A Poem: Shatter, Juggle, Human

Heya, blogosphere. Just a poem today.

It’s the same in the graphics and in the text, so it can be read either way — you can either read the graphics or scroll past them to the text. 🙂

Thanks for reading. ❤

dear everyone
i have let down:

i am sorry

for that email i didn’t reply to

for that book i said i would read
for you
and never
got around to reading

for that thing i said
i would do
and didn’t
do

for everything else
that i should be
sorry for

i’m sorry that i
am human
and fail
and have only time
limited
and that when life is hard
i sometimes
am too tired
to do
the thing
or that i put it
in a safe folder
in my brain
so safe
that it gets lost
and i cannot
find
it again

i’m sorry
that sometimes
when i’m juggling
a glass ball or million
that sometimes i
d
r
o
p
one
or several
and it (they) breaks (break)
and the broken pieces
are all i see
on the ground
even while i’m juggling
the ones
that are most important
(i hope)

and the shattered tasks
and wishes
and hopes
and wishing well
and meaning
good things
but being human
are broken & need to be
swept up
and started fresh
before my feet can
step
on shards of splintered intentions
and make me fall
and
d
r
o
p
all the others

i wish
i could be
like a robot
who can juggle them all
each
glittering glass ball of
life things & thoughts & dreams
wishes, promises, meanings
and would never
drop one
and would succeed
each time
and to always
get it right
each
time

but i think
a robot
would not feel
feel
feel
or stop
to look around
at the
reasons
to keep juggling
and a robot
is not
who i am
anyway

a robot does not
know
dreams
or people
or love or care
for people
and those are
reasons
to keep juggling

and so
i am sorry
but i hope that i
can keep on
juggling
the things that
matter
most
and i hope
that one of those is
your
thing

even if it has
to be
a new thing
not an old one
that i am still sorry
this not-robot
dropped
and lost
and felt
sorry for
for all these minutes & years & time
now to be
swept up & tidied away
in a safe folder
in my brain
so safe
that it gets lost
and i cannot
find
it again

so that i can move
forward
and juggle
and feel
for the right reasons
for dreams
and for people
like
you
again

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9-Year Blogiversary + Giveaway!

Nine years ago, on September 9th, 2013, I created my first blog — namely this one!

It’s true I have another one and also that my posting has been nearly nonexistent on both of them this last year, but I still have a huge soft spot for this li’l original blog of mine! So I love to celebrate when it has another “birthday” and today is no exception.

To celebrate, I’m giving away a hardcover copy of In the Region of the Summer Stars by Stephen R. Lawhead, book one in the Eirlandia trilogy! (US only; sorry INT peeps! Scroll down for the info.)

There are a couple of reasons why I chose this book.

One is that, over on my book blog today, I posted a review for the second and third books in the Eirlandia series. So you can CHECK THAT OUT if you like! (And if you haven’t read my review for the first book, which I’m giving away today, you can do so HERE.)

The other reason is . . . Well . . . This little Road of a Writer blog was my first official “internet home” where I put down roots in the blogging community and started sharing my writing journey. It’s . . . been a long and winding road, and sometimes I need to remind myself that the journey is more than the destination (that elusive destination). But more than that, sometimes, like Bilbo Baggins, I have a hankering for a cozy, homey place when the adventure is a little much. That homey place for Bilbo is his Hobbit hole at Bag End in the Shire with the kettle singing. That homey place of the internet for me is this little blog. And one of the homey places I’ve discovered more recently in literature is Eirlandia. It sings to my heart and makes me long to live there, among the rolling green hills and the noble people and the land of wonder. So . . . it felt fitting to share a little bit of that ancient-Ireland home-on-the-page with some other reader, here on the ninth anniversary of my internet home’s foundations being laid.

(And, of course, giving away presents on one’s birthday — or in this case, one’s blog’s birthday — is a time-honored Hobbit tradition, speaking of Bilbo and giveaways.)

To all my readers . . . Thank you for dropping by my internet home! It’s always an honor. ❤

And happy blogiversary to my li’l ol’ blog!

GIVEAWAY

EDIT: Giveaway closed. Congrats to Sarah P.! Thanks, everyone, for entering!

To enter to win, drop by the Rafflecopter at this link!

