Sunday, February 21, 2016

Get to Know Me Tag

I've been tagged in a Get to Know Me Tag by the wonderful, heart-breaking, amazing Sierra Abrams.
I'm tagging Katie and Olivia!

Here we goooo.... :)

Name: Caroline Davies Meek
Nickname: Care Bear, Caro, Carolina, Cocoa...a few more xD
Birthday: September 8, 1998
Place of birth: Kansas
Star sign: Virgo
Occupation: Author & Student

Hair color: Light brown/carmel - although I've always wanted to try dying it darker!
Hair length: About to my elbow
Eye color: Blue-gray - like Annabeth Chase, to my immense delight
Best feature: My eyes? :)
Braces: A few years ago
Piercings: Sadly, I'm extremely allergic so no....but sometimes I wear the little metal cuffs on my upper ear.
Tattoos: Nope!  Maybe one day, something small.
Righty or lefty: Righty!

Best friend: Annabel Sears.  Still my BFFFFFF, even if she lives across an ocean. <3 span="">
Award: I think I got an award in like 4th grade for memorizing a bible verse each week in my youth group. :)
Sport: Volleyball!  Co-captain of my high school varsity team now, as setter and outside hitter.
Real holiday: Honestly, I'm not sure...probably a family trip to Branson, MO with cousins!
Concert: I went to Winter Jam last year, and it was great!  That's the only one so far. xD

Film: I LOVE the Princess Bride.
TV Show: SHERLOCK. <3 a="" also="" nbsp="" once="" span="" time.="" upon="">
Color: Blue! It's always been blue.
Song: Ummm....this is too hard.  I love "The Call" by Regina Spektor.  That's one of my many favorites. ;)
Restaurant: I love Five Guys, if we're talking fast food.  

Shop: Any bookstore. <3 span="">
Books: Welp, this is even harder.  *considers leaving it blank*  Umm, The Hunger Games, Harry Potter, Dancing on the Head of a Pen (review soon to come!), the Eragon series....and on and on...I have a whole bookshelf for my favorites, so...
Magazine: Don't really read many of these.  I do sometimes like science-y ones though!
Shoes: Anything comfortable.  Preferably fuzzy boots.  Or just plain fuzz.

Feeling: Tired, mildly accomplished for doing a blog post, and EXCITED ABOUT THE PROOF COPY OF THE DRAWING IN OF BREATH THAT CAME IN THE MAIL YESTERDAY.
Single or taken: Taken!
Eating: Because of this question, I remembered I was hungry.  So now, I'm eating chocolate cheesecake. <3 span="">
Thinking About: What I'm currently doing.  And all the things I soon have to be currently doing.
Watching: My dog chase ALL THE BIRDS in the backyard.
Wearing: Sweats and a tee shirt!

Want children: Yeah, I think so.
Want to be married: Yes, if God wills it. 
Careers in mind: Writing. (and can I get paid for reading) And writing. Basically that.  And other art stuff.  Maybe I'll start a bookstore.  And edit stuff.  Or be a literary agent.  And write.
Where you want to live: I don't know.....someplace where it isn't cold all the time.

God: Yes!
Miracles: Yeah. :)
Love at first sight: I don't think you can love someone the moment you see them, but you could definitely like them a lot! xD
Ghosts: No? Not really.
Aliens: I don't think so?
Soul mates: Mhm, not exactly sure...I believe God has someone for me though, if that's what this means.
Heaven: Yes!
Hell: Yes.
Kissing on the first date: Nope. Wait. Lol :)
Yourself: Yes, because God is good and gives me strength. (I just left Sierra's answer here, cause it's perfect and I agree.)

Thanks for tagging me, Sierra!!

Sunday, February 14, 2016

The Sound of My Thinking Tag (and The Army of Notebooks Who Stand at Attention)

Introducing...The Sound of My Thinking Tag!  For deep thinkers, wild thinkers, loud thinkers, abstract thinkers, absent-minded thinkers, and beyond!

