What I do

I'm a Staff Assistant at the Liahona magazine. I'm also a part-time photographer, a part-time writer and a full-time dreamer :)

What I'm Working On

Currently, I'm finishing an urban/dystopian fantasy adventure novel for teens. Afterwards, I have outlines for a comedic screenplay, a fantasy adventure for children, a redemption realistic fiction novel for teens, and a coming of age story for children. Lets just say... I have my work cut out for me!

Writing

For your viewing pleasure, I have posted a teaser for my current novel, Siren as well as a writing experiment such as Fireflies, the first chapter of my young adult novel An Unexpected Theft and my children's book excerpt at the top of the page. Feel free to read & give feedback in the comments section! :) Happy reading!

About Me

My Photo
Currently I'm working for the Liahona magazine after serving a full-time mission in Londrina, Brazil. Just trying to figure out what the future holds as I write all the stories down that are rolling around in my head :)

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Wednesday, July 22, 2015
Okay, so I don't think the majority of people, myself included, really try to offend others. Me personally, I don't enjoy arguments or contention. I'd rather avoid them altogether.

However, it is physically impossible to go through this life without offending someone unless you literally don't say or do anything but even then there's no guarantee because really awful, douchey jerks can say that they're offended by your existence.

Anyway, it's really becoming an issue for me and I honestly think there needs to be more people talking about how our culture and this generation is using the term "politically correct" or "tolerance" as substitute words for "easily offended."

Seriously, this country's first amendment guarantees the right to free speech and freedom of religion. Yet, somehow that's only applicable unless you don't offend anyone with your opinions, thoughts, or beliefs?

I'm not referring to freedom of participating and promoting incredibly degrading and obviously offensive things like pornography and slander. Because to be honest, pornography is offensive and everyone should be offended by it. But that's not what I'm talking about. (Yet ironically people are more offended by very innocent comments MUCH MORE than pornography. Oh the hypocrisy. Also, by the way, pornography isn't just nudey pictures of people. I don't think the Sistine Chapel is pornographic. 50 Shades of Grey on the other hand, is.)

I'm talking about the fact that people get offended by some of the stupidest things I've ever heard and are constantly judging and criticizing things others say. If I were to say something along the lines of "Motherhood is the most revered and honored calling a woman will ever have," or "no one can replace the role of a mother" I will suddenly get a long list of hate comments from trollers saying I'm "anti-feminist" or something along those lines.

If I say something about how amazing husbands and fathers are, and how important their contribution to society is, I'm suddenly reviled as being a "patriarchal misogynistic."

If I say something patriotic about how wonderful the United States of America is and how my father, grandfathers and great-grandfathers fought for this country, I'm suddenly "xenophobic" and an "ultranationalist."

Man, so much for freedom of speech, am I right?

I'm just so freaking sick of this garbage. Anyone who is looking to be offended by someone or something will find a way to be offended.

And no amount of tip-toeing, mamby pamby, "there there," walking-on-eggshells-while-we-try-to-find-another-way-of-saying-something is going to stop these types of people from getting offended. Period. End of story.

I think we, as a society, have taken ourselves far too seriously. However, I am certainly not promoting vicious attacks and comments directed at any sort of group of people based on race, religion, sexual orientation, sexual preference, ethnicity, social status, gender, or age or any of the other categories we as humans have elected to create for ourselves. That is never okay and never acceptable.

What I am saying is just stop complaining so freaking much! Look at your life! I can promise you it's not nearly as bad as you might think it is. Not to mention the fact that the more we "passa mao sobre da cabeca da pessoa" as the Brazilian's say it, or "patting them on the head and saying 'there there'" the more they will feed off of that attention! There are far too many "bleeding martyrs" lately claiming they're offended by so-in-so and saying they're being discriminated against by this and that.

SHUT UP! 

If the term "one nation under God" or "in God we trust" offends you so much, you can leave. As in leave this country. Aint nobody asking you to stay here! Here's the door, don't let it hit you on the way out. Fact is, the country was founded because of religious freedom and it just so happened that all if not most of our Founding Fathers believed in God or a Higher Being. Ugh. Quit your complaining already jeez.

If other things like only have the spaces for "Male" and "Female" on a doctor's medical sheet offend you, or if someone makes a comment on how important families and fathers and mothers are, or how that statue depicts a white man with two Native Americans, or just plain old doesn't agree with your opinion on something, GET OVER YOURSELF. Seriously.

You can and you do choose to by offended by someone or something. That is a fact. It is also your choice to get over it and move on and stop making a lawsuit and law out of everything. If we keep going the path we're going onto now, it'll be illegal to have a men's and women's bathroom! Because that's "sex discrimination."

Please. Just stop before you embarrass yourself.

