Christmas, New Years, Infinity and Beyond!

I know this post is long overdue. Please accept my apology – things have been rather busy around here (and even when they’re not, I forgot to do this. I always remember when I don’t happen to be on the computer).

First of all – WE HAD A WHITE CHRISTMAS! It actually SNOWED on Christmas – and the next day! In GEORGIA! It was AWESOME! (Especially for a family that is pure Washingtonian).  This picture was taken early on in the snowfall – we got around three inches total! My sisters, nephew, dad, and brother in law went sledding – I couldn’t join the reindeer games because I had a proverbial red nose (recovering from a cold).

Christmas was so much fun – we had to wait until eight o’clock, then my sister and I went downstairs and woke our brother up. He went upstairs, turned the lights on the Christmas tree, and started the coffeemaker while I made myself look delightfully put-together for having just woken up. Then we went back upstairs and saw the tree – piled up with presents and glowing in a million colors.

We grabbed our stockings and pounced on Mom and Dad with a “Merry Christmas!” before opening the stockings. Peppermint bark, Starbucks cards, a flashlight, note cards, a flower ring, and eye shadow came out of mine. Then, we went out into the living room, got our cups of coffee, and listened while Dad read the True Meaning of Christmas from the book of Luke. Then, he distributed the presents one at a time – all while wearing his once-a-year Christmas robe! It’s been part of the family for nearly thirty years, I think – It’s Tradition!

We had so much fun! I bought my Dad a tire pressure gauge he’d been wanting, my Mom a ceramic travel mug with a silicone lid (it was hard keeping that one a secret, as she’d been wanting it for quite some time) my brother cinnamon gum by his favorite brand PLUS the takeover of trash until my birthday, my sister a pair of earmuffs from Rue21, and my aunt a Bible highlighter that DOESN’T BLEED THROUGH THE PAGES!!!

I myself was loaded down with goodies – the biggest ones were – from Mom and Dad I got a $35 dollar gift card to practically ANYWHERE, from my aunt I got Josh Groban’s new CD, “Illuminations,” from my brother the entire 8 seasons of MacGyver, from my sister a very steampunk-looking tape measure and a Paris picture –

from another sister, a gorgeous silver scarf/shawl, and from my brother-in-law, a copy of Stephen Lawhead’s “Scarlet.” (Now I only need Tuck, and I have the whole trilogy!!)

After Christmas presents, we had breakfast –

Sausage/egg casserole, apple, pumpkin, and zucchini bread, cranberry orange scones, and banana cake. (A muffin recipe made into a cake, actually).

And then, our morning was over ^_^ But the day was not – we went over to my sister Maralie’s house (and her husband Jake’s and her son Silas’s) that evening to exchange more gifts (some of which were already mentioned above – the silver scarf, copy of Scarlet, oh! and Silas made me a beautiful Christmas tree ornament!).

From friends, I got some GORGEous vintage jewelry, Shania perfume, and a note/sketchbook, a beautiful necklace/earring set and a pink beret (so cuuute) Taylor Swift’s “Speak Now” CD (there are several tracks I don’t like, but “Enchanted” is gorgeous. I love singing it), a T-shirt that says “Oh, I can do it – I just don’t like that you ASSUME I can do it,” and from Heather and Hannah N I don’t KNOW what I’m getting from them yet *grin* They’re still WIP’s. (Yes, I g0t them presents, too :D)

With the money I had, I bought John Howe’s “Fantasy Drawing Workshop.” It is AWESOME, you MUST get it if you love fantasy and drawing! Here are some sneak peaks into the book –

  

It’s VERY awesome. Awesome to the max. Get it. I implore you.

Now – Christmas is past.

IT’S THE NEW YEAR (almost)!!! It’s hard to believe it!! I’m excited for 2011. Things are HAPPENING! Illustration jobs – and guess what? Chila Woychik, the Boss Lady at Port Yonder Press (publishing the Elf Anthology I’m doing some illustrations for, if you remember) liked my Elmeria manuscript! Read this – she posted it on P. Y. P.’s Facebook page –

by Port Yonder Press on Tuesday, December 28, 2010 at 11:38am

…Alec made a face and looked at the round, empty tabletop and then back up at her. “Did you order already?”

            “No, I had to save a table,” said Sienna, pulling off her scarf and yanking her hoodie over her head. “I’ll go get them.”

            “’Kay, I’ll stay here and make sure nobody steals your scarf,” said Alec, leaning on his elbows and grinning at her as she joined the long line of would-be coffee drinkers. She was there for over five minutes while someone up front had trouble because they didn’t understand the difference between a frappuccino and a cappuccino….

…“I don’t see any lightning, that’s a good thing,” Sienna called loudly above the noise, as they waited to cross the intersection. She peered at the sky in all directions.

