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Stars

The stars used to look down on a dark worldReflecting into eyes raptly gazing up

Till slowly they fell

Nestled themselves into lamp posts and night lights

Until our eyes forgot how to look up
I would trade all the stars on valley floors

To see the stars again

Her Ink · Paper and Ink

Join the Happy Mail Movement!

I have always loved real mail. The kind that says that someone is thinking about you and took the time out of their day to sit down and write you a REAL letter. I’m not sure if it’s the writer in me, but it just means so much more when I get letters in the mail. I suppose it started with my best friend moving away when we were in elementary school. Back then, you couldn’t just call someone who lived far away, or text them. Long distance phone calls were expensive. Texting didn’t exist (sheesh, now I feel OLD!). The only way to keep in touch with my best friend was through letters.

I wrote her, she wrote me. We kept our friendship alive that way. For three years. She was supposed to move back after that, but instead I got a letter in the mail saying that she was moving to Idaho instead.

Somehow the letters stopped after that. I guess I figured that Idaho was so much closer than Kentucky, we should be able to keep in touch without letters now. Either way, I didn’t really get letters after that. Not until my friends started leaving on missions for my church (AKA they go live somewhere for two years and teach other people about our church). They’re not allowed to call, or text (even though it was around by then). The only way to keep in touch with them was letters.

I won’t lie, I wrote 12 missionaries and my main objective was to get mail. I just loved getting the mail. To this day I can still hear the mail truck coming when I’m at my mom’s place. Although a strange thing happened because of that mail, I met someone I had never met. He saw my handwriting and asked if I would write him. Through mail, I gained a friend.

Then after college I became pen pals with one of my roommates after we decided that the world was a better place when everyone wrote letters.

I still believe that.

So, in an effort to resurrect the beauty of correspondence I plan to send out “happy mail” every week. Probably just letters, but once I feel like we’re rich enough I’d love to send out packages every once in awhile, just because.

I’d love for you to join me! (I’d even love to send YOU some happy mail). So Happy Mail Postcard

 

Do you like real mail? Do you send real letters?

Reading

The Thing About Jellyfish

I read a fair number of books last month, but like the month before, I read this book early in the month and I was already sure that it was going to be the featured book. I wasn’t wrong.

The Thing About Jellyfish is one of those books that sounds REALLY weird if you were to tell the plot to someone. In fact I did, I told my husband basically the entire story. It sounded absolutely bonkers. Yet, it all seemed to fit together, even if I couldn’t state it that well. He ended up reading it as well.

This book is written for children, or at least middle schoolers, but I really enjoyed it. I’m going to be honest with you, a read a lot of fiction in this area. I read them partially because they have so much substance and so much honesty, but mostly I read them because I know that there won’t be much (if any) swearing, and there won’t be any sex or violence, and if there is anything like that, it will be written in such a way that doesn’t kill me. I’m pretty sensitive to language and such, I can’t tell you the number of books I’ve started, only to stop them because they dropped the F-bomb more than once.

This book is everything that a book should be. It tells a great story. It deals with real issues (How do we deal with death and grief? Is there a right way to move past it? A wrong way to move past it? How do we gain closure in a situation where we cannot speak to the person we need closure with?). It made me want to learn more about the author.

The premise of the book is that Suzy (The main character) has decided to stop speaking after her best friend dies. She decides the reason that her best friend died must have been a Jellyfish that killed her. She then sets out to prove her theory.

I would definitely recommend this book. Whether old or young, I think we can call relate to that awkward middle school time, even if was a long time ago.

Below you’ll find a link if you’d like to check it out!

Note: This is an affiliate link, which means that I receive part of the profits if you decide to buy the book. This doesn’t change the price for you! Thank you for supporting my book addiction 😉

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What is your favorite book that you read in the last month?

Favorite Things

Tools of the Trade | Typing.com

Tools of the Trade Typing.com

 

I work at an elementary school in the computer lab. One of my main jobs is to teach the children how to type. I tell them all the time to keep their hands on home row. Over and over I use analogies to help them understand how much faster they could type if they just took the time to learn how to type correctly.