We are all imperfect people in an imperfect world. Sooner or later someone is going to say or do something that is imperfect. Yes, it's frustrating but I know for a fact you've also done something that's offended someone at some point in time and space in the past or you will do something to offend someone in the future.

To add a bit of humor to this blog post, I've found a few youtube videos I think will illustrate my point even further.


The Most Politically Correct Doll Ever
Political Correctness at College


Forgive the brief language, but the first part is spot on
Night before a Non-denominational Holiday



Tuesday, July 14, 2015
I figured I'd better write a blog post about a certain handsome Canadian who has opted to be my husband December 29th of this year :)

Some of you don't know the story of where we began and might think something along the lines of, "Well that was quick."

Honestly it really wasn't. The story of me and Ian began five years ago at BYU-Idaho...

I signed up for my first film seminar class and my first screenwriting class in the winter of 2010. I walked into the film seminar class and was vaguely aware of a cute guy with glasses and perfectly swooped hair. The teacher started his schpeal on movies and began to ridicule Jurassic Park and its ending with the T. Rex who saves the day. Well, I wasn't going to stand for that so I raised my hand and made a snarky comment defending the epicness of Jurassic Park and decided that this teacher was kind of an idiot, so I got up soon after speaking my mind and left the class. I wasn't going to put up with a teacher who had no respect for Jurassic Park and early Speilberg movies! So I snuck out, thinking no one noticed my absence.

Little did I know, that the guy with glasses and perfectly swooped hair did notice me and my absence and had wanted to talk to me after the class ended.

Fast forward a few days later when I walked into the screenwriting class that same week. It was a nighttime class starting around 7:00 and ending at about 9:30 once a week. As I walked in the classroom, I scanned the room for any attractive guys I could sit next too, when my eyes landed on that same adorably boyish guy with glasses and swooped hair. I made my way over to him, sat in the desk right next to him and I think said something like "Is this the screenwriting class?" To which he responded something along the lines of "I hope so."

Since then, our screenwriting teacher, Sister Gilbert, put us in every collaborating group for the rest of the semester. But as luck would have it, every time we tried to plan a critique group session during the week, me and Ian were the only ones who showed up. I had thought that maybe it was on purpose and that Ian was trying to hit on me/ask me out but I was surprised to realize he genuinely wanted to talk about screenwriting and movies. This made me even more interested in him because of how genuine and unassuming he was.

Soon our collaboration group get togethers would be less about movies and scripts and more about life in general; what we liked and didn't like, failed relationships, our aspirations for the future and so on and so forth.

But, obviously, we didn't date right away. Ian was interested in someone and to be honest, I was still pretty young and immature. In spite of us dating other people, for whatever reason, we still remained close friends and we always ended up talking for hours and hours on end, whether it was on the phone or via facebook.

Fast forward to 2013.
my mission farewell in Utah, April 2013

I decided that, through impressions at church and personal prayers, that Heavenly Father wanted me to go on a mission. I told no one I was going other than my mom and my bishop for the longest time. 
The only other person I told was Ian. 

The night I told him that I was going on a mission was the night he told me that he loved me. Needless to say, I was shocked and a little annoyed but he backed up his thought by telling me that the Lord needed me right now. And that I belonged to Heavenly Father for the next 18 months. 
Our friendship deepened more as I drew closer to my return to Georgia before my mission in Brazil and we "dated" in the weeks that followed until then. However I knew that he was a good-looking guy and doubted that he'd "wait" for me for a year and a half. You could maybe call that pessimism but I just call that realism. I wasn't going to get my hopes up on a guy that I'd been in love with for the past three years. Yet in my heart of hearts I always felt drawn to him and he was and still is quite literally my best friend. 

I left on my mission August 21st and for the first four months of my mission I heard sporadically from Ian. I wasn't too bothered by this, mostly because I assumed he was dating other people but I enjoyed when I did get the occasional email from him.

Soon, into my fifth month I started hearing from him more often, and then I would get an email in my inbox every week. I won't share the specifics of the emails and letters here, mostly because they are special but suffices to say that he told me he was waiting for me and that I had all the qualities he wanted in a future wife. 

Still, I was dubious. Not that I doubted him so much as I doubted the many attractive girls who were in Utah and filled his social/family therapy classes. But every email for the next year strengthened my faith that maybe he was serious. Many of my missionary companions were more convinced than I that I would marry him as soon as I got off the plane. 

A few days after I was released as a missionary at the end of February, I had my first phone call from Ian. Even though I was incredibly skittish and strange being a newly returned missionary, he was very patient and understanding as I tried to figure out if he was really who I wanted to date and marry. The only issue was, I was in Georgia without much funds, and he was in Utah finishing up his undergrad. 

