Hope Didn’t Go Anywhere

M’k. First off, I know I shouldn’t be, but I’m shocked by how many people commented on the last post in regards to my feeling hopeless. A lot of you don’t know me and yet you still care. You cared enough to take the time to write out long comments. I’m so blessed. ❤

I can’t say I’m magically all better, but my heart feels a bit lighter. Some of you said you felt the same way and you’ve got no idea how much better that makes me feel.

Not Alone by RED is probably the theme for this post and life. ❤

The Grey by Icon for Hire is probably the off and on theme for my life. 😛

But seriously. Hope was always there and I knew it but couldn’t see it. It’s in each and every one of you guys that I’m so blessed to know exist. Just by being alive and telling me it will be okay and backing that up with Truth is phenomenal. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I really can’t say that enough. Please, continue to pray for me since the struggles aren’t over and you bet you’re in my prayers as well. 🙂

A lot of the problem is just that I don’t know what I’m supposed to do with my life. I know that whatever is supposed to happen, will. I need to work on trusting and believing. Not as easy as it sounds. xD Life isn’t a Disney movie. If it were, I’d make friends with faeries and be flying around to hug you all. ❤

I love you all so dearly. Thank you. 🙂

Hope never leftGod bless. ❤



Where did hope go?

Where did hope go?

It’s been on my heart lately. People have been making depression, sickness, lack of hope, etc. look “cool.” If you’re not on meds, if you’re not hurting yourself, if something’s not wrong with you, you’re weird. You’re innocent. No one will like you. You’re not cool. Well, I’m hurting right now, and it’s not cool. Guess what. It hurts.

What kind of a suicidal society wants their children to be in pain to be accepted?

Even as a Christian, life can be hard, you know? Sometimes I feel hopeless and just completely ready to go. I should probably be happy that I’m alive and I have life a lot better than a lot of others, but I’m not. I’m selfish and imperfect (sorry to let you all down! 😛 ).

It was on the news the other day. Another school shooting. Why can’t the news show something hopeful for once? I’m sick of all the crap. I’m sick of all the darkness. I’m tired of feeling like I have nothing to look forward to in life. When I graduate, what’s the world going to be like? Two short years, but so much can happen in that time.

Is the majority of the world’s population as sick as the ones who make the news?

The utter putrid sickness of this world is so overwhelming and I can’t handle the thought that this is what I’m growing up in.

I’m terrified.

I need to see something good. I need to know there’s something for me to look forward to. What were all those survivors of World War I and II holding on to? How did they do it?

Frodo and Sam – Sam said they were holding on because there was still some good in this world. Where is it?

If you see it, show me. Please. I need it so much.

The world needs it.

Do you have answers to all these questions? Seriously, we can use some cheering up right now.

God bless each and every one of you beautiful people out there. ❤


A very confused Rana

Character Development (Part 3)

Hello, Beautiful (or Handsome)!

I’ve seen blog posts on lies heroes can believe, but always wondered why. Why should they believe a lie? Maybe you were wondering the same thing. Or maybe you’ve already got the answer. Either way, this post discusses why they need to believe a lie. 🙂


Because they need to change. They need to grow throughout the story (character development, remember?). They are developing as a character. In life, there’s Your character needs to believe a lie.always the law of cause and effect. One thing happens and another occurs as a result.

I was doing research to find a good answer to this and found Helping Writers Become Authors. K.M. Weiland has a ton of great stuff on her blog. In her post on Character’s Ghosts, she discussed why characters needed to believe lies. And I’m sitting here going, “ah, perfect!” And angels are singing in the background. If you want to see what she has to say (and I guarantee it’s more intelligent than anything that will come out of my mouth, or fingers in this case), head on over there. 😉

And keep in mind that your whole novel is focused on that character’s journey. They have to grow. Otherwise, there’s not going to be much, if any, reason for your reader to enjoy the story. We have to relate to the hero and know there’s hope for us. If they can overcome their struggle, I might be able to overcome mine.

Also, because the lie is something created from the MC’s past, it can add suspense and mystery to your story. Characters are like people. You don’t know all about them on the first page. You get to know the gradually. Everyone’s got some secret that would break your heart and that’s the one we discover bit by bit throughout the story. The lie can keep it going.