1. Grab the graphic above
2. Stick it in a post about your thoughts: thought process, deep thoughts, trains of thought, imaginary worlds...(don't forget to include a copy of these rules).  You can personify your Brain, have a conversation with it...the possibilities are endless.
3.Then tag other friends to do the same and thank the person who tagged you!

To start off, I'm tagging Olivia, Carlyn, Sierra, CaitHannah, Katie, CaitKrissyMaddy, Victoria, and Olivia. (although if you like the idea and aren't tagged, tag yourself!)  I can't wait to see your posts - post a link in the comments if you wish!

On to my post...

My thinking can be pretty loud.

Sometimes I don't hear other people talking because I'm so busy talking to myself.  My family can attest to this.  Whether it's nervous-thinking, deep-thinking, gets in the way of out-loud-talking.

(That animal is almost as adorable as that chinchilla. Eep.)
Real life example:  I was getting lunch at the cafeteria last week and the lady said something and I nodded.  Then my brain went on a tangent while she said something else.  I didn't quite hear, so my brain just told me "oh, she just repeated herself."  So I just said "yeah" and nodded again.  Turns out she was asking for my lunch number and "yeah" wasn't a viable answer.

Ever walked into an elevator and then stood there for a full silent minute after the doors close, forgetting to push the button?  Because you were staring at the inspection certificate and playing out an entire scene in your head?  Because the certificate had expired 12 years ago and what if the elevator crashed and what would I do.  I mean you.  Because this is a totally hypothetically situation.  Who would do that, right?  (Me.)  Wait what?

My Brain when I tell it to stop overthinking, thinking-about imaginary-lands-and-ignoring-this-one, thinking-out-the-box, or even just plain thinking:

Then we're not even going to go into what happens at night.

(Okay, maybe we are.) BUT THERE ARE JUST SO MANY IDEAS!  I know brain, that's what daylight is for.  BUT THE BEST IDEAS COME AT NIGHT!  True, true, you have a point...*wrests mind back into control*  There's one fail-safe way to tell if I haven't been sleeping enough: I fall right to sleep.  Lately, I've been quite sleep deprived, so I haven't had too many night strikes from the Brain.  But I'm aware...I'm quite aware (literally, conscious for longer than I should be), when I have been getting enough sleep.

*cue endless writing sessions at ungodly hours*

I keep multiple notebooks at my bedside, for such occasions.  There's the Big Blue General Ideas Notebook, a five-section, gorgeous hunk of paper.  There's the Small Decorative Prayer Journal.  There's the Secret Notebook, whose contents are not to be named.  There's the Bucket List Notebook...which I think I started like a year ago and then haven't written in's still there though. I think.  There's the Advice Notebook.  There are the multiple "I Want to Learn This Foreign Language So I'm Going to Start a Notebook For It, Use About Ten Pages of It, Then Forget About It" Notebooks.  Greek. Nepalese. French. Penguin.  Notebooks for codes I've learned and invented.

The Current Army of Notebooks

Under the bed are the Endless Archives of Notebooks, dating at least 8 years back.  That box is getting full...I must remind myself to get a bigger box.

Bonus: Fluffly Dog posed in my photo shoot, free of charge!
And not to be forgotten, the Empty Notebooks, whom I stockpile in anticipation of, I don't know, the Upcoming Paper Famine.  Always be prepared, folks.

I shouldn't have to mention the pens that go in hand for these ventures.

Aren't they beautiful? *sobs*

But seriously, to give credit to my Brain, much of my best thinking does happen at night.  And then while I sleep....same story.  Often times I spend hours in the morning trying to separate my dreams from reality.  It gets sticky.  I have to ask people if I actually owe them chocolate, or that was just a dream, etc.  (Not that I plan to give away any chocolate anyway...)