From about March to April we essentially dated long distance. As much as I tried convincing myself and him that we needed to date in the same state and date for a while before things got serious, it came to a point where I didn't want to wait anymore. With each FaceTime call it grew harder and harder to not be talking with him and to be so far away from him. 

Finally, I got a job interview for the dream job of mine (the Liahona magazine) and didn't tell Ian I was flying out for it. He just assumed they were phone interviews. With the help of one of my best girl friends, Stacey, I flew in and stayed at her place and she drove me to my interviews. That night, after my interviews were done, Stacey drove me to his house and we waited for him to get home off of his internship. When I saw him rounding the corner to go up the stairs to his apartment I yelled his name and nearly scared the crap out of him. When he realized who I was, I'll never forget the look on his face as long as I live. It was like a man who'd been denied water for days and had finally gotten a waterfall. 

He hugged me and didn't kiss me (though he was worried about making Stacey uncomfortable) and for the next few days we just enjoyed being with each other for the first time in a long time. 





First weekend with Ian after mish

And so after weeks of waiting to see if I got the job, I was finally able to move officially out to Utah, and better yet, be out there for Ian's graduation from BYU!




I was able to meet his wonderful family and we were finally geographically together to date.

Which leads us to now! After a few months of getting to know each other, our quirks, weaknesses, idiosyncrasies, pet peeves, and worst moments we decided to make it official.

He flew out with me to Georgia to meet my family and ask permission from my mom to marry me, and also ask permission to get a certain priceless family heirloom to put on my finger.

The Swan House, Atlanta GA 
It must've went well because he claims he loves my family, even after putting up with all their quirks that I love, and they didn't maul him like they said they would so the week after the Georgia trip, we took my mom/great grandma's ring to get resized and shined up and he proposed Sunday July 12.

And so now we've come full circle! After five years and several set backs, we're getting married in the Payson Utah temple for time and all eternity on December 29th, 2015. Though I have to admit, eloping is sounding better and better by the hour. 

Even though I hate the Twilight franchise and the Twilight movies, the one thing I do like that is related to them is Christina Perri's A Thousand Years song. For the past five years, every conversation I've had with Ian, whether it be on the phone, via facebook or email, that song has always come on the radio or my iPod that's on shuffle. 

Ironically enough, the lyrics fit our story almost perfectly. 

Darling don't be afraid, I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more

And all along I believed I would find you
Time has brought your heart to me
I have loved you for a thousand years
I'll love you for a thousand more 


After years and years of fruitless dates, endless array of tool-bags, and horrible disappointments, I've finally found someone who knows even the darkest and dustiest corners of my soul. Who likes it when I get feisty and fierce about something, who loves everything from The Muppets to Mystery Science Theater to National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation to Horatio Hornblower and everything in between, who wants to write a screenplay together with me, who wants me to publish my book, who wants me to continue playing to violin, who thinks I have a beautiful singing voice, who thinks I'm beautiful even with sparse eyebrows and huge owl glasses, who whispers the sweetest, kindest things to me when we're cuddling watching a movie, who makes me dinner every single night, who isn't offended or put off by my sense of humor or my intense love of books, who will actually encourage me to go in a store if I see something I like and try it on, who wants me to go to Grad school and accomplish all of my dreams, who I can have a deep Gospel discussion with, who wants to travel with me to places I've picked out, who respects me enough to want me to be modest in my swimsuits and skirts, who wants to play video games with me, who is incredibly spiritual and very in tune with the Spirit in every aspect of his life, who understands my love of Harry Potter, who is incredibly quick to forgive and deeply loyal, who loves Beauty and the Beast as much as I do, and so much more!

So this has turned into a novel, but to close up I have to say, I can't wait to marry my best guy friend. I can't wait to be able to fall asleep by his side and wake up to him every morning. Here's to eternity, babe! I get you forever. Muwahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahhaa! ;)

Tuesday, June 30, 2015
I don't pretend to be a political activist or a political know-it-all. I leave that to those who've majored in Political Science and Law. I do, however, know just enough about politics to make me dangerous.

Having said that, for those in this country who are rejoicing over the Supreme Court's decision this past week, all I have to say is that we have no idea what we've just done to ourselves.

I have never said or done anything to persecute or bully those with same-sex attraction. I've had friends who've chosen that path and I've never told any of them, or others that they're "going to hell" or that "God doesn't love" them. God loves all his children. Gay or straight or bi-sexual. He doesn't like when they break His commandments. But He still loves them. Period end of story. So let's set aside that argument for a while and just talk about politics. We can get into the religion end of it later.

