GUESS WHO’S BACK.
It wasn’t that hard to guess, was it?
XD Sorry. I think I’m funny.
Let me recap.
It was a day like any other… except it actually wasn’t like any other at all because we were leaving on June 9th for my first ministry trip of the year.
And it was not a vacation, because I had to do school.
After walking out to our van and before we left, I saw all the dew on the grass. The sunrise shined so beautifully on it and I wanted to whip out the 5D I was bringing to take some pictures. But because I didn’t know how soon I’d be ordered to hop in the car, I whipped out my iPhone instead to take a few shots.
^ I liked this one so much that it’s still my iPhone wallpaper. ?
My brother and the missionary that stayed at our house wanted to take some pictures as soon as they saw me doing it because my ideas are awesome. ? So they did.
I like taking selfies, so I took one before we left.
But it’s mostly just fun. ?
I also wrote a lot during the drive — I’m rewriting my first novel, Loyalty Book I: To the Death. A lot of you were super epic beta readers and I feel SO BAD because I’m rewriting the entire thing instead of using your edits. ?
Sorry. It is that bad. It has to be rewritten.
Now. Snippets because you didn’t ask for any but I’ll give you some anyway? ?
first draft warning
LOYALTY BOOK I: TO THE DEATH // CHAPTER 7 — DEAD OR ALIVE
When the muscions begin playing a softer tune, Yikolen and I turn towatch as men and women begin to dance together. As the waltz continues, Yikolen sighs. “Wouldn’t you love to be one of those couples? I wish somebody would ask me to dance.”I laugh. “I think you’re forgetting you’re under Warrior Code, Yikolen.”Yikolen frowns at me. “But it would be the perfect cover. No one would expect someone not supposed to fall in love to dance a waltz at aparty!”“Yeah, but then you actually might fall in love,” I tease. “Big no-no.”Yikolen frowns again. “It would be fun to pretend not to be under Code for one night.”I roll my eyes at her with an amused smile as the music ends and another waltz begins. Not a moment later, I hear someone clearing their throat behind me.I turn around to see who it is and freeze as my heart skips a beat. I can’t believe my eyes.It’s Hinoki.“May I have this dance?” He asks.I can hear Yikolen’s jaw drop in jealousy and ultimate flabbergasted shock behind me. Hinoki doesn’t recognize me and wants to dance with me?!I’ve never been so disgusted in my life.How can I decline without making a scene? The absolute last person in the entire world I want to dance with is this jerk of a man.“I don’t dance,” I answer his request with gracious words but a cold tone.“Do you?” He asks, a hint of that smug grin he so often wears playing on his features. “I know you to be very coordinated.” Another touch of the confident glare he so oftens wears while fighting now gleams in his eyes as he hints he can spill information about me to anyone here if I don’t comply.That’s when I know that he knows exactly who I am. Fear grasps my heart at first before being replaced with the burning hatred that fueled me on through the pain and suffering of escaping from prison. I narrow my eyes as him in a way barely noticeable to others as my eyes stab his with death. I really hate you.Yet I can’t deny his second offer, not in front of all these people watching me and waiting to see if I will accept. Sensei Kira specifically told us not to make a scene and to do whatever it takes — but what does Hinoki wants from me? If this is about me escaping from prison, I might as well be dead already.I press my lips tightly together in reluctance before forcing myself to utter, “Very well then.”Hinoki takes my hand as I run the waltz steps in my mind from when Father and I would dance together when I was little. As he leads me onto the floor with the other waltzers, I throw a glance behind me to Yikolen, who is open-mouthedly and jealously gawking like I’ve never seen anyone gawk before at us in dumbfounded amazement.I turn my face away in disgust as we come to the waltzing position, and Hinoki speaks up as soon as we start dancing. “What in the world are you doing here?”“What in the world are you doing here?” I turn the question back on him.“I asked first,” he mentions.“I’m a westerner. I’m at a westerner’s party. I’d think the reason I’m here would be obvious.”“Oh, it is. I can feel the weapon belt on your waist.”I want to shriek and rip away from him repulsively, but that would quite possibly cause the biggest scene in the world. I wince instead at his cunning. “It’s not illegal to attend a party,” I try to hide the fact I’m totally here on a mission.“Maybe not, but escaping from prison is.”I wince again, half-expecting him to punch me in the face right then and there. When he doesn’t, I force myself again to play it cool. I just lower my voice and hiss between gritted teeth, “I hate you.”“I have to admit, though,” Hinoki commends me. “That was a pretty steep move. I never expected it so soon, especially with your stitches.”“Well, I tend to do the unexpected.”“Oh, like attending a westerner’s party and pretending to have fun?”I clench my jaw in anger. “Whoever said I was here to do anything else? Maybe I do want to have fun.”“You know as well as I do you wouldn’t attend a party for the sake of having fun.”“Neither would you. What are you doing here?”“I’m not done,” Hinoki says forcefully. “Who are you here to assassinate?”“What makes you think I’m here to assassinate anyone?” I ask in disgust.“You’re an assassin. That’s what you do.”I don’t answer back as I twirl under his arm with the others. When wecome back to the waltzing position, I answer, “I don’t assassinate wrongly. You should know that murder goes against what I believe from when I spared your despicable life last year.”Hinoki snorts. “You? Beliefs? This I’ve got to hear. What do you believe, anyway?”
