// q&a answers | part four //


i’m doing a q&a post today, because despite having nearly forty drafts, i “don’t have anything else to post!!”

sam‘s questions:

what is your favorite tree?

weeping cherries! when i was younger, my brother and i took swimming lessons at a college pool. there was a lovely weeping cherry outside the building, and i remember dancing under it while the petals tumbled down and caught in my wet hair.

i also like pines and weeping willows.

watercolor or color pencils?

i use both, but i prefer colored pencils. i have a much wider range of colors, and they’re easier to control.

three favorite christmas movies?

the nightmare before christmas. i love that one so much. but i never know if i should watch it on halloween or christmas, so i do both. that’s really the only christmas movie i like. all the others that i’ve seen are too cheesy.

have you finished courageous hearts?

ugh, i have not. i haven’t been able to work on it at all since nano 2016, because the laptop broke.

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favorite youtuber?

the only youtuber i really watch is dodie clark (her channels are doddlevloggle and doddleoddle). she’s lovely and funny and has an amazing style, and i like her music. i’m also subscribed to kati morton, she makes mental health/psychology videos. and sometimes i watch good mythical morningpeanutbuttergamer, and game theory with my brother.

fuzzy socks or fleece blanket?

i like wrapping myself up in a blanket and becoming a blanket burrito.

do you like white chocolate?

i used to like white chocolate, but then everyone told me that it was gross and fake chocolate, so i stopped eating it. thanks, society.

what is your favorite baskin robbins ice cream flavor?

Following the announcement of production beginning for Antman and the wasp, The real question everyone was asking is if everyone’s favorite Baskin-Robbins manager Dale will appear again.

i’ve never been to baskin robbins. so there you go.

do you have any plans for this summer?

since summer is over, i’ll just list some of the things i did.

i went to a co-op picnic that was sort of a last hurrah for my class, my friends convinced me to go to a field day with them, i explored a swimming holewent to emerald isle on vacation, ran a 5k, went to summer camp, celebrated b‘s birthday, and went to the fair.

would you rather be a unicorn or a mermaid?

i’ve always had a love for mermaids that i haven’t really grow out of. i have a mermaid tail and mermaid-length hair (aka long enough that i wouldn’t have to wear a top). so definitely a mermaid (although my nickname was unicorn at one point. thanks, k.).

do you like starbucks?

i’ve never actually had starbucks, so i don’t think i can answer this. i’m not really a fan of coffee, anyway. but i guess they put so much other stuff in that it doesn’t really taste like coffee anymore.

what animal would be cutest if scaled down to the size of a cat?


can you imagine having a tiny dragon? it would sleep in your lap and light candles for you and you could put a leash on it and take it on walks! T I N Y  D R A G O N S, GUYS.

what weird food combinations do you really enjoy?

i will eat peanut butter on pretty much anything. cornbread? check. cookies? check. ice cream? check. just give me something with peanut butter on it and i’ll probably like it.

what food is delicious but a pain to eat?

 i have braces, so everything is kind of a pain to eat. food gets stuck in my braces and chewing hurts like heck if the bands have been tightened. r.i.p. loren.

what was the last photo you took?

this one. it’s from the veteran’s day parade my ahg troop was in. izzy and i were in the front, and we carried a banner that said “home of the free, because of the brave.” random people watching the parade kept telling us to smile so we’d be prettier. that was strange.

what is the most amazing slow motion video you’ve seen?

idk, pal, i don’t remember every slow-mo video i’ve watched in my life.

where are some unusual places you’ve been?

longwood gardens. when i was in pennsylvania this spring, my mom and i visited an enormous garden that had lakes, a meadow, bizarre and amazing tree houses, etc.

☼ the rock-throwing range. at camp, there’s a dilapidated area beside the main road. there are thick poles stuck into the ground, with sheets of metal attached to them. there’s a mound of gravel in front of the poles, which you can use as ammunition. the rock-throwing range feels slightly disconnected from the rest of the world, especially when it’s dusk and all you can hear is the ping of rock against metal and muttered expletives when you miss.