The thing that bothers me the most, and the issue that I actually cried about on Sunday with my loving and understanding boyfriend who isn't American and tries to understand how much patriotism is deeply rooted within me, is the fact that the federal government, and specifically the judicial branch blatantly overstepped their boundaries. The judicial branch interprets the law. The legislative branch makes the laws. And the presidential branch enforces the law. Each of the three branches does not do what the other one does because that is exactly why this nation formed itself in the first place. We don't like it when members of the government have too much power! Because when they do, the power goes to their heads and they think they can run our lives for us. They can tax us more and take away our human and religious rights. That frankly frightens the living daylights out of us Americans after what we went through with the British hundreds of years ago.

As Justice Clarence Thomas (one of the Four Justices who voted against the gay-marriage act) says that liberty "has long been understood as individual freedom from government action, not as a right to a particular governmental entitlement." He also goes on to lament that the Supreme Court's decision on the definition of marriage into the Constitution goes "beyond the reach of the normal democratic process for the entire nation." He argues that that this decision will threaten religious liberty by creating an unavoidable collision between same-sex couples and religious organizations. "In our society, marriage is not simply a governmental institution; it is a religious institution as well. Today's decision might change the former, but it cannot change the latter. It appears all but inevitable that the two will come into conflict, particularly as individuals and churches are confronted with demands to participate in and endorse civil marriages with same-sex couples."

Samuel Alito (another judge who voted against the same-sex marriage act) says it even better. "At present, no one-including social scientists, philosophers, and historians- can predict with any certainty what the long-term ramifications of widespread acceptance of same-sex marriage will be. And judges are certainly not equipped to make such an assessment." Now here's the kicker, "Even enthusiastic supporters of same-sex marriage should worry about the scope of power that today's majority claims. Today's decision shows that decades of attempts to restrain this Court's abuse of its authority have failed." You can find the link to that article here.

So the fact that the Supreme Court completely ignored their duties as specifically stated in the Constitution and went ahead and did Congress's job too! They are now legislating! Doing what Congress should have been doing! That's NOT RIGHT. For more information on how the Court undermined the democratic process, here's that link.

Not to mention the fact that who the hell asked for the federal government to make more decisions for us? First it was the deregulation of the banks, then it was the No Child Left Behind Act, then it was forcing people to get healthcare through Obamacare, and now it's gay marriage?! Has no one else seen a pattern in the dictatorial attitude that has been going on for the past decade and a half??? Why has the federal government deliberately ignored the States rights in having a say in these issues? Why has the federal government not left it up to each individual State to decide FOR THEMSELVES about education, healthcare and marriage?

That is was pisses me off more than anything else. It's the fact that many Americans have become lazy. Yeah, that's right. LAZY. Comfortable in letting their rights slip through their fingers and more confident in the federal government making decisions for them, then letting us choose for ourselves.

I have many pet peeves. However, one of them that should be deeply intrenched in all of us, is when someone tries to take away our agency. Especially our moral agency.

Now, let's lay that aside and talk about the effects on children. According to the American College of Pediatricians, same-sex marriages are actually detrimental for a child's emotional needs.
No matter what your opinion on same-sex marriage is, for or against, a child needs a mother and a father. There are things that a mother provides in the home that no "father" or "man" can provide. Same thing with a father. There are certain specific attributes and characteristics that no woman can replicate. Every son or daughter needs a mother AND a father. If they have two fathers or two mothers, the child is lacking something that they need for their development. It's the same argument with divorce too! It's not just a same-sex issue. It's the same thing if the child were being raised in a single-parent home. I can attest to that somewhat because from 12 years of age onward I was raised by my widowed mother. Although I was lucky enough to have had both a mother AND a father in my home until that time.

If you want more information on this, here's the link.

Lastly we can step into the religious sphere. This country has always had a belief in God and religion. Although the founding fathers were from different religious backgrounds, you cannot deny that they were men of God. Part of the reason why this country was founded was exactly because the Church of England didn't allow citizens from other religious sects exercise their religious beliefs freely. Obviously, there were other factors involved, but this has gone way back since the Pilgrims set foot in the north of the American continent.

I will not be told what I should and should not believe. Nor will I stand being ridiculed for holding on to my own standards and religious beliefs. You could argue that homosexuality is a religious belief as there are still debates happening on whether or not homosexuality is biologically related or socially conditioned or both. But that's a different subject.

I'm infuriated with the fact that Obama has essentially said that Americans with religious beliefs against gay marriage should get over it. Saying phrases like "real change is possible" in the hearts of others, and "shifts in hearts and minds are possible" and my personal favorite, those who believe in gay marriage should "reach back and help others join them." Reach back and help others join them?

Excuse me?

I'm not saying it's a bad thing to be persuasive. Each time there is a debate/argument there is always the hope that the other side will see our point of view and agree with us. My disgust is not founded on that point.

