(Dear Grandma and my other loyal story followers: I’m sorry I missed the last post of The Dragon Pendant, I really am. But at least I have a pretty strong alibi, right? 😉)

(Doing a sort of Thinking Out Loud Thursday for the first time here…)

1: I went to the most epic ever writing retreat!

I was away at this Writer’s Retreat. After what felt like waiting FOREVER, it finally came. Aaaaannd it was beyond awesome. You know those times when something is so incredibly epic you can’t even begin the search for words to express it, much less succeed in finding any? This is like that. And I’m sorry, but I think that’s the best I can do, right there.

{homemade caesar salad, garlic bread, and spaghetti with a three-meat sauce. All of it basically homemade from organic and happy sources}
Okay, so we basically had our own personal chef, and this was dinner the first day. I don’t eat fancy… Ever. At all. But this was a killer meal!

And they had a “labyrinth” (strictly speaking there was no maze factor, so it was a circular entwining path, but still, it was fun).

The people were awesome, too! You know, there’s times I think I’m playing mind games with myself thinking that I have anything to offer the writing world, but these people (who had so much talent it practically knocked me off my feet to listen to it!) believed in me, valued my work, and genuinely thought I was a skilled creative writer. That was such high praise to me! When the woman who ran the retreat, who’s a writing teacher, told me she was excited to see where my story went, it basically made my… year? life? And not only all that, these people are like the coolest. They talked about writing with me, welcomed me into their circle with open arms, and made an enormous effort to include me and make me feel like I belonged. It was so sweet and great! I miss them already, and when I think of the highlights of the retreat, it’s the people and the moments we shared as a group that I think of. It will definitely be one of those unforgettable times of your life (plus I learned a ton of stuff about writing)!

Note: I was packing and getting ready for the above retreat all day Thursday, which was why I missed posting The Dragon Pendant.

2: I helped with fireworks again this year (my 4th 4th, as one of my friends said) and it was awesome as always

It was hard having two such awesome events overlap, but I was able to help on the 4th with sorting product, making chains (attaching several shells together so they go off at the same time when fired), and putting the shells in the tubes. 

3: While waiting for the show, I played faux soccer/kick-the-ball and frizbee with some friends

I don’t do sports as a regular thing, as in like, never. But I enjoy myself immensely when I do, especially with the right people. 😉⚽️  Since we were playing near the lake, I said I’d rescue the frizbee if it got in the water (it belonged to a friend who was letting us borrow it). Then it actually DID go into the lake, out of reach but in the shallows. I ran across the field before anyone could find a more traditional rescue and charged into the water, clothes, shoes and all. It was pretty epic. 

Everyone was surprised I’d actually done it (they had thought I was joking, silly humans). Apparently they aren’t used to my dramatic flare. 🤔

4: Signs like this…

Okay, so please help me. Just who needs to be told how to wash their hands? This sign seriously disturbs me, not least because I see it everywhere, not just at the Humane Society (though theirs is the most extreme/sadly hilarious that I’ve seen)!

5: I found an enchanted knight at Fred Meyer

I saw this guy with the wine stand (no, I was not buying wine, and I’m 19 anyway), and I was like “watch the weird fantasy writer take pictures of the wine display with the knight!”. If I’d had the tools on me, I would have stuck a note on it for the next person: “Attention all: this knight was bewitched by an evil enchantress (see FBI Top Ten Wanted Persons list). To free him, it requires only the kiss of a fair maiden, except that in today’s warped culture, someone labeling themselves a fair maiden is so unlikely, this poor knight will probably be stuck in stone forever. But if you do free him, consider calling 911, as he’ll probably require medical attention as well, and you may want some help with the evil enchantress. If you free him, she will come. You have been warned. Good luck!”

Something like that. Unfortunately, I lacked the necessary supplies for such a note, which was really kind of too bad.

6: N. D. Wilson strikes again… This perfect tweet!

Said so well, and something that I’ve been grappling with for a long time as it felt like my country was losing its integrity faster than the world turns. The way he captures and succinctly articulates my exact feelings is perfect. He’s a writer; I guess that’s his job. 😃

7: Dove’s “beauty on your own terms” commercial is a message I want every girl to hear!

Thank you, Dove!!! Please, culture, take a hint from them and from these strong, courageous ladies (and all the others out there like them)!

Your beauty is your own. You are you, and that’s just perfect the way it is.

8: Reflecting on people’s arguments about “pasts”…

One says “your past doesn’t matter”. Another says “your past can be damaged; it can radically shape who you are if you let it. So just don’t let it”. A lot of people say “don’t blame your past; you’re responsible for how you feel/take/handle everything that’s happened to you”.

Here’s what I believe: Your past matters. It’s shaped you and influenced who you are today. It’s there. You can’t just ignore it or “just not let it bother you”. But it doesn’t define you. You have to accept it, with all its pain and sweetness, and then keep moving forward. Forge yourself a present that will shape you in a beautiful way, a present you will love as a past as well as a now. Don’t blame your past, but recognize the impact it has/had on you. Then take control of your own destiny. 

9: On a lighter note, I saw this on NaNoWriMo’s Twitter the other day, and loved it so much I had to share!

Pet dragon had to be left at home with my dragonsitter. 

10: I have MEGA HUGE announcement coming soon, so seriously peeps, stay tuned!

Have a great one!

~ Kat