 ☼ a cafe downtown. i’ve always been fascinated by it. i’ve never actually been inside, though. it has vibrant, picasso-style murals all over the walls.

☼ sunflower field. not too far from my house is a huge field. the owners plant sunflowers in it, so many sunflowers blooming and exuding joy that you feel as if you are in a van gogh painting. you’re allowed to walk through the field and pick flowers for a small fee, although i’ve never had a chance to do it.

☼ fairy stone state park. i went on vacation there one time. it seemed quite normal: trees, lake, critters, etc. the sort of things you would expect to find at any state park. but you can find tiny rocks there that are shaped like crosses. one day after it rained, we drove to a gas station and searched through the muddy bank of a stream. the fairy stones had been stirred to the surface by the runoff. the legend of the fairy stones is that an elven messenger came to the forest to tell the fairies there about the death of Christ. their tears, upon reaching the ground, morphed into beautiful stone crosses.

ms. agdoll’s questions:

what’s your favorite season?

autumn! there are so many wonderful things about autumn, it’s almost not fair to the other seasons. the pretty colors, perfect temperature, halloween, apple cider, etc. and autumn brings soccer, my youth group’s weekend retreat, and nanowrimo.

favorite drawing instrument?

my mom has these super thin markers called staedtler pigment liners. i use them in most of my drawings, for outlining and writing.

what do you think of ag’s newest doll?

at this point, i don’t even know who the newest doll is.

favorite summer activities?

sitting in a spot of sunlight on the porch and drawing. making flower crowns. listening to albums on repeat, so that whenever i listen to them, i will be transported back to this summer. picking fruit and making smoothies out of it. stretching out in a patch of sun and reading.

favorite author?

here are a few off the top of my head:

rebecca stead
jodi lynn anderson
pseudonymous bosch
cressida cowell
shannon messenger

what’s the longest trip you’ve ever taken?

when i went to myrtle beach for the weekend to visit my mom’s best friend from high school. it took us around ten hours to get there because my mom got lost. what fun. :)

day or night?

nighttime, no doubt. music and books somehow mean more to me when it’s the middle of the night. you can actually hear yourself think in the darkness. and i enjoy going outside at night, because i can breathe and watch the stars. everything is calm and mysterious.

have you ever stayed up all night?

oh, yes, many times. i pulled about four all-nighters in july. the first time i ever stayed up all night, i think, was at an ahg lock-in at a climbing gym. izzy was there, and our friend emily from summer camp. we spent the night bouldering, eating pizza, and making up an insane story about bob the tiger, who married anias the unicorn.

how many books do you have? XD XD

you’re really going to make me count all of my books? what kind of twisted joke is this?

. . .

there are 103 books on the floor of my bedroom. i really need a bookshelf.

do you like tea?

yes, of course! i love having it on those gloomy days that drag on forever, or when i’m writing. my favorite kind that we have in the house is either english breakfast or peppermint.

about how much time do you spend on the computer every day?

at least twenty-seven hours a day.

favorite school subject?

i like astronomy, p.e. (my co-op’s p.e. was just running/playing soccer), and art.

have you ever picked up a frog? (or anything similar :p)

one time my brother’s dumb fish jumped out of the tank. he was freaking out too much to do anything, so i had to pick the fish up and toss it back in.

oh, and my first kiss was with a fish, so that’s pretty gross.

i have to do math homework, but i missed two days of school because i was sick, so i have no idea how to do it. also, i’m just bad at math in general. and i need to work on nano and go to a baby shower and study for a spanish quiz and a science quiz, but i’m procrastinating by doing this instead. please send help.




