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Monday, December 24, 2012

A not-very-Christmassy short story

Merry Christmas!

I promised you a story, didn't I? Well, I wanted to write you something fluffy and happy for the season, but I couldn't think of anything, and then I watched Donnie Darko. So... here's this.

It's very sad. Please don't hate me for writing you something sad at Christmas!


by Sarah Elisabeth Newman

“What’s your name?” he asked her.
“I’m Mark.”  It was all they needed to say.
Mark smiled and held out his hand.  Annie took it, and they walked together across the empty world.
There was no one else.  Mark and Annie were all that was left of humanity.  For so long, Mark thought he was the last.  But now he had found her.
They started a life.  Occupied a small house.  Tried to repopulate.  Annie feared they would never have children; Mark didn’t care.  If they were the only two left, they should be happy until they died.  Let humanity go out on a good note.
And they were happy.  For a while.
Mark sat with Annie on their front porch.  They gazed over their garden, which had been someone’s front lawn at some point, to the destroyed road and houses beyond.
“This is good,” Mark said.  “I’m so glad we’re together here.”
“If only it didn’t have to end,” Annie said wistfully, sighing.  She was sitting beside him, leaning into his chest.  Their arms wrapped around each other.
He frowned.  “It doesn’t.  Not until we die.”
“Oh, no.  Much sooner than that.”
Now he was upset, worried, and without a reason that he could understand.  “Why, sweetheart?”
“Because, Mark, I’m not real.”  Annie gazed sadly up at him, her blue eyes shining with unshed tears.  “Soon, you will have to wake up.”
“What…?  Don’t be ridiculous.  No!”
“Yes, darling.”  She sat up and kissed him.  “I’m only a dream.”
Mark cupped her face in his hands, brushing the drops from her cheeks.  “Dreams don’t cry,” he whispered.  He was beginning to panic.
“We do,” Annie said gently.
“Why?”  It was a question directed to their situation, not her statement.  She didn’t know, or she chose not to understand.
She looked away, her gaze focused on something he couldn’t see.  “We don’t want to die.”
Mark felt his world begin to slip away and grabbed his love.  “Don’t leave me, Annie!” he cried.
Annie kissed his lips gently, for the last time, but he barely felt her.  “Goodbye, my love…”
Mark woke up in his bed.
Sunlight slanted through his window, alerting him to the new day.  The scent of fresh coffee wafted through his apartment, brewed automatically every morning.  Birdsong, neighbors chattering, and car horns drifted through the thin walls to him.
Mark felt the bed beside him, searching for something.  But there was no one; there never had been.  Mark had always been on his own.
For a moment, this thought made Mark terribly sad.  So very sad.  He didn’t know why as it wasn’t a new development.  It had always been like this.  But when he touched his face, his fingers became wet with tears.
How strange.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

A really cool article

It's an article about gender stereotypes and how completely pointless and ridiculous they are. If you don't care, that's fine, but I wanted to share.

(Warning, this article is PG-13 for things of a sexual nature. I think it's important though, so if you're a grownup and not bothered by this, please read it.)

(Also, I like that the write has my last name. It makes me smile.)

Monday, December 10, 2012

Merry Christmas!

I celebrate Christmas. If you don't, Happy Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Winter Solstice... and everything else. Just have a happy life, everybody.

Back to Christmas. Since I'm trying to start using this blog more, I was thinking that I should do something for my readers (all two of you) this holiday season. And because I have no other skills, I thought I would write you a story, to be posted on Christmas Eve. It will probably be late at night, but it will be posted, so check in on December 24th for it.

Until then, here's an awesome picture I found online for you.
Little Sherly made a snowman (and stole Mycroft's brolly).

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

NaNo update!

NaNoWriMo starts tomorrow! Well... it starts in five and a half hours. I'll be very busy writing then (I have a setting, characters, and most of a plot) and won't be updating this month. Not that I update much anyway...

I'll be writing a story about what it means to be human. That's really the best I can do in way of synopsis. There's magic, a scary psychopath, romance, a dog, and maybe a few jokes scattered in. We'll see how it goes.

Also, to keep me focused on my writing, I have special incentive.

Firstly, this is what I'll be imagining if I get online:
That smile tells me I should either run or beg forgiveness for whatever I did to deserve it.

Secondly, this is my current desktop background:
Feel free to message me for the full size if you'd like to use it.
And that one is like being sent to the principals office nine times. Adorable principals but terrifying, nonetheless.

So do you have any tricks to keep you focused? Share in the comments.

(So. Was I supposed to be professional here? I don't know. I don't think it matters anymore.)

Thursday, October 4, 2012

"Muslim" is not synonymous with "monster"

Here's something I found online:

And you know what? It makes me angry. It makes my blood boil. "All I need to know about Islam, I learned on 9-11." That's like saying, "All I need to know about Christianity, I learned from Westboro Baptist Church."

Let me be clear. September 11th, 2001 (and no, I didn't need to look that up) was a very dark day. Not just for America but for the world. It marked a terrible tragedy, a crime that left so many people shocked, terrified, and grieving. There aren't enough words in the English language to describe what happened on that day. But.

It wasn't new. History repeats itself, again and again. 9-11 showed us what monsters we can be, but we've been shown that before and since. The Holocaust? Slavery? Pretty much any war? We have the capacity for great evil and depravity; we should remember that but hope and strive for goodness.

Muslims are not evil. I know, it's shocking, isn't it?* We all need to understand that man is not evil. We have, as I just said, the capacity for evil. We can be horrible and disgusting, but we were originally created for righteousness. Since then, we've allowed ourselves to become... Well, if you've ever read Ted Dekker's book Thr3e, you'll see it. "The Good, the bad, and the beautiful." We are humans; we struggle between good and evil, always having to pick a side. Those of us who have chosen light are still drawn back into darkness. My point is (I just realized how much I'm rambling), Muslims are no more evil than any other religion. In case you've forgotten, we're all human beings.

Now, I'm not compromising my beliefs here. I'm a faithful follower of Jesus Christ, but I don't believe He'd be very pleased with us for the prejudice we're showing our fellow man. He calls us to love them and teach them about Him. It's our job to give others guidance, letting them know that we Christians are not better than anyone else. We are broken and lost and royally screwed up, just like everyone else, but we rely on a perfect God to teach us how to be better.

