My dear readers (do I even have any anymore?),
Wow, why do you put up with me.
I apologize that it’s been nearly two months since my last post. December is always ridiculously crazy here because of Christmas and such, but it was even busier this year because I was getting ready for the One Year Adventure Novel Winter Workshop.
I had meant to do a post on the WW while it was still fresh in my mind, but it’s been three weeks already. Whoops.
It’s so weird going back to “normal life” after Rivendell. To everyone who was there: Thank you for making it one of the best workshops I’ve ever attended. I love and miss you all. ❤
So much has happened that’s blog-worthy since my last post. And I’m not really sure where to start. I guess with a general catch-up, and then I’ll get to why my post is titled what it is.
Well, there was Christmas. It was wonderful as always, though a little different this year than past ones. My family homemakes gifts for each other, which is one of my favourite parts of Christmas. I absolutely love making things for my siblings (and staying up late December 24th finishing them… heh heh). It’s such a wonderful feeling to put so much work into something and then see their faces light up with excitement when they open it. 🙂
On Christmas Day, some friends (Firiel, her sister Eowyn, and Maggie) came over in the evening to help us say Vale Undecem – that is, “Farewell, Eleven.” Yes, the Eleventh Doctor regenerated in this year’s Doctor Who Christmas special. We shrieked at unexpected plot developments, fell out of our chairs at the same time, and then cried when we finally had to say, “Raggedy Man, goodnight.”
The day after Christmas, I went over to Kelly’s house to watch Time of the Doctor (that’s the title special, for those of you who didn’t know) with her, because she was unable to come on the 25th. I cried again. I think she cried, too.
Then we finished some last minute cleaning for my dad’s sister and her family who were coming that evening. I was also trying to get last minute stuff done for the WW (read: mostly everything). They stayed for a few days, during which we got together with most of my dad’s family to celebrate, which was lots of fun.
They left on Sunday, and I was leaving ridiculously early Monday morning with Firiel to drive down to Missouri for the WW (Wasn’t in Olathe, KS this year. That was weird.) I stayed up until 1 AM trying to get everything together and make sure I had everything. And then got up at 5:30 (or maybe it was 6…?) because we were planning on leaving at 6 (or maybe it was 6:30. I honestly cannot remember.)
Firiel got here and we threw all my stuff into the back of her car in the ridiculously bitter cold (and dark) and with a last hug to my parents (who had claimed they were not going to be up to see me off, but stayed up with me helping me get ready until past 1 and then got up in time to make sure I had everything. They’re wonderful and I love them so much. <3), we were off.
We started out the trip by playing “Life is a Highway” by Rascal Flats (or as we knew it from, Cars.), which is a fantastic way to start out a road trip, if anyone was wondering. Everything was great, everything was grand, we had the whole wide world in the palm of our hands… (That’s Life’s a Happy Song, from the Muppets.)
Overall, I thought the trip down was kind of fun. Long, but fun. Firiel drove the whole way (I have the awesomest friends as well as family), since I don’t have my permit yet. We listened to Disney songs and show tunes and movie score. We listened to some of my cassettes of John Stanley’s Sherlock Holmes radio show from the 1940’s (which is a really fun listen, BTW). I read fanfiction out loud (and my laptop died in the middle of a story). We chatted. We got lost. We weren’t sure what state we were in. (But we were “definitely in Iowa” according to the gas station worker who was so kind to laugh at the poor lost Northerners. :P)
Somehow, the 8 hour trip turned into 11 hours.
Do not ask me how. We still can’t figure it out, because we only got turned around a few times, and not for very long.
But eventually, we pulled up in the parking lot of Heartland Retreat Center. We weren’t 100% sure if we were in the right place, so we left our bags (we had a LOT of stuff. :P) in the car and went in to make sure we were where we were supposed to be.
And we were.
Tineke, who works for the S’s, was at the front desk and told us we were in fact, in the right place, and handed us our packets with our t-shirts, and information/schedule/thing you could take notes in and told us everyone else was in the cafeteria for dinner. So we decided to unpack later (and seeing as since the other two girls we would be rooming with had the room keys), and go see everyone.
