Monday, October 21, 2019

Flash Fiction Snippets

     Last week, I had my wisdom teeth taken out, and thus, spent much time in bed. It's been a while since I wrote anything other than an academic essay, so to get back into the swing of creative writing, I tried my hand at flash fiction. Flash fiction is a short story or story snippet about 100 words long. The writer is usually aided by a story prompt or picture for inspiration. I hope you enjoy my following attempts at flash fiction.


Going Home

Rattling across sparsely forested terrain, the train carried its passengers closer to the border. Inside, a warmly dressed woman sat close to the window. A plaid woollen shawl framed her face and the collars of her gray coat were pulled tightly against her neck. Her wrinkled features bore the marks of a long and difficult life. Silently, she observed the scenery passing outside. Vague memories of younger days flashed through her mind and filled her with wistful nostalgia. As the train neared its destination, a sad longing tainted the woman’s reminiscing, and a sigh escaped her lips. She was finally going home, but would it be the home she remembered?



Arms straining, the young man plunged his oars into the crystalline water below his dinghy. Excitement tempered with grim determination shone in his eyes. The lake was deathly silent. Not even a breeze disturbed its surface. As he reached the edge of his people's territory, he allowed the oars to rest. Peering over the gunwale, he spotted the familiar bones of an ancient dragon resting on the lake bed, mere yards beneath the water’s surface. It was here that he had always stopped. But not today. Settling back in his seat, the young man pulled at the oars, his eyes fixated on the island at the horizon. It was said these dragons were extinct, killed off long ago. He was going to prove otherwise.


Continue The Work

The young missionary stepped into his father’s office. Light shining through the open window illuminated a desk where books and reams of paper lay stacked. A sad smile flicked across the man’s face. The room looked the same as the day his father had left it. Tears came to his eyes as he remembered that fateful afternoon. Shaking his head, the missionary moved closer to the desk. Greek and Hebrew testaments were neatly piled beside various dictionaries and lexicons. Scanning the handwritten translation notes, the young man’s eyes fell on the last portion his father had translated. 

“Thou therefore, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. And the things that thou hast heard of me among many witnesses, the same commit thou to faithful men, who shall be able to teach others also. Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ.”*

Emotion swelling in his chest, the missionary lifted up his head in silent thanksgiving to God. Then, reverently sitting down at the desk, he picked up his father’s pen. It was time to continue the work.

* 2 Timothy 2:1-3, KJV


Which story was most vivid for you? Have you ever written flash fiction?

Sunday, August 11, 2019

3 Things I've Learned From Two Years of College

     Two years ago, I embarked on a new, intimidating adventure: online college. It's hard to believe that I'm already half way through. Like any other adventure, this one has had its ups and downs, trials and triumphs. While I still have two more years to go and plenty more lessons to learn, there are three things I've realized.

     1. School does not come before God.
     Upon waking up in the morning, it can be very tempting to skip personal devotions in order to get a head start on school. While doing so may indeed give me more time for school, ultimately, it isn't worth it. Starving oneself of spiritual feeding, even if just for a day, will have consequences. Don't sacrifice your spiritual health for school.

     2. School does not come before family.
     Finding the right balance between school and family is tricky, and I tend to shirk family responsibilities in favor of school. But regardless of how important school may seem, it should never take priority over helping my mother when she's tired, or listening to my siblings when they need to talk. Investing time in your family should not be sacrificed for doing extra homework.

     3. School does not come before your health.
     It might sound cliche, but eating real food, getting good sleep, and doing a little exercise all go a long way. I've also found that setting aside at least one day of the week to rest, read, and dabble in a few hobbies is very important for my mental health. Your brain needs a break as much as your body does.

     I wish I could say that I successfully apply these lessons every day, but unfortunately, I do not. It's quite easy to become hyper focused on school and neglect everything else. But with every new day comes a new opportunity to try again, and for that, I'm very grateful.

If you're in college, what are some things you've learned? If you're not in college, what are some tips you've heard about balancing life and school?

