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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dinosaurs and Dragons (Short story - Face to Face)

Howdy, everyone!

I know, I said I wanted to post more often/be more active blogging-wise. But (*sigh*) life has gotten in the way again, and I decided to take a short break. But I am back (with a story)!

Yep, you heard me right! I'm finally posting another one of my short stories here. This one I wrote during NaNoWrimo last year. It was a sudden, random idea. It took no time at all to jot this one out, and I had quite a lot of fun writing it! ;)

So, without further ado, here's my short story, Face to Face.


~Face to Face~


“Granddaddy, tell us a story!” six-year-old Anna Fulton begged, rushing over to where her grandfather sat in his favorite chair. The five other children followed suit.
“Yeah, Granddaddy! Tell us a story!” Anna’s brother Peter, older than his sister by nearly three years, settled himself on the arm of Granddaddy Fulton’s  recliner.
“‘Tory!” Two-year-old Danny chimed in, clapping his hands once.
Granddaddy closed his eyes in thought. “Well now, what kind of story would you younguns like ‘t hear today?” he asked, his voice at its usual low gravel.
“An exciting story!” Peter said with a firm nod. “An adventure!”
“Hm,” was all Granddaddy grumbled in response. He rubbed his chin, his eyes still shut.
A silence fell across the group, minus the occasional rustle from Danny.
Finally, Granddaddy sat up straight. His eyes held a faraway gleam.
“Have any of you children heard of the Loch Ness Monster?”
A chorus of gasps rustled across the group, along with nods.
“Yessiree, I saw ol’ Nessie with my own two eyes.”
“You saw it?” Anna’s voice was a disbelieving squeak.
Granddaddy nodded. “That I did.”
“What did it look like?” Layla, a cousin of Anna and Peter, spoke up. Her green eyes were wide.
“Why don't I start from the beginning?” Granddaddy suggested. “It was more’n sixty years ago when it happened.”
“Sixty years?” Anna gaped. “That was even before I was born!”
Peter rolled his eyes. “That's before Mom and Dad were even born, silly.”
“Your brother’s right,” Granddaddy pointed out. “I was only about ten years old. My family had gone over to Scotland to visit our cousins who lived there. I was born in Scotland, but we moved only a little while after that. I don't remember living there. Anyway,” Granddaddy cleared his throat, “one day, my cousin—his name was Malcolm—told me all about how he had seen the Loch Ness Monster…”



******


“I don't believe you!”
Ten-year-old Kelly Fulton crossed his arms and frowned.
Malcolm Fulton stuck his tongue out at his cousin. “I did too see it! And I know where it lives!”
“Yeah, right!” Kelly snorted.
“I do!” Malcolm stomped his foot.
“Then show me!” Kelly challenged.
“Fine,” Malcolm consented, giving his mop of unruly dark curls a toss. He glanced out of the window at the darkening sky. “But we must wait until it gets dark. She only likes to come out when everyone else goes to bed.”
“My father won't like it if we go out late,” Kelly said.
“Do you want to see the Monster or not?” Malcolm asked, crossing his own arms.
“I do!”
“Then you have to listen to me. Once we get sent upstairs to bed, we shall sneak out of my window. There’s a tree we can climb down, and then we’ll go to the lake.”
Kelly thought hard. “All right,” he said. “Let's do it.”


