Wednesday, October 22, 2014

of old documents, and maples - October Chatterbox

this is a very rough sketch of the maple sketch mentioned in the story below. please excuse the coarseness of the lines and shading.

Rachel, a friend of mine, has been doing a monthly “writing challenge” called Chatterbox over on her blog. Each month Rachel chooses a topic (this month, it is Maples), and we all (the various writers of the blogging-world) attempt to write up a small fiction piece (must include some dialogue and description) that has the respective topic in it. Rachel ever so kindly said we could switch up the form of Maples for this month's chatterbox, allowing us to use maple syrup, flavoring, leaves, etc.

Well only last month have I actually attempted to participate in said Chatterboxes. See, if you’ve been reading my blog for any time at all, you’ll find I’m not much of a writer. You’ve probably also noted that I’m even more lacking in the area of fiction writing. But I’ve loved writing since forever (specifically the historical fiction variety). And even though many of my other hobbies and passions take forefront in my day-to-day life, I've decided to try and regularly participate in Chatterbox.

So, here’s my go at a small fiction piece concerning Maples (in a small way). I’ve decided to use new characters of mine, not fully developed yet. Here's a very rough-draft snippet that I've come up with, all written in one sitting. Also, I inserted a little more description of the characters then I normally do just so you can imagine the scene a bit better.

Brandt and
Cyril Arbuthnot;
brothers, respectively.
"Come now! Can't you see?" Brandt, exasperated, slid the document across the table.
Cyril, running his hand through his auburn curls, picked up the document and earnestly examined it. He knew the connection had to be fairly unmissable, for Brandt wouldn't have gotten quite so frustrated with him over something less than obvious. But he just couldn't see what Brandt was talking about.
Cyril readjusted his monocle, his brother and him had an intolerable habit of picking up rather old-fashioned habits,  and gazed back and forth between the paper he held in his hand and a piece of paper laying on the table. Soon the gears in Cyril's head began to turn. 
The first document Cyril held contained a set of graphs in the center, with both letters and numbers trailing around the perimeter of the page. Sketched on the second page resting on the table was a maple tree, and underneath the tree were scrolled the words: 
"Under the maple she Sang, and under the maple she danced. With the wind in her hair and the clouds in her eyes, she Wished the world a tearful goodbye."
It all seemed very mysterious to Cyril, and he didn't know quite what to make of it. The two papers were somehow connected, but he couldn't see it.
It seemed apparent that Brandt had it all figured out, as he always did. Brandt was by all accounts the older, wittier, and quite superlative Arbuthnot brother. All debonair and sophisticated, with his markedly good features, golden mane, and energetic blue eyes. Brandt seemed to be in a jocular mood at the moment, his arms good-naturedly crossed over his chest and a bit of a complacent smile dancing on his lips. 
Laughing, Cyril amiably exclaimed, "Good grief, man! Do just tell me." 
In his familiar older brother tone, Brandt began. "Well brother, here are my deductions thus far. This maple here," Brandt gestured to an old photograph of an ancient maple tree sitting on the table, "is the same as that sketch you're looking at."
"And how brother, pray tell, did you deduce that? Perhaps the very coincidence that they both happen to be the same kind of tree?"
And I've got to end there. I'm plumb out of ideas as to where to go from there, and I haven't really thought of how this particular piece will fit in with my novel.

So there's my simple fiction portion to add to the Chatterbox. Perhaps you enjoyed it, perhaps not. Either way, I had a blast concocting it. 

If you happen to take part in Rachel's Chatterbox, do let me know! I'd love to read whatever you write.

All text © 2014 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2014 Charity Klicka Photography
*All characters used in this post are completely fictional; likeness to an individual in real life is purely coincidental. 

worn, body and soul.

i’m tired I’m worn
my heart is heavy
from the work it takes
to keep on breathing
i’ve made mistakes
i’ve let my hope fail
my soul feels crushed
by the weight of this world

Ever have those days where if you were to take a moment to stop and think about your life, you'd cry? Or more like, ever been so overwhelmed that you feel like crying, or yelling, or sleeping every other second of the day?

Well, today is one of those days (well, years) for me. I'd like to disappear for a long while. It's not just because school is overwhelming; there are so many other factors that add up to this acute feeling of being overrun. School + work + health + worrying + friends + ad infinitum.

I'm not trying to sound all Debbie Downer over here, but this is the place I find myself.

I worry, too much. I can say I’ve certainly gotten better at not worrying quite so much. But when life gets overwhelming, my old foe takes center stage once more.
Right now I’m wrestling with a particular situation that is, quite idiotically, causing me much worry. I’ve got this friend who, like me, is going through sophomore year in college. We’re both practically on the same page in life; working nearly full-time, saving up and paying for college out of pocket, both in sophomore year, and both incredibly overwhelmed with our current situation in life. I can’t say I’m much of an optimist, but I can say I know where my Hope comes from. And with this knowledge, I continually choose to look on the brighter side of life, to take that next step forward, to say to life do your worst. I’m not any less overwhelmed than my friend, but somehow I’ve plucked up a little more courage to get through (one semester at a time). This particular friend seems to have fallen into a bit of despair over the whole college “adventure”. They’ve still got a good measure of audacity left, and are keeping their head up as best they can; but they’re losing hope rapidly. I’ve been trying my best to encourage them as best as I’m able, for I’m in their exact same predicament. Yet the more I try and encourage, the more distant and rather despondent they get (or so it seems to me). I’ve got nothing encouraging left to say.
And herein lies the source of my worry. I’ve been praying for my friend daily, and when I see them in person I try my best to lift their spirits. But their present state is worrying me. I’m at the place where the best thing to do is just give them over to God, yet that’s really hard to do. Worrying helps me handle or control things (or so I try and tell myself). Gah, I want to be there for my friend, but I don’t know how to. This friend is not particularly receptive to my encouragement (of course it doesn't help that I can’t speak words in an eloquent form), and the more I see and talk with them the more distant they become.