Friday, December 28, 2018

Updates, Life, and A New Year

   With the flick of a calendar page, another year passes and I am left wondering where the time has gone. Is it just me, or do the years seem to be flying by faster and faster? Several major milestones were passed this year: my sister graduated high school, I turned twenty, and Dad retired. Significant work was done on my writing projects as well.

Diary of a New Driver:

   About half of this book is written. I'll continue to post the chapters on this blog, though I won't do so for long, as I hope to traditionally publish the entire book once it's complete.

Jonathan and The Royal Conspiracy:

   I decided to temporarily put this book on hold, due to major plotting issues. However, once I finish Diary of a New Driver (and work up the nerve), I'll tackle the massive job of replotting.

Yet-To-Be-Named Short Story:

   My latest project, and the main reason for my absence on the blog, is a historical fiction short story set during the Battle of Dunkirk in 1940. The story is complete and editing is currently underway. I'm still deliberating over whether I should add artwork and publish it independently, or skip the artwork and share it here. Your thoughts would be appreciated!

     Reflecting on 2018 has caused me to realize how little time we truly have. The clock ticks ever so rapidly, yet I find myself more often squandering the time rather than utilizing it. While I won't be making a lengthy list of resolutions for 2019, there is one objective I aim to pursue: treasuring the time. Our lives are too short to be wasted in frivolous pursuits.

What's your biggest goal for the new year?

Sunday, October 21, 2018

Diary of a New Driver - Chapter Five

To read the previous chapters, click below:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 4


Chapter 5: A Drive in the Park

“So where do you want to drive today?” Dad asked as I once again settled into the now familiar driver’s seat.


Let’s see… where’s a place with few cars and low speeds? Oh, I’ve got it!

“How about the park?”

“Good idea. Do you know the way?”

“Not really.”

“That’s ok, I’ll direct you. Turn left out of the driveway. Don’t forget the blinker.”

I happily proceeded down the road.

This will be nice. A scenic road. Hardly any cars. Low speeds. Why didn’t I suggest this sooner?

I turned into the entrance and ambled along on the winding road.

“Be on the lookout for small critters like squirrels or chipmunks that might run out into the road. You don’t want to hit one of them.”

Concern grew on my face.

“Would a small creature like that really damage the car if I accidentally hit one?”

“No, but you would be the one scraping his guts off my tires.”


Note to self: avoid, at all possible costs, hitting a squirrel, chipmunk, or other small woodland creature. I repeat: AVOID AT ALL COSTS!!

I drove on, warily scanning the road for anything with a tail, fur, and the propensity to jump out heedlessly into the road. Up ahead, I noticed several large speed bumps spaced only a few yards apart.

Oh boy, not again.

“Why are there speed bumps here?” I wondered aloud, quickly decelerating to about 5 mph.

“Probably has something to do with all this rigging up in the trees,” Dad responded, leaning forward to get a better view out the windshield. I chanced a glance as well.

Woah… hold on, is that a person dangling from a rope? Why on earth is he swinging from the trees??? What, does he think he’s an ape? These liberals, trying to be one with nature. If he’s not careful, he’s going to become one with the pavement!

“Oh, I think I know what this is,” Dad said, settling back in his seat.

“Let me guess. How-to-become-a-monkey boot camp?”

“No,” Dad chuckled. “It’s the treetop obstacle course thing the park was advertising. Looks like they’ve finally got it set up.”

I blinked.

“Doesn’t look like much of a set up. Just some ropes, ladders, platforms, and not-so-safe-looking safety harnesses. I can see the rust from here!”

“Yeah well, I suppose it all adds to the adventure of the experience.”

I shook my head in disbelief and continued to drive slowly, eying both the tops and bases of the overhanging trees.

Humph. I have to look out for squirrels on the ground and humans in the trees. What a backwards world!

As we continued, more and more cars appeared parked alongside the road, indicating we were approaching the main park area.

