Life Update 7/2/2016 (and why I’ve been missing)

Again, I must apologize for being missing for a few months. Although, oddly enough, this time I have a decent excuse. I literally haven’t had wifi for two months. Since a couple days after my last post, I left for camp. There is no wifi at camp. AT ALL.

So, yeah, a good enough excuse if I do say so myself. I’ll have wifi for the next 6-ish hours, and I’ll be making good use of it. Of course, that means Netflix.

But by way of update, I’ll tell you a bit about my summer so far. I’m working at a Christian summer camp again. This will be my… 5th? year doing camp things. However, it is my first year being a counselor. And I absolutely love it.

Being a camp counselor is the coolest thing ever in my opinion. I’m working with day campers at my camp. My kids are 8-12 years old. They are ADORABLE. (Squee). Of course, a few of them are harder than others to deal with, but I’ve found that I genuinely love these kids.

Being a counselor at a Christian camp is even more awesome. It’s not normally every day that I get the chance to teach impressionable young minds about Christ. But at camp, that’s exactly what I get to do. My favorite part of the day is the Bible lesson that I get to do in the mornings. We’re going through most of the major stories of the Bible, and I’m already seeing a difference in these kids’ lives.

So far, in day camp, we’ve seen seven kids give their lives to Christ. THAT is the best part of camp for me. Forget swimming at the lake or shooting arrows. Seeing kids grow in the Lord is the coolest part of this job.

I’ve also been growing a lot in my own walk with Christ. I’ve started reading my Bible and praying in the morning every day. It’s something I’ve been wanting to for a long time, but something has always held me back. Anyway, I’ve been enjoying my quiet times in the morning.

Speaking of mornings, I have to wake up at a just ungodly hour. I wake up every day at 5:45 am. You should know something about me: I am NOT a morning person. Strangely enough, it hasn’t really bothered me too much. I think part of the reason is that I’m enjoying my Bible study. But we as day camp also go to bed earlier than anyone else. I’m usually in bed around 10:30. So I get somewhere around seven hours of sleep every night. I’m functioning surprisingly well, all things considered.

It’s really funny to see how my attitude about sleep has changed since I got to camp. Usually, by 10 pm, I’ll look at the clock and think, “Oh, I can stay up a few more hours.” A couple of days ago, on the other hand, I got into bed and looked at the clock, and it said 9:45 pm, and my immediate thought was, “Oh cool! I’m in bed before 10!”

In other news, I’ve decided that I really love living in the mountains. The views up here near Roanoke are amazing. I know my mom will find this surprising, but I actually really like driving in the mountains. I got to borrow a friend’s car today and drive down to the coffee shop I am currently sitting in. The drive here was just gorgeous. I might want to live up here permanently someday.

I think that’s about all I can think of to update you about right now. Hopefully it won’t be two months before I’m able to talk to you guys again.

 

Tell me about your lives in the past two months in the comments. Have you done anything interesting recently?

What’s happening in our colleges?

Have you guys read some of the stories about college students who can’t handle… well, anything? If you haven’t, allow me to list a few.

It’s ridiculous. College is supposed to be a place where you can stretch your mind and find out about new ways of thinking. It’s not supposed to be a safe space. There should never be anything safe (intellectually speaking) about college. As far as I’m concerned, if you make it through your entire collegiate career without once hearing an opinion you don’t agree with, then it was all a waste.

Not only are today’s college SJWs wussies that can’t handle chalk writings that will wash away when it rains, but they are also just plain obnoxious. I recently watched this video (and a few others like it) and was appalled.

Just watch (language warning).

These people can’t handle hearing opinions they disagree with, and they don’t even have the decency to walk away. They have to shout and complain and disrupt the entire event just to be contrarian.

And you know what the kicker is? This entire show was called “The Triggering” and was supposed to be a discussion about free speech and political correctness gone too far. Obviously the people in the audience didn’t realize that they were proving the speaker’s point by acting like idiots the whole time.

The only ones these protesters (or loud, whiny morons if you prefer) are hurting are themselves. They are depriving themselves the experience of hearing another’s point of view. I know from experience that the only way to counter an argument you disagree with is to have better arguments, which requires knowing what the original argument was in the first place.

I can’t tell you how happy I am to go to a school where people can handle opinions they don’t agree with. We’ve had speakers come to convocation that most of us don’t like. Most students at Liberty dislike Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Yet, all 10,000 of us sat quietly and listened politely.

It was probably good for us. In the case of Bernie, I’m willing to bet that there were a few students who’d never seen was socialism looked like. For Trump it was good to see the obvious attempt at pandering. You learn things when you take the time to just listen.