******


Kelly shivered and hurried after his cousin. The cool night air brushed through his reddish-blond hair as he went. The bright moon in dark sky lit their way.
Ahead of him, Malcolm paused.
“Shh,” he whispered. “We’re getting close. We can't let Nessie know we’re here.”
He tiptoed the rest of the way down the boat dock, Kelly on his heels. He settled down on the wooden planks of the dock.
“Now we wait,” he said simply.
Kelly sighed and sat down next to his cousin. “How long?”
Malcolm shrugged. “Depends.”
Silence fell across the boys, and Kelly shivered. The lake and its surroundings were quiet. Maybe too quiet.
They waited for what had to be hours. Kelly was ready to call it quits. Surely his cousin had lied. There was no Loch Ness Monster. That was just a legend.
Malcolm clutched at Kelly’s arm suddenly. “I hear it!” he hissed. Kelly could see his wide eyes even through the dim light from the moon.
Kelly strained his ears to listen. Nothing.
“I don't hear
“Shush!”
Kelly fell into a pouting silence. That's when the sound of rippling water reached his ears.
He caught his breath. “What was that?” His voice cracked.
“Nessie!” Malcolm grinned.
The boys kept their eyes on the lake.
A dark shadow passed underneath the dock. Kelly’s heart was pounding so loud he was sure even Nessie could hear it.
He edged closer to his cousin. “Is she nice?” His voice trembled.
“I never saw her up close,” Malcolm admitted. “Just a shadow from the distance.”
“But you said you knew where she lived!” Kelly declared.
“I meant to say I think I know where she lives,” Malcolm defended himself. “Grandfather told me of the stories. He said Nessie likes to steal the fishermen’s boats. And they've been going missing from this dock of late.”
Kelly opened his mouth to respond, annoyed that cousin had fibbed.
He didn't manage to get a sound out.
A black shadow rose up in front of them. It was thin, slippery, and larger than anything Kelly had seen before.
The creature’s neck was at least the height of a tree. A fin the size of Kelly himself lifted and splashed back down into the water.
The cousins stood, frozen at the sight before them.
The creature screeched once and bobbed its head. It slowly sank until its face was level with the dockand the two boys.
Kelly wanted to shout, but he couldn't bring himself to open his mouth. Beside him, Malcolm stood, frozen like an ice statue.
It screeched again, revealing pure white teeth, razor sharp.
Nessie’s gaze met Kelly’s. For a moment it seemed to be just them, looking into each other’s eyes.
Kelly swallowed. He felt paralyzed.
The moment passed, and suddenly the Monster’s head dropped below the surface of the murky waters, and all was silent. The water was still.
Malcolm and Kelly turned to each other, their eyes wide and hearts pounding. Without a word to one another, they took off running in the direction of home.
Their curiosity was quelled; they had seen Nessie.

******


All six grandchildren sat, awestruck, as their grandfather leaned back in his chair.
“And that, children,” he concluded, “is the story of how I met Nessie.”
“Is that a true story, Granddaddy?” Anna was the first one to break out of their trance.
He only chuckled.
“All I know, children, is that Nessie has never been captured.”
“Has anyone else ever seen her for real?” Peter demanded, giving his dark head a toss.
“Who knows?” Granddaddy shrugged. “Many a person has claimed to have seen her since, but the shadows on that lake can be very deceiving.”
“Will anyone ever catch her, Grandaddy?” Katherine asked. The small seven-year-old shifted from her position on the floor.
Again, their granddaddy shrugged. “Who knows? But they say she's a smart one. There have been attempts to capture her, but no one has yet succeeded.”
“Wow,” breathed Anna.
“I suppose the Loch Ness Monster will forever be a mystery,” Granddaddy concluded. “But I'll never forget that evenin’ when I saw ol’ Nessie. Face to face.”


******



~Nessie~


   
1934 photo of "Nessie" 

Many are saying this recent photo could be proof that the Loch Ness Monster still exists


When I was younger, the Loch Ness Monster fascinated me. I was bound and determined as a child that I would one day search the Loch in a submarine until I found Nessie. XD

The thought that such an amazing creature could still exist today gives me excited shivers. I mean, yes, most dinosaurs and dragons have gone extinct by now, but who knows what lurks in the murky waters of the deep, or the thick, undiscovered jungles?

Dinosaurs (and dragons) have fascinated me for years, especially since the Creation Museum in Ohio opened. They are so wonderful and interesting! How the Bible disproves the evolutionary "fact" that people and dinosaurs didn't live together is just as interesting! (Ken Ham has a wonderfully informative article on these 'terrible lizards' here.

A huge beast (called Behemoth) of which God speaks in Job 40 is described as having a tail that moves such as a cedar tree (Job 40:17). God also says that this Behemoth is "chief in the ways of God". From the rest of the descriptions of this animal, the Behemoth was a great creature, very likely a species of what we call dinosaurs today.