Well. That wasn’t snippets. More like… one humungous snippet.
I’m pretty sure this was taken the same day… my shirt looks the same, anyway…
We arrived in Houston, Texas and dropped off our missionary friend first. We bought a new car for traveling!
The whole point of getting the above Cadillac Escalade was so that it supported my dad’s back while driving, but it was actually terrible for it, so we took it back the next day and got a Lincoln Navigator.
During the entirety of the trip, many of these delicious drinks came my way. I was allowed to order them everywhere. At the car dealership, at restaurants, from grandparents… ?
No wonder I head a week-long headache. They totally dehydrated me. ?
We went to Lakewood Church one Sunday morning! It was my first time going since I was a baby, since I was born in Houston. It was super awesome.
That night, we went to a church my dad is getting hooked up with and then went with the pastors to dinner afterward. It was my first time going to P.F. Chang’s, believe it or not. It was so good, and the pastors are so nice and awesome!
Once in Dallas, I spent most nights at my BFFs’ house. My BFFs and I went to one of the city’s summer night concerts, and the scenery was very pretty. I took this picture of the lake and really like it. ?
Me and my BFFs’ feet in front of said lake. ? My feet (
look at my socks what) are in the middle.
After the concert, we watched the movie Trolls on this huge blow-up screen thingy (wasn’t that the most accurate description ever?) and sat on top of this big hill.
Since then, my brother and I have re-watched le Trolls twice. It’s really cute. ?
I also got to meet le Chloe from My Hobbit Hole! AHH CHLOE YOU’RE SO NICE AND AWESOME AND IT WAS SO AMAZING TO MEET YOU AFTER TALKING TO AND ROLEPLAYING WITH YOU FOREVER.
But we still legit have to meet le Josie.
We visited and my dad preached at my old church — we lived here for nearly six years in the parsonage as associate pastors. I’m sitting in the same spot that I took many doll pictures for my doll blog. *sniffs*
Funny story. I like ninja (yes, I spelled that right. That’s the Japanese plural form usage of “ninjas”. Get it right, straight from the Master Ninja, folks) — if you hadn’t noticed from my Loyalty novels. ?
It was my first time being a service photographer during the, well, service, and afterward I was starving so I helped myself to like two donuts. And then right as I bite into the last of my second donut, my (Florida) pastor’s brother walks in through the doors and looks right at me as jelly squirts all over my face and hands.
I kind of just smiled awkwardly, then ran to the bathroom to wash off and literally ran out the doors.
YOU CALL THAT EPIC NINJA SKILLS OR WHAT?
Making the most of my embarrassing moment, I decided to do a little ninja photoshoot.
I did it much more dramatically than realistically.
Back in Houston again, we stayed at my aunt and uncle’s house until le Sunday. Here are my brother and cousin taking a walk and leaving me in the dust as I trudged after them with my headphones in and working on finishing plot notes for Loyalty Book II: Pursuit of No One.
I even did it while on a tire swing.
That was fun.
And painful, trying to stay on while swinging. It was tiny.
Then we went to the church my dad got hooked up with again. I was the service photographer for this one, too. We went out to dinner again, and the pastors are seriously so nice and amazing! I got spoiled with dessert — partly because it was two days before my birthday and partly because they like me. ?
This is outside the church. My iPhone doesn’t do bokeh or blurred backgrounds unless up close, so I just had fun editing the previous awfulness and ended up with this.
On the drive back home (which was super epic and fun because I had all-new music and wrote a bunch and we drove home all in one day and got home on my birthday at 1:30 in the morning) we stopped for Whataburger or something and I snapped this picture outside the drive-thru. I also did some editing on it. ;D
SPEAKING OF LE BIRTHDAY…
I TURNED ONE YEAR OLD.
Kidding. I turned fourteen but no one had a four candle anywhere.