Examples (I saw Spider-Man 2 last night, so SPOILERS!):

1) Harry Osborn from Spider-Man 2: He felt that his father didn’t love him. As a result, he felt thrown away which made him sensitive to others. He believed Spider-Man could save him, and, when Spidey didn’t, he felt betrayed.

2) Norman Osborn from Spider-Man 2: He thought he was doing what was right for Harry by sending him away and sacrificing the boy’s childhood. This screwed up Harry’s mind to turn him into the Green Goblin.

3) Bruce Wayne from Batman: Bruce thought that killing his parents’ murderer would make him feel better. He believed that justice and revenge sometimes the same. This fueled his anger, which he later channeled into creating the Batman which would fight crime.

4) Rapunzel from Tangled: She believed that Gothel was her mother and really did only want what was best for her. When she ran away with Flynn, however, she realized that the world wasn’t as bad as Gothel had scared her into believing and had really been robbed of her childhood.

5) Many people from planet earth: A lot of us, whenever we’re in a rut, tend to think, “this is it. It’s never going to get better.” And then it does get better with time. Everything always works out. So, we get in a rut and think we’re depressed. We start believing we messed up, we’re not good enough, we did something horrible to deserve this awful time, but the thing is: we didn’t. Life really stinks sometimes and that’s not your fault. We’re a fallen race. The only place to go is up. Hopefully that’s the lesson we learn and we can take our experiences to give others hope.

So hopefully you can see the cause -> effect in each of those and all the lies one can believe and how it affects the story. 🙂

Hope this helps. ❤

God bless!



Character Development (Part 2)

In the last post, we went over what character development was and what we could learn from Batman. That was the first in a seven part series on character development. Today, we’ll take a look at the importance of quirks. Enjoy!



It sounds kind of silly doesn’t it?


But then again, everything sounds silly if you think about it long enough.

Ring. It’s a common enough word. Say that several times very slowly and think about it. Ridiculous, right?Character Development (Part 2) -- Quirks!

Anyway, quirks.

Why are they so important to writing? Characters make the novel. Plot helps, but most of the time, you can keep readers reading if you have interesting, believable, relateable characters. They cover up a multitude of flaws, some of them pretty big! So, what’s a quirk?

It’s the little things someone does. Personality traits. Mannerisms. Things that make someone unique (notice this last one doesn’t necessarily refer to a personality trait, but can also imply physical characteristics as well, though I doubt that would be considered a quirk). This is the reason they’re so important. Without making a character unique, your readers will find them boring. Give them a personality. Quirks can also reveal something about a character.

For instance, in the first episode of “Sherlock,” Sherlock Holmes notices that Watson stands as if he’s forgotten that he was standing, thus revealing that Watson was in the military. He’d have to be used to standing a lot and after a while, he’d have gotten used to it.

A tattoo of a tear would expose the fact that that person had killed another.

Following is a list of quirks you might want to look through. Believe me, they help bring a character to life. People like to know the little things. 😉 Now, I’ve researched lists of quirks, so I’ll just include the original links at the end of the post.