// tips for writing stuttering //

i thought i’d post some writing tips in honor of nano. i’m going to be talking about stuttering, because that’s something that lots of writers get wrong.

i’ve seen stuttering done like this countless time: “w-w-well, i . . . i m-mean, you k-know . . .” and it bothers me, because that’s not how people actually stutter. not how i stutter, anyway. it might be different for others.

i don’t trip over my words aloud as much i used to, but i still do it all the time when i’m thinking. i’ll just be talking to myself in my head, and then i’ll reach a mental roadblock. that’s what it feels like. i know the word, i know how to say it, but my mind won’t let me. i’ll just trail off instead while i try to force it out. i usually end up having to change the way the sentence is worded so i can avoid the one that my brain isn’t letting me say.

when i’m stuttering out loud, it’s not just because i’m nervous/shy. sometimes i stutter when i’m excited, when i’m angry, when i’m talking about something personal. and like i just mentioned, i’ll reach a roadblock. if i try to say the word, my throat feels tight and i am literally incapable of saying it.

here are some alternative ways to write stuttering, besides the classic way:

– have them repeat some words

– have them trail off and restart their sentence

– show them getting frustrated/embarrassed

– have them begin the sentence one way, then reword it

– have them pronounce a word incorrectly a few times before getting it right

– have them mix up their words: “i played with my cat today” becomes “i played with my today cat.”

i hope this was helpful! if you’d like to add onto this, leave your tips in the comments.



// playlist: rad //

the “rad” playlist (which originally had y.m.c.a. on it, but it made me laugh so hard that i had to take it off):

i want you back // the jackson 5

forget you // ceelo green

blitzkrieg bop // ramones

basket case // green day

back in black // ac/dc

hooked on a feeling // blue swede

should i stay or should i go // the clash

we will rock you // queen

another one bites the dust // queen

carry on my wayward son // kansas

i wanna rock // twisted sister

i wanna be sedated // ramones

cherry bomb // the runaways

we didn’t start the fire // billy joel

all the small things // blink-182

wake me up before you go-go // wham!

ghostbusters // ray parker jr.

it’s still rock and roll to me // billy joel

i’m sick today, have been since sunday night. i’ve got a fever/cold, i think. idk if anyone else does this, but when i’m sick, i have to be moving constantly or else i’ll feel like throwing up. which means i’ve been drumming my fingers on things, pacing, fanning myself, etc. it sucks a bit, but i’m actually kind of glad, because i didn’t have to go to school today.

 my friend izzy slept over on monday. we had a campfire, played the alphabet game (“my name is bartholomew, my husband’s name is bob, we live in a bathtub, and we sell BaBiEs on the bLaCk MaRkEt.”), watched guardians of the galaxy, slept in a hammock (2 people + 1 hammock = very bad idea), and made fun of each other until 2 a.m. the next morning, we danced in the rain to the piña colada song and then came back in and played just dance (which is always extremely competitive for us). i need to make an appreciation post for my friends sometime, because they’re strange and wonderful and make my heart do weird things.

i haven’t worked on my nano project yet today, but i’m at 24%, so i guess i’m on track. i’m still on the first chapter and everyone is still on titan, which isn’t nearly as much fun to write about as space shenanigans are. i want to strap them into their crappy ship immediately, but i need to introduce more characters before i can do that. someone help me, nano is already driving me insane and i’m only doing 15k words.

friendly reminder to take your meds, drink some water, and relax your shoulders. sometimes things are happy and sometimes they are sad, but they’re all good and you will be ok.



// missed connections //

i am afraid that one day
 i will be married
and i will cry myself to sleep
because i didn’t end up with you
and you will always be
the boy i miss

-m i s s e d  c o n n e c t i o n s 

today was not great. i was late to my soccer game because some days it hurts too much to get out of bed. it was freezing this morning and i could barely move my fingers by the end of the game. my friend bailed on me and i had to go to a church event alone, where i spent three hours trying to entertain a loud, energetic child with a tiny attention span. when i came home, i found that a book had been left on the sidewalk and had gotten soaked by the rain. i tried to do schoolwork that was due earlier this week, but i couldn’t concentrate. my head hurt and i was tired. it took me five hours to write 500 words for nano, and they weren’t even good words.

i miss my friends and i miss being told that i am loved and i miss my camp and i miss yesterday’s sunset and i miss getting in the ocean at night and i miss when it didn’t hurt to wake up. life is all about missing things and people and moments.

my head still hurts. and this is just me venting with some sucky poetry. i’m sorry. i’ve been angry today and it feels good to write things down.



