Writing My Own Story

I've shared a lot of stories since this blog's birth over a year ago. I'm a writing major; my fingers might as well bleed ink if cut. But, as I discovered during on my first writing conference adventure, writing is merely a reflection of living. And instructions for one can be advice for the other. 

Awkward selfie with the welcome sign!
I ventured into the world of the San Diego Christian Writer's Guild Conference two weekends ago thanks to a PLNU scholarship and a date two days after my Thursday of Death by Midterms (three back to back from 8-12).

Of course, I packed my bag with loads of goodies because I couldn't gorge on the breakfast and lunch buffet included in the ticket. Vanilla Bean Chia Pod to the rescue - and once I loaded it up with some seeds, puffed cereal and fruit, my tummy and taste buds were huge fans

Devoured this baby during the first presentation!
The first speaker that dominated the stage was Ellie Kay. A navy wife, mother of seven and national speaker on personal finances, you could say she has her hands full. She ended her presentation with a story about the comfort a woman found in the written word after her husband, a deployed soldier, was killed. "Our words and the written word carries power," she said. "literally a life or death difference."

As I sat in the "Just Saying" concert, an event held at my college to raise awareness for human trafficking, my heart beat loudly in agreement. Through their spoken word poetry, people sung out their pain, their concern and their shame that human beings are nothing more than commodities ordered over the Internet. Nothing more than flesh twisted and arranged for others' entertainment

Only one of the beyond amazing spoken word poets!
And as I sit writing this post, my fingers agree with every tap against the keyboard. Words are powerful - the fact that you're taking time out of your day to read this blog is proof. I feel the power with every reader comment, praise and shared suffering. And I feel empowered every time I identify as a "celiac." 

The first workshop that I walked into was led by Lynn Vincent. A big white board, a huge room full of desks and an hour of discussion on "every question about writing for a living that people are too afraid to ask." Money, writer's block, computer programs...she covered it all. The quote that was branded into my mind, though, is the idea that we are own "agents of destiny." 

As a celiac, I can definitely relate. I make my own food out of ingredients people have never heard of (Buckwheat pizza crust? What?). 

Le pizza!
I choose to join my boyfriend and his friends on a late-night burrito run even if all I can eat is the free tap water. And for Halloween, I painted the night orange and black first by carving pumpkins and roasting seeds with my family, and then by squealing at the Silence of the Lambs in a dark dorm room. Last year, the gluten ghoul caught me; this year, I chose to not bother with the candy, but the night was even sweeter

Happy Halloween from my folks!
By the time I dragged myself to the last workshop eight hours since the conference began, I couldn't stop yawning. And then Michael Clark began talking and I was transported into the world of game theory and the idea that "being playful is the best way to write seriously because games are limitless."

I'm not going to lie. No matter how wide my smile or how peppy my words, I'm tired. Now that I'm only six weeks out from conquering the first semester of sophomore year, yawns are my favorite accessory. And, as a result of my unfortunately intense Type A personality, I take life too seriously sometimes. Grades, clubs, cooking...it's all on a pretty strict schedule. 

Except, sometimes a girl has gotta play. I've got to spend hours hanging out in dorm rooms, fighting off persistent paparazzi.

So many photos...
I need to devour brunch with a friend at True Foods Kitchen and quest for cheap treasures at local thrift stores

I even deserve a brisk morning walk on the cliffs with the girls that have carved a special place in my life. 

Gorgeous gal pals on a gorgeous day!
Stories and my blog are inevitably entwined, but writing and life share an even closer relationship. 

My first writing conference filled my notebook with pages of writing advice, tips and tricks. The more I flip through, though, the more blatantly memories from the last few weeks stare back. The fact is, pens and humans both bleed red. So believe in your own power, take control of your own destiny and enjoy playing the game of life.

Promise me - life's a scream!
The story is yours. You just have to start writing. 

What was/is your college major? How are you making time to play in life? How did you choose to celebrate Halloween this year? Comment below! 


  1. Casey, how COOL that you went to a writer's conference! AND I am like you as well, VERY Type A, sometimes it's hard for me to "have fun" if I have a to do list lingering over my head, which of course is filled with things that don'tREALLY need to be done in advance...

    My college major was: 1-6 elementary, 1-6 special ed
    My master's degree is in: Birth - Grade 12 Literacy

    I'm making time to play, well trying to, but it's harder now out of college with daily responsibilities, but I make "me" time, even if it's just five minutes! You should read the happiness project, there's a WHOLE chapter on play :)


    1. Thanks Amber! Glad you can relate! And thanks for the reading suggestions - I'm always looking for another book to sink my teeth into!
      And yes, boyfriend :)

  2. I love that you went to a writing conference, AND that it relates to your blog, major, and life. :) I majored in mathematics and minored in education. I did take one writing class; it was a two-semester long course called rivers in literature. The class goes white-water rafting each year, so it was also a fun way to fulfill my "West in Time" requirement. (We didn't actually have to take a writing class at all.

    As for Halloween, I just visited friends. We all dressed up as Frozen characters. I was Olaf, and did the full onesie outfit. It was fun because everyone wanted to take their picture with me, which I wasn't expecting among a 20+ crowd. (And, you couldn't see my face when I had my hood pulled up, so I didn't mind taking all the photos.)

    That's about it! I fell behind on my blog reading since I've been traveling! But, your granola in the next post looks delicious.

    1. Thanks Kaila! That's awesome that you went white water rafting! That's definitely on my bucket list! Dressing up as Olaf sounds hilarious and adorable all at the same time - who knew you would become a Halloween celebrity? And oh yes, that granola....yum!


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