Everyone chooses his own path. We don't force our beliefs; we don't hate anyone for their beliefs. We only teach, answer questions, and pray that God (not us; remember, it's God who saves, not Christians) gets through to them someday.

"How, then, can they call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?" -- Romans 10:14
*Just a disclaimer. This is sarcasm from my own anger at the ignorance, not condescension aimed at any reader.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

The Complex

I recently picked up an old story again, one that I stopped writing sometime last year, and reread what I had. It's called The Complex (though I may yet change that), and it's... Well, I can't describe it yet. I like it though, and I'm considering reworking what I have to fit with my new ideas and devoting my time to making it into a full novel.

Now at one point, I created a video trailer for The Complex, but when I had to factory reset my computer, I lost a bit of my stuff. I'm thinking of creating another one, and then I'll post that here, but before I do, a quick warning:

The Complex is nothing at all like Redemption (which will hopefully be finding its way into your hands within the next year). Obviously, my writing style is still intact and my characters are as annoyingly obstinate as ever, but the stories themselves are completely different. I just want to understand that I won't be like Brian Jacques (a writer I idolized as a child); my writings range from science fiction to drama to spiritual fiction to... Well, who knows what? I'm so bad at labeling my own stories.

This post is really pointless. Huh... Well, here's my updated schedule:
  • Working on getting Redemption published
  • Writing The Complex
  • Walking my dog
  • Having adventures
  • Reading more classical novels
  • Practicing driving that metal death machine in my driveway
  • And trying to get a "real" job
Sorry for the pointless rambling, and have a good day!

Do you read webcomics?

Yes, no, maybe so? I read a lot of webcomics, and I'd like to express how amazing they are. So if you are ever bored or feel like reading or whatever, you can come back to this post and pick one from the list. (I'll also be editing in more as I fall in love with them, so check back!)

First, a definition. Webcomic does not mean "comic strip on the web." Most of the ones I read are more like graphic novels, though they usually have jokes in them as well. I've included ratings (both on quality and content).

1. Girls With Slingshots is rated PG-13 or R (according to my ratings) and updates daily (the creator is almost never late). It's hilarious, touching, and pretty kinky. There are several homosexual main characters and one transvestite. But don't listen to me; go check it out. 3 1/2 stars.

2. Player vs. Player (PVP) is a nerd strip that's been running since the 90s. It's rated G and updates daily. There are several main characters, and they all work for a gaming magazine, but it focuses largely on fantasy and science fiction with a lot of cute romance. 4 stars.

3. Sheldon is a cutesy comic strip about a ten-year-old billionaire, his grandfather, a talking duck, and their dog, Oso. It's rated G and updates Mon-Fri; it's also hilarious and nerdy. 3 stars.

4. Unshelved is the story of a library and the people who work there. Rated PG or PG-13 for Ned the Nudist (handled tastefully) and some raunchy jokes. It's very funny and short, updates daily. 4 stars.

5. Surviving the World is less of a webcomic and more of a photocomic. It's rated PG and updates daily, and it's created by the fantastic Dante Shepherd. (He's updating late in the day now because he's busy with the baby and stuff.) It's full of hilarious advice for college students and people just starting out in the world. 5 stars.

6. Doghouse Diaries is rated G. It's funny and cute, updates MWF. 3 stars.

7. Skin Deep is rated PG (mainly for the violence). It's super creative, beautifully drawn, and a lot of fun. It's a fantasy story centered on the magical creatures who hide among us. 5 stars.

8. The Meek is rated PG-13 or R for (tastefully hidden) nudity, sexual innuendo, violence, and disturbing imagery. It's on hiatus currently but will be starting up again soon. Guess what though? It's fantastic. You need to read it. Seriously. 4 1/2 stars.

9. Blank It is the most creative and offbeat comic I have ever read. It's rated PG, and it's also on hiatus right now (but it's been running a while, so there are quite a bit of archives to read through). 5 stars.

10. Unsounded is the story of a girl and her attack-zombie (heh, heh), and it's rated PG-13 for violence. Also, I'm not usually into zombies, but this guy is cool. I haven't been reading it for very long, but it seems to update randomly. 4 1/2 stars.

11. Sorcery 101 is the serious yet funny story of the blood bond Danny, his wizard teacher, Patrick, his best friend, the werewolf (and his wife and child), and a few other random people. It's a lot of fun, and you should definitely read it. Rated PG-13 for violence, cussing, and at certain times, nudity. Usually updating on Mondays, the artist broke his computer, so it's paused for now. 5 stars.

12. Trying Human is about aliens! I don't usually like aliens, but this one is fantastic. It's rated PG or PG-13, mainly for... disturbing material. Don't ask me when it updates because I'm not sure. 4 stars.

13. Monster Pulse is the story of a bunch of children, their pet monsters, and the government agency trying to take them away. It's rated PG until a few chapters in when it turns sharply from cute to disturbing for a few pages. 3 stars.

14. Brentalfloss is just funny nerd humor. PG or PG-13; it's two guys who live alone, so there are sometimes gross jokes. 3 1/2 stars.

15. Life Ain't No Pony Farm is a German comic that has been (near-perfectly) translated into English. It's rated G because it's super cute and fun to read. I love everything about it! 4 stars.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Warning: serious post

Right, I haven't really edited this much, but I'm going to post it here anyway. It's a, um... Well, it's very personal. I'm not sure what else to call it. If you wait until the end, I'll provide a little commentary, but it's always easier to explain my thoughts through a story than plain words. Ick, case in point. So... here it is.