What it is founded upon is the fact that our dearly beloved president believes that religious members of society should basically quibble and change their point of views in order to become more politically correct. He is referring the idea of religious followers changing their religious beliefs to accept gay marriage. I do not accept gay marriage. I do not think down upon or belittle gays or lesbians or bis, but I'm not changing what I believe in order to become socially acceptable. The same argument can be said for homosexuals long ago who felt the same way. "I was born this way." "I can't change who I am." "Just accept it." Well, if they can stick to their guns and hold their ground, then dammit, so can I. I can't change God's laws. I can only try to live them to the best of my ability. As long as I'm not being hateful and violent "in the name of religion" that a lot of people do, then I will do my best to share my beliefs in a kind and firm way. Just accept it!

Obama has absolutely no right in telling those who have religious beliefs to "change." Homosexuality is not pleasing in the eyes of God in pretty much every religion in the world. Islam, Judaism and a lot of Christianity. Obviously, there are sects of each of these religions that believe otherwise but the Bible, the Torah and the Koran state that homosexuality is not acceptable in the eyes of God or Adonai or Allah. That being said, since none of us are perfect and it's also a sin for heterosexuals to have sex beyond the bounds that God has set, sexual sin is still sexual sin, whether its heterosexuals or homosexuals. And I know that God loves the sinner, but not the sin. Just as I loved my grandmother who was a chain-smoker. I loved her and still love her with all my heart. I hated the fact that she smoked.

It all boils down to this: Though I do not condone and though I strongly oppose same-sex marriage, it is not because I "hate gay people" or "fear gay people." I do not condone it because it is against my religious beliefs and, as far as I know, the Supreme Court hasn't butchered the 1st Amendment, so I and my Church have the right to oppose the institution of gay marriage and support the institution of traditional marriage free of trollers, persecutors and lawsuits.

Now that you've came to the end of my lengthy soapbox on this past weekend's issue, I'll just conclude it by saying that I know that truth does not change. And that sometimes the truth hurts and is a hard pill for individuals to swallow sometimes. But there will come a day when the "truth will set you free," and we will all see the effects of what has been done here. I love everyone, though I sometimes have a very ferocious temper with road rage and philosophy majors, and this also extends to those who aren't apart of my religion, aren't religious at all, or simply are neutral. That love also extends to those from whatever sexual orientation with which you participate in. I still love ya. And even more importantly, God loves you. And He loves your agency, which is why He would never force anyone to do anything they didn't freely want to do.

So the same should be said for all of us. No one should make anyone believe or not believe in something. So the question lies... where does freedom from religion end and freedom of religion begin?










Friday, June 26, 2015
My thoughts and opinions are not to diminish or ridicule others who don't think as I do. However because everyone has been exercising their constitutional right in regards to "what defines a marriage" and since I am currently thinking more profoundly about that topic today, I feel as if I should share what I believe and think.

I cannot by any means say what I want without offending someone. But then again, you live a fruitless, empty half-life if you offend no one.

So to amicably and fearlessly share what my opinions are, specifically on marriage, I'll just rely on everyone to direct themselves to the link below. It is a very well-explained and well-written piece on the topic. Though to forewarn others, it's quite long so I'd advise all who are curious to please read to the end of essay for the full effect.

As I've said before, if you think differently than I do, then that's obviously more than fine. I would ask that "trollers" or those who adamantly have a different opinion than I do not viciously attack me for exercising the exact same constitutional right that you have been given yourself.

I stand by what is said in the article below and encourage all on their quest for truth to afterwards pray and ask God if it's true or not. If it's not true, you'll know it. It it is true, you'll also know it. But you won't know it until you do.

Marriage is Not of This World



Wednesday, May 6, 2015
So, recently I have been disturbed by the increasing number of incredibly ignorant, false and inaccurate statements/articles that are being put on the social media respecting the logical reasons to be "child-free" and how having children is somehow remotely tied to destroying the planet.

I will be using gospel-related arguments for my case, not because I'm "religious" but because it's truth. God and the gospel in fact are truth. Hate to break it to you. Light is truth. Love is truth. And these concepts are from God. As is the family and its divine role in our happiness.

First off, in saying that not having children (when you are perfectly, physically, financially capable of having children) is somehow a higher way of living life, is just preposterous. And frankly, incredibly selfish.

There are some who seemed to have fooled themselves to believing that over-population somehow exists and that we will somehow be doing our said "children" and the world a favor by not having kids because they'd be born into a place with lesser resources and a lower standard of living. Okay, over-population is a myth people. That's like saying that lack of deforestation will somehow magically bring unicorns back into this world. So is saying that having children will somehow make it to where we won't be able to live comfortably on the earth any more, and we'd all be starving to death wallowing in disease and chaos. This is just complete and utter rubbish. I repeat, THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS OVER-POPULATION.

