Monday, May 27, 2013

Still Moving Forward

On August 26th, 2012, I made a post called Keep Moving Forward. In it, I talked about my hopes, fears, and expectations for my senior year of high school.

Well, as of 6:14 a.m., May 25th 2013, I am graduated from high school.


So, I wanted to make another post following up on the one I made at he beginning of the school year.

This year, I read a lot of amazing books, learned about a lot of depressing eras of history, wrote many papers, recited WAY too many poems, and took another art class at the local college.

I did not get accepted to NET, but I was asked to reapply. I got a 27 on my ACT, but I'm currently not planning to attend college anywhere. My current prospects are: I have a very amazing art teacher who is willing to help me pursue art education without necessarily going through a four year college program, I have a resume in at the local newspaper, and I am going to begin writing a play for a community theater this week.

Although its tiresome to have tons of people constantly telling me what THEY think I should do, I'm excited for my future. I'm excited for where my life will go from this point on. I worked hard in school for 12 long years, and now, finally, I'm graduated.

I'm not by any means done LEARNING. I never want to stop learning. This world is very big and complicated, and I have only seen a small portion of it. I'm only 18 years old; there could be a great deal ahead of me that I can only imagine.

Once again, I have a sense that I am in a good place. Even though waiting and uncertainty are hard, they are building up my character and my strength for what I will do next. I am confident that I can and will do incredible things that no one can anticipate.

And I'm still moving forward.

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Seven Reasons I'm Afraid to Go Outside

I'm a little bit of a Blimey Cow fan, and I infected my younger siblings. My brother Joseph will come up to me every Monday and say, "Have you watched the new Blimey Cow video yet? Can we watch it now? Can we watch it in your room?" 

As unfortunate as it is to say, this particular video that came out a few weeks ago is a fairly accurate summary of my feelings towards nature. 

I LOVE being outside...but on my own terms. The weather has to be perfect, the bugs have to be few or nonexistent, wildlife needs to be where it can be observed and not encountered, and I prefer never to sit on the bare ground if I can help it because someone once told me a few too many horror stories about wood ticks. 

That being said, this video is also hilarious, and since my brain was turned to much by five small children for the second morning in a row (#hashtag#VBS#crewleaderproblems #theworstpartaboutbeingachristian), I'll save my witty satire for another post.

Have yourself a Wonderful Wednesday!

Friday, May 17, 2013

Composition Final Assignment, Senior Year

For one of my last assignments for composition, I had to write about what I think my 'writing voice' sounds like. So here is what I came up with after going back and rereading several things I've written over three years. My feelings are not hurt if you don't understand all of it...this was free-writing, so I wasn't even worried if things were spelled wrong. Imaginary Friend, Dust, The Tower Princess, Rapunzel Rapunzel, Cheesepuff, and Hot Air Balloon are all titles of things I've written, either poems, short stories, or novels. Maybe enjoy...if not, just know this is like an inside look at my brain.

Task 9.2
Something I definitely notice about my writing is REPETITION. From the repetition of phrases (Imaginary Friend, Dust, The Tower Princess [at the beginning]) to repetition of themes, such as curses, family problems, deep-rooted desires, popular older brothers you can’t compete with (My first two NaNo stories could have been morphed together without any issue)...stuff like that. I have things on my heart that stick, and so everything I write ends up having the same feelings, themes, ideas. I don’t know if that’s a bad thing. Maybe it means I’m just a one-hit wonder and once I get it perfect I’ll have to quit.
My writing voice sounds like the books I read (particular Gordon Korman, oddly enough. I’m thinking about Schooled, and I definitely see things there.), movies I watch (if dialogue inspires me I adapt it), conversations I have with people (mostly family). It all sounds so WANNABE. Its not particularly unique, but it does sound like me. I have more than one voice, but I’m not sure how many. I always have this angsty feel to what I write. Rapunzel, Rapunzel was an angst-fest. But that was one of my earliest books. I wish I could find my REALLY old novels that were basically Eragon knock-offs, just to see how far I’ve come.
My writing voice has changed by becoming more refined. I write things correctly, without five exclamation points or ALL CAPS WITH WORDS WRITTEN LIKE THIIIIISSSSSS TO ADD EMPHASIS WHERE NONE IS REALLY NEEDED ANYWAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gosh, I feel like I’m reading Cheesepuff when I look at that sentence!
Since I don’t really know what my writing voice IS, its hard for me to say what parts ‘don’t sound like me’. Any part that’s really steamy or romantic often comes off cliche because I’m trying to write things I’ve never experienced, without consulting anyone who has. Movies are the LAST place to look for reality, that’s one thing I definitely know. I can’t access my Hot Air Balloon story right now, but I feel like that might be the best place to find ‘my voice’. Anyway....I know I use too many adverbs (anyone else notice how many times I use the word definitely in this?), not enough adjectives that actually work, and I rely too much on straight out TELLING the reader what is happening. I can show with words, but its best to use as few words as possible. I also struggle with making verbs work the way that they’re supposed to. I misuse them.
I know I’ve written to please an audience, and it just sounds pained. It’s like a dying whale gasping for breath even though it knows its a goner. I am only successful at writing when I have something to say, I know roughly what I WILL say, and I have time and resources to help me say it as clearly as possible. 
Reasons I shift into another voice? I hate the one I'm using. I will scrap pages of something if my main character starts off whiney I hate whiney main characters. I myself, the main character of my life, am pretty darn whiney, so they get it honestly. 
Oh, I also say 'I Think' and 'I Believe' more than should be legal in one essay.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Why I'm praying Kermit Gosnell does not get the death penalty

If you haven't heard of the Gosnell murder case, here is a generally informative article about it.