  1. Has a noticeable Tattoo
  2. Has a noticeable scar from a weapon
  3. Puts hand on someone else’s hand/arm/shoulder/leg as much as possible when talking
  4. Has a noticeable burn scar
  5. Has a Piercing
  6. Has extremely hairy arms
  7. Is bald
  8. Cracks his/her neck all the time
  9. Has a noticeable birthmark
  10. Has vividly blue hair
  11. Looks just like another character, or a famous figure of the day
  12. His/her feet are incredibly bad-smelling
  13. He has no beard
  14. He/she has allergies (To give more depth, give strong allergic reactions to the common nasty ones like nuts, bee stings, strawberries, pollen, cow’s milk, cats, horses, etc.)
  15. Has a very, very bushy mustache
  16. Is gassy
  17. Has a limp
  18. Walks as if he/she is in constant danger of being attacked
  19. Walks as if he/she is afraid of being followed
  20. Always gets a sunburn
  21. Urinates frequently
  22. Sneezes extra loud
  23. Foams at the mouth when excited/angry
  24. Drools when hungry/excited
  25. Has several hidden body piercings or tattoos that regular clothing conceal
  26. Always stands with his or her hands behind their back, sometimes in an “at ease” position, though he/she was never in the military
  27. Thrives in cold weather, hates warm weather
  28. Thrives in hot weather, hates cold weather
  29. Incessantly cracks knuckles
  30. Has several parts of his or her body that are double jointed and bend or flex in an unnatural or uncanny manner
  31. Writes with left hand, but does everything else right-handed
  32. Is exclusively left-handed
  33. Can only see out of one eye
  34. Can only hear out of one ear
  35. Squints a lot
  36. Drags his or her feet
  37. Profusely sweats even when at rest
  38. Can’t stay clean; always dirty
  39. Loves a certain food, possibly to the point of an obsession or fetish. (example: I like grape flavors!)
  40. Taps his/her foot when bored or nervous.
  41. Has a Rubiks cube or some other toy that he/she will often fidget with.
  42. Likes to mess with or deconstruct words and the English language. (example: mispronouncing words purposefully, speaking in a grammatically incorrect manner)
  43. Always seems to have untied shoelaces.
  44. Likes to go around barefoot whenever he/she can.
  45. Always wears shorts/long pants, no matter the weather.
  46. Likes to randomly burst out singing or narrate his/her actions in song. (example: Disney princesses. I have actually met people in real life that do this.)
  47. Randomly wanders or paces when bored, even at odd times (the middle of the night, in class, etc.)
  48. Is good at braiding hair.
  49. Has a very bouncy/springy walk.
  50. Or a very dejected/shuffley walk, and tends to drag his/her feet.
  51. Likes to sit on the arms of couches and chairs instead of the actual seat.
  52. Has a favorite comeback or catchphrase that he/she always resorts to (“that’s what she said”, “or not”, etc.)
  53. Refuses to curse, period. He/she may also get upset when others do.
  54. Is a total grammar Nazi, in writing and/or speaking.
  55. Hates slang and corrects people who use it. Or you could go the other way around and s/he always uses sland and informal language, even for formal occasions.
  56. Tends to space out while staring at someone.
  57. Can do weird things with a part of his/her body (double-jointed).
  58. Sees a reference in practically everything.
  59. Accidentally flirts without realizing it.
  60. Has a bad habit of winking without realizing it.
  61. Is a hugger (or just generally a touchy-feely person).
  62. Hates a certain color.
  63. Can’t stand being hugged or touched. This may lead to the character’s friends teasing him/her or trying to hug him/her anyway.
  64. Is extremely ticklish.
  65. Collects mundane or unusual items (business cards, toothpicks, mutated candy, etc.)
  66. Can’t bear to throw anything away.
  67. Refuses to hurt any animal, even insects.
  68. Always wears cheap sunglasses, even indoors.
  69. Finds everything funny, and will laugh at every joke, even if the other characters (and the reader) don’t find it particularly humorous.
  70. Always has to be snacking on something.
  71. Is extremely gullible and falls for even the most obvious sarcasm.
  72. Bites his/her nails when nervous.
  73. Always has gum with him/her.
  74. Likes to hide out in weird places (closets, under the bed or table, in a tree, etc.)
  75. Can’t pour anything without spilling.
  76. Can quote almost any movie or TV show.
  77. Has a stutter, lisp, or other speech impediment. It’s a good idea to not write this out in dialogue, especially if it’s a lisp or unusual accent, as it’s hard for readers to decipher what’s being said if everything is spelled funny. (NOTE FROM RANA: I think it’s fine to write it out as long as you keep it to a minimum. 🙂 Otherwise, people will forget they have an impediment.)
  78. Has an unusually deep or high-pitched voice.
  79. Owns more pairs of shoes than other characters think is humanly possible. Or vice versa: he/she only owns one pair that he/she always wears, no matter the occasion.
  80. Always has to borrow pens/pencils/paper, and doesn’t always give them back.
  81. Always bumps into/knocks over things.
  82. Knows a lot of useless trivia.
  83. Is an extremely slow/fast walker. Or, he/she can never walk in a straight line and always manages to cut everyone off.
