life is for their benefit. I have to wake up extremely early and work long hours in order to make their time here go smoothly and so that they can have the best possible time.

Now, I'm used to serving: for the past four summers I have given up my time to counsel kids at camp. But, never have I given so much of my self as I have in the past 4 days. Every minute I am working, i am thinking about ways to help the guests, to make sure that what they want accomplished gets accomplished.

This is what I am doing with the rest of my summer, for the next 10 weeks, I will be pushing myself to exhaustion, going above and beyond to make the ministry here that much more powerful. This is what I want to do with my life, serve others, be a part of their ministry and growth. That's why I want to be a stay at home mom so much. I think it is so important to be a part of a child's life, as a mother who is there during the day, or a counselor in the summer or as a host for guest groups.

This is what Christ did for us, in a way. He has done every sort of service possible, and walks along side us as we grow and learn to minister like he did.

I am so thankful for the opportunity this summer to be like Christ and to serve in every way known and unknown. I just pray that I may be changed fundamentally by this experience to give of myself all year long.

Monday, May 17

Stranger

In a land so far from my own
I stare
my mouth agape at
the differences
the vacant lots
the run down streets
the houses so close together
with no yard.

I stick out like
vanilla on chocolate.
What do they think of me,
coming here with all my riches
and a giant van
to stare at them?

What do I think of them?

I see the differences only
but, given time
I see that the few streets that
separate us
aren't impassible;
it just takes
one of us
to cross the unseen
barrier.

There are people living
here just like there:
we are all just people

defined by those around us.
We become unable to see
past the lens
of our society.

But these barriers,
unseen by the ones
who place them,
can only be torn down
by recognition.

How can I recognize
what I can not see?

We must take a chance,
make a move.
It is up to us to
change
the world around us.

It ends with hope,
with eyes open
and hands open
to change.

The stranger in a strange land
can be welcomed home there

if only they are given
a chance.

Friday, May 7

Packing

I really hate packing.

Right now I am sitting at my desk with my room full of boxes and bags and such getting ready for moving out tomorrow. I am pretty bad at packing too. I just can't figure out how to fit a whole lot into only a few boxes. I go for the small but many boxes. easier to carry but it takes more trips. Some may say this is a good thing, some might not. I don't really care, I just want to get it all done.

It is interesting to think that this is my life that I am packing away, fitting into little nooks and crannies of boxes, throwing some things away, keeping most of it. But it's my life. My life as told by things. Each thing has a story of how I got it, why I got it, how I've used it or ignored it.

Reminds me of that phrase "if walls could talk". If my stuff could talk, what would it say about me? That I work hard with what I'm given? That I buy useless things a lot, even when I know I should save my money? That I care about my friends, and random people who live on my floor? That I eat a lot? That I have a lot of books that don't get read? I wonder...

What does your stuff say about you? Does thinking about that make you happy? or sad?

What can we do to make sure we can be proud of how we use our stuff? God has given us everything we need, and when we think we need something new, is that need or want?

Today I experienced very fully just how well God provides for you. He has laid my future out for me, but only let me see a little bit at a time. I am learning, slowly but surely, that to rely on him for all of my needs, for food, shelter, clothing, money, everything, should be my daily prayer. He really does provide for us fully, and if we would trust him and look to him everyday to see what he will bring us that day, i am sure that we would enjoy life more, be more free and eager to do new things, and be more excited for the future rather than afraid of it.

So, what does your stuff say about you? Are you trusting God with everything? or are you storing up treasures here on Earth?

Tuesday, April 27

Dictionary Life

This is a segmented essay that i wrote for my Writing Creative Non-Fiction class called Dictionary Life:

Read: look at and comprehend the meaning of (written or printed matter) by mentally interpreting the characters or symbols of which it is composed.

✻✻✻✻✻✻


I read Green Eggs and Ham, all on my own, for the first time. When I finished, I jumped up, with a heart full of accomplishment, to go and tell my mother what I had done. Reading this book is the earliest moment I can remember when I felt like I had really achieved something.


Book: a written or printed work consisting of pages glued or sewn together along one side and bound in covers.


In first grade, I was bumped up to the highest reading level in that grade. Already I was reading simple chapter books. My mother tells me that I wouldn’t read anything my brothers didn’t read, and they are four and five years older than me.