Science is completely against you on this one, babe. How is it that over-population is a myth? First off, in order for us to be able to overpopulate, it would mean that each man and woman would have to create more than 2 children. Let me rephrase that, each man and woman ON THE ENTIRE PLANET, would have to have at least 3 children or more. Following this line of logic, it would also mean that the children would have to grow up to ALSO create more than 3 children. And it would mean that this children would have to survive disease, famine, wars, car accidents, plane accidents, etc etc etc. Because of the increase in poverty in under-developed countries, the increase in drug abuse and violence, wars, diseases, people who DON'T procreate in the first place, accidental deaths, people who CAN'T procreate, famine etc etc etc, there is no WAY on this earth that this place could ever be over-populated. And if it would be, we still have Canada. It's quite gorgeously roomy up there. Case closed, people.

There is also the argument that the desire to have children is selfish because we only want to do so to continue the human race. Yeah. Cause that's a bad thing. *insert snarky comment here*

But I can also say, unsarcastically, that that is simply also not completely true. There is absolutely no great moment of fulfillment than that of seeing a child, your child, succeed at something. There is also no greater bond in this world than that between a mother/father and her/his son/daughter. I have heard many women say that losing a brother, sister, spouse was hard, but losing a child was the worst. Does that SOUND like a selfish desire to save us from human extinction? Or does that sound like a beautiful relationship between a mother and her child? It has very little to do with continuing the human race. It has largely to do with the fact that there is no greater miracle or power on the face of the earth that can compare with the miracle and power of creating human life. It's beautiful power, not natural selection.

Secondly, instead of thinking that you're going to magically cure the earth by not reproducing, I don't think our problem is too many people at all. It's too many bad and stupid people. So here's a reality check for ya, humans are NOT the problem. How about you spend more time raising good, honorable, wholesome people with morals and teach your kids about how to take care of the world as opposed to just denying them the right to live in it? The only hope for our future is the youth of the world. It's teenagers, it's the young people. Ya want a better world? Ya wanna save the earth?

RAISE. GOOD. CHILDREN. Which takes time and energy, but then again, everything that's worth anything takes time AND energy.

Going into the spiritual aspects of this argument, which is definitely the strongest part of this debate, Elder Neal A. Maxwell, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles said,


"I thank the Father that His Only Begotten Son did not say in defiant protest at Calvary, “My body is my own!” I stand in admiration of women today who resist the fashion of abortion, by refusing to make the sacred womb a tomb! When the real history of mankind is fully disclosed, will it feature the echoes of gunfire or the shaping sound of lullabies? The great armistices made by military men or the peacemaking of women in homes and in neighborhoods? Will what happened in cradles and kitchens prove to be more controlling than what happened in congresses? When the surf of the centuries has made the great pyramids so much sand, the everlasting family will still be standing, because it is a celestial institution, formed outside telestial time. The women of God know this."

"God trusts women so much that He lets them bear and care for His spirit children. We salute you, sisters, for the joy that is yours as you rejoice in a baby’s first smile and as you listen with eager ear to a child’s first day at school which bespeaks a special selflessness. Women, more quickly than others, will understand the possible dangers when the word self is militantly placed before other words like fulfillment. You rock a sobbing child without wondering if today’s world is passing you by, because you know you hold tomorrow tightly in your arms."

And that is exactly the closing statements of my argument. I do not believe that the world will get any better without children in it. I believe the contrary. I know for a fact that the only chance this world has is by shaping the ideals, beliefs, standards and minds of young children. They are our future. There is no greater work, no greater priority than this. No amount of worldly accomplishment can compensate for failure in the home. I am not yet a mother, and I'm not even sure if I can be. The worst insult a woman can receive is that of wanting a child, and physically not being able to have one, and then seeing women who have children or can have children and squander it.

If you don't want to have kids for whatever "unselfish" stupid reason, theres thousands of women in the world who are perfectly happy to accept your uterus.






Tuesday, August 13, 2013
This past weekend I had the opportunity to attend a YSA (Young Single Adult) conference for the southeast region. The speakers included David A Bednar, Sheri Dew & Brad Wilcox.

The firesides & workshops that were given were splendid & I did have the pleasure of meeting a handful of new friends that accepted me & enjoyed befriending me.

However, there was one specific part of this conference that was... disappointing. And it won't come as a surprise to any of you when I reveal what it is.

I do not pretend to be incredibly enthusiastic in attending the dance that is almost a requirement for any gathering of young people between the ages of 14 and 30. Although, of course as any female can attest, the opportunity to dance to a slow song is something so entrenched within us that we can hardly contain ourselves. And as Jane Austen astutely put it, "to be fond of dancing was a certain step towards falling in love." We're suckers for romance, what can I say?

But for some reason, this particular dance was even more depressing than others. So I kept on asking myself why that was?