Emma and John

Emma was eighteen when the realization hit her.
I hate this.  She was doing what her parents wanted her to do, following the path they wanted for her, and she hated it with her entire soul.
So Emma began thinking about it, and she decided that this wasn’t a sudden idea.  She had been working up to this ever since she met John.  He was her friend, and though he had never shown any signs of it, she had decided that he must be magical.  How else could she sit with him, saying nothing, and be totally comfortable?  It had to be magic.
Anyway, John wanted her to be happy.  That was what he said—without ever specifying how.  That was up to her, he told her.  It was her choice.  And from his simple words, an idea began to form in her head.
I can make my own happiness.  But… the doubts were crashing in now, wave after wave of them.  There were many, of various sizes and shapes, but the biggest one was what she focused on the most.  What if I disappoint my parents?
Emma’s plan for happiness would disappoint them.  She knew that.  She also knew that, while it would definitely be hard, it needed to be done.
She asked John.  I’m scared.  I don’t want to disappoint you or—
He smiled and cut her off.  Don’t worry about me or anyone else.  Do what makes you happy; do what fulfills you.  Are you happy?
Emma couldn’t speak for a long moment, and when she did, her answer was less than satisfactory.  I’m not unhappy.
Well, that’s good.  But you know it’s not good enough.
And he was right, of course.
Emma took a deep breath and made a decision.  She had to follow her own plan to make her own life.  She was terrified, of course, but she couldn’t back down.  If she hesitated for even a moment, the plan would be shattered, and even if she put it back together, it would never be as good as it once was.
There was so much to do before she was ready, but she had made the choice to move forward; that was the hardest part.  And she owed it all to John.

Explanation time? Well, as you may have already guessed, Emma is supposed to be me. I'm going through this problem right now, and I wanted to put it into words. And now you're probably wondering who this "John" character is.

Well, here's the thing. John isn't a person. He's kind of several people and a part of me and... maybe some other things. He looks like this in my head:
This is the face of self-approval.
But he's not supposed to be the Doctor. I just imagine Matt Smith whenever I need to make a choice about something like this. He gives me... courage.

Anyway, that's my story. I hope you liked it, and if you want to give me advice (of any nature) or say pretty much anything, you can comment below or email me at s.e.newman94@gmail.com

Have a great day!

Thursday, September 6, 2012


Did you know I write fanfiction? Since my reader base consists of Beth and several of my imaginary friends, I'm guessing you did.

Anyway, this is me:

I mainly write Doctor Who and Sherlock stuff, though I have some ideas for others (no promises). Anyway, take a look if you get the chance.

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Why Yo Gabba Gabba is the darkest kid's show ever made

I have finally discovered the awful truth behind that highly-addictive, super colorful, slightly off-putting show called Yo Gabba Gabba.*

I was always slightly resistant to the show; it just seemed so... something. I could never figure it out, but something about it was wrong. Today, while watching the "Family" episode with my niece and nephew, I finally came to understand why it's wrong.

Muno, as this episode shows, is not the five-year-old we all thought he was. He's the same size as his father, yet he refuses to take baths and plays with toys. Obviously, he's a grown man with the stunted mind of a child and lives in a special home ("Gabbaland").

The spontaneous singing and dancing? Obviously, these moments are hallucinations from either:
Why is he pointing at me?!
Am I next?!

1. Foofa, the drug addict. Have you seen her? Even the kids pick up on it! You cannot ignore her Mary Jane-induced calm acid-trip talking garden.

2. Brobee, the bipolar psychopath. He really scares me. From the way he happily eats the (apparently sentient) food to his weird and sudden mood swings. Just look at that intensely creepy stare. And why are his horns so red?! Why does he even have horns?!

3. Toodie, the paranoid schizophrenic. She talks to ants, sings about fish, and has to have a special doctor when even DJ Lance can't help her.

Then, there's DJ Lance Rock, the doctor (probably using the strange clothes and name so as not to upset his temperamental patients), and Plex is the orderly who has to put up with teaching them remedial tasks and warning them about eating food off the ground. "Super Music Friend Show" shows how the medication is administered: through mind-controlling televisions (so it's the fifties). That's not even getting into how DJ Lance can wake them up and send them to sleep whenever he wants.

I've done my research, and now I know why this show is freakin' creepy. That's not to say I don't like it; it's a cool show, and I enjoy the bright colors and fun music. It's just really scary at the same time.

Next on Childhood Ruiners: "Why Sesame Street is Satanic."**

*This is a comedy article, not to be taken seriously (unless you really want to). Is the whole thing just a big coincidence? Maybe. But I doubt it.

**This was a one-time idea; I won't be writing another one. I also have no proof to support the claim that demons control Elmo and a Ernie is the muppet equivalent of Saw. But I suspect.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Bronies and Pegasisters

I'm finally writing another blog post. Shocking, isn't it? Should I let my imaginary reader friends know where I've been?

Nah, I'll just write about ponies.*
This is a pony. She loves you.

So I have a three-year-old niece. She watches My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. Now, when I was babysitting her, and she wanted to watch it, I was a little worried. I mean, c'mon, ponies. Magic ponies. But I watched it anyway, starting with the first episode because that's how I roll. And it was all right. So I watched some more.

That show is freakin' hilarious. Seriously! Being as ignorant as I am, I knew nothing about bronies or Lauren Faust or anything. I just loved Rainbow Dash (and the others grew on me) zipping around and being awesome.

Now, while the ponies are adorable and super cool and all, it's the "background characters" I like. While the Mane 6 (that's what they're called, trust me) are obviously going to be at the center of attention, the fans of the show have really given life to the often-seen but rarely-introduced background characters. These are a few of them (my favorites):

Fan name: Doctor Whoof (or Whooves) of Gallopfrey
Show-given name: None yet
Commonly known and rumored to be based on the Tenth Doctor.
Fan name: DJ Pon-3 (or Vinyl Scratch)
Show-given name: None (but promotional ads and toy boxes use DJ Pon-3)
A fan-favorite, not as well-known as some of the others.
(I thought she was a boy for a while... but I love her.)
Fan name: Derpy Hooves
Show-given name: Derpy Doo (originally "Ditzy," but Faust changed the script for the fans)
A lot of controversy surrounds her, but Derpy is beloved by fans
and usually depicted as Doctor Whoof's assistant. She also likes muffins.
There are many other characters, but I love these three, maybe even more than I love Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie. I don't go for arguments and debates (such as, "cloppers," the Derpy issue, and the overall opposition to bronies). I'm just in it for the ponies, music, and vivid fanficiton. It's fun, and it makes me smile, which is something everyone needs from time to time. (Or every day.)