  84. Always shreds things in his/her pocket or on his/her lap (napkins, scraps of paper, etc.)
  85. Always wears colorful, unique, or mismatched socks.
  86. Likes to use bad puns.
  87. Hits on/flirts with every member of the opposite gender even if s/he is already in a relationship.
  88. Always gets quotes and sayings mixed up.
  89. Carries a large coin which he or she is always rolling over his or her knuckles.
  90. Is a habitual sniffler even when he or she is healthy.
  91. Regularly looks up at the sky to check the position of the sun/moon and comments on it.
  92. Always knows the direction he or she is traveling in.
  93. Corrects people when they use colloquial speech.
  94. Is never seen without a baseball cap or stocking cap (except, of course, in bed or the shower)
  95. Whistles the Scarecrow/Tin Man/Cowardly Lion song at random time and refuses to stop.
  96. Ends declarative sentences with in interrogative inflection?
  97. Is a mush mouth.
  98. Is an incessant fidgeter and is always touching his or her face or head.
  99. Dots his or her i’s with a smiley face or heart (respectively or inversely for humor’s sake).
  100. Is unable to digest proteins correctly and gets very ill if too much protein rich food is consumed.
  101. Compulsively interrupts people telling stories to interject facts about the story that he or she only knows because they have been told the story before, not because they were involved with it.
  102. Makes up random lies about unimportant things for no reason.
  103. Has a weakness for rescuing stray animals.
  104. Gets physically angry when people mispronounce a certain word (e.g Illinois, precedent as president, especially as expecially).
  105. (cheat) Regularly mispronounces a certain word or uses redundant terms (e.g. PIN number, ATM machine, Hot water heater–if it’s hot, does it need to be heated?).
  106. When stressed or lying, speaks from the corner of his or her mouth.
  107. Profusely sweats even when at rest.
  108. Is unable to take advice from anyone because he or she thinks that they know it all.
  109. Uses mundane items as toys (e.g. bottle caps, straws, chopsticks).
  110. Cannot drink anything with ice in it.
  111. Is strongly susceptible to “brain freeze.”
  112. Doesn’t wash his or her hands after using the bathroom.
  113. When dining out, always tidies up the table and resets the condiments.
  114. Walks in the middle of any aisle, sidewalk, or other shared walkway causing people to have to move around him or her.
  115. Drags his or her feet.
  116. Only drinks from plastic or paper cups and cannot stand the feel of glass in his or her hand.
  117. Draws random doodles on any piece of paper in front of him or her and always carries a pen or pencil to facilitate this habit.
  118. Wears only new socks.
  119. Has several hidden body piercings or tattoos that regular clothing conceal.
  120. Always stands with his or her hands behind their back, sometimes in an “at ease” position, though he or she was never in the military.
  121. Excessively uses initials or acronyms for common AND uncommon phrases and doesn’t bother to explain them.
  122. Doesn’t eat green things.
  123. Strongly dislikes the sound of chewing and hums a quiet song while eating.
  124. Has the ability to speak in a cartoon-like voice which sounds little or nothing like his or her real voice.
  125. Is thrifty nearly to the point of obsessive or compulsive nature.
  126. Is always at least ten minutes early to any meeting or appointment.
  127. Can calculate the total of any items put in a shopping cart and tax to within $0.05.
  128. Generally submits to the ideas and suggestions of others without thinking of his or her own needs.
  129. Readily puts him or her self in the way of danger without careful consideration.
  130. Always has change in his or her pocket to give to beggars or homeless.
  131. Is always trying to recruit people to his or her religious/philosophical beliefs.
  132. Constantly quotes favorite movies and can usually identify the movie that a quote may come from.
  133. Overly honest person, always telling the truth even to his or her own detriment.
  134. Takes stupid bets/dares for small amounts of money.
  135. Has several parts of his or her body that are double jointed and bend or flex in an unnatural or uncanny manner.
  136. Writes with left hand, but does everything else right-handed.
  137. Can only see out of one eye or hear out of one ear.
  138. Is susceptible to malapropisms or spoonerisms.
  139. Routinely quotes books even when it’s irrelevant
  140. Believes he’s a hero from a prophecy or the reincarnate of another hero
  141. Doesn’t understand names. He refers to everyone as their title only and when someone introduces them selves (i.e. “Bob”), he assumes that is what they are. “Today, I met a bob.”
  142. Believes he’s color blind.
  143. Compulsive liar, especially in regards to insignificant things.
  144. Absolutely no sense of direction (can get lost in an inn)
  145. Personality changes after dark
  146. Makes elaborate plans and then discards them because he believes they’re too easy to see through
  147. Pyro
  148. Overly confident to a fault
  149. Afraid of 20-sided objects and counts the sides of oddly shaped objects like jems (believes they will bring about pain, misery, bad luck, misfortune, death, or even the end of the world)
  150. Compulsive gambler.

