Capture the Horizon

Hello, all! I know I mentioned I would post a to-be-read list next, but I found this short story/flash fiction while I was going through my computer tonight, and thought I’d go ahead and upload it. I wrote it for a contest based around the phrase ‘capture the horizon’ and promptly forgot about it. I don’t even remember if I entered it into the contest! Anyway, I hope you enjoy!

 

“Please don’t leave me, Nagan.”

 

The words broke my heart a little bit more, and though I struggled to hold back tears, I knew it was time.

 

“I have to, sweetie. It’s over.”

 

The little girl gripped my hand, her chin quivering as she looked up at me. “I need you.”

I gently kissed her light blue hair. “I know. I know. But I have to go. The war…it calls me, Legla. I have to follow.”

 

She gazed out of the porthole, looking at the stars but not really seeing. “We could ‘capture the horizon’ together, Nagan, just like the Al’Ruan says, just like Yavna wrote all those years ago. You don’t have to go to war. You could steal this ship, go with me instead. We could explore the Fast Allorans, maybe even go to T-chelep. We could disappear. Please.”

 

“Var’esh,” I corrected gently, the corners of my mouth turning up into a smile. Though her quotation of the Al’Ruan was correct, her knowledge of the authors of the sacred book was a bit shallow. “Var’esh said that, sweetie.”

 

“I don’t care who said it.” She suddenly wrapped her arms around my waist, her small chest quivering with sobs. “I don’t want you to leave, Nagan. Please don’t leave me.”

 

“Hey, hey,” I whispered, kneeling to look into her tear-blurred amethyst eyes. “We’re Spirions, Legla. We never give up. Never. We’ve been at war with the Qloens for twenty-five holions, but do we give up? What is your name, little one?”

 

“Legla–but I don’t want you to go!”


I stood, straitening my uniform, trying to look like our long-dead father. “What is your name, little one?”

Slowly, she raised her chin, as she had been taught to since birth, squaring her shoulders and penges. “My name is Legla Pyonce, and I am daughter of Wetpre Pyonce, captain of the Spirion StarBattlers. I am a Spirion, citizen of Cl’lenk, and I am proud to be who I am.”

“Very good, Legla.” I bent to her level again. “Now. I will come back, I promise you this. The Qloens will not defeat me.”

 

“But how can you be sure?”

 

“Because I’ll be coming back to you, my love.” I swiped at a tear that had fallen down my cheek. “And I will always come back to you.” I wrapped her in a tight hug, knowing that it might be the last time I ever touched her. “I love you, Legla.”

 

“I love you, big brother.” Slowly, she released me, and I knew she had made her peace with my decision. “Fight bravely, Spirion.”

 

“I will, Legla.” I stepped into the lift next to the half dozen other Battlers. Before the doors closed I saw my sister grimace as if in pain, touching the claren pendant at her throat. So young, I thought. So young, and so brave. I closed my eyes, trying to forget that I might never see her again, that my eleven-holion-old sister would lose everyone in the galaxy she loves if I didn’t come back. But it would be worth it if we won this war. If she could be safe. If she could have freedom. Even if I didn’t come back, it would be worth it, and, someday, she would be able to capture the horizon.

 

—abilene

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May TBR Update

Hey, y’all. I know this is back dated as May 31st, but I’m actually posting this on the eleventh of June, and I just wanted to say I’m sorry for the long pause from me. My life has gotten really busy lately (busier than it already was, which is saying something). Anyway, here’s a short update for May’s books. Honestly, I don’t know when my June TBR will be out–I work every day this week except Thursday, and I’m busy that day–but hopefully I will find time to write it–and to figure out what I’m reading for it–soon. That’s how crazy my life has been; I don’t even know what I’m going to read next month. It’s a strange feeling.

 

Anyway, without further complaining, let’s get into it, shall we?

 

Image result for left for dead book

This was a good one. It was full of facts, but it also had a story line, and I loved Hunter’s crusade. A very good read if you’re looking for WWII nonfiction, especially for tweens and teens.

 

Day of Deliverance: A Jack Christie Adventure

This was okay. I enjoyed the plot and the fact that it was extremely clean, but it didn’t really stick out to me as one I’d like to read again, and generally that means I didn’t enjoy the book that much. I’m also not interested in reading any other book in the series. Fine and fun, but not for me.

