Hello There.

Yeah, I know… it’s been a while. A long while. Turns out trying to balance finishing my last year of college, working a retail job, getting to work on music stuff, and having a personal life can all sort of get in the way of the whole blogging thing. But no fear, I have returned! 

Things have been interesting lately. God has opened and closed a lot of doors and so much crazy stuff has happened. Being an adult and getting more of a taste of the real world is both scary and exciting. All I can say is I’m stoked for what is ahead, and that God is awesome. 

So what’s new? As far as music goes, I’ve focused a lot on writing the past few months. I went to an amazing gathering of female songwriters at the Nashville Treehouse back in September, and it was seriously life-changing and inspiring for me. Kim Hill and Paulette Wooten, as well as all the amazing ladies who attended, really sparked up my love for writing again. It was fantastic to get to hang out with a group of women who love what I love, and to be given words of encouragement from people who have been in my shoes. When I got back home from that, I made the decision to get back into guitar lessons. That was seriously one of the best decisions I have made in a long time. Since I was not fond of practicing as a kid, I kind of lost a lot of what I had learned, so actually getting to re-learn and pick up new things in my instrument again has been awesome. I am more excited about guitar than I have ever been.

Recently I started playing music with my boyfriend for his project Cramer Creative, which recently got signed onto Noize Cartel Records. His EP will be released next month and I featured on two of the tracks, but now that he’s playing live, I’m also stepping in as a guitarist since he leads many songs from the drums (thank God I started taking guitar again!!). It has been a blast so far. I am extremely excited to back him up when he plays SOMA in San Diego on the 12th of December!

As far as my personal music goes, there may or may not be new things in the works. ;) I am very excited about many of the new songs I have written. Please stay tuned, because I definitely want you to hear what’s in store!

I once again shall attempt to post occasional updates here on music, book reviews, and general life stuff, because I really do love the whole writing thing and I hope you guys enjoy it. Thanks for stopping by!!

Ravenous Reading: Legend by Marie Lu

Transient

This book is one of those rare books that completely and utterly blows you away.

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As an avid reader of young adult dystopian novels, I was naturally drawn to Legend. It is the first in a trilogy set in a future United States that is split into two warring nations. The two narrators of the story are teens that live in the Republic of America, in an equally familiar and futuristic version of Los Angeles. The future of each child is decided by their score on a test they take as a preteen. Those that score highly are allowed to further their education, and work their way into a high-ranking military position, while those who score lowly are forced onto the streets, susceptible to a ravaging plague. 15-year-old prodigy June achieved what has never been done before, by getting a perfect score on the test. She is well on her way to becoming a star in the military. Day, on the other hand, is a wanted criminal. Ever since he failed the test, he abandoned his old identity in hopes of survival, turning to petty crimes and hiding out in the streets in order to protect his poor family.

The two teens’ contrasting worlds collide when June’s older brother and guardian is murdered, and the Republic names Day as the prime suspect.

The following story is completely action-packed, a gripping and unpredictable turn of events that forced me to keep reading into the wee hours of the morning, no matter how tired I was. I definitely didn’t expect to already be so excited about it less than fifty pages in! I haven’t had a reading experience like this since I first read The Hunger Games in 2010. While the premise of Legend itself has similarities to THG and Divergent, it is a completely different and completely original novel. Marie Lu is a fantastic writer, and I’m so stoked to pick up the other books in the series! The dual perspective is well executed. Each chapter is perfectly paced and grabs hold of you, and the story world and complex young characters are very well developed. This is something I don’t get very often with teen dystopias, due to the fact that many simply copy popular ones or are too similar to each other in certain aspects. I’m not saying this about all dystopias, but the popularity of the genre means that settings, storylines, characters, etc. become predictable. This book was not one of those.

I totally recommend this book, especially if you feel burned out by other books in this genre. Marie Lu’s Legend is positively brilliant!

New Shirt Design: "Love Everlasting" for CANVAS!

I am excited to be back entering shirt design competitions again!

This latest design, for Canvas Christian T's, is called "Love Everlasting". My description is as follows:

"God's love is the kind of love that never ends. In Jeremiah 31:3b, He says, "I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with unfailing kindness." It's interesting to think about, considering our human love is often fickle and prone to change. I think it's amazing that God's love lasts forever. I wanted to subtly convey the powerful idea of love everlasting with this hand-drawn, grungy tee. :)"

This design came from a doodle I actually did quite some time ago that I unearthed recently. I wanted to make the kind of shirt that can be simple yet profound.

If you like the design, you can help it get printed and sold by C28 by going here to vote a 5, "like" the design, and post your comments!

http://www.canvasthreads.com/designdetails.aspx?id=10605

Here's to 2014!

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We're almost two weeks into the new year, and, inevitably, I am still having trouble writing "2014" on everything. It hasn't really registered in my mind yet that it's January 2014. It's so surreal how quickly 2013 came to pass!
I rang in the new year with a small group of people, in our traditional New Year's party. The big tradition is usually that we pull an all-nighter. I've pulled this off for at least three years, but our 2014 attempt was proof that I'm too old now to stay up all night. I need sleep. :P (Photo above is from the party. I was tired at MIDNIGHT even with all the sugar I ate to stay awake. hahaha)
The inability to pull an all-nighter is not the only change that has come about in the past year or so. So many great things have happened. Also, a handful of not-so-great things. But 2014 is a chance to start anew, and I am rather excited about it!
I feel like there's something extra special about this particular year. I can't quite put a finger on exactly why, but it's a substantial feeling.
I guess a reason that 2014 is going to be big for me personally is that it will be my 20th year. It's kind of crazy to think I've been alive for two decades now!
But all things aside, I'm dedicating this year first and foremost to God, and I'm really stoked to see what he has in store for me--and for all of us--the next 365 days.
As for my website, expect to see a lot more t-shirt designs, book reviews, blog musings, and last but not least, MUSIC!

"In their hearts humans plan their course, but the Lord establishes their steps." (Proverbs 16:9 NIV)