What they don’t know is that I was just as bad as they were when I was a kid. Granted, typing wasn’t as big of a deal back then. We still took our tests on paper and wrote essays by hand in class.

I was that kid that only put my hands on the right keys if the teacher was looking and complained that I could type so much faster if I didn’t keep them on home row.

It wasn’t until I was in high school, trying to keep up with five MSN messenger chats at a time that I finally learned to type quickly and keep my hands on those home keys. My ability to type quickly has influenced my ability to do what I really love, writing.

Even though these days I tend to write everything out by hand first, it still speeds up the time that it takes me to copy it over to the computer. There’s no way that I would have been able to finish my 50000 words for NaNoWriMo when I was in college if it had taken me hours to get my 1667 words for the day. Instead it only took me 45 minutes or less (so long as I wasn’t also procrastinating…).

However, I realize that a lot of people were like me. We didn’t realize the value in learning to type! Well, that’s where typing.com comes in. It’s a program that I use with my students, but it’s 100% free to join and use. I still use it to practice (and to show the kids how fast you can type if you learn the right way). So if you’d like to learn to type, or you’d just like to learn to type a little faster (I definitely taught myself how to type some of the keys wrong) then head on over!

Her Ink · Paper and Ink · Reading

Paper Heart Poet

Today is Poem in your Pocket day! I’ve been planning this post for quite awhile, but then kind of forgot about it (I’m definitely human), so this will probably be short and sweet!

I’ve always loved poetry. I’ve never felt like I am very good at writing it, but I’ve always felt compelled to write it. Especially around times of turmoil (so basically my whole life). I’ve always loved that feeling of converting my emotions into words and ink, setting down in words just what my heart is feeling.

I’ve always loved knowing that even if no one else understood, that page understood what I meant. It became a confidant when I couldn’t, or didn’t want, to explain what I was feeling to someone else.

I’ve also always loved finding little things in books. Post its or papers or notes from whoever read it last that they forgot to retrieve. Even though I knew that I would never know who they were, it made me feel kind of connected to someone else who had read and loved the same words that I had.

So, the paper heart poet was born. The idea is to write a poem and leave it in a book for someone else to find. That way, you’re putting more art, more beauty in the world, and maybe connecting to someone else. I also liked that you don’t necessarily have to remain anonymous. You can put your social media handle or the name of your blog or whatever and connect with someone new.

You can really do it however you like, but if you wanted an easy way to do it, here is a printable.  Just print it out, cut out a heart and write your poem on the back and slip it into a book! It could be any book, but I recommend one that you read and loved 🙂

If you don’t feel like the best poet, you can always put a poem (with credit) that you love that someone else wrote on the back!

I hope you have a poem filled day!

Paper Heart Poet Template 1

 

Are you carrying a poem in your pocket today? What book would YOU leave a poem in?

Her Ink

Words

If you couldn’t tell from the title of this blog, I’ve thought a lot about words. I think that words are powerful. I think that the words that we use to define ourselves are important. If you think that you are beautiful, then the way you treat yourself and the way you treat others is going to change.

Brains are weird things, they seem to create the reality around us differently based on how we define things. If I start thinking that the world is unfair, then my brain will start picking out different things to back me up. Then suddenly EVERYTHING seems terrible and unfair. That’s not to say that things aren’t unfair sometimes. Or that things aren’t occasionally terrible, because they surely are. For me, for you, for everyone.

Once we start to define things that way though, then things only seem to get worse.

So, since this blog is about words, I decided to showcase some of the words that I define myself by. They change all the time, but these are the ones that I felt like described me when I started this blog.

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Some of the words are things I am, some of them are things that I love, and a few are things that I’m not sure I am yet, but they’re things I aspire to be.