So there you go. That's my take on MLP: FiM. Maybe later I'll do a post on where I've been the past few months, and then possibly begin updating this blog again. We'll see.
Bonus fanart! (It's not mine. I'm not sure who made it.)

*Disclaimer: You don't have to like ponies or bronies. I don't care. It's just a fandom, like any other, and I don't expect you to jump on board. I'd like to hear your thoughts of course, but I won't approve comments that are straight-up trolling or hate for bronies. That stuff isn't allowed here.

Monday, May 21, 2012

What the cat's thinking...

Just a random idea I had a minute ago.

Meet a cat's eyes. The cat looks away.
What we think: "I have shown my dominance to this cat by staring it down."
What the cat thinks: "I have looked away first, thereby proving myself to be the bigger cat."

Meet a cat's eyes. Look away first.
What we think: "Whatever. It's just a dumb cat."
What the cat thinks: "I AM THE MASTER OF ALL!"


Meet a dog's eyes. The dog looks away.
What we think: "Ha, I'm the alpha dog!"
What the dog thinks: "Was that food being poured in my bowl? FOOD!"

Meet a dog's eyes. Look away first.
What we think it means: "Oops, now he'll think he's in charge!"
What the dog thinks: "Squirrel? Did you see a squirrel? Where's the squirrel?! SQUIRREL!"

Sunday, April 8, 2012

I was cool after it was cool.

I think I look epically cool in Converse shoes, a black gamer t-shirt, blue jeans (that fit right), and my Circle pendant. As cool as David Tennant in "Smith and Jones" (Doctor Who, season 3: episode 2). If I'm wrong, well, you're the one who has to see my fail at trying to be cool. I'll be perfectly safe, wrapped up in my delusions.

So to recap: trainers + black t-shirt + blue jeans + Circle pendant = epically awesome me. Got it?

For God so loved you...

(This post got a bit rambly, but I can't decide on anything to take out, so... Enjoy. Thanks to Mrs. Lena Morgan for the idea and the title of the post.)

Easter is the day that we celebrate the death and resurrection of Jesus the Christ. And why would we celebrate the death of our God? It was a truly horrific event, something so awful that it would be rated R when a movie based on it came out (Passion of the Christ). But it was also beautiful. Astoundingly beautiful. And here's why.
"For God so loved the world that He sent His only Son so that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life. For He sent not His Son into the world to condemn the world but through Him the world would be saved." - John 3:16-17
Hell was not intended for man. It was not created for those who sinned because we were never supposed to sin. We were created to be pure, but we failed in that and became dirty. Hell was created as a prison for the devil (not as a place for Satan to rule over sinners), and it still is, but everyone who follows him will also be put there.

Hell is eternity away from God.

Sin is not what we see it as. It is dark and disgusting, and all of it, in God's eyes, is the same. Lying and hatred, adultery and murder are equal in His eyes, and He is perfect. Our God can't stand to look at something so disgusting, so we could never be with Him.

Think about this: God is everywhere. Every breath you take, every drop of rain, atom in the universe is filled with His presence. We have never been away from Him because He is all around us. Even when you don't think He's there, He is. And we can feel it in our souls.

Hell is a place without God. He is not there. Hell is dark and cold and empty. Conscious oblivion.

However, (however! Aren't "howevers" wonderful?) God loves us. Despite everything we did, despite how quickly we turned away from Him, despite all the sin inside of us! He loves us. And He died for us on the first Good Friday over two thousand years ago, and He became alive again on that first Easter! He is alive, so alive, and He still loves us. Even after we murdered Him, He loves us.

He is the one with the power to create high mountains and raging seas, the passion to paint rainbows and sunsets across the sky, the reach to spread the stars throughout the universe and sand across the beach, and the delicacy to shape tiny fingers and flower petals. And He loves us with the fire of a billion burning stars.

So often, we Christians preach love and forgiveness but practice deceit and cruelty. We are mortal, but God is higher. He loves you, and He will forgive anything you have done. Turn and face him today, and He will accept you.

Friday, March 30, 2012

Something that's not a book review

I hardly ever laugh while reading a book. Even then, it's really more of a giggle or a chuckle, not a true laugh. A sentence in ink doesn't compare to an actor on a screen. There's just something to be said for comedic timing -- something you can't fit on a page. This being said, you should have heard me laugh while reading Elisabeth Sladen's autobiography. Really? Nonfiction made you laugh? you may ask. Yes. Yes, it did. In fact, I laughed for quite a few minutes, and the memory is making me smile right now.

Who is Elisabeth Sladen, you ask? Shame on you! Lis was a superb actress, who played one of the most memorable characters of Doctor Who EVER. She even got her own spin-off series, The Sarah Jane Adventures. Sadly, she died last year, but her memory lives on, showing up in odd little places like my blog here and some random Internet meme.*

So I bet you're wondering what had me laughing so hard at this book. I've giggled and smiled all the way through it, but page 89 had me rolling. Here's what was said:

[This is a scene where Lis has just started working for Doctor Who, and another actor is playing a Sontaran, a type of warlike alien.]
"With one hand on his hip, he announced, 'I am a Sontaran.'
Kevin's lazy Aussie vowels really made the word sing: 'Son-TAR-run.'
Bromly was puffing away on his pipe, not saying much as usual. Then he beetled over, script in hand, and said, 'Kevin, I think it's "Son-terran", emphasis on the first syllable.'
'Well, I think it's "Son-TAR-run",' Kevin snorted. 'And I come from the fucking place, so I should know!'"

I laughed so hard when I read this. I could just see this man in my head, telling off his director because he bloody well knew what he was doing, thank you very much.

I adore this book. I never can figure out how to write a review, so this will just have to do as my recommendation: Read this book. Read it.

*If this in any way seemed disrespectful, please note that I admire Mrs. Miller (Sladen's married name) and would never intentionally disrespect her memory.

Monday, March 12, 2012

Puppy post!

Isn't he the cutest thing you've EVER seen?

This is Rory. Rory is my dog.

I adopted him the day before yesterday (March 10th), and he was born back in December. He's a mutt -- bull terrier, pit bull, labrador, maybe some boxer, bull dog, and probably more (in my opinion, he's mostly bull terrier and pit bull). He is so smart! He's already learning his basic commands and how to "go" outside.