            “I don’t either,” said Alec, taking a hurried sip of his drink, “but that doesn’t mean it won’t jump out of the sky at any moment!”

            Sienna rolled her eyes at him. “Don’t be a dork,” she said, hitting him on the arm. “Come on, let’s go.” They stepped out onto the sidewalk, moving quickly to cross the street without spilling their drinks.

            As they stepped up onto the sidewalk, a strange prickling sensation began to crawl over Sienna’s skin. “Alec?” she looked over at him, and his puzzled expression matched her own. “Do you feel-“…

…He was tall, definitely over six feet. He had the body of a dancer, slender but powerful. Leather armor wrapped his torso and thighs, and a dark green cloak, the front folds of which disappeared in the wrapped curves of his mahogany breastplate, hung down his back. His hair was the color of steel, but the face that looked at her was no older than thirty. His eyes were dark green, the exact color of his cloak. A long, slightly curved sword hung at his side…. 

~copyrighted: THE SHADOWS FALL by Mirriam Neal 

What I loved about this manuscript: 

Mirriam has captured the feel of real dialog, the dialog between Sienna and her brother, Alec. She has done well with description and tension and suspense. I love the way she brought me into the setting initially, a New York Starbucks, no less, and plopped me down at an adjoining table while two of her characters verbally sparred. And I especially love the fact that this was accomplished by a 16 year old young lady, Mirriam Neal. 

Mirriam’s manuscript is unfinished and therefore will likely not be considered as one of my top 1 or 2 finalists, but given all else, she’s definitely on my top 5 list for our 2010 Fantasy Month. 

Congratulations, Mirriam!

 ~Chila

Exciting, right!? I definitely thought so! When it’s completely rewritten and edited, my manuscript might have a future with Port Yonder Press! *cheers*

Lately, it’s been pressing on my heart to do something for kids in Children’s Hospitals who are there permanently. Write letters to them with stories, like Beatrix Potter did? Illustrate them? It would be a great opportunity to show Christ to them – plus, I like kids, and they usually like me. I’m excited about the possibilities!

Does anybody out there do New Year’s Resolutions? I don’t really tend to do that – but I Do have one for this year. Exercising. Calloo, callay. That’ll be the day. (I’m just kidding.) I’m really hoping to actually DO it this year. No, not hoping. Do or do not. I’ll do.

Since Christmas is past, I’m open for art commissions again! (I’m still working on illustrations and a logo, but I’ve finished all presents + magazine illustrations). Check out my art site for commission info!  (Or just click the ‘Hello, Yamasoto’ drawing on the sidebar 😀 http://theartchick.wordpress.com

Another thing – we’re going to see Tangled this afternoon! THAT should be fun. It looks absolutely adorable.

Run with the wind, go with God!

~ Ëarwen

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6 thoughts on “Christmas, New Years, Infinity and Beyond!

  1. Sounds like you had an amazing Christmas, Mirriam 😀 That’s great! I’ll have to tell you all about mine when I respond to your letter!
    I hope you enjoy my gift to you- I’ll send it in the letter as well!
    White Christmas?!?!?! Lucky! It’s snowing now, and we were sure it was going to on Christmas (Washington was going crazy with the prospect of that happening 😀 You know what I mean!) but alas, it did not. It was still fantastic, though!
    And wow, congratulations on your manuscript! Best of luck to you wherever it goes 🙂
    You should do the stories and illustrations for the kids! That is really awesome. I love that idea. Perhaps I’ll steal that idea… ;P (we could even work together! If you wanted to)
    If we lived anywhere near eachother I would exercise with you! As it is, I only have the motivation for it when I sign up for PE at school ;P Haha!
    Can’t wait to get your letter!

    ~Heather

  2. so… saw Tangled? Like it? I just finished up drawing a pic and doing a wallpaper, and now I’m getting ready to type on my book!! 🙂

    I listened to Enchanted. I can’t stand Taylor Swift, but I did like that song! 🙂 Listening to HtTYD soundtrack right now 🙂

  3. That is sooo exciting about Elmeria! I’d be freaking out and jumping around if that was me. (Not to say you didn’t do that…cause you probably did.:P)
    I decided this year to make aspirations instead of resolutions–things that I actually want to accomplish, and that I know I can if I put my mind to it. Exercising more (specifically, running and getting in shape for volleyball season) is one of mine too. “Do or do not. There is no try.” 🙂
    Oh my word, I keep hearing about how incredible Tangled is!! Perhaps y0u’ll give us a review?:)
    btw, that was a really good excerpt. 🙂

    • It was actually THREE exerpts *grin grin* I KNOW! I *was* freaking out and jumping around! WOOT, you caught my Yoda quote *grin*
      We postponed Tangled till four o’clock today – I’ll tell you all about it afterward! =)

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