This dance I did attend with my few friends was perhaps the first one I've been to in years. The last time I did attend a dance of this persuasion, I must've been in high school or early college and still not quite comfortable in my own skin; afraid of letting my true colors show & was downright shy. I would stand in the corner, maybe bob my head back and forth to beats, or just find a group of kids talking among themselves and situate myself in a certain way so that it would be easy for them to reach out and include me.

But this dance, I decided to let all caution to the wind & just do whatever came to me. I decided to let my guard down & just have fun with it.

Now to be clear, I'm not a dancer. I'm quite terrible at it actually, and I've never had a talent for graceful movements, even in regards to walking or running let alone when it's set to music. But, here's the thing:
 I don't dance because I'm good at it, I dance because I know it'll make other people around me laugh. I embarrass myself with wild, flailing movements to make others feel comfortable doing the same.

And yet, while I was at this activity, I was asked to dance by one guy. One. Whereas before, I would be asked to dance at least every slow song, which is usually five or six times, depending on the occasion. Not only that, but I would have gotten the attention of several guys, who would inevitably turn out to be new friends or even romantic suitors.

Yet, this dance was a particular disappointment. At least comparatively speaking to the old days when I would give a coy, coquettish smile with a trace of tell-tale blush on my cheeks. I would pretend to be docile and mysterious which would inevitably capture the fancy of quite a few men in the room. (course it wouldn't last long, but that's not the point.)

Contrasting my old tactics to my new one, of simply being myself & not caring what other people thought of me, I reached a sad moment of clarity as I drove home afterwards.

Not many people, men especially, like or even tolerate my true, natural, unbridled self. 

Wow. That's a difficult pill to swallow. Now, I'm sure that my friends will of course disagree with me on this point & I can certainly see why. But thinking back to the time I spent in Idaho, Utah and now Georgia, it's quite clear to me that I am not a typical girl.

I am not only an a-typical girl, but I'm not your average Mormon girl either.

Taylor Swift is not my favorite singer. Seven Brides for Seven Brothers or The Singles Ward are not my favorite movies. Downeast Outfitters is not my favorite clothing store. I don't say "Oh my heck," or colloquials such as "Totes adorbs" or "froyo." I do not have platinum blonde hair & I don't get eyelash extensions. Twilight and Gossip Girl are not my favorite books. I did not major in Elementary Education or Marriage & Family Studies at BYU-Idaho & I could never in good conscious watch Glee or One Tree Hill or Vampire Diaries.

I have naturally mousy brown hair. I look terrible without makeup on. I can't remember the last time I got a manicure. I have watched Schindler's List, Die Hard & the Hangover. I have listened to music from Breaking Benjamin to John Denver and everything in between. I swear more often than I would care to admit & I sometimes make dirty jokes. I want to be more than just a housewife & a homemaker--I want a career & my own aspirations. I do not have a direct lineage that dates back to Joseph Smith or Brigham Young and my family's favorite Christmas movie is Chevy Chase's Christmas Vacation.

I am an anomaly when it comes to Mormons and especially Mormon girls.

And I'm not really saying this to get attention or to complain. I'm quite proud of the fact that I'm not normal even for a "peculiar people." This just means that the man who I end up with, whether in this life or the next, will be just as strange and just as abnormal as I am. I believe it's a requirement for him to be able to put up with my shenanigans.

However, it does get a bit disconcerting and oftentimes can lead to loneliness when I am sometimes surrounded by men who are looking for a brand of Mormon women. When I'm surrounded by men who want a girl solely to keep house for them and bare children because that's all that they're good for. To come in contact with men who want trophy wives that enjoy nothing more than stroking their ego after they come home from work every night.

I'm not saying any of this to bash on marriage & family. Nor am I trying to pigeon-hole every Mormon girl that I've been acquainted with. I'd, of course, like to be a wife and a mom someday. & I, of course, know plenty of girls that don't fit the standard I've painted earlier.

All I'm saying is, that it seems to me that the majority of men I've met in my Mormon culture, aside from a few I've known & dated, have an image in their mind of what their future wife looks & acts like. And usually, I don't fit that archetype.

I never have & I don't believe I ever will.

And yet at this dance, it dawned on me that perhaps the reason why I had so many relationships in so little amount of time was because I did hid behind a carefully placed facade. And that they ended all too quickly because the alleged "boyfriend" began to see through it & didn't like what he saw.

He would see that at times I was short-tempered, sometimes irreverent, obnoxious, slightly volatile, irrational, rash & childish. He would see how eager I was to please, to prevent him from leaving me as so many other men had in my past. He would see me as a broken doll, far beyond repair. He would see the things I enjoyed, such as the Muppets & Beauty & the Beast, and was bemused as to why I was in my twenties & still watching silly, puerile shows. And he would see how sensitive I was, crying at certain scenes in movies and even ranting & raving about characters in a book that were completely fictional and would think how ridiculous and crazy I was for letting things affect me the way that they do.