His full name is Rory Adric Cocodrie Newman. (It's long but awesome.) I'm going to post more pictures in this post over time, so my whole blog isn't spammed with adorable puppy face.

In the car just outside the place where we got him. (March 10th, 2012)

Thursday, March 8, 2012

A writer's best friends

Let's discuss the "tools of the trade." Honestly, they vary for everyone, but in my perfect writing world, this is what I need...

  1. A laptop. I have that, and it's perfect; it has two word processors (neither of which are Word) and WordPad, for my notes, outlines, random things to remember, character outlines, etc. I am very happy with my laptop situation. (One of my best friends uses an actual Word Processor -- just a keyboard and a screen, I guess, like the real writers use. I love the idea, but I have no money.)
  2. Coffee. Any type of caffeinated beverage. Really. I drink coffee with a half of a cup of sugar in it and a splash of half-n-half or cream (right now, I have the powdered creamer, and it's peppermint mocha. Mmmmmmm). It keeps me awake at first, and then it puts me in the perfect writing daze; basically, it's like Ritalin. It makes me focus on my writing and nothing else, which is nice. I'm caffeinated now.
  3. Internet access. Or no Internet access. On the one hand, I use it for research and perfect background music; on the other hand, I use it for webcomics and blogs (like How To Be A Dad, one of my favorites). It's a love/hate relationship.
  4. Books. When I can't think of something to write, the best thing to do is read. If I get on the Internet, I can be there for hours, and my brain is completely distracted by the tons of information pouring into it. A book is a good, wholesome distraction that can allow for half or part of my brain to be thinking about my story.
  5. Like a football fan, I have "lucky" things. If I'm wearing my favorite outfit, my Circle pendant, and some comfy socks, I'm more likely to get things written than if I wear anything else.
  6. The will to avoid my friends. I have the best friends ever. They're mostly writers, and we talk on Facebook about non-important things, very important things, or anything random that pops into our strange writer brains. Seriously, we can be very weird, and logging into Facebook is like logging out of life for a while (30 minutes to 7 hours). I love them all to pieces, but I have to avoid them sometimes if I ever want to put another word into my story. (Now, I should note that I can't write alone; if no one reads my work and supports, I get bored or discouraged. Beth is my very biggest fan, even if I don't talk to her quite as much as some of my other friends, and I would call myself her biggest fan. She's an amazing writer, a really good friend, and a very supportive reader.)
  7. Last but certainly not least is... MUSIC! Now, some people like the instrumental stuff, soundtracks from popular movies and all that jazz. I like stuff with words. Do you want to guess how many times I've listened to "Our Time is Running Out" by Muse while writing Redemption? Guess away because I lost count; I've put it on repeat for hours before (especially during NaNoWriMo).
So there it is. I may think of some more later, but I probably won't add them. When I started writing this, my brain was clear, but I've had almost a full cup of coffee since then, and I'm all spacey now. So... Love ya, readers.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Something Called Writer's Block

I wanted to write something that had to do with writing -- this is a writer's blog, after all -- but it just isn't working. I tried, really! I wrote this obnoxiously long post about writer's block, but you know what? It sucked. So here's something that I wrote a long time ago, on a day when I was really feeling it. Someday soon, I'll have something new for this page; for now, I hope you enjoy this.


Something Called Writer’s Block

The limits of my language are driving me insane. There are no words to describe what I see and feel. I can’t make my reader see what is inside my mind, the beautiful world that is tearing to reach the page. How can I describe my passion, my love, my art? How can I send my babies to you without explaining them? I firmly believe that a story should say what it needs to itself, no notes from the author required.

But my characters are my children.

My setting is my home.

My plot is my world.

And my words are my life.

How can I describe that to you? How can I take everything I am and put it down on a page? Do I have to write it with blood to express my feelings in a way that language can’t? Should I include pictures to show the rainbow of colors I see in my mind? Here, there are colors that don’t exist in the “real” world.

I look at this world that my loving God created. The beauty is beyond expression. I feel like I’m going to explode because this body, this mind, cannot hold the emotions that rage through my soul. I feel a pain I can’t quite describe because there are no simple terms for it. It makes my heart cry in frustration, not in grief of anger. It is a constant ache at the back of my mind all through the day, a sharp pain when I sit and stare at the computer screen or notepad.

Words are nothing. Words are useless. Words are my life.

I write and write and type and type, but nothing ever happens. The world I see does not fit on the page. I write what my characters say, but you don’t hear them speaking. You can’t see what I see, and I don’t understand why.

We all see things differently, and some understand me when I try and fail to describe my view. But no one sees it exactly as I do.

I’ll just keep writing those same words until I find the magic order that makes them tell the truth. I will continue to describe beauty, passion, love, honor, truth, pain, glory, and light until my fingers bleed and beyond because I cannot stop. Every word you read here is me. Every time a character cries in grief, writhes in pain, or screams in anger, that is me.

My God, why is Your gift so often my curse?


And here's an apology for not posting anything interesting in a while:

Thursday, March 1, 2012

"After-birth" abortion

Abortion. It's something we hear about all the time. We debate and rage and argue on and on and on, but... Do we know what it means? It's a disgusting and horrifying thing, but as I said, we hear about it all the time. Do we ever stop to think about what it really means? Babies are being murdered. We call them "fetuses," sure, but they are and always were tiny babies. Innocents, helpless and vulnerable.

We don't really think about it because we're so used to it. "Desensitized" is the term. At least, that's how it is for me. Don't get me wrong, I know what it is, but I don't always comprehend it. Which is why I was shocked and sickened to read about what they're calling "after birth abortion."

Now, babies and fetuses are, essentially the same. Both are completely innocent and helpless, are totally unaware of their own existence, and are human, above all else. All human life is sacred, which is why the abortion of a "fetus" should be just as shocking as the murder of a newborn. But it isn't.

It's all about what would be easiest for the parents. Like this article says:
Giubilini and Minerva write that, as for the mother putting the child up for adoption, her emotional state should be considered as a trumping right. For instance, if she were to “suffer psychological distress” from giving up her child to someone else — they state that natural mothers can dream their child will return to them — then after-birth abortion should be considered an allowable alternative.
Where does it stop? First what we call "fetuses," then newborns. Are infants next? How about toddlers? When do we start murdering our teenagers because it's "in the best interests of the parents?"

