Sunday, August 26, 2012

things I did this summer.

1. I saw this by the library in town.

Hehehe. I thought people only did this in movies.

2. I started a novel.

Yeah, that's right. I started a novel. It's going great, thanks for asking.

I like writing. Most of the time, I just write to write, which results in multiple abandoned Microsoft Word documents full of exerpts of wannabe-novels that are going nowhere because they have no plot behind them. But THIS TIME I have a plot.

Go me! However, if I get any comments in the comment section of this post that sound remotely like this...

"Ooh, you're writing a novel? What's it about??"

...I will probably make a face that looks similar to this...

One does not simply tell people what they write about, or walk into Mordor. Silly goose.

I'll give you the first word, though, just because I'm in a good mood.


3. I started the Harry Potter series. Again. For the third time.

I really wanted to read a lot of books this summer. I did, I promise. Unfortunately, that didn't really happen. I thought about reading a lot. But that's all I really did. I thought about it. Every time I picked up a book, I would get bored, and do something else for a while with my time. Finally I just had to face the dreaded truth that I was in a reading slump.

I hate reading slumps.

So then, I did the only thing I thought would help me get out of this slowly state.

I picked up the good ol' Harry Potter books again. For the third time. Because this series is just too awesome to be read just once. Or twice, for that matter. Hopefully, this will bring me back into the reading world.

Snape approves of my decision.

4. I hiked around in intense heat wearing pioneer clothes for a week.

Definitely one of the highlights of my summer. Allow me to explain.

In our church, every four years we do something called a Pioneer Trek where we dress like pioneers and pack belongings in a 5 gallon bucket and pull handcarts in the local desert for a couple days to reinact a little of what the pioneers crossing the plains had to go through. And that is most definitely a run-on sentence, but I'm leaving it like it is. This year we called our adventure "The Rescue" because prior to the trek we were asked to research a deceased ancestor that we would later perform temple work for.

It was a really special, spiritual experience, something I'll never forget.

Here's a picture of our handcart company. You can feel the heat just looking at it, can't you? Yeah, me too. Don't worry, the watermelon, trees, and sprinklers at the end in Zion were definitely worth it.

5. I brushed up on my Disney Classics.

Why aren't all movies like Disney Classics and The Avengers? I don't know either.

This summer, I watched Beauty and the Beast, Mulan, and Aladdin for the first time in a really long time. I plan to watch Tarzan again with my friend who has been deprived her entire childhood and has not seen it.

I love Disney movies. So much.

6. I took lots and lots and lots of pictures.

Here are a few of my favorites. (All photos (C) Nicole Pederson 2012.) Man, something about just being able to copyright something...just makes you feel all powerful and stuff.

Blade of grass at Silver Creek Falls

Front yard (It's a hydrangea! It looks like a tree!)

Leaf in the front yard. I don't know why I needed to point out that it was a leaf.

Front yard (See how I didn't point out it was a rose this time?)

Lauren's shadow getting sprayed by the sprinkler on the basketball court in our front yard

My footprints on the Lincoln City Beach. My footprints, guys.

7. I saw the coolest shooting star I will probably ever see in my life.

Out in our backyard in the middle of the night, we went out to watch the most epic meteor shower I've ever seen. The shooting stars stretched across the sky, with thick, long, white tails... (I feel a poem coming on or something.)

The biggest one was my favorite. It stretched across the entire night sky, and you could see the particles at the tip turn orange from breaking up in the atmosphere. It was so long, Mom said, "Kurt, look at that!" and when he looked up, he could still see it shooting across the sky. It was gorgeous.

I made some pretty good wishes that night.

My summer has been amazing. But, to quote Isaiah Mustafa,

"Like all great things, this too must end. There's giant oaks that need chain-sawing into yacht boats. Bermuda Triangle mysteries that need solving with huge magnifying glasses. And everyone knows I could use one or twelve medals for winning exotic car throwing competitions. I must ride my jet-ski line into the sunset."

The sunset being a metaphor for high school.

Thursday, August 2, 2012

in which I meet an author and become a superhero

That's right, guys. I'm a superhero. Sort of.

Awesome-Author-Rachel and Me
My aunt Liane's sister, Rachel McClellan, author of an awesome book called Fractured Light came to stay next door to us. As a mutual activity, she came to speak to our Young Women's group about becoming our own superheroes. (Double awesome. Meeting author. Who is also a superhero.)

She started out with this awesome quote by Marianne Williamson:

"We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be?"

She told us that we have this light inside of us that we need to use to help, uplift, and serve others. Our SUPERPOWER. (I know, right?!) In order to use our power for good, we have to be unselfish, not judging, have a desire to serve, and be courageous.

Imagine Superman, she told us, sitting in a diner, eating his enchilada soup. What if he was selfish? What if he judged others? What if he didn't want to help the people outside who were being chased by that giant robot? What if he was too afraid to save them? Would he be a superhero? "Of course not," Rachel said, "He wouldn't be a superhero. He's just a really good looking guy in a cape and tights."

Even Superman, with all of his strength, talents, and abilities, wouldn't be anything if he was selfish, judging, and afraid.

But he is a superhero. And those good qualities, being selfless, courageous, brave, kind...we need to be all those things if we want to become our own superheroes.

Rachel's an author. She knows that people, like characters, have flaws. Nobody's perfect. But we need to be the best that we can be so that we can be the heroes of our own stories.

So guess what, guys? I'm not the only hero around here.

You're a superhero too.