During the day, it doesn't stop.  I'm always thinking.  And sometimes I wonder, is it possible to not think?  Can people turn their thinking off and not analyze everything?  Do some people just go through their days, not having excess thoughts about every Sidewalk Acorn they step on?  (If you are one of these fascinating, hypothetical people, I'd love to hear from you.  What is it like, the silence?)  Any opinions on this?

Sometimes the noise is overpowering, harmful, confusing.  It sucks me into a hurricane of thinking, wherein I go in circles for extended periods of time.

But in the brighter times, when I'm not being dragged in circles or failing to hear what someone's saying to me, my thoughts are my dear friends.  I don't know what I'd do without their counsel.  It's a place to go when I'm bored.  I love thinking deeply, especially on paper.  I love thinking logically, hypothetically.

I love dreaming - both at night and during the day.

What are your thoughts like?  Do you ever get lost in them? 

Who else hoards notebooks and ponders acorns?

(.......who doesn't......??)


Wednesday, February 10, 2016

For the Love of....Everything.

My word for 2016: Love

I've seen a lot about choosing a word for the New Year, (even though I know this is really late, just as my last post was)...  God's been teaching me a lot about love recently, and I think the idea can be applied to many parts of my life.  So, I chose the word Love! There are a lot of things I want to do this year.  I'm going to try and do them.  But I want to make sure that I'm doing them because I enjoy them, not because I've made them mindless tasks.  

I want to read books and LOVE them.  Write books and LOVE them.  LOVE the life that I have.

It won't always be a lovely time, but at least I can always try to love.  I also want to love people.  I've seen in the last few months how God chooses people to put in your life for the times in which you need them the most. I LOVE that.  And loving other people so often opens many doors for this to happen.  

I'm going to love people by sending them random, handwritten letters.  Facebook messages.  Giving them hugs.  I want to become a bit more bold in my relationships with people, and be a stronger example of God's love.  It's amazing how much these little things can impact us so much.  And most of all, I want to love God.  Before anything else.

1 Corinthians 13:4-7

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."

Do you have a word for this year?  How do you show people love?

Sunday, February 7, 2016

What's Up With Words in 2016?

When I was typing this post, I wrote 2014 in the title....

My first resolution is to stop write the date from two years ago.  To write at least 2015.

Beyond that....

This post is extremely late.  It is FEBRUARY ALREADY.

Oh well.  In my writing club last week we talked about writing related goals (as well as said farewell-for-now to a dear friend, Sophia) and I thought it be a great time to belatedly link up to Cait's blog, Paper Fury and Sky's, Further Up and Further In!  They host the Beautiful People meme every month.

Without further ado...some things I wish to do.

(other than rhyming my headings)

1. What were your writing achievements last year? 
This is a great questions, and something we don't always appreciate enough.  It's always - "what am I going to do this year?" - but we gotta remember to focus on the amazing things we did last year too!  In 2015, I published an anthology written by my amazing writing club!  I started handwriting a novel.  I presented at BreadKC!  with the wonderful Vanessa for a grant for said writing club, and even though we didn't win, it was still a powerful and fun experience (as well as nerve-wracking).  I took a few writerly friends to the Midwest Parent Educator's conference (resources, curriculum, and books for homeschoolers!) and sold our anthology and other tree slabs. :)  OH.  I keep forgetting, but my article on the importance of the arts in schools was published by the Kansas City Star (the main local newspaper)!!!  That was huge for me - the first writing of mine that has been published (apart from self-publishing).  As much as I was busy and neglected writing/blogging/reading/basically everything, I can't say I did nothing in 2015, and that's always good to remember.

2. Tell us about your top priority writing project for this year?
LABYRINTH!  I started handwriting this novel (more on that later) at the very end of the year, and made it my goal to write the whole thing in 2016.  LABYRINTH is (to put it simply)...words.  To put it complexly, it's an alternate history of a Greek myth, with elements of dystopia and high fantasy.  