Oh, and let's not forget this (taken from the same article):
The circumstances, the authors state, where after-birth abortion should be considered acceptable include instances where the newborn would be putting the well-being of the family at risk, even if it had the potential for an “acceptable” life. The authors cite Downs Syndrome as an example, stating that while the quality of life of individuals with Downs is often reported as happy, “such children might be an unbearable burden on the family and on society as a whole, when the state economically provides for their care.”

"Your child has Downs Syndrome, so you can kill him if you want to. It'll be easier on everyone." When does it become, "Your child has Downs Syndrome, so we're going to kill him, and there's nothing you can do about it?" You know what this reminds me of? Hint: it happened in Germany in the '40s.

Now, we don't need to start panicking right now. This is not a law; it's an ethics paper from a medical journal. What we do need to do is start being prepared because it could happen in our future. Maybe not in my lifetime but in my children's (or maybe in my life time; we are going to Hell in a handbasket). In any case, God is still here, and He still loves us. It is my firm belief that every innocent who dies will go straight to Heaven (I don't believe in Purgatory or anything similar to that). That includes murdered babies and "fetuses," very young children who die, and all those with Downs or any other syndrome or disorder that prevents a person from distinguishing between right and wrong.

Don't freak; just prepare yourself and pray. That's all we can do because when it comes down to it, there is only God, man, and Evil, and nothing else matters.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Excerpt from Redemption

This is one of my favorite parts of Redemption (my book, in case anyone reading forgot or didn't know). Those last two lines are my favorite! I just came across it again and started grinning, so here you go:

The wicked man turned to look at her.  “You’re still mine, darling,” he said.  “Don’t forget all you’ve done for me.”  He grinned.  “You don’t deserve forgiveness.”
Sophy lowered her head and closed her eyes.  “I know,” she whispered, her voice barely legible through her sobs.  “I’m not worth it.”
“That’s right.  Don’t forget it.”
“He’s a liar, Sophy!” he* cried, running his hands through his hair in desperation.  Gwen began to cry with him, and suddenly, she loved Sophy.  If her Creator cried for the woman, how could she not?

A real post will come soon, I hope, but here's a little something.

*edited slightly to avoid spoilers

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Eternal salvation -- a rambling post

Someone else could probably do this better than I will, but that person isn't here right now. I'm not doing this out of a desire to be right. You see, I'm seventeen; I change my mind a lot on many things, but there a few, just a few, beliefs that I know are right, that I feel so strongly about that it's hard to contain it all. One is the fact that God is incredible, amazing, beautiful, perfect, lovely, loving, holy, and powerful, and I am constantly, forever in awe of him. Another is eternal salvation.

Once we call on Jesus to forgive us of our sins, we are saved from Hell forever. No take-backs. How do I know? First, a bit of logic:

When Jesus died on the Cross, He did it to redeem all people and wipe out all sin. That was over two thousand years ago; at the point in time, I hadn't sinned yet. Never. I was completely perfect. Of course, I hadn't been born yet either, but what does that matter? Jesus didn't die to take away the sin of certain people at certain points in time. He died once for us all, so we only have to accept Him once. It's simple. Not easy, but simple. (Really, how easy is it to accept that the beautiful, incredible King of the universe lowered himself to this dirty world and died for me? It's hard.)

Another thing is time. God is not in time; the Holy Spirit is in time (and Jesus was in time, but now He's at the right hand of God in Heaven). The Holy Spirit guides us through our choices while God is above, outside of time, seeing it all happen at once. The beginning of the universe and the end of it -- He sees it all at the same moment. Therefore, He doesn't need us to constantly ask for forgiveness; we do it because it's right, but it has no affect on our everlasting souls.

Now that I'm done rambling, let's get to the verses.

Hebrews 10:14
"For by one offering, He forever made perfect those who are being made holy." (Emphasis added by me.)
Jesus sacrificed Himself to make us who are "saved" forever perfect, sinless. Our sin is forgiven forever, not just from the time we were born to the time we last prayed.

2 Timothy 2:13
"If we are unfaithful, He remains faithful, for he cannot deny Himself."
No matter what we do, He is faithful to us.

Romans 8:15-16
"So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when he adopted you as his own children. Now we call him, "Abba, Father." For his Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children."
We are God's children. When a child is adopted, he becomes the son of his father, especially in the time during which this was written. God is our Father; we belong to Him alone forever.

John 10:27-29
"My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish. No one can snatch them away from me, for my Father has given them to me, and he is more powerful than anyone else. No one can snatch them from the Father’s hand."
If no one can snatch us from God's hand, how can we possibly jump or fall from it?

Romans 11:29
"For God’s gifts and his call can never be withdrawn."
Never. And "withdrawn" means that He won't take it back, not that we can't throw it back. (But we can't, as Paul and John have already explained.)

Philippians 1:6
"And I am certain that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns."
He began something in us, and He will not stop until the day that Jesus returns.

John 5:24
“I tell you the truth, those who listen to my message and believe in God who sent me have eternal life. They will never be condemned for their sins, but they have already passed from death into life."
We have already passed into life; death has no hold over us anymore. Those who have eternal life can never go back to death.

Ephesians 1:13-14
"...And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago. The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him."
When we came to believe in Jesus, He gave us the Holy Spirit right then. The Spirit is a promise from God, who never breaks His promises.

John 6:39-40
"And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”
When we believe in Jesus Christ and become "saved," we are given to Him by God. He will "not lose even one of all those He has given Me." We are His.

(To quote the Doctor, this one got away from me, yeah. I told you that it's hard to contain my feelings on this. I'm writing a novel with this premise, have been for a year.
If I did offend or upset anyone in any way, I am sorry that you were offended or upset. I am not sorry for my words because they're true. That should be the slogan for my blog and my stories. I really don't like upsetting people, but it does become unavoidable on worthwhile subjects. I hope something I said made a difference to someone.)

P.S. I used the New Living Translation for this. I hate that one; it dulls the beauty of the words. I prefer NIV because it's easiest to understand and New King James Version because it's beautiful to read. But other people can read Living easier, so... there ya go.