And then that makes me feel like I'm not "enough" to be their friend; as in I'm not the "perfect friend" who would know exactly how to encourage them, would have the most splendiferous words to say, and would be all chummy n' stuff. I'm just not that. 

And that makes me overwhelmed.

But here’s me, giving it over to God. He’s got this, and I utterly don’t. A few lines somehow came together in my muddled brain this week that have been surprisingly encouraging:

i’m not alone in this fight
it’ll be all right
got to get back up
He is on my side

I won't be the perfect friend, I won't always have the right words to say; and I may lose friends and feel overwhelmed at the prospect of the present state of another friend, but through it all I have the choice to keep my head up. Because of my great Hope, I can say "send sickness, poverty, losses, crosses, persecution, whatever You will; You have forgiven me, and my soul is glad" (Charles Spurgeon).

There's a second part to the lyrics at the beginning of this post. The rest of the verse goes like this:

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

That's all there is to it. I'm utterly, incredibly, acutely worn and weary. But I know that He can give me rest. And so with all that is in me, I cry out to Him. With all that I have left, I fall on my knees before His throne.

I may still be worn and weary at times, but i know that He is greater still.

All text © 2014 Footprints in the Sand; song lyrics: Worn by Tenth Avenue North | All Images © 2014 Charity Klicka Photography

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Instagram Muses - morning runs, new auntship, and lots of outdoorness

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12

Well, this is my second post in a sort of monthly installment of my Instagram muses. Snapshots of a little lately in my life. I'm going on the assumption that you'd actually want to see snapshots of my life. 

This post encompasses shots from the beginning of September to October 9th. The last shot is taken of me in California, and coming in a few days will be a full-feature post on California (so stay tuned)!

Below are my thoughts on the above photos:
photos // (L to R)

1. autumn writings. notes, old postcards, brown-paper packages, string and gift tags, and then of course, tea. all the lovely things that come with note-writing this time of year
2. a shot of my backyard one wonderful evening in september. took this right before i went out the door to evening church. it was an incredible kind of evening
3. part of my weekly quote series and part of a new print series i'm working on ... well, slowly working on. haven't had much time of late. but it will be up in my shop soon here. i'm also going to launch a giveaway for one custom print, once the new prints are in the shop. so you should stay tuned for that!
4. a lovely shot from a fun interview/blog post i collaborated on last month. plus an inspiring quote to go along with it: "God creates out of nothing. wonderful you say. yes, to be sure, but he does what is still more wonderful: he makes saints out of sinners.” -søren kierkegaard
5. i drank 2 big bottles (some 50 oz each bottle) of this amazing tea last month, while doing economics homework late into the night. this is one of my absolute favorite bottled teas
6. had quite a few nearly intolerable and stressful weeks last month (well, and this month too), and so i took to my car and just drove (while also blasting the country music). i find that driving, with no destination in sight, is a healing balm for a weary heart. you should try it. i guarantee it'll make a world of difference (well, unless you're the sort that can't drive yet or who dislikes driving ... then i'm afraid this won't do you much good)
7. one of my favorite shots ever. me holding my precious niece, Jacquelyn, just a few days after she was born (september 16). i love her to the moon and back, and then some. and i'm an aunt for the first time too! so happy
8. september skies, my view of the blue ridge mountains
9. got this really fantastic book at an antique store a few weeks ago. so enjoying it. it's called: the book of old ships and something of their evolution and romance, drawn by gordon grant and text by henry b. culver. it makes me love ships and the sea so much more than i already do
10. this is one of my favorite paintings from the aforementioned book. it's located inside the cover, and it's called the constitution and guerrière by michael corné (new haven colony historical society)
11. this painting is part of my creative pay-it-forward art challenge i took up this year. on the far right side of the painting, which you can't see in the photo, is the quote: "pooh?" said piglet. "yes?" said pooh. "nothing", said piglet. "i just wanted to be sure of you." -a.a. milne, winnie the pooh
12. this photo was taken while i was in california last week for my brother's wedding. i had just finished a 2-mile run along the shoreline. as i mentioned above,  coming in a few days will be a full-feature post on my trip to California (mainly just photos of the sea, as we were by the shore most of the week i was there)

Well mates, there you are. Just a little glimpse into the life Charity Klicka. 

All text © 2014 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2014 Charity Klicka Photography

Monday, September 29, 2014

octobers, my favorite - Weekly Quote

Hello October. "I'm so glad I live in a world where there are Octobers.”
L. M. Montgomery, Anne Of Green Gables

What's your favorite tradition, activity, sighting, smell, etc of Autumn?

All text © 2014 Footprints in the Sand | All Images © 2014 Charity Klicka Photography