You don’t have to like it. But you don’t have to act like a jerk. Liberty students give me hope that maybe my generation isn’t doomed to destroy themselves looking for “safe spaces.”

Dear Target, you’re not being inclusive

Target store

Dear Target,

Look, I think it’s nice that you want to be known as the super inclusive store. I mean, the rest of the world just thinks of you as the slightly over-priced alternative to Wal-Mart, but whatever. The thing is that you are not being inclusive.

You may think that you’re being inclusive to the tiniest section of the population by saying that transgendered people can choose which bathroom they want, but you’re actually alienating what constitutes most of your market: women. You are alienating them because you are putting them in danger. When you say that a man can go into the women’s restroom, you also leave the door wide open for perverts.

Listen Target, I understand that you probably weren’t thinking about the perverts that will take advantage of your new policy when you announced it. You just wanted to appease the social justice warriors that scream their shrill little heads off whenever they don’t get their way. I get it, but that doesn’t make it okay.

Here’s the statement you released about the controversy on Tuesday:

Guess what? I don’t feel “accepted, respected, and welcomed” in your store. As a woman, I feel like you just spit in my face. I feel afraid. More than anything, I feel like you don’t care about me. All you care about is appeasing one very tiny and very loud minority.

Look, you gotta do what you gotta do. If you want to endanger the majority to capitulate to the minority, you go right ahead. But until you change this policy, I won’t feel comfortable in your store, and it seems like a whole lot of people agree with me.

Uncomfortable people don’t buy as many things, just so you know.

Little Engine Tag

I’ve been tagged by one of my oldest blog friends, Matt, from The Little Engine that Couldn’t to do his new tag. I’m trying to blog more, so why not?

Like any good tag, there are rules:

  • Each answer you give to a question has to be more than two sentences long. Or at the very least, you have to make those two sentences meaningful.
  • There will be two bonus questions at the end, that the blogger gets to change to whatever they want to ask when they nominate someone else. The first six questions, however, are set in stone.
  • At the end you must nominate three to five other bloggers. Okay, so you don’t have to, but that would be nice if you could.

So without further ado, my answers:

Apparently we have to use this image…

1) What’s one of your biggest pet peeves?

Mouth noises. If you smack your lips while you eat or chew gum with your mouth open, understand, I will spend most of my time around you actively plotting your demise. Most of the reason that I sleep with earplugs in is so that I don’t have to listen to mouth noises from whoever my roommate is.

2) What is your favorite song at the moment?

My favorite song? Probably “Hat Trick” by Jonathan Thulin. Actually, I like all of the songs on his new album, but if I had to pick one, that one will do.

But if you want to know what’s been stuck in my head, the answer is the theme song from Animaniacs. I’ve been watching the show on Netflix, and now I can’t get the theme song out of my head. It is obnoxiously catchy.

 

3) Who is your favorite blogger?

Oh geez. I have no idea. I love reading Sarah Hoyt’s writing advice and political commentary. But I also enjoy Shannon Thompson‘s posts about writing and cats and stuff, so…

Basically, if your name starts with an S and you like writing, there’s a good chance I’ll like you.

4) What’s the nicest thing you’ve seen someone do recently?

Somehow, this one is harder than the other ones. There’s a lot of negativity in the world. Uh… I guess it’s nice to see how many people hold open doors on my campus. We’re all in a rush this time of the semester, but it’s nice that people take just a few seconds to help out someone who’s probably a stranger.

5) What’s something you regret doing?

Buying textbooks that I have to sell later. I prefer not buying books that I don’t want to read and that I won’t keep. Not that my bookshelf could handle anymore even if I did keep them.

6) If you could take only three items with you to a deserted island, what would they be, and why?

Depends on the island, I suppose. If we’re talking a deserted island with no people, but with a fully stocked condo on the beach with electricity and running water, then probably my laptop, its charger, and a satellite phone. I would have the best writing week ever and then call for someone to come get me.

7) What’s your favorite TV show?

Right now, I would have to say Gotham. I watched the whole thing on Netflix a few weeks ago. I haven’t seen a show that hooked me like that for a long time. I can’t wait for the next season.

8) What are you looking forward to?

SUMMER! I’ve only got like two weeks left in the school year, and then I’m free. For 9 days, and then I go to camp. I’ve been wanting to be a camp counselor for a long time, and this year, I finally found someone who will hire me.