P.P.S. Credit to my daddy for part of the logic, Ted Dekker for explaining time in Blink, and Josh Olds for finding me the verses.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Quoting myself

"For future reference, if I ever go insane, I want you to tell me. And yes, I'm still mad about my dream."
~ me to my sister

(By the way, is it bad that I'm using a Literature textbook as a footrest?)


Things I do while I should be writing:

1. Watch Doctor Who. I mean, come on, the original show had over twenty seasons, and the new one can be watched multiple times without getting old. I can spend a lot of time procrastinating with that.

2. Play Subeta.net. I love/hate that place. It has me trained to log in every day and do every worthwhile quest to make millions of Subeta Points to spend on clothes for my avatar (I have a lot of clothes).

3. Facebook. My writers' group is special, a great little community. It's also incredibly addicting. (I'm there now.)

4. I read webcomics. I have a whole bunch that I love especially and read a lot, but the one most worth mention is SurvivingTheWorld.net. If you have some time, go check that place out; Dante could always use new readers.

5. Watch Youtube videos. I use Youtube for music, but sometimes, I also use it to waste time watching Doctor Who tributes, mostly BabelColour, and Tobuscus videos.

6. I blog. Obviously, not very much.

7. I read fanfiction. My favorites are generally crossovers.

8. I change my profile picture on Facebook.

So that's all I can think of for now. Procrastination, gotta love it. Here's a great little video that I swear will make you laugh out loud:

I love it! Four and Ten, two of my favorites, converging in wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey space.

Monday, February 6, 2012

Doctor Who quote

My favorite Doctor Who quote:
"Everybody knows that everybody dies and nobody knows it like the Doctor. But I do think that all the skies of all the worlds might just turn dark if he ever, for one moment, accepts it... Now and then, every once in a very long while, every day in a million days, when the wind stands fair and the Doctor comes to call, everybody lives."
~ River Song, in her first/last appearance (wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey) in the episode "Forest of The Dead"

Now I will try very hard not to steal that line in one of my stories, especially in my possible series of shorts about Doran Maeve, the time-travelling lunatic. (Have I not mentioned him? Oh, well, you'll find out soon enough who he is...)

Saturday, February 4, 2012

"Love your neighbors as yourself."

I wrote this a while back and finished it just now. It has no point, but it's something I think about. (And I just remembered that I wrote this after watching Thor. Super hero movies: the very best at stories where the hero creates the villain.)

I’m watching a movie or television show, and suddenly, I notice something about this character.  He could be the guy who’s going to snap and kill everyone or himself in the end, or maybe he’s just a jerk.  That doesn’t really matter.  He’s depressed, mean, or something else, but that doesn’t matter either.  What does matter is the lack of love shown toward him.
Obviously, no one would want to love a murderer or other type of evil person.  I wouldn’t expect anyone too.  But it’s before all that, when this character is still in the early stages of breaking down, that he needs kindness and guidance.  And he’s not going to accept it from the righteous hero; he needs it from another source.
Haven’t you ever watched a movie and thought, that entire conflict could have been resolved if someone had given -insert character name here- a hug in the first five minutes?  It drives me crazy because I know that I would be the one to give him that hug.  Except… I wouldn’t.
As we travel through life, we are oblivious to the pain of those around us.  We see them, but we don’t, not really.  We think we follow the command of God – to love our neighbors as we love ourselves – but we’re hypocrites.  All of us.  We don’t like to admit it, but we are.

So I don't know if there's a point to this. I don't think I can impart any wisdom on how to change yourself -- other than to ask God to help you. It's just an observation, something I wrote in a passionate frenzy -- I do that sometimes.

Pointless post #2

I found the beginning of a story in a notebook, and I don't even remember writing it! From the way the beginning goes though, I can see how I was going to end it, and I'm working on it now. The name I picked before was "Monster Within," but I'm probably going to change that.

And it's about vampires! How cool is that?

Okay, so I actually wrote that yesterday, and now I'm finishing this post. I got a new book! It's The Last Dodo, a Doctor Who novel by Jacqueline Rayner. Two chapters in, I'm in love -- with the writer and the book! Did I mention what a big fan of the Doctor I am? No? I love him, the Tenth especially with the Eleventh and Third right behind. Rose is my favorite of his companions, of course, though I love Rory so much.

Okay, so this has turned really pointless. I promise that I will eventually write something worth reading and maybe get someone besides Beth and Adam reading it, haha. Until then, I will mesmerize you with one of the best videos I've ever seen. Look!

(Watch the whole eight minutes. It's worth it. If you don't feel like it, at least skip to 6:15 because that's my favorite part. The effect will be better if you watch all of it.)

Friday, February 3, 2012

Plot twist!

I love plot twists. They're so much fun! This one was to do with Quin, the best friend of Kat -- a lycan -- who's dating a vampire named Lucius. Quin is just the normal, human college student... right?

On an unrelated note, I now have a Twitter! My new name is sarahnewman04 I also have a Facebook, but that's secret for now. Maybe I'll make one later that I can let the public see.

A completely pointless post

I have the attention span of a caffeinated squirrel and the memory of a blue fish. Therein lies the reason for the dozens of unfinished stories saved on my computer and in old notebooks. Also, why I randomly drop out of conversations, leave my phone while I run into the other room, and have a desk covered in interesting, broken knickknacks. It's who I am; it's in my genes.

Let's pause while you get the jeans jokes out of your system. Are you done? Okay.

I'm also interested in almost every genre of story. Fantasy, science fiction, romance, suspense, mystery, and just about everything else you can think of. The only way for me to stay interested in a story is to surround myself with that genre. Music, the shows I watch, and the books I read all have to correspond to what I'm writing about.

So this is my list of media intake right now:
The Vampire Diaries (show)
Being Human (show)
Teen Wolf (show)
Nightshade (werewolf romance novel by Andrea Cremer)*
The hair bands my mama likes -- Aerosmith, Def Leppard, etc (it's what my MC likes)
"You're a Wolf" by Sea Wolf (a song that reminds me of werewolves)
Anything else with vampires or lycans in it

I did try watching True Blood too. Tip: never, ever let that junk reach your computer. It was one of those show that tries to be "real" by doing things like showing lots of sexual scenes and murders (and what vampire is named Bill?) So, no, I didn't like that.