3. List 5 areas you’d like to work the hardest to improve this year.
  • Blogging, for sure.  In the 6+ years I've had this blog, I've never been able to get into a good rhythym of posting consistently. Hopefully this changes. (I'm optimistic, because this is the second post in 2 weeks, keeping on track with a-post-a-week.) xD
  • Editing!  Go East on No Road was finished 2 years ago and Olivia and I never really got into editing it. I'd love to finish that.  Also, just editing my work in general. I do a lot of editing for other people, but I find it hard to edit my own stuff.
  • Submitting to literary journals, etc.  I want to get something pieces polished up and sent out to be seen!
  • Character development.  Ugh.  I struggle a lot with knowing who my characters really are.  A lot of times, I'll have good, rounded side characters, but totally forget that my main characters are people too...if you have a life-changing or even semi-helpful post on this, PLEASE COMMENT.
  • Learning more about the writing craft.  I want to read more books, articles and posts about writing tips, and just bring more of the writing life into my own.  (Again, if you have or know of posts like these, comment shamelessly!)
4. Are you participating in any writing challenges?
I'm doing the Year-Long Writing challenge start by Will Cloud, challenging us to write 400 words (a page) a day, although I'm only following it loosely.  Mainly, I've challenged myself to write every single morning.  Even if it's only 10 measly words.  I just want to try and stay in my story-world and even when I'm busy, not forget about my babies. 

5. What’s your critique partner/beta reader situation like and do you have plans to expand this year?
I've never really been a beta reader for any books, until now!  I'm currently a beta for Sierra Abrams' "The Color Project", Kara Swanson's "The Girl Who Could See", and Savannah DeBudge's "A Warning to All Writers".  This is an exciting new adventure for me.  At the moment, I'm not going to take on any more WIPs, but I probably will later on this year.  No one is currently a beta for my work, because there is nothing polished to that point.......soon though, hopefully!

6. Do you have plans to read any writer-related books this year? Or are there specific books you want to read for research?
I don't have any specifics (comment if you do!), but I definitely want to start reading some more writing-related books.  One book I read last year, "Dancing On the Head of Pen", by Robert Benson (I'll post a review of this later), was PHENOMENAL and totally inspired me in so many ways.  I would absolutely recommend it for any artist, not just writers.

7. Pick one character you want to get to know better, and how are you going to achieve this?
This would be my main character in Labyrinth, Kaura.  Doing some character chats would probably be smart, as well as stalking Pinterest boards and making lists.  Also, paying attention to what she's thinking as I write, and maybe doing some 1st person scenes with her on the side.

8. Do you plan to edit or query, and what’s your plan of attack?
Gonna try to edit Go East.  Possibly query some short stories - at the very least, submit some flashfics.

9. Toni Morrison once said, “If there’s a book that you want to read, but it hasn’t been written yet, then you must write it.”  What are the books that you want to see more of, and what “holes” do you think need filling in the literary world?
I'd like to see more inspiring books, book that make me want to jump up and do something, whether it's by the beauty of the writing, or the content therein.  Also - wildly creative books - ideas that make you just stand there and attempt to pick your jaw up off the ground.  So...I'll be working on that. ;)

10. What do you hope to have achieved by the end of 2016?
I want to have the first draft Labyrinth finished and (fingers crossed) edited!  Then maybe I can get some betas...  I also want to finish editing the first draft of Go East.  Finally, I hope to have at least one thing accepted for publication somewhere, whether it be a flashfic, short story, poem, etc.

(I didn't actually expect to answer all 10 questions) *pats self on back* 

Well, after that post, I think I am quite /resolved/.  

What are your resolutions for 2016?  Share your most proud accomplishment from 2015!  Who's helped inspire you this past year?  

Monday, February 1, 2016

Blog Lovin'

A piece of news...

Anyone on Blog Lovin'?  I've just discovered it and added "Of Stars and Ink-Stained Things" is now on there for you to follow!  Tell me if your blog is on there and I'll follow you too!  Because it looks awesome and I do love blogs.