I didn’t have a party because I wanted my entire birthday budget to be given to me in presents (which was all money — guess what I’m gonna spend it on?), so I spent my entire day pre-writing for Camp NaNoWriMo.
So. No birthday party photos. JUST SNIPPETS BECAUSE YOU DIDN’T ASK BUT I LIKE GIVING THEM ANYWAY. ?
first draft warning
LOYALTY BACKSTORIES // “HAJI MISSION HITSU” (Hora + Itsu)
Itsu actually begins to ride faster and then pulls his horse sideways in front of mine, cutting me off. I hurriedly pull my horse’s reigns and halt him to a stop before we collide. “What the heck!” I shout. “What are you doing?”“As an accomplice, I help make the calls,” Itsu notes.My constant glare hardens at him. “Actually, you don’t. You’re along for the ride because Keisuke thinks you should be.”“Actually, I’m your accomplice because I won.”My clenched fists in the reins curl tighter in frustration. “Don’t tell me what I know.”“Do you know that Keisuke wants me to help you?” The wind plays with Itsu’s hair. I’m kind of distracted for a moment.“I know that Keisuke is out of his mind with greed and doesn’t always know what’s best,” I snap after a moment. “And I advise you not to tell me what to do. And if you don’t want to be the next person I kill, get out of my way.”The golden sunshine dances on his dark eyes. He wants to lead. I can see it in him. He’s good enough to lead. He’s better than an Elite.But I’m not going to tell him that.Itsu doesn’t go anywhere. He’s just calmly looking at me with his mature, serious expression contrasted to my constant glare that I wear. He doesn’t move his horse or say a word. I’m not sure what to make of the silence.I finally begin riding again, and Itsu is forced to turn his horse away from mine so they don’t collide.“If you don’t listen to me and do exactly as I say,” I threaten in a low voice, staring at the road ahead and we ride side-by-side, “I’m going to kill you.”“Is that a threat?”What does he think it is, a joke? “Yes.”Itsu doesn’t say anything back to me.I think he gets the picture.We ride in silence into nightfall, in which I enjoy the cool and the black of night. When midnight hits, we stop to rest for the night. Itsu and I find an off-road seclusive spot in the forest separated by bushes.I know I have a nightmare, but I don’t remember what it is. I just wake up in a sweat, shooting up in a panic. I’m panting until I force myself to relax. I don’t want Itsu to catch me with this terrified look on my face.But he does.The minute I stand up, his voice greets me. “Are you okay?”I mutter curses under my breath. I hate working with people. I want to do my own thing. Unfortunately, I need a team for a lot of things. And apparently, an accomplice for this one.I turn around. Itsu has just stood up, too. He calmly repeats his question. “You okay?”
TADA! First draft cringiness — but a lot of fun. There’s like 11k so far. I haven’t finished writing the entire thing because I moved on to a different pre-write story (I have a million that I’ll post sometime) and then Camp hit before I could finish.
Oh. I almost forgot.
Actually, I did forget. I forgot it completely. I wrote “Oh. I almost forgot” yesterday and when picking the draft back up again just now, I completely forgot what in the world I was going to say.
Oh. This wasn’t what I had forgotten, but I wanted to mention I’m participating in Camp NaNoWriMo (I went back and edited already mentioning that earlier but whatever). I’m writing the first half of Loyalty Book II: Pursuit of No One! I’m so excited and am having so much fun.
Check this link (or click the cover above) to my project page out for more on my goals and even two entire chapters of snippets, if you’re interested (probably not because I’ve spammed you enough with my “snippets” today, huh? ?). And if you’re participating, leave the link to your Camp project page in the comments below! ☺️
(ISN’T THE MOCK COVER BEAUTIFUL?! My epic cabin mate Sarah made it for me. I’m eternally pouting because I can’t use it for my actual cover. I spent the entire day that she sent it to me drooling over it and squealing “it’s BEAUTIFUUUUUUUL!” over and over again. *dies some more* It’s legit perfect. Thank you, Sarah.)
Okay. I’ll stop talking now. Your turn.
What’s been going on with you lately? What have I missed? Oh, and any guesses on what I’ll spend my birthday money on? Not that you have to guess, I’m just running out of questions to ask you.
I miss talking to you!
Signing off with much love! If no one is praying for you today, your friend Madi is.
P.S. OH WAIT! NOW I REMEMBER!
I almost got assassinated by these MURDEROUS goats.
Hey! Stop laughing
at my face! I’m not kidding. Dude. It was the battle of Ninja Madi and Samurai Goat Team.
I almost died.
But more on that in another post.