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

(Giveaway is open 9/9/22-9/14/22. US only. Must be 18 or have parental permission. One winner will be chosen at random. Winner will be contacted by email and will have one week to respond before another winner is chosen. This giveaway is for one (1) hardcover copy of the book IN THE REGION OF THE SUMMER STARS by Stephen R. Lawhead, is hosted by Deborah O’Carroll, and is not affiliated with the author, WordPress, or any other entity. Not responsible for packages lost in the mail.)

Thanks so much for reading and for celebrating with me!

Funnest Films/Shows I Watched Last Year

Today, something random!

Because I haven’t posted in almost literally forever, and I found this in my drafts and thought I’d finish it and share it. (A wizard is never late — my new blogging tagline for when I vanish for months. ;))

My movie and show watching is super varied and one of the few true “hobbies” I have, meaning I don’t overanalyze it or pressure myself about it like I do about everything else. XD (*cough*Writing and reading.*cough*)

That said, because last year I actually kept track of what I watched (which I don’t always do), here are a few films and shows I enjoyed!

(Just a disclaimer that I don’t necessarily endorse all the films/shows below and their content etc.)

ALL THE SHOWS I WATCHED IN 2021

(Not pictured: The Mandalorian, Leverage: Redemption, Almost Paradise, and Over the Garden Wall)

This category isn’t so much “funnest” as “all.” XD There were several shows last year I watched a bit of here or there, but the ones I watched more than a few episodes of were:

  • Avatar: The Last Airbender – Finished Season 2 and 3 and YES, FINALLY HAVE SEEN IT! Adored this show. XD So happy I finished it. 😀 Zuko, Uncle Iroh, and Sokka are my faves.
  • The Mandalorian — Most of (but have to finish S2) – Enjoying so far, mostly! Mando himself is the absolute best and Baby Yoda is adorable.
  • Leverage — I re-watched the entire original Leverage show last year! I don’t re-watch shows, really? It takes long enough to watch one once. But it had been a long time since I’d seen it and it was a huge comfort re-watch during a stressful year last year, and was just so fun. ^_^
  • Leverage: Redemption — All of it so far – Eh. There were ups and downs; not as good as the original but I did enjoy parts of it. Mostly Eliot Spencer. XD
  • Almost Paradise — All of it so far – I needed something to try after missing Eliot and co. from those two shows, so I tried this one out and it was an enjoyable show with Christian Kane, and while it had the usual cop-show kind of stuff, I appreciated the extra humor. 🙂 I’m curious to see more.
  • Over the Garden Wall – I don’t even know why but this was so addicting and kind of amazing and I have mixed feelings about the end but otherwise it was adorable/spooky and AAHH WHAT DID I JUST WATCH? This made an impression and I’m basically Wirt. XD (And my sister and I randomly say POTATOES AND MOLASSES sometimes now.)
  • The Librarians – I watched the first couple of seasons last year, and actually finished at the beginning of this year – SO fun! As with any show there were less-favorite things, but on the whole I just really enjoyed the characters and the concept and fantasy element and it was just a crazy fun show! (Yes, I did watch a lot of Christian Kane last year. He plays a lot of fun characters. XD)

SOME MOVIES I ENJOYED IN 2021

(Not pictured: Shang Chi, A Cinderella Christmas, and The Button of Doom)
  • Studio Ghibli — I watched a few of these (still need to finish them, though) and my favorite ones overall that I watched last year were probably Ponyo, Up On Poppy Hill, and The Castle of Cagliostro. Also, the hero and music in Princess Mononoke are also MY ABSOLUTE FAVORITE!!! (Even if the film as a whole was a bit too dark for my personal taste. O_O But I adored parts of it!)
  • Jason Bourne 3, 4, and 5 — Yeahhh, I figured out I love Jason Bourne movies. XD I just…I enjoy them? I was sad about a certain death in the final one but otherwise I had a blast watching the final three in the series.
  • The Mummy — I finally watched this series! XD I don’t love everything about them, especially the spookiness (and the change of actress for the final movie), but they were fun adventures and I enjoyed the humor and characters a lot. ^_^ Soo much fun!
  • Pride and Prejudice (1985) — I had never seen this older version! It wasn’t as gorgeously filmed as newer ones, but I found the casting to be excellent, and the adaption was great too. It was really enjoyable!
  • Shang Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings — This was the only film I saw in theaters last year (I have since seen Dune, though!), for a sibling’s birthday, and while it wasn’t perfect it was definitely a super fun, enjoyable ride and it made me laugh and I enjoyed the characters and it was exciting and pretty and…yeah. Enjoyable. 🙂
  • A Cinderella Christmas — This was a random Christmas movie I watched and it was cute and Cinderalla-y and…I don’t know, I just enjoyed it for some reason!
  • The Button of Doom (short) — I adore the Megamind film. XD So this short in a collection of short films was so much fun! Set after Megamind. Superhero/villain fun. XD