Another example of a giant reptile in the Bible is, again, mentioned in the book of Job. This time, the creature is referred to as a water-dwelling Leviathan. This creature breathed fire (Job 41:19-21), and had closely-knit scales.

Obviously, Job was familiar with both of these monstrous creatures. 

Fun Fact: The word "dinosaur" was invented by Dr. Richard Owens in 1841. It means "terrible lizard". (Bonus: A dinosaur is a dragon, but a dragon isn't necessarily a dinosaur. So technically, crocodiles and alligators are dragons (and they certainly fit the bill!)

American Alligator 
(Seeing these in the swamps of my home state is such a cool experience!)

Crocodile

Komodo Dragon

A fun song by Buddy Davis on dinosaurs!

Okay, I've digressed a bit, but hopefully you all enjoyed this post!

What are your thoughts? Is Nessie real? Is she still around today, lurking in the depths of the Loch Ness? Will we ever know the truth?

Do dinosaurs still inhabit the earth, or have they all gone extinct since the Flood? Let me know your thoughts!

Have a wonderful rest of the week! I'll be back soon with a book review!

~Livi Jane
















Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Five Random Things You Might Not Know About Me

Hallooo! Hope you're all having a fantabulous week!

Mine has been, well, rather hectic! (Especially work today because our headsets for drive-thru didn't work when we came in to open this morning, so we had only one lane open, with one person outside taking orders and relaying them to me over the phone... And then we had tornado warnings, so that was great! Oops.) XD

Anyways, today I have a fun little thingy to do... It's five things you might not know about me!

(Anyone reading this is hereby tagged to do the same! *I see you*)

Here we goooo! (Hope I don't bore you too much. ;P)

1. I'm left-handed

Some of you may already know this, but ever since I was a baby, I used my left hand. Believe me, my parents tried putting things in my right hand, but I would switch it over to my left hand. Every. Time. Guess that also proves my stubborn hard-headedness... XD

2. I am number 4 out of 6 kids in my family (and the youngest girl).

Yup! I have three older sisters and two younger brothers! (I'm also the youngest granddaughter on both sides of our family (by five months).

3. I love lizards!

Hehe, so this a little random, but I absolutely love lizards! My neighbor and I spend hours during "lizard season" going "lizard hunting". I think our record is 15 Green Anole lizards in one afternoon. :) We always names every one of 'em, too. Sometimes we'd even catch the same ones several days in a row (yes, we could tell which one was which)!
Also, they make great models for photography (and perfectly fit Lego cars and bicycles!). XD 

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Beep beep!

(Bonus: We even figured out how to make them play dead!)

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I promise he's not really dead!! XD

(My personal favorite lizard was Chum, if anyone cares. lol (And my least favorite was probably Mask... He was huge, and he was bold. He would run up to you and open his mouth wide, like he wanted to murder you or something... Yipe!)) 

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Aren't these pretty?? They're Brown Anoles. (The one to the right is a baby. We discovered a nest of them.) :)

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Yes, that is a lizard on my face! :D

4. I LOVE the outdoors (and climbing things)

Especially when I was younger, you would rarely find me on the ground. I was constantly climbing trees and fences (sometimes getting stuck in them), and I prefer camping or going to the beach to something like a spa day.

5. I'm sort of a tomboy ;)

This kind of goes along with the last two points. I can count on one hand the number of times I've painted my nails and done any makeup besides the basic powder and foundation (and even then, still could count that on two hands XD) (Much to the chagrin of two of my sisters--who are the opposite when it comes to this sort of thing).
I am totally cool with dressing up nice for church or a party, or even a hangout, but I'd prefer pants to skirts 'most any time. (I mean, who wants to climb a tree in a dress? You never know when you'll meet the perfect climbing tree!)
I'm not condemning anyone who likes and enjoys different things, because everyone is different! The one common factor is that we are all made in the image of God, and this is who He created me to be!

So there you have it. Five things you may not have known about me (that you now do)! Hope you enjoyed! (Lizard photos courtesy of myself