// october book reviews //

hey. :)

i read nine books last month, i’m kind of proud of that. i’m going to try and make the reviews shorter this time because of how many there are.


this is where it ends by marieke nijkamp — 2/5 stars

i thought it was really boring. i didn’t care about any of the characters and the shooter wasn’t nearly complex enough to be a mass murderer. i finished it quickly because, although i didn’t think it was a very interesting story, i wanted to know who made it out of the school alive.

it has some really great reviews on goodreads, so maybe this is just a me thing?


tiger lily by jodi lynn anderson — 4.5/5 stars

i am in love with this book and you all need to read it right now. it’s definitely one of my favorites. the characters were fascinating, i felt all of their emotions and ended up crying at the end. there are so many incredible quotes in this book that i want to slap all over my room.

i would have given it five stars, but the very beginning was a little slow, in my opinion.

this book broke my heart. i recommend it 100%.

goodbye stranger by rebecca stead — 3/5 stars

 rebecca stead is one of my favorite authors. all of her books are phenomenal and a little weird. i fully expected to like this one, and i did. but it’s not that different from all the other middle school dramas i’ve read, except that it has a more serious theme.
  there’s a feminist character in it, which is great, right? except it wasn’t a very flattering depiction, kind of like le fou representing gay people in the live-action beauty and the beast.
 some of the chapters were told from the pov of a mystery character, in second person. i don’t really get why those chapters were in there, because they didn’t add anything to the plot. but it was a cute story about friendship and growing up and i can now say that i have read all of rebecca stead’s books.


girls like us by gail giles — 2.5/5 stars

it talked about what it’s like to be special ed and (SPOILER) a rape victim (END SPOILER). i haven’t read many books with characters like that. it was a quick read and i liked the diversity.

my issues with this book: 1) engaging plot? i don’t know her 2) quincy is awful and rude 3) i kept forgetting whose pov i was reading, because they have the exact same voice.

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wonder by r.j. palacio — 3/5 stars

it was a wonderful (ha) book, the writing flowed easily, the characters sounded their age, etc. but it was just another middle school story with drama and an underdog mc. in my opinion, anyway. i know a lot of people love wonder, so it’s probably just me and not the book.

the overall theme of this is “be kind!!” and while that’s great, it’s sort of simple. i was expecting something more meaningful and emotional, idk. and it bothered me that even though it’s about kindness, most of the characters weren’t kind to august — they just pitied him.