  1. Photos
  2. Chef
  3. Watercolor
  4. Princess
  5. Bold
  6. Ink
  7. Roses
  8. Brave
  9. Flowers
  10. Ocean
  11. Adventure
  12. Teacher
  13. Flawed
  14. Kind
  15. Blue
  16. Best Friend
  17. Reader
  18. Create
  19. Beauty
  20. Handletter
  21. Daughter
  22. LDS
  23. Artist
  24. Wife
  25. Sister
  26. Runner
  27. Blogger
  28. Writer
  29. Dreamer
  30. Pink
  31. Smart
  32. Hiker

 

 

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Clearly I am flawed. But that shouldn’t and doesn’t stop me from trying to be better.

Optimist isn’t on there, but it’s something that I try to be. I think it’s important to remember, that while things can get worse (and often do), they can get better too. It reminds me of when I’m sick and I’m wishing to die, it always seems that things can’t get better, so I wish they would just get worse and get it over with already. But, things can get better, in fact, so far they’ve always gotten better eventually.

You just have to remember, that things get better eventually. Remember that just because you define yourself a certain way now, maybe in a way that you don’t particularly like about yourself, it doesn’t have to stay that way. You have more control over who you are than you think, even though you don’t have control over the circumstances in your life.

 

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Today I am a wife, but two years ago I was single.

Today I am a hand letterer, but two years ago I hadn’t sold anything and I was just starting out. I’m still learning.

Today I am a blogger, but four years ago I’d just started and I had no idea what I was doing. I’m still learning here too.

Today I am a computer lab assistant (in a room full of macs), but when I started I’d never used macs and knew nothing about computers.

We grow, we learn, we move forward.

Today I am a wife, but someday I hope to be a mother.

Today I am a writer, but someday I hope to be an author.

Today I am messy, but someday I hope to be more organized.

Today I am someone who has never left the country, but someday I hope to be a traveler.

Own who you are, but believe that you can be whatever you want to be. You can 🙂

 

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Thank you so much for reading. I really appreciate all of your support!

Photography by: GingerSnaps

What words do you define yourself by? What words do you want to define you?

 

Reading

Book Spotlight | A Ring of Endless Light

To say that this book has been influential for me would be a vast understatement. Last week I posted about the Author, but this book is one of the main reasons that I decided to become a writer. Partially because I related to Vicky and partially because I love how L’Engle wrote the book.

If you don’t know anything about the book, it’s about a fifteen year old named Vicky Austin. She and her family have gone to an island for the summer while they deal with the dying of her grandfather. She goes through the summer writing and meeting wild dolphins and trying to come to grips with the fact that her grandfather isn’t going to be around anymore.

The book is part of a series based around the Austin family. I found this book not knowing that it was part of a series. (Happens to me all the time…) But, I think it works pretty well as a stand alone book.

The title comes from this poem that she quotes in the book.

I saw Eternity the other night,
Like a great ring of pure and endless light,
All calm, as it was bright;
And round beneath it, Time in hours, days, years,
Driv’n by the spheres
Like a vast shadow mov’d; in which the world
And all her train were hurl’d.
-Henry Vaughan
I love how the book weaves together poetry and prose. It does so in a realistic way. Her grandfather loves books and shares poems to help her figure out her place in the world, then she as a poet writes poems to help her work through the emotions that she’s facing. The prose itself is pretty poetic.
I even love the way that the book doesn’t quite resolve. There’s a dissonance that seems genuine. In real life, even when we get our happy ending, things don’t get all tied neatly together. No matter how much we want them to.
I found the book when I was 14, but it’s still a book that I come back to at least once a year. I checked it out from the library more times than I’ve checked out any other book. I kept hoping that if I checked it out enough times then they would just give me the book (why don’t libraries work like that?). Then I would check their used books to see if they would retire it so I could buy it. I didn’t own my own copy until a few years ago when my little sister bought it for me for my birthday. (Best Present EVER). I don’t know why I didn’t just buy it…
I recommend you just buy it if you like it.
 A Ring of Endless Light: The Austin Family Chronicles, Book 4  (This is an affiliate link. Which means that if you buy the book through this link, I will receive compensation. This doesn’t change the price for you!)
It’s worth it, rather than just checking out over and over again. But, if you prefer to check it out, and you live in Salt Lake Area, I’ve linked it here.
What’s your favorite book? How did you find it? I’d love to hear about it!