All of this may be slightly damaging to my mental state, but it does keep me on task. Especially with this new twist in my story.

*I'm not recommending Nightshade until I finish it. As of now, I haven't decided if it's romance or "erotica." We'll see.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

The overdone stories: Vampires

Originally, vampires were always monsters -- bloodsucking fiends, reanimated corpses, cruel and terrible creatures. Count Dracula, for one, was a terrifying guy; add in Anne Rice novels, and you understand why people were scared of vampires for so many hundreds of years. In the space of a century, we've defanged them and turned them into Edward Cullen, sparkling in the sunlight.

But Twilight wasn't the beginning; it was the culmination. I don't know everything, but I think that Dark Shadows, the 1960s series, was the first to have a brooding, romantic vampire. Funny thing is, his name was Barnabas Collins. The series revamped in the 80s, but it didn't last quite as long as the first one. Then came Buffy the Vampire Slayer and it's spin-off Angel, which I used to be in love with. In that story, vampires lost their souls when they were turned, but Angelus was cursed to have his soul back. Later, Spike (or William the Bloody) was given a soul as well and subsequently went insane for a while.
The Vampire Diaries, The Gates, and all the others that I've yet to see but will probably get into sometime soon. Those are defanged vampire stories, the kind I like. But that's not to say that I'm every other teenager in the world (though you probably don't believe me). I don't like sparkles, and vampire/human relationships tend to get on my nerves with their pointlessness. Here are the five reasons I write about vampires.

5.  Every popular story has a certain amount of crowd-pleasers, intentionally put in to make people like it (including the author; you don't write something unless you're having fun with it). Some stories have more (ones that appeal to a younger crowd especially), and some don't need more than a couple. Vampires -- definitely crowd-pleasers. Going with vampires, a lot of violence, gore, and in the case of my favorite genre, romance.

4.  Plot holes. Every story has them. Vampires tend to have enhanced abilities -- strength, speed, hearing, etc. That can make it easy to get the character out of most situations that a human would be stuck in. Of course, vampires themselves create new plot holes, but... Well, every author has to deal with those.

3.  Where vampires go, lycans follow. Werewolves, shape-shifters. I happen to love those, and I've spent several years developing pack mentalities and histories. I have fun with those.

2.  Immortals are always cool. Four hundred years of history to explore, letting your character do literally everything, and you can put him through anything. Broken bones will heal by the next morning; you can even kill him because he'll be back.

1.  When writing a story, you always end up with a moral, whether you planned to or not, even if it's a small one. Vampires provide an excellent setting for one of my favorite morals - choice. When turned into an undead creature that can only survive by drinking blood, do you have to give in to the urge and be a monster? Or do you have the choice to be something else? A vampire I'm currently writing about -- Lucius Gray -- has been trying to find a cure for his vampirism for seventy-plus years. The moral is that everyone has a choice, at all times, to be who they want to be.

And you know, it does help that vampire fiction usually shows them as the modern equivalent of the sons of Greek gods. I may be a writer, but I'm still a seventeen-almost-eighteen-year-old woman.

By the way, I have no issue with Twilight. I read the first two books, and they weren't really my style, so I do tend to make fun of them, but I'll admit that they were good for teenagers. They teach abstinence, and they're fresh, different from the other romances that follow the exact same storyline. Oh, and I was definitely Team Edward.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Who I am, what I want, all that good stuff

Hello, my name is Sarah Elisabeth Newman. I was born in April of 1994, which makes me 17 now, almost eighteen, and I am a writer. I have nothing published yet, so don't Google me or anything, but I have finished the first draft of my first novel. Let's pray it goes well.

So you'll want to get to know me, I suppose. I like to write about myself, obviously, so this may get lengthy; you can skip it if you like. Here goes. The first and most important thing about me is this: I am a follower of Jesus Christ, my beloved Savior and King. That doesn't mean I'm perfect; I screwup, and I have my own sins, but I have been forgiven. Because of Him, I am writing to influence the lives of the lost (those without Him) and encourage my own brothers and sisters in Jesus. That's the most important thing in my life; on to the rest! I've been writing since I was nine years old, when I read books through my fourth grade math class and then wrote short stories in English. I didn't know anything back then except that I wanted to write, and I don't know much more now. However, what started as Redwall, Legend of Zelda, and Rowan of Rin fanfiction stories became what I write today. And that's... well, whatever that is. We'll get to that. Now, other than writing and books, I am a huge fan of vampires -- The Vampire Diaries, Being Human US, etc. -- mysteries -- The Patrick Bowers Files by Steven James, Sherlock Holmes, Castle -- and science fiction -- Doctor Who, Miles Vorkosigan by Lois McMaster Bujold, and anything by Joss Whedon.

You know who I am, so let's get on to what I want. I'm a writer; there's no ifs, ands, or buts about that. The problem is, no one knows me, and it's because I'm not out there yet. I just started releasing my name to the Internet, and I'm starting this blog, hoping to get some notice. Eventually, I will have my agent, and my book will be published (plan B: self-publishing, but that's a long way off), but for now, I have a blog and a Facebook account. I also have a Netflix, a Subeta, and a Youtube, but that's inconsequential; those are just for procrastination. So there you have what I want: to get noticed. I mean, that's just a part in my master plan to publish books and hopefully change lives; we'll see what God's plan is.

Now we can get to the fun part! If you're still here after all that boring stuff, you must want to know I'm working on, right? Here it is. I have one almost-finished novella called Stargazer, which is a love story between two mythical creatures of my own design. It's light, sweet, and secular, just for fun. But that's just one project; my baby is a full-length novel called Redemption. It's a tale almost impossible to describe, even though I've been working on it for a year now. Let's just say... In an off-the-map town, a quiet, sleepy little place, evil will arise, good must prevail, and lives will be forever changed.

Stay tuned for updates on Redemption, my side projects, and everything else that I feel like writing about. Maybe I'll even review things (though I doubt it). This didn't get quite as long I expected it to, but it's close. Any comments? I love comments. Comment!