 

 

Image result for the outsiders book cover 50th anniversary

“Stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold.” This book shattered my heart into a million little pieces. It is such a sweet, sad, real-life story of loss and love and finding your place in the world. I cannot begin to describe how deep and meaningful this book is. I loved it, and plan to read it again, and again, and again….

 

Image result for the invention of hugo cabret

I liked it, but honestly, it was kind of a let-down after the movie. I’m not sure I’d just idealized the movie in my mind, or just thought the book was going to be “so much better”, as books usually are, or what happened, but even though I really enjoyed it, it’s just ‘okay’. The illustrations were cool, but they kind of set me off balance, honestly.  After reading books for so long, it’s kind of hard for me to follow a story in pictures. Anyway. I did enjoy it, just not as much as I thought I would.

 

Image result for peter pan j m barrie

THIS BOOK IS SO FUNNY. I loved this book. I laughed through this book. It was glorious. Go read it, right now. Don’t rely on the stinking Disney movie to give you real Peter Pan vibes. GO READ THIS BOOK.

 

 

Image result for brown girl dreaming

This is such a sweet book. I loved it, and, surprisingly enough, pretty well followed the story even though it is in verse. I’d recommend it, and I daresay I might read it again.

 

Image result for hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy paperback

Even though this was the book on this list I was the most hyped for, it was the only I didn’t finish. Sad, I know, but I’ll definitely read it in June, and I’m still very excited for it.

 

 

Image result for virals

This book wasn’t as clean as I hoped, and for said reason I’ve decided not to read the rest of the books in the series. There were a number of curse words, not enough for me to put down the book but enough for me to stay clear of the author. Other than that, it was pretty clean, and I enjoyed the plot as well as the characters.

 

What have you all read this month?

 

–Abilene

May To-Be-Read List

Hello, darlings! I’m back today with my May book list, as promised. Sorry this is a bit late; my life has been crazy hectic lately (trust me, you have NO IDEA), and I really haven’t had much time. Anyway, here you go, and hope you enjoy!!!!

 

Image result for left for dead book

I’m reading this non-fiction WWII account currently, and it’s very interesting but chock full of information, which means, for me, it’s slow going. I am enjoying it, but I’ve decided to read about a chapter a day while reading other fiction books so I don’t get bummed out of reading in general for this month. So far, that system seems to be working, giving me time to both read fiction and non-fiction and not feel too pressured to finish Left for Dead right away. I’ll let you how it went at the end of the month.

 

Day of Deliverance: A Jack Christie Adventure

Because I didn’t finish it last month, and, also, time travel. To Elizabethan England. Cool, right? (Incidentally, this is the first book set in England I’ve read since I finished the Alex Riders series last summer).

 

Image result for the outsiders book cover 50th anniversary

A classic I’ve somehow never read. I picked up this copy at Books-A-Million about a month ago and have been aching to read it ever since. Also, I’ve seen the movie, but it’s been awhile.

 

Image result for the invention of hugo cabret

I watched the movie as a kid and enjoyed; years later, I watched the movie as a teen and LOVED it. That was a few months ago, and, ever since then, I’ve been wanting to read this. Apparently with all of the illustrations it’s a very short read, which is okay, because I’ve got a lot on my list this month.

 

Image result for peter pan j m barrie

Yet another classic I’ve never read. I have read this one, and have considered reading this one, but never the original. I am ashamed. Which is why I’m reading it now.

 

 

Image result for brown girl dreaming

I’ve heard of this one, picked it up at the bookstore, saw it on the award winner’s list at the library, and finally thought “Why haven’t I read this yet?” The summary tantalizes me, and it’s written in poetry, so I know I’ll like it. Have any of you read this one yet?

 

Image result for hitchhiker's guide to the galaxy paperback

I’ve been waiting years to read this one and am finally getting around to it. Terrible, I know. It’s a shame I’m the way I’m. did i really just write that sentence Anyway, I need to read this, and all of the sequels, of course, but those will have to wait for another month.

 

 

Image result for virals

Because it’s a book about a group of sci-philes (the nerdiest term for science nerd out there) who rescue a wolf pup from an experimental lab, only to be bit by the puppy and gain puppy powers (strong sense of smell, heightened agility, etc). Who doesn’t want to read that? Now, normally, I don’t read a lot of YA unless I know it’s clean. I’m hoping this one will be, but we’ll see.