fangirl by rainbow rowell — 2.5/5 stars
 i’ve heard great things about rainbow rowell, so i’m a bit sad that this book didn’t click for me. it’s about a fanfiction writer with social anxiety, and it could have been a relatable book about being in a fandom, but it was actually really boring??
it’s a character driven story, and that’s fine, but i thought they were all sort of awful people. real, but awful. (wren and laura are disgusting humans, and cath and levi are just so normal. sorry.) i like reading because i get to hear about dragons and love and wars, not so i can drag myself through 450 pages of unnecessary family drama and not wanting to do your schoolwork.
 i didn’t like most of the book, but i enjoyed reading bits of cath’s simon snow fanfics (clearly based on harry potter). rowell has a book about simon and baz (carry on), and i want to read that. maybe a fantasy story will redeem this author for me.
 the empty grave by jonathan stroud — 5/5 stars
 this is the last book in the series. i don’t really know how to feel. of course it was amazing, but i’m sad now and the ending wasn’t really satisfying. it’s the kind of ending that makes you immediately want to look up fanfiction, because how could the story end there? (and this is coming from someone who has never purposely read fanfics before.)
 i was so emotionally invested in these characters that i had to stop reading every few minutes and gasp, because what if this character dies, and did he just say what i think he said? i spent the entire time worrying about the cast, because i was pretty sure that someone wasn’t going to make it.
 the strings weren’t all tied up by the end of the book, so i’m going to spend the rest of my life wondering about the skull and what happens to my ships. which is where the fanfiction comes in.
 if you haven’t read the lockwood & co. series, you should get working on it. they’re witty and creepy and the characters work so well together. plus, it’s one of my favorite series.
coraline by neil gaiman — 3.5/5 stars
 this one is creepy and perfect for reading around halloween. it definitely would have been better if i hadn’t watched the movie first, but it was still worth reading.
 the characters are all pretty great, they’ve got a lot of quirks and unique voices. but i felt like i didn’t know anything about them. and i guess it makes sense for this book, because it’s plot driven and the characters’ personalities aren’t super important, but still.
i loved coraline and the cat because they’re both sarcastic and sassy, and their banter was pretty amusing.
 this is one of those books that i think everyone should read. even though it’s not my favorite book in the world, it’s a classic.
holding up the universe by jennifer niven – 2.5/5 stars
 jennifer niven wrote one of my favorite books (all the bright places), and she’s an incredible writer, so i picked up this one, certain that i would love it. but i sort of can’t stand it??
 there were lots of good things about this book, like its message of self-love and how libby, former “america’s fattest teen,” knows that she doesn’t have to lose weight to be accepted. i also enjoyed reading about prosopagnosia, which i had never heard of before. and i thought the anxiety and eating disorder rep was pretty good.
 but the bad things outweighed the good ones. the characters were freaking annoying. i rolled my eyes at practically everything they did, even if it was normal, just because jack and libby and everyone else bothered me so much. i found a lot of it to be insanely unrealistic, like the bikini scene and the party and the entire romance. and the title had nothing to do with the story, and that always frustrates me to no end. also, jack thinks his younger brother is gay because he carried a purse for awhile. not a stereotype at all.
  it had the potential to be a really great story, but it fell short for me.

a lot of my reviews were quite negative, idk what that’s about. sure, it’s possible that all the crappy books in the library found their way into my hands, but i think my mood might have affected some of them, too. so take them with a grain of salt, ok?

// spooky time //

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happy halloween, my friends! enjoy the spookiness of today, because tomorrow everyone will start singing christmas songs. and make sure to eat lots of candy, of course. (i can’t eat most halloween candy because of my braces. sigh.)

i have always wanted to be a ghost (i cannot say why), and i was finally able to achieve my dream this year. behold loren, a rad little ghost.

thank you to my mom for taking these pictures for me. and for not asking questions when i said i needed her to photograph me dressed as a ghost.

can someone photoshop the anime blushing thing onto this one, please and thank you.

you can’t tell, but i’m doing jazz hands, because i’m still a theatre kid.

i don’t have a face and i still manage to look disappointed.

i fly.

me @ myself: you’re dead to me.

this is my personality summed up in one picture.

vroom vroom, dirtbag.

to my friends who are undoubtedly going to send this picture to my crush: please don’t.

i went trick-or-treating for the first time this weekend!! it wasn’t the normal door-to-door way. instead, my friend izzy and i went to this campground, where people sat in front of their campers/tents and gave out candy. izzy originally wasn’t going to collect candy, she was just going to steal mine. but then i used the power of math on her: “if we both trick-or-treat, then once we’re done, we’ll have the amount of candy that i have . . . times two.” she realized how clever this plan was and started getting candy, as well. but she ended up not sharing with me at all?? she just took my butterfingers and didn’t give me anything back. oh well.

there was a haunted house there, too. more like a haunted tent, i guess, but it’s the same thing. one room was filled with dry ice and sheer cloth hanging from the ceiling, and people with really creepy clown masks got right up in your face and walked beside you as you tried to leave the room.

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highlights of my trick-or-treating experience:

– someone was giving out wasabi peas!!

– there was a girl dressed as an old lady, she had a mask and a walker and everything.

– a little girl who izzy babysits held my hand and gave me kisses on the cheek. ^.^

– there were no other mabel pines, which means my idea was sort of original.

– izzy’s brother was dressed as a robot and someone asked if he was a washing machine.

– a guy in a freddy krueger mask snuck up on izzy and made her scream.

i hope you guys enjoyed the pictures. they were fun to take, even though i couldn’t see.

happy halloween!