My nominations:

  1. Shannon from shannonathompson.com because I like her writing and she’s fun.
  2. Austin from Return of the Modern Philosopher because I think he’d like the train.
  3. Peg from Peg-o-Leg’s Rambling because she’s hilarious.

There you go. Now you know more about me. Hopefully that’s a good thing.

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Have you read my short story yet? What? No? Well go read it!

It’s FREE for those with Kindle Unlimited and only $0.99 for everyone else. Click here to buy it.

The Lifeguard Cover

 

Highs and Lows

rollercoaster

My life feels a bit like a roller coaster right now. Up, down, up, left, right, up, down. The good news is that I like roller coasters. I tend to do very well under ridiculous amounts of stress. Still, I’m looking forward to the summer. I’ll have 9 days at the end of the semester before I have to pack up and go to camp. Hopefully they’ll be 9 lazy days.

The first high of the last week or so was that I finished my video project for my honors psychology class and it looked pretty cool. My partners loved it, and I liked it. Probably could have done a bit more work on the sound, but it was a psychology class, not a production class. My low for this one is that the professor still hasn’t graded it a week later. I really hate waiting for grades. It just hangs a weight of stress around my neck that won’t go away until I get the grade.

Next, I’ve got my video production class, where the biggest project will be due in like a week and a half. My team (yeah, a team project totally makes everything easier) is doing fine for time, but it’s hard to get everything done when we’re trying to work around everyone’s hectic schedule. So that class is equal parts exhilarating and terrifying.

I’m in the same boat for my audio class. I have another team final project that is due at final exam time. I’m not as worried about this one as in the video class, but it’s just another thing to try not to worry too much about. I haven’t had the chance to study for the final exam too much in this class, so that’s not helping matters.

Of course, there’s the big high of the week. I released my new short story on Amazon a few days ago for only $0.99. As of this writing, a total of 8 people have bought my book. I can’t tell you how happy that makes me. People actually paid money to read something that I wrote. Cool.

On a slightly lower note, I had a friend come up to me last week and ask if I could help her with a biology project that apparently needed filming. I told her sure, if I was available. It seems that I am. Hopefully, I can do what she needs me to. I’m not the greatest of cinematographers, but I think I can help her out.

Like most college students around this time of the year, I’m tired most of the time. I’ve never been able to sleep well, and now I have run out of my usual sleep aids. I’m trying to get to bed earlier, but I’ve got so much to do that I haven’t been able to.

Up, down, left, up, down, up. It’s crazy right now, but the end is in sight. I just have to hang on for three more weeks, and then I’ll have a little break.

And then it’s off to summer camp and a whole new bag of highs and lows.

EDIT: I completely forgot another area of stress. I’m busy trying to deal with finding an apartment with two of my friends. We’ve already settled on a place, so now we’re trying to finalize things and make sure we did everything right. Sheesh. Adulting is hard.

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Have you read my short story yet? What? No? Well go read it!

It’s FREE for those with Kindle Unlimited and only $0.99 for everyone else. Click here to buy it

The Lifeguard Cover

It’s time to read my story

The Lifeguard Cover

Here it is everyone! “The Lifeguard” is my first title out on Amazon for the Kindle. Remember, it’s only $0.99. You can’t even get a hamburger for that price in most places. But, kindly soul that I am, I am willing to give you almost 8,000 of my precious words for that price.

So go out and pick it up for your Kindle. And leave me a review because reviews are awesome.

A short excerpt to entice you:

I remembered my younger days. I’d spent years as a lifeguard in my teens. I’d probably saved hundreds of children and dozens of adults. However, at this moment, it wasn’t my time as I lifeguard that I thought about. It was someone else’s. Before I was a responsible teenager, trusted with the lives of swimmers, I was an obnoxious thirteen-year-old boy…

Click HERE to read the rest.

I’m Publishing Something Tomorrow

*Big Announcement*

I’m going to be publishing my new short story*, “The Lifeguard” tomorrow! It’s around 8,000 words and it’s for sale for only $0.99, which is less than you can pay for… well, anything these days.

“The Lifeguard” is a story about a 13-year-old boy who just wants to have fun with his best friend at summer camp. However, one lifeguard seems determined to kill his fun.

And if it sounds like a simple feel-good story, well, it kinda is. But it’s also got a massive twist at the end that gives the story it’s, um, PG-13 rating.

So until tomorrow (or whenever it actually goes live), here’s the cover.

The Lifeguard Cover.jpg

 

*Yes, I realize that 8,000 words is a little long for a short story. Maybe it’s a novelette or something. I don’t know. I’m verbose. But it’s $0.99, so just go get it!