Fave movie rewatches of last year

(Not pictured: The Secret of Moonacre)
  • Howl’s Moving Castle — Because of course! I adore the book the most but the movie’s delightful. It makes me happy!
  • Mortal Engines — I don’t know why I love this movie so much but I DO; I just enjoyed it a ton. So sorry to those who dislike it. XD I’ve decided taste in films/shows is just SO individual and subjective. 🙂
  • Equilibrium — This is a dark one, so beware, but uncharacteristically I really liked this one despite its super-dystopian nature. XD Christian Bale plays a very different sort of character in this.
  • The Secret of Moonacre — Another case of loving the book and movie, despite them being SO different. This one was just…randomly whimsical and fun. 🙂 (The book is called The Little White Horse and I adore it. They’re almost unconnected though. XD)
  • Labyrinth — I had only recently discovered this one after hearing about it for YEARS and yeah, it’s kind of strange but it was just kind of a blast. So many great moments! And I finally “met” the Goblin King.

So there’s a glance at some of the funnest things I watched last year! Told you I have strange taste. XD

I’ve not been keeping close tabs on my watching habits this year, but I’ve been dipping into anime this year (give me recs if you have any!) and I saw Dune in the theaters this winter — oh my word. It was so epic!

Let me know if you like any of these, or about something fun you’ve watched recently, or if you have a favorite anime you recommend!

Thanks for reading!

8-Year Blogiversary + Random Search Terms Answered

Happy 8-year blogiversary to my li’l ol’ blog!

Eight years seems so long ago and yet at the same time it feels like I’ve been blogging even longer . . . just not much recently. XD Still, 350 posts (351 now!) isn’t bad.

Anyway, I had plans to do something fun/exciting for this but haven’t really had the time, sooo this is just a quick post so it won’t go unmarked. 😛

For fun, here are some random search terms that have led to my site and some answers to them!

  • howl’s moving castle head cold — I’m proud of whoever searched this and pleased it brought you here. XD
  • forgive yourself thunderstorm — Yes, please do, thunderstorm.
  • good words for watsup — Um. Maybe how’s it going? Or, I don’t know, maybe … what’s up?
  • many happy returns tolkien — Yes indeed. But only on January 3rd.
  • dastan and tamina fanfiction — I don’t have any but I ADORE Prince of Persia, so.
  • Various searches for Marvel characters (mostly Loki or Hawkeye) and/or fanfiction, doubtless leading to random Marvel dreams I wrote down and posted here in the past, before it was cool probably. *awkward laughter*
  • Some questions about different Melanie Dickerson books and characters. O_O
  • Various searches for Ren: The Girl with the Mark and whether there will be sequels. (*SOBS* Sadly, no. T_T The original show is so good, though! Despite the cliffhanger.)
  • diana wynne jones where to start — Start with Howl’s Moving Castle! I have spoken.
  • pictures of perfectionism — Oh dear. I … I … feel called out. *nervous laugh*
  • types of mentor in fantasy movies — Well, not just in movies but definitely some mentors in this post
  • power of three word count diana wynne jones — Now I want to know the answer to this too. Well, a random page in my copy of Power of Three has 241 words on it, and at 328 pages, that averages to 79,048 words. Give or take. Probably take, since chapter beginnings/endings have fewer words …
  • the owl of kedrans wood — Who was searching my book’s title? O_O Sorry to disappoint but it’s not published at this point. *more awkward laughter* At least I’m over half done writing the third book in the series??
  • diana wynne jones quotes — Ooh, try this post! Great DWJ quotes there.
  • amazon — … Well then. That’s awkward.
  • sherlock holmes consulting detective checklist form — I find myself fascinated by this search and how in the world it could have led here. XD

So there is your dose of humor/randomness for the day.