    Just me and one of my personality quirks. (Hint: Take a look at #173.)

    Just me and one of my personality quirks. (Hint: Take a look at #171.)

  151. Believes he’s a werewolf but just has a sleepwalking problem
  152. Thinks all jokes are serious statements / no sense of humor
  153. Can’t pose nicely for a photo. Always makes a face (this can be out of some fear of looking bad when trying to look good).
  154. Has a fear of public speaking.
  155. Is shy.
  156. Takes Lysol wipes everywhere they go.
  157. Can’t sleep in a hotel room without checking for bed bugs and spraying down the toilet, sink, counter tops, etc.
  158. Purposefully makes others think they’re not a good person so they don’t have to live up to standards.
  159. Doesn’t like friends because friends know secrets that they can use against you.
  160. Has trust issues.
  161. Blinks a lot.
  162. Doesn’t blink much.
  163. Has to work out or feels fat and ugly.
  164. Can listen to two conversations at once.
  165. Always eavesdrops on stranger’s conversations and gives their opinion.
  166. Always stores their files on a backup drive.
  167. Always has a pen and paper.
  168. Can’t stand a messy house.
  169. Isn’t sexually attracted to anyone and finds romance sickening.
  170. Feels like they have to speak up when they hear someone saying something incorrect.
  171. Always has to do something with their hands.





Hope those help. 🙂

Do you have any quirks to add to the list? Let me know in the comments! 😀

God bless!


Character Development (Part 1) and What Can We Learn From Batman?

As promised a few posts ago, I’d write something up on character development. This is the first in a seven-part series on developing your characters. 🙂

Today, we’ll just focus on a character’s journey and progression as the hero, but if you want to check out a post on ideals, vices, virtues, etc., click here.

What is character development & why is it important?Character Development (Part 1) and What Can We Learn from Batman?

It’s essentially the way your hero matures and grows throughout the novel. It’s essential to the story. Every good book begins with one person and ends with another.

Every single one of us grows a little with every mistake, experience, and action. Fiction reflects that. So it’s essential to have your hero grow throughout the novel. We need to see a bit of ourselves in every character in order to fall in love with them. We need to see that we can grow to be better and we do through characters that develop. 🙂

And anyone who knows me knows that I love Batman. There’s a reason behind that too. Below, we’ll examine how Batman/Bruce Wayne started out and see how and why he changed into what he is known for: being awesome. Oh, and fighting crime effectively, being a hero, etc. 😉

Disclaimer: I do not own the copyright and intend no infringement upon thatblahblahblah.


Bruce Wayne started out as a rich little boy. He had a friend, a wonderful family, and a British butler. He had a fear of bats, due to an incident you’d know about if you watched the film, and never would have needed to worry about his future until both his parents got shot by a desperate man outside the opera house.

That day, he learned that there were bad people in the world. He wanted to fight them. He wanted justice — or so he thought.

During a conversation with his friend Rachel, he realized that the grudge he’d carried against that man who murdered his parents had been allowed to grow into a thirst for revenge, not justice.

Several different factors led to Bruce becoming Batman. The whole film, Batman Begins, is about that transformation. So, what can we learn from Batman and what changed him?

1) He’s not perfect. We see this when he messes up, picks fights. We see this when the camera drops to a gun in his hand at the trial of the man who murdered his parents. But he doesn’t let his imperfections define him. He overcomes them.

2) His friend and trainer ended up being involved in an organization that required murder as a sort of initiation action. Bruce refused to do that and lost his “friend(s).” He lost a lot all over again and went back home. But he took the lessons he learned and applied them to the life he wanted to live.

3) He made mistakes as he learned how to be Batman. He figured out what worked and didn’t work.