Well, it's rather obvious that they weren't for me anyway. & although I'm not proud of my defects, if I could accept theirs, it was only logical that they should accept mine as well.

So at the end of this rather lengthy blog post, what's the point? So what?

Well, I know I'm not alone in being strange & weird. I've noticed that I'm attracted to the "black sheep" or the "rejects" or even the individuals who have a past or a story that's unlike my own. People who are different almost to the point of being outsiders.

I know that I have sometimes dated & surrounded myself with men who did not accept me for who I am, and were either scared off or put off by my personality.

And I also know that perhaps now, at the ripe age of 24, I'm finally comfortable with who I am.



Thursday, August 8, 2013
Okay, if it's not one thing, it's twelve, as my mother would say.

If my sister's situation in Kuwait wasn't enough to shred my soul, with some asshole vigilante destroying innocent dogs like a slaughterhouse, then this was just the icing on the cake of a glorious inhumane day.

I shouldn't let the ignorance and vacillation of others affect me the way that they do... yet, sadly they do.




I don't usually pass judgment on people. In regards to race, religion, background, disability, language, culture & certainly sexual preference, I am very easy going & have prided myself in loving everyone equally.

Except for douchebags.



Allow me to explain. There are really few things in the world that "gets my goat." I don't care what your views are on politics, I don't care what your career path is, I don't care what your religion is or your opinions on lima beans are. I really couldn't care less.

Some topics that would stir contention & anarchy in a debate really don't move me either way. You may find me at the back of the room with my feet propped up holding a bowl of popcorn and grinning from ear to ear as I fantasize about the next episode of Sherlock or what I might eat for dinner later. Sushi or Mexican? hmmm....

However, some of the few things that do affect me are things that you wouldn't think were that serious of a matter. For example, books. Specifically children's/teenage literature.

Now, why on earth is this such a big deal to you Megan? Oh, let me extrapolate!

Not only has children's literature influenced my early reading, so much so that my mother was forced to get me a library card because every time she'd buy me a book I would finish it in a single night, it has become a very vital part of my soul from day one. If I'm not reading something on a daily basis, I go into a form of imaginative paralysis and mental atrophy.

I firmly believe that the books you read as a child become a part of your identity in a way that no other form of reading ever does later in life. (Thank you Meg Ryan from You've Got Mail!) So many books and authors have shaped my character: from Roald Dahl to J.K. Rowling, to Amelia Atwater-Rhodes to Marianne Curley, to L.M. Montegomery to C.S. Lewis to Robin McKinnley & so on & so on it goes.

Children's literature has been so much a facet in my life, and a passionate, fiery, all consuming love (much more so than pretty much all of my actual relationships) that I have dedicated myself in writing children's and young adult literature. It has been my lifelong dream to publish books that will empower & broaden the minds of the future of our society. When I write a story, I write it thinking about my incredible nieces & nephews, who've been my inspiration & source of consolation in an ever growing awful world.

So when someone says that they "hate kid's books" or "books targeted at children" it shouldn't be of any surprise when I become mortally offended by that kind of remark. A part of my soul dies inside.



Going back to what I said at the beginning of this blog post, I'm not privy to judging or being biased towards others on any of the more important basics or fundamentals of a person. If you're Muslim, if you're of African descent, if you've classified yourself as being a homosexual, if you're suffering from the crippling effects of a mental or physical disability, if you're a Democrat or Republican, I'm pretty sure I'm gonna be more prone to love & trust you from the very first meeting.

But if anyone, regardless of background or identity or political affiliation, says those words to me, I'm pretty much gonna shun your from my social circle forever until you give me a handwritten & signed apology in addition to a list of children's books you've read & liked. (with a brief synopsis of each book highlighting the themes & what you've learned)

Now that seems a bit unreasonable, doesn't it Megan? Just because someone has an opinion, just because someone isn't a voracious reader or has a different perspective on children's books than you, that's no reason to judge them? Don't you think you're overreacting a bit?

And to that argument, I would simply say: yes. Yes I know it's extreme. Yes, as a matter of fact, I am overreacting. It is very unreasonable.

Inevitably, most of the time I start feeling like this:



But here's my reasoning:
1.) You have just insulted the very fabric of my soul. You have belittled the virtues of a genre that I've clung to in times of trial & affliction. You have demolished & desecrated a sacred place that I would escape to in times of trouble and despair.
2.) I'm a woman. I can be as unreasonable and as irrational as I'd like to be. I have a uterus. And cleavage. I win.
3.) I really don't care. At some point in my life, pre-college, I was very sensitive about offending others & confrontation. But the only delightful thing about getting older, is the less damns you give.

:)

So if you want to completely obliterate my good opinion of you, please, do insult the one thing I hold dear & the only occupation I've found happiness in.