Happy 8th birthday, Road of a Writer. *blows out virtual candles*

And thanks, dear readers, for coming along with me so far!

Have a nice Thursday. Cheers. ❤

Dear Past Writer-Self

13 years ago today, I finished writing my first novel.

Heyo, blog! It’s been a minute. Not having written in ages makes maintaining a writing blog, well, like a frying pan: hard. Who knew, right?

Anyway, August 31 is a special day, since in 2008, on that date, I finished my very first full-length novel.

It must have been pretty exciting, considering how many exclamation points I used on the page written in red pen in a spiral notebook when I wrote The End on a novel for the first time.

That was half my life ago now.

Since then?

  • I’ve finished some half-dozen novels, a couple of novellas, and a couple dozen short stories.
  • I have several other tales in various stages along the way.
  • Haven’t published anything.
  • I’ve given up on some publishing dreams, had new ones, given up on those, and need to probably poke one or the other of those dreams awake again one of these days. (The problem with dreams is they’re always napping on the job.)

I can’t help but compare my excited 13-year-old self who had just finished her first novel in a spiral-bound notebook (I think it was like 95K words), who was on top of the moon and enjoyed writing for the sake of it, to my half-my-lifetime-later mid-twenties self who hasn’t written in four months due to . . . something.

If I figure out what, that might help. Exhaustion both physical and emotional, busyness, lack of focus . . . something. I know I should give my writer self the benefit of the doubt — I’ve been dealing with a lot in my life this year and I have a job, neither of which my 13-year-old writer self would understand.

But the fact remains that my writing has been nonexistent or barely-there for a long time now.

My stories are not silent. I’ve had several brainstorms for several of my WIPs these last few months. They knock on the door of my mind, often without warning, sometimes without even knocking — simply barreling the door down and presenting me with new mind-blowing revelations about plots and characters and settings and storylines that I’ve been neglecting on-page for too long.

My stories are not silent. They are alive and bursting with new brainstorms — sometimes a torrential thunderstorm, sometimes a quiet flickering summer lightning storm if I’m busy or tired. But I’m always discovering new things about them as they simmer on the back burner like a patient oatmeal or a scientific experiment waiting to fizzle over and explode — not sure which.

My stories are not silent. It’s only my pen that is.

2020 was bad for my writing. 2021 has been worse.

In 2020 I wrote less than 40% of what I usually write. In 2021, so far, 2/3rds in, I’ve written less than 40% of what I wrote in 2020.

I have a coiled-threads mess of feelings about this that I’m having a hard time untangling.

  • Sadness — I haven’t been writing.
  • Super Stressed — Will I ever write again?
  • Resigned — Well, I’m busy and have no energy, so there’s nothing I can do about it right now.
  • Apathetic — Okay but do I really care tho’ [*slaps apathetic self who is probably just tired*]
  • Be-kind-to-yourself — Life is stressful and this non-writing is just a season. Breathe. And stop feeling guilty, for the love of frying pans. (Who knew, right?)

I’m not sure which of these is . . . the real thing . . . if there is one.

Did I mention I overthink things? 😛

Dear 13-year-old-me:

I’m so proud of you for finishing that first novel! Ethan and company (okay, mostly your Duncan obsession, and the bears too) are in written-book form, and regardless of what happens to it in the future, that’s something awesome.

If you could write a letter to me now, I wonder what you would say?

Would you be impressed at what I’ve written since then? Would you be disappointed I haven’t published anything? Flabbergasted that I could go four months without writing a single thing? Confused at how I’ve managed to make everything that used to be a joy about writing and reading into a chore?

Would you tell me to find my joy again? To write for the fun of it? To breathe in and out and forget that I have failed so many times and instead to just start again?

Start again . . .

That brings to mind the song “Start Again” by Red. (Listen. Or lyrics.) It’s one of the theme songs for two brothers in my WIP The Other Half of Everything.

I’m singing it in my head, to you, past-self. (Even though you don’t like rock music yet.)

Can we start again?

Love, your future (now present) mid-twenties writer-self