4) Don’t forget the fact that he was orphaned. 😛 We got see how his life was before, to how it changed for the worse, then for the better. We sympathized with Bruce. No one wants to see a child witness the murder of their parents left to stand crying for help in an ally at night. We were filled with righteous anger at his plight. From the start, we had something to care about.

All of this led to creating a man who went from being a broken, scared, and vengeful man to a hero (though misunderstood sometimes) who sought justice and goodness selflessly.

THIS is the journey your hero should take. They need to go from some lower state of being to a higher state by the end of the book. They need to learn lessons, fail, and learn some more. Teach the reader through the hero.

I think the fact that we can identify with Batman is one reason why so many love him. Superman stinks. He’s perfect. He doesn’t really make  mistakes. He saves the world. What do we have to root for? Not much. Unless the villain is worse than the hero, in movies like that, I’m voting for the bad guy! We can’t really relate to Superman. He’s entertaining. That’s it.

There should be flaws. There should be failures. There should be lessons learned.

I think that’s it. I’m sitting here, knowing I left out a lot, but unable to think of it all.

The following posts will include:


Why your hero needs to believe a lie

Readers should get to know your hero gradually

Personality types and why you should identify your characters’


Why your character should have secrets.

God bless!


Chatterbox: Water

In case you’re still in the dark about what the chatterbox is, take a look. ^_^ I apologize for the roughness of my writing. I’ve been out of it. :/

My body froze when I saw hers, pale and shimmering beneath the clear waves. I reeled, taking a few steps back. My lungs grew thick inside my chest. I looked again.

Her skin was white as the moon on a black night. And just as radiant.

As I watched, her eyes opened. Startled, I staggered backward. She’d been under for too long. She couldn’t be alive. I knelt on the muddy banks and reached out my hand.

“Come to me,” she whispered. I’d never heard that tone in my wife’s voice before. The words were almost hissed, forceful, laced with a dark sort of edge. I raked my hands through my hair. Sweat trickled down my face like rain.

Come to me.

I heard the words like an echo in my mind.

She moved toward the surface. Excitement rose within me. She was coming back! I reached out once more and, just before she took my hand, rain began to pour from the heavens. The first drop shattered her porcelain image. A shriek rose from her lips and I sat up, opening my eyes, drenched.

I glanced over at the lazy river. Her body wasn’t there. A bolt of lightening across the sky revealed only muddy, murky water.

Again. I’d come back again.

Water had taken her life and saved my own. I spat.

“Blasted rain.”

Eeeeeeeah, so there. xD

I hope y’all have a lovely day. 🙂

God bless!


Regionals in Georgia

Quick update: My computer, which I just got back, wasn’t fixed fully. So it needs to go back to the shop. Yay. Second, I had a total BLAST up in Savannah, GA for the Regionals NCFCA speech and debate tournament. I’m pumped for next year. 😉 Below are some pix and following that is a link to watch an amazing speech. 🙂

Let me just say really quick that NCFCA is an amazing organization. Look into it. I’m so blessed and honored to have been able to compete with all of these amazing people. What’s awesome is that all of these kids do it to glorify God. And they’re not preachy about it. Furthermore, they’re all kids in suits and, no matter how professional they act in the rounds, they’re still kids and it shows outside of the rounds. It’s fantastic.

If you look up the word “awkward” in the dictionary, this picture will show up.

My face. It’s just screaming one word: help.

My bestie and I made it! A 6.5 hour ride with a 6 year old with all three of us in the back seat is no easy feat. But we made it.

So much awesome in one photo. Oh, look! There’s me too!

Yeah, “help” is definitely the word my face is screaming…

Awww! We make debate look fun AND easy! This was my worst round though. :/

And the after-party. Wow, the crazy is showing on my face. And my friend’s. And my other friend’s.

That is the sanest picture after the tournament.

M’k. Let me just say something here. NCFCA is amazing. The tall guy behind me performed (with Tristin who is not in the picture but made it to Nationals in LD debate) the BEST duo I’ve ever seen. Ever. He also looks like a chaperon. Because heaven knows we all need one.

And with that, I’ll conclude with a link to watch the best duo I’ve ever seen! 😀 It’s also going to NATIONALS!!! They totally deserve it. 😀

God bless!