I’m not quite sure what happened next. I think Erynn was the first I saw. She came up and attacked me in a giant hug. And then I was hugging and saying hello to everyone and meeting new friends and lugging all our stuff up to our dorm (up stairs, ugh). Irie and Katie were dears and helped Firiel and I bring the enormous piles of our stuff over to the dorms. Each of the dorm rooms had a sign on the door with the names of the students staying there and a Middle-Earth place name. We were in Caras Galadon. 🙂 After dumping our stuff in any old place, we headed back to the main building for more hugs and meetings.
It’s a bit of a blur after that.
The whole week was kind of a blur.
This was my first workshop without my dad or sister, so my first workshop with roommates. And that was a blast. It was like having a slumber party the whole week. Erynn, Firiel and Chelsea, thank you for making my stay in Caras Galadon so much fun. 🙂 I loved getting to know you all better with our deep, sleep-deprived talks until 2 in the morning. ❤
And I want to keep going on about the whole week, but I should probably wrap up this post before next week.
But I haven’t talked about New Year’s Eve yet.
We celebrated New Year’s together. That was the best way I have ever spent any of my New Year’s before. We did a white elephant gift exchange, which was a blast. There was lots of food, and Lindsey was the epic DJ and played awesome music like the Red Hot Chili Pipers and Chameleon Circuit. We ate. We danced. I took video of the interesting way everyone was dancing.
There was a countdown on the screen for midnight. It’s kind of a funny feeling, literally watching the seconds of your life tick by.
Just a few minutes to midnight, Lindsey put on the last song: Song for Ten, from Doctor Who. I didn’t take video of that one, because I actually danced to it. Because it’s one of my favourite songs in the first place, and it’s just so right for what I was feeling then.
I wish today was just like every other day. ‘Cause today has been the best day, everything I ever dreamed.
After the song finished, there was about 2 minutes left of 2013. We gathered everyone together in front of the OYAN banner in the front of the room, and at exactly 12:00, the first minute of the new year, we took a group picture.
Then, in the first few minutes of 2014, we sang Auld Lang Syne (Which basically means “old long ago” or “the good old days”, FYI), with the lyrics on the projector screen. We got in this kind of swaying line thing.
Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind? Should old acquaintance be forgot, and old lang syne? For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne, we’ll take a cup o’ kindness yet, for auld lang syne.
When the song was over, someone called a group hug. A few people managed to escape, I think, but I think most everyone was in the huge knot of sweaty bodies and grinning friends.
It really was probably the best way I could have started off the New Year – with my OYAN family.
Now that covers Christmas and New Years Eve, now let’s talk about the exciting event that took place on New Years Day.
The Empty Hearse, the first episode of Series 3, aired in the UK on January 1st, 2014. And for those people in the US lucky enough to know where to look for a link, we got to watch it, too.
I got to watch it with OYANers.
Originally, I had planned to use a livestream link I had found and watch it as it streamed at 3 PM here. But that cut in to critique groups time by a good deal.
Addison had a link, though, and he downloaded the episode to his laptop so we wouldn’t have to rely on the less than reliable internet in the retreat center.
So after the evening sessions, the laptop was hooked up to the projector and we got to watch it on the big screen instead of clustered around someone’s laptop.
I was shaking. I was literally shaking. I was wearing my John cosplay jumper, and my Sherlock trench coat and scarf. And I
stole borrowed Firiel’s towel because it was bright orange and looked very much like a shock blanket and had it wrapped around my shoulders.
And ha, did I need that shock blanket.
This post is starting to get kind of long, and I don’t know that all of my readers have seen TEH yet, so I won’t say too much. I still have to see it a second time, because while watching it with a group of Sherlockians was one of the most fun experiences I’ve ever had, the sound and picture wasn’t that great, and I missed a few things. I’m hoping to watch it again soon, I just haven’t gotten around to it yet. 😛
Watching stuff with OYANers is an absolute blast. We watched Time of the Doctor the next night.
I cried again. But hey, I wasn’t alone. 😛
Now. Like I said earlier, I should probably finish this post before it drags on into the next New Year. 😛
The last day of the workshop came, as it always does, too soon. You spend as much time as you can denying that it’s the last day, but that only lasts so long. After the last critique group, the last meal, the last session, you have to accept reality. And reality says you can’t stay in Rivendell forever.