 

 

And that’s all, folks!!! Are y’all reading any good books this month? Have any big plans for the summer? Let’s chat!

 

~abilene

 

Two-Year Blogiversary Q-and-A

Two years ago………………

 

“Not an Average ‘Welcome’ Post”

Just kidding. 

What can I say? I mean, considering this is my bloggy debut, I feel pretty proud of myself for coming up with that title. Hey, it’s better than “There’s no need to fear, Abby is here!” That would have bad.


 

Two short, wonderful years ago, I started this blog as a way of connecting myself with the world, with other teen writers, authors, Christians, and dreamers of of all ages. Now, it’s grown so much in so little time. When I started this blog, I never dreamed of the following I would have or what I would accomplish because of this ‘cozy little corner of the interwebs’–the poetry I post, the stories I would write, the positive feedback I would get. It’s been a wild ride, a bumpy ride at times, but I wouldn’t trade all of my lovely followers–you guys–for the world.

 

To celebrate this historical occasion, I’m doing my first ever question-and-answer. Though I get a lot of comments on original work I post on here, when I asked for questions, you guys were pretty quiet–I guess that’s a good thing, because you know me pretty well? So, mixed in with the questions I did get, I’m adding a few of my one–ones I think you would be interested to know. So, without further ado, let’s get into it.

 

Question and Answer

To make this easier, I’ve divided this up into topics.

 

Family and Friends

1. Who is Lily?

Ah, yes, an enlightened question. This is Lily:

lily

She is my best friend, the Batman to my Robin. I honestly can’t imagine my life without her–even though she can be totally annoying sometimes. 😀 Just kidding I’m actually very serious.

 

 

2. How many siblings do you have?

screenshot_2016-09-18-22-27-00.png
Kenzie and me

 

One biological, Meredith, and two who are ‘adopted’, Kenzie and Destiny. Though we squabble a lot, I couldn’t ask for better siblings. They’ve influenced my life in so many ways, and, without them, I wouldn’t be who I am today. (For better or worse!) XD

 

 

3. Are you the oldest, youngest, or in the middle?

image1
Mer-Bear, Kenzie, and me

I’m the youngest.

 

4. When is Kenzie’s baby due?

Katie is due July 28, and, as you could well expect, we are all very excited!!!

 

 

Writing

 

1. Are your books Though He Slay Me and The Alley Runners somewhere on your blog?

No. Since I have an intention of publishing these, I’m not posting them online, but if anyone would like to be an advanced or beta reader, please let me know and I will be glad to send you a copy of them when I’m ready.

 

2. Is Enemy of Evil part of your first novel?

No, which I explained in the first chapter of Enemy of Evil; it is simply an escape from regular writing. It’s a story I want to write but don’t really care to research deeply to publish, so I’m writing it on my blog. It is not part of any of my novels on my novel page.

 

Personal

 

1. What is your email address?

Getting a wee bit personal, aren’t we??? Just kidding. If you want to contact me, there’s a button in the top right corner, or you can comment on my posts, of course. In lieu of recent off-topic comments, if you have a question unrelated to the current blog posts, please send them to me via the contact button.

 

2. How old are you?

I am sixteen…going on seventeen, of course, and I’m about to finish my junior year of high school.

 

3. Are you homeschooled?

my school (in a very unorganized photo)

Yes and no. I am homeschooled, but my mother teaches regularly at our local church’s school, and so, oftentimes, I go to the school with her and do my work with the other teens.

 

4. What church do you go to?

Old Paths Baptist Church in Dubuque, Iowa. Here’s the website if you want to take a peek.

 

 

Well, I think that’s all, folks! If you have any more questions, please comment down below, and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can.

 

Lots of love,

Abilene

April TBR Wrap-Up

Hey y’all! Sorry this post is a wee bit late; it’s been a crazy, hectic month. I’m not sure when my May to-be-read will be posted, but stay tuned–I hope to have it up sometime later this week, probably after I publish my blogiversary post. By the way, the q-and-a is still on–ask me your questions!

But without further ado, here is my list!

 

Image result for the hardy boys book 1

Frankly (did you see what I did there?), I was disappointed. I’m sorry, but I’m not twelve anymore. I suppose I should have read this series when I was younger–I would’ve probably got more of a kick out of it then–but it wasn’t bad, just kind of bland.