Learn: gain or acquire knowledge of or skill in (something) by study, experience, or being taught.


In fifth grade, I was put in the accelerated reading class called Project Idea. One of the highlights was when we acted our A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I was Hermia, one of the lead females. I loved all of the lines I got to read, and how important I felt, I couldn’t understand when the other kids, who watched our play, laughed at me when I acted out my distress at waking up alone, Dimetrius having been put under a spell to fall in love with Helena.


Comprehend: grasp mentally; understand; include, comprise, or encompass.


In Jr. High, again, I was in the accelerated English class. We had a list of spelling words that were of a high school English class; we were told that we would get extra credit if we found them in books that we were reading. One day I presented over 60 places where I found the words in different books I had read that week.


Define: state or describe exactly the nature, scope, or meaning of; give the meaning of (a word or phrase), esp. in a dictionary.


Freshman year of High school, I was in a normal English class, but when we read To Kill a Mockingbird I had radical ideas about the characters that no one, including my teacher understood. This is the same teacher who tried to teach us that when a quoted sentence begins in the middle of a preexisting sentence, the quoted sentence wasn’t capitalized.


Syntax: the arrangement of words and phrases to create well-formed sentences in a language; a set of rules for or an analysis of this; the branch of linguistics that deals with this.


By my senior year of high school, I was coaching the rest of my class on Shakespeare: how to read and understand Macbeth. When I told them I hoped to be a high school English teacher, none of them were surprised.


Teach: show or explain to (someone) how to do something.


In college I realized that my heart was for the written word, for expressing myself with words. I knew finally what I wanted to do with my life, and it wasn’t teaching. I wanted to be a famous author.


Write: mark (letters, words, or other symbols) on a surface, typically paper, with a pen, pencil, or similar implement; have the ability to mark coherent letters or words in this way.

Monday, April 19

Marriage or Career, should it be a debate?

In the February edition of the North Park Press, there was an article discussing women at North Park and their views on marriage. I wrote a response to it which appeared in the March edition. I wanted to share it with all of you, and I tried to find the article online, but i couldn't. The best i could do, short of retyping it, was to take pictures and post them here.





Although slightly difficult to read, it is much easier to post pictures than to retype the whole article. My response I will post here as well:


I was very frustrated when I read the article “Marriage or career, NP women debate”. It was frustrating because I feel, as a woman, that I shouldn’t have to deal with this kind of subjugation anymore. Why does it matter if I choose a husband or a career, and why do I even have to choose? Why is it a matter of interest as to what women look for in life after college? Why weren’t men asked what they were doing after college? I feel that if you are going to write an article about women in college, it should cover more than just that.

We live in a society where it is perfectly acceptable for women to be in the workplace, to have high-ranking jobs, to run for President. Why is it then important for us to dissect whether or not a woman is looking for a career or a husband? Shouldn’t the question be what do people want life to be after they graduate? Women don’t get engaged to themselves, men are a part of it as well, so why not ask them why they choose to get engaged before they graduate?

This article proves to me that men still see women as a lesser sex; like we are weaker and therefore it is odd when one wants to have a career instead of, or along with, getting married. This is what happened in the ‘50s and the ‘60s is what resulted from it. Women in the ‘50s were housewives, and didn’t hold careers, but after the freedom they had during the war, they realized exactly what men did to them, and they revolted. The Women’s Rights Movement in the ‘60s and ‘70s is what came of that revolt.

Women deserve the same rights and respect that is given men when it comes to choosing a career or choosing a family. I, for one, am excited to be a wife and eventually a stay at home Mom, but I don’t like feeling like I am being judged for not wanting a career. I also don’t want to be seen as just falling into my role as a ‘woman’ to be a stay at home Mom and be the housewife.
I don’t think that we should have separate spheres in society like they had in the early 1900’s and before. The world we live in is bigger than that was. Women have gone through a lot in the history of the world, and we have struggled to be seen as equal to men in so many ways. Are you going to undo all of that by relegating college to be a past time until women can find a suitable husband and get married? I don’t think that is right.

I don’t think that at a time like this, in this day and age, with so many women being CEO’s and leading successful careers and having successful families that an article like this should be printed. The fact that it was written by a man compounds my frustrations. Men have, historically, relegated women to the kitchen. The phrase “barefoot, pregnant, and in the kitchen” certainly didn’t come from a woman!