The whole WW experience was vastly different than the summer workshops. Different in a good way, though. It was a more relaxed schedule, and there was no curfew (eheeheehee). The last day was also similar, in that it was different. There weren’t as many tears, though you could see the same sadness you were feeling mirrored in everyone’s faces. I just barely managed to hold it together as I hugged my friends. Not as many goodbyes were said that night, because there would be one more breakfast in the cafeteria the next morning.
People slowly started to drift off to bed. I was part of the stubborn group that stayed up the latest. Erynn, Irie, Addison, Justin, Jeremy, Mig and me. At one point we had almost decided to pull an all-nighter and watch the sunrise together before going to breakfast.
But we all had to travel in the morning, and after playing Amish Penguin Mafia (yes, you read that right) and listening to My Little Pony dubstep, we decided to turn in.
I had to say goodbye to Erynn then, because her plane was leaving really early in the morning. We walked back to our dorm with Irie, who was our next door neighbor. After shoving some of my stuff into my bags so I would have less to do in the morning, I got ready for bed after one more hug from Erynn.
Leaving is hard.
All that morning, I had a sentence that Doctor Who fans will know well running through my head: I don’t want to go.
In the morning, we went to breakfast, saying goodbye to those who had to leave. Sarah, Josh, Grace, Irie, Lindsey.
We packed our things and dragged it all back from Caras Galadon to the foyer of the main building. Had a minor panicky few minutes when we couldn’t find Firiel’s keys, but we found them.
Then with one last, tight hug to my friends who were still there, and with a wave, we got into the car and drove off.
I was struggling to keep back tears. Lizzy put on the track Evacuating London from The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe soundtrack and we listened to it as we started the long drive back to Minnesota. After the track finished, I played The Breaking of the Fellowship from the Fellowship of the Ring soundtrack. Which only made keeping tears at bay more difficult, but the songs were both perfect for what we were feeling.
However, about halfway through The Breaking of the Fellowship, I was fiddling with my name badge. And I looked down and realized I still had one of our room keys. So we had to turn around and bring it back. I ran back into the building and turned it over to Tineke and Mr. S with a sheepish grin and then waved goodbye again and ran back out to the car.
Talk about anti-climactic.
Is it next year yet? I think I’ve probably rambled on enough about the WW, though I certainly could keep rambling. We drove home, which wasn’t as much fun as driving there. But it was good to see my family again.
But life didn’t exactly go back to normal after that.
And now we get to why this post is titled what it is. I’m sorry it took so long. 😛
At Thanksgiving, when we were celebrating with my mom’s side of the family, my cousin and his wife approached me with an offer. They asked me to consider nannying for their youngest daughter. It threw me off at first, I’ll admit. And at first I wasn’t sure I wanted to go. But I prayed about it, and I felt at peace and like I was supposed to go.
So, here I am.
After returning from the WW, I had one week to get ready, and then I left to live with my cousins. That’s where I am right now.
I’m on an adventure. Not quite as catchy as “I’m going on an adventure”, which is what I titled the post (no, really, Hannah, we didn’t notice).
I feel a bit like Bilbo sometimes, and that’s what kept running through my mind as I was praying over the decision of whether or not to go. Completely comfortable in my chair, but Gandalf came along and called me on this new adventure.
Life is an adventure. To quote Hook, “To live… to live would be an awful big adventure.”
And it certainly is.
So, I think that’s about it for now. I’m going to start trying to blog more (yeah, yeah, you’ve said that before). I’ve been thinking about what I should do to start posting more, and I think I may have come up with something.
I like reviewing things. That’s another thing that I want to do more of. And another thing I also want to do is rewatch through Doctor Who (the 2005 on, or NuWho as it’s also called) and BBC’s Robin Hood.
So… I thought, why not combine?
I think I’m going to start rewatching Doctor Who and posting a review for each episode. I’m hoping to start that soon. 🙂
This post has gone on quite enough. So I will end this with a wishing you all a Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, Happy Sherlock Returns and Happy Adventures in Life to you all. 🙂