“Even though the speed limit is 20, I would do about half that because there may be people in these parked cars, and if one of them decides to step out of their car without looking, you need to be prepared to stop.”

I nodded and adjusted my speed accordingly. Just as Dad had warned, a couple stepped out of their vehicle a few yards ahead, without bothering to check the road behind them. They proceeded down the middle of the lane hand-in-hand. I slammed on the brakes fuming.

Oh how sweet YOU TWO PEA-BRAINED LOVE BIRDS! Y’all are so love-blind and love-deaf you don’t even notice a giant hunk of metal on wheels right behind you!! WHAT IN THE NAME OF CITY TAXES DO YOU THINK THE SIDEWALK IS FOR???

Dad noticed the frustration on my face.

“Just wait, they’ll move.”

I harrumphed, but managed to restrain myself from pounding on the horn. The two eventually discerned that they were in danger of being run over by a large vehicle with a gas-happy teen behind the wheel, and wisely moved to the sidewalk. I scowled at them as we passed. Fortunately they didn’t notice.

After circling around in the parking lot, Dad directed me out the park exit.

“Let’s go back the way we came and then I’ll show you a different entrance into the park.”

We drove around the park in what felt to be a circle until Dad pointed out a partly hidden entrance several yards ahead.

“Turn left into there.”

Ok, slow down, left blinker, gently turn… and here we are! Hmm, this looks similar to the other entrance, just a little narrower and without those crazy people hanging from the … WAIT... WHY IS THERE A VAN COMING STRAIGHT TOWARD ME??? There isn’t enough room for the both of us!!! WHY ISN’T HE SLOWING DOWN? WHAT IS HAPPENING RIGHT NOW???

“D… Dad…. what do I do??”

The car came closer and I panicked further.


“What is this idiot doing?” my dad practically shouted. “This is an entrance not an exit!”

Dad reached over and blasted the horn, startling both me and the opposing driver, who quickly slowed to a near standstill. Grabbing the wheel from my hand, Dad carefully maneuvered the car around the clearly confused driver. It seemed to take an eternity for the two vehicles to pass each other on the narrow lane. Finally, we were clear and I cautiously proceeded forward. Dad noticed my trembling hands.

“Would you like me to drive home?”

I nodded mutely. Pulling over, I fumbled with the seatbelt and stumbled out of the car, my knees nearly giving way as I attempted to walk to the passenger’s side. Gratefully, I collapsed in the seat, my thoughts tumbling over each other.

That car… it was coming at me… the lane was so narrow… I NEARLY DIED…. AGAIN!! And it wasn’t even my fault this time! Why do these things happen to me??? Ok Gloria, deep breaths… it’s ok, we’re still alive… I think. Quick, commence systems check: legs? Yes, they move. Toes? Yep, still got ‘em. Arms? Still attached. Fingers? Cold, but responsive. Ok, I think we’re good. We survive to fight another day.

I’m definitely gonna need some chocolate when we get home.


What has your experience been when driving in parks? Have you ever hit a squirrel or chipmunk?

Monday, October 15, 2018

Summer 2018 - Photo Recap

     Summer is over and fall is officially upon us! This was the summer after my freshman year of college and it was a much needed break. The biggest thing that happened this summer was my baby sister's graduation from high school!!! I feel so old...

     For the 4th of July, we went to a local freshwater stream with some friends and spent the day there. I put together a vlog-style recap video. Check it out!

     We also visited the International Spy Museum with our grandmother.

     We were delighted to see a section of the museum devoted to Biblical spies!

     What I found most fascinating were these copies of letters between Albert Einstein and President Theodore Roosevelt.

     If you are ever in D.C., make a stop at the Spy Museum, as it is definitely one of the more fascinating museums in the area!

     Our church also hosted a campout, which was a lot of fun.... even though I didn't get much sleep.

     Dad planted a new tree last year and it bloomed this year!

Our indoor plants put on some blooms as well.

Love the color pattern on this plant!


Looking into the garden.

Little toes.


What were some of the highlights from your summer?