In the future, I think that an article that deals with this kind of a topic should look at men and women, it should poll more than a few people, and it should make clear that this isn’t the only way things can be or should be done.


I would love to hear your comments on whether you agree with my opinion or with Brian Wallin's. It is an interesting debate that I am sure will continue for many more years before any sort of agreement can be reached about women and their roles in society and in families.

One thing I will say that I have learned through discussing this issue as well as different passages in the Bible that deal with women's conduct in society and in the church is that God has a specific plan for us and that gender distinctions do not always go against that plan, in fact, they reinforce it. It is good for a woman to be a woman and for a man to be a man, anything contrary to that is contrary to God's law.

You may agree, you may not, but that is what I have come to believe is true over the course of this year.

Saturday, April 17

Movie Review: How to Train Your Dragon

Last night, my small group and I went to see How to Train Your Dragon. It is an animated film about a small Viking village with a pest problem... dragons. They grow up learning how to kill dragons and protect the village, and your place in society is judged by how well you kill dragons. Hiccup is the exception. He is a scrawny boy who doesn't fit in. Thus begins the age old story about how the underdog, who isn't respected by anyone, especially his father, overcomes all of it and becomes a hero!

I don't want to give away the ending, so I will stop my narration there. In my opinion, it was a cute movie, with snappy dialogue and adorable dragons. What I was most impressed with was the moral to the story. It was a great example of how society isn't always right, and thinking for yourself gets you very far indeed.

Now, I am no critic, but I think everyone should see this movie, just maybe not in theaters. Matinee's would be great, I just wouldn't pay $8 or $10 to see it (good thing I only paid $5!). Nonetheless, go see it and then go buy a dragon. Trust me, you will want one. I mean, any movie that can turn dragons into misunderstood fire-breathing, crop-destroying, man-eating terror machines is a pretty good movie.

Sunday, April 11

My First Blog

Welcome to my first blog ever!

Actually, that's not completely true... in high school I had a Xanga... that technically was my first blog ever. All I did in that was talk about school and stuff. It was pretty lame.

This blog might turn out to be just as lame. Hopefully not, as I am older and more experienced and have more opinions about things. So, this is really my second attempt at a blog, my first one failing miserably because no one ever read it.

I am sitting in my room right now, avoiding homework by starting this blog and reading Catcher in the Rye and generally drinking in the spring air of Chicago (this is rather sarcastic, as Chicago is rather gross smelling, and certainly not refreshing). Anyway, I am sitting here, struggling to type out this post because it isn't in a Word document, so I don't have automatic capitalization. Sometimes I ignore not capitalizing sentences, on Facebook usually, but here I would like to be an intelligent human being and have correct spelling, grammar and capitalized sentences.

This brings me to what I would like to think every blogger does: set out a goal for the blog. I have been sort of stalling getting a blog because I wanted it to serve a purpose, rather than be just little ol' me writing to no one for no specific reason... that's why I have a journal. So, this won't be a place for me to bare my soul to the world and share deep secrets about life. I do hope to be real here, as I think it is important to be exactly who I am where ever I go. I will discuss different current events, or books that I am reading, because i think that's fun, and because I am an English major, it's kind of what I do all day anyway!

I might also post some poems I have written, or short story ideas, because it's always great for a writer to get feedback on their work.

I think that what finally got me to start this little blog of mine was to keep my family informed about my life. I am an adult (scary thought for some) and will be graduating college in the next year or so. Hopefully, through this blog, my family and friends who can't be with me can still be a part of my life and what I am struggling through and also my joys.

I guess, also, I owe you all an explanation as to the name of my blog. Firefly comes from two sources. The first being one of my all time favorite shows, Firefly, which only ran one season. It stars Nathan Fillian, the current star of the show Castle. If you have not seen either of these shows, stop reading my blog and go watch them. Seriously. He is amazing. Its all online now. Real easy. Go watch it now. The other source is the bug, also known as lightning bugs. They are one of the only bugs that I actually delight in, and many summer evenings of my childhood were spent in catching them and watching their butts light up.

The actual title is in reference to my being a book worm and being able to enjoy an afternoon reading about other peoples imaginary adventures while having none of my own.

I sincerely hope that you will enjoy reading my posts, and that you will keep coming back for more Literary Adventures with me!