I first heard about this in March, about the time the trial started. I was horrified and upset by the details of absolute disregard for the health, safety, and dignity of the women who went to have abortions from Gosnell's clinic, and that innocent babies were being killed there by the thousands.

Yesterday, the jury ruled Gosnell guilty of three cases of murder of infants who were born alive after failed abortions, and unintentional manslaughter of a 41 year old woman. In the article announcing this ruling, there was a line that bothered me:

"The trial will move next week into a sentencing phase, when the jurors will be called back to decide whether Gosnell, 72, should receive the death penalty or life in prison. Prosecutors intend to seek the death penalty, and the multiple murder convictions are likely to bolster their argument." (Read the whole article)

This makes me so frustrated. Yes, this man is guilty of murder, and YES, ABSOLUTELY he needs to face just punishment for what he's done. But I am pro-life. I know that life is sacred and precious from conception to natural death. Therefore, I believe that Gosnell is guilty of the murder of EVERY CHILD HE HAS EVER ABORTED. That's how precious life is to me. 

And that is why I am praying, starting today, that Kermit Gosnell will not receive the death penalty. There is absolutely no cause for it. In the United States, we have every capacity to keep criminals locked up safely. I think it would be just as wrong to sentence Gosnell to death as it was for him to murder innocent human beings. 

Mercy is not popular these days. Even the word 'mercy' is often associated with weakness or indifference. But Jesus Christ died on a cross 2,000+ years ago so that Gosnell could be forgiven and shown mercy for his crimes. I pray Gosnell will be shown mercy, because his life is just as valuable and important as any other life.

Prayer For An End To The Death Penalty

Merciful Father, we ask your blessing on all  we do to build a culture of life. Hear our prayers for those impacted by the  death penalty.
We pray for all people, that their lives and  dignity as children of a loving God may be respected and protected in all  stages and circumstances.  
We pray for victims of violence and their  families, that they may experience our love and support and find comfort in  your compassion and in the promise of eternal life.
We pray for those on death row, that their  lives may be spared, that the innocent may be freed and that the guilty may  come to acknowledge their faults and seek reconciliation with you.  
We pray for the families of those who are  facing execution, that they may be comforted by your love and compassion.
We pray for civic leaders, that they may  commit themselves to respecting every human life and ending the use of the  death penalty in our land.  
Compassionate Father, give us wisdom and  hearts filled with your love. Guide us as we work to end the use of the death  penalty and to build a society that truly “chooses life” in all situations.
We  ask this Father through your Son Jesus Christ who lives and reigns with the  Holy Spirit, one God forever and ever.    

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

The Top 15 Quotes About Mothers - Writers Write

My mom has nine children, of which I am the third. Three of her children have thrown up in the past 24 hours. She hasn't slept through the night in weeks. The cat just figured out a way to get into our house from the garage. She drives me to work whenever I need her to. She paid for my passport when I went to Italy. She cleaned the mold out of my shower because I was too busy (and lazy) to do it. She deals with every emotional breakdown her many daughters have each week. She is supportive of all our hopes and dreams and gives us good advice.

Seriously, if there is one woman who deserves Mother's Day, it is MY mom.

To my wonderful Mommy. I love you so very much and I am so grateful for my life and the lives of all my brothers and sisters. You are amazing and I hope I can make you proud by the way I live the life you gave me.


Your Clare

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Buh-bye, Tumblr!

As you may have noticed, my 'check out my Tumblr' sidebar thing is gone.

That is because my Tumblr is gone.


No more Tumblr. I made a post yesterday saying it would be my last, and it was. This morning I went into my account and deleted it. Which was a serious process. Tumblr gave me like three chances to turn back.

Why did I do this?

A lot of reasons.
1. Tumblr, as you may or may not know, is a horribly LIFE-SUCKING website. Its constantly updating with new posts. You could literally be on Tumblr for the rest of your life and not run out of new posts if you follow enough people from enough different time-zones. I'm not even kidding.

2. I was neglecting this blog because of Tumblr! I'm sure you've noticed...I hadn't made a post yet this month. And believe it or not, I always liked this blog better than Tumblr.

3. For a long time I've been praying about my Tumblr, about whether or not I should stop going on or unfollow a bunch of people. I gave it up for Lent, and my life was actually a lot rosier. Tumblr was actually stressful for me, and it took up SO MUCH TIME. I could be on Tumblr for two hours at once time, and usually I should have been doing something else. Praying about it, I finally just accepted that I kept feeling like I should delete it because I SHOULD delete it. It was keeping me from growing in holiness. It had to go.

Tumblr is a great website, but for a person who doesn't have much self-discipline, it can be a black hole of mindless internet surfing. *DRAMTIC MUSIC*

I decided if I didn't get rid of it completely, the distraction would always be there.

So, here I am, dear Blog! Back again to stay!