 

Image result for a whole new world book

Now this one–THIS ONE. SO GOOD. I mean, I wasn’t a super huge fan of Aladdin, but after reading this, I’m rethinking my life. Now towards the end, things did get a bit predictable, but it was wild enough to keep me reading and loving. If you like retellings of any type, you MUST read this. #thegenie #inlove

 

Image result for my brother sam is dead

To be honest, I’m not really sure why this got a Newberry. It honestly wasn’t that interesting, at least not the ending. I kept reading to see what would happen, but after what happened happened I was like “Really? That’s it?” Anyway. I was disappointed.

 

Image result for the invasion of the moon 1969

I did not anticipate how boring this would book would be, but, despite the fact that it is extremely verbose, the author has a fun style and is very sarcastic (thus he has my respect.)

 

Code Name Verity

No, no, I’m not crying, what are you talking about??? This book did not break my heart and crush my soul at all; didn’t make me question things, didn’t make me think, didn’t make me desperately need Verity to be all right, didn’t kill me when she wasn’t. No. What are you talking about?

In all seriousness, I loved l o v e d loved this book. It was from such a different perspective, written in such a unique format, told such a beautiful, heart-wrenching story of love and friendship and loyalty. I gave it seven out of five stars. The only thing I didn’t enjoy was the language; in parts, the book was littered with curse words. Also, there was a bit of more mature content (the protagonist is being held captive by the Nazis) but it’s not extensive. For these reasons, I would only recommend this to older readers.

 

Image result for left for dead book

I didn’t get to this one this month.

 

Image result for adventures of the red tape gang

Also, again, I’m not twelve anymore. I would’ve gotten more of a kick out of it when I was younger (especially during the phase I was obsessed with forts. I would’ve loved the idea of the gang’s hideout). Anyway. It was all right.

 

See the source image

I’ve started this one, and it’s about what I expected; not terrible, not fantastic. I plan to finish it soon.

 

 

Did you all read any good books this month? Do you have any questions for the question and answer? Let’s chat!

 

–Abilene

Original Poetry April 2019

There once was a Man

Back in the Roman day

Who was radical in ideas

With purpose in every way

He preached “Love your enemies”

And He healed the sick

Not caring that they

For killing would pick

 

This Man of love

They nailed to a cross

But their sins He did

Not in their face toss

He said “Father, forgive them”

And He cried and He wept

And with those words

My sweet Savior slept.

 

But, oh, on the third day

The women, they came

To the tomb of the Man

Who had felt so much pain,

But the angels did tell them

“He is alive–

The tomb is empty.

There’s no need to hide.”

 

Oh, what a glory!

That day to see

My precious Jesus

And bow the knee!

One day I’ll see him

As face to face

And then I’ll proclaim

“Saved by your grace.”

 

–Abilene

Camp NaNoWriMo Kick-Off

Camp National Novel Writing Month is officially here, and I’m really excited to start the writing! Camp NaNo is basically a more-laid back version of NaNoWriMo–this time around, you can choose a smaller word goal, a lines or pages written goal, or a minutes or hours written goal, and you start a completely new project, re-write an old one, or finish one you’re already working on. This year, I’m finishing my spy action/thriller The Alley Runners with an optimal goal of 30,000 words–not as hard as last November’s 50,000, but not an easy goal, either. To celebrate the start of this month of writing, caffeine-drinking, Authortube-watching, procrastinating, and, at the end, relaxing and celebrating, I’m doing a recap of what I learned while noveling in November, my first time participating in NaNoWriMo.

 

 

Here is the link if you want to see my first post along these lines, What I’ve Learned About Writing While Writing My First Draft.

 

First of all, for those of you who do not know, National Novel Writing Month is November, in which literally thousands of people from all across the fifty states and fifteen territories compete to write a full length novel–50,000 words–in a month. I, along with several of my writing buddies (people you connect with to compete and be accountable with) –won, which is to say, reached 50,000 words. Here are my thoughts, my feelings, my adventure writing approximately 50,159 words in a month. And, by the way, all photo credits go to Pinterest. 😀

 

 

  • Writing is hard.

You're a writer. Be writing!

Don’t look at me like that. I know I have already said this multiple times. But with each new story, each new poem, each new book that I write (yes, I write books now, when did that happen?), I realize this more and more, even though the writing itself becomes easier. To finish 50k+ words in a month–that, my friends, takes dedication. Several, several nights I was up l a t e. I sacrificed time I could have spent with family and friends so that I could accomplish my goals. I seldom read or watched television. At school, I thought about writing. At home, I forced myself to write. When I laid down to sleep, the last thing I wanted to think about was my book, yet that was the only thing on my mind. It was hard, going like that for a month. Very hard. But it was so worth it. And I’m sure the thousands of others who participate in NaNo with me whole-heartedly agree. We did it, and it was worth it.

 

 

  • You’ll always need more research than you think you need.

This year, I tried my hand at seriously writing a historical fiction for the first time ever, and, in Preptober (slang for October, NaNoWriMo prep month), I researched enough, or so I thought. I outlined the course of the American War for Independence, made notes about different ships that were widely used during the second half of the eighteenth century, did other things along those lines. I thought I was all set.

Somehow, I didn’t think about the fact that hey, I’ll need to know what 18th century sailors eat. Or what being flogged feels like. Or, did George Washington stay in a tent at Valley Forge, or in a house? (Surprisingly, he was quartered in a house. I had no idea that there even were houses in Valley Forge.) So many things I had not thought about, even though I thought I did an excellent job preparing for November. My Google search history looked a bit strange at the end of November.  “trenton nj map 1780s” “terms of endearment in Japanese” “john paul jones” “rank lower than corporal”

Though researching isn’t always the most fun part of writing, it is necessary.

 

 

  • You’re going to need a break, and that’s okay.

Specifically, I didn’t take full-on breaks in November. I wrote all thirty-one days. And now I know you’re thinking “Why is she saying this?” Because I took little, itty-bitty mini breaks. I would be short two hundreds words at the end of the day, and I’d shut my laptop down, anyway. Maybe I forced myself to read for a half hour one day, to ignore the computer until after school the next. To be honest, most of November is a caffeinated blur now; I do remember specifically letting myself scroll Pinterest looking for book aesthetics to motivate myself to write, and, after writing through half of a movie, cutting my word goal down a few notches and letting myself take a break. Nobody wants to write when they hate writing. If you can, take a few days off. Just do what you have to do. Your health and mental state are so much more important than if you can write a 50,000 words in thirty days.

 

 

  • Your family and friends may not understand, but they will believe.

Never stop believing. #amwriting #writingtips #inspiration

This was a huge one for me. So many people around me encouraged me, asked me how my goals were going, had a sympathetic ear. My sisters were understanding when I couldn’t play a board game or didn’t have time to watch that old black-and-white movie. Lily and Eva read along while I wrote on the big school monitor or smiled when I dug out a piece of paper to scribble the next scene during study hall. And, at the end, they bragged on me. Oh, they bragged on me. My teen leader’s wife proudly announced to Action Teens (my youth group) that I had written a 50,000 word novel in a month. Lily was thrilled for me. Mom was impressed–she had told all of her siblings at Thanksgiving what I was trying to do, and now I had done it. None of these people necessarily understood why I was doing what I did, or why it was so important to me, but they all believed I could. And that means worlds to me.

 

 

  • It can be done.

A writer is a writer

When I first started NaNo, about a week in, I was able to visit a NaNo-inspired writing conference at my library and meet bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf. But I also met a librarian (whose name escapes me now), and as we were chatting about NaNo, she said she had attempted NaNo seven times before and never won. That really struck me, and, quite honestly, put a lot of doubts into my head. This grown, adult woman, hadn’t finished every year for seven years. What about me? Sixteen-year-old, wet-behind-the-ears me, who doesn’t know two things about noveling, has school and homework in abundance, is taking a five-day trip for Thanksgiving, and can barely find the time to write, as it is? How is this going to work out? I might as well just quit now. I’ll never finish.

But hey. Guess what. I’ll let you in a little secret. I finished, and it CAN be done What did I just do? I wrote a full-length novel with a specific beginning, middle, and end, in not three years–the approximate time it took me to write Though He Slay Mebut thirty DAYS. IN DAYS.

Wow. Just typing that seems ridiculous. But I, and thousands of others like me, accomplished our goals. After it all, we were tired. We were mixtures of ecstatic and cranky (mostly ecstatic.) I thought of the librarian, and I hoped she made it.

 

 

Well, my friends, that just about wraps it up! What are your plans for Camp NaNo? Did you did NaNo last year? What is your favorite NaNo memory? Also, any questions for a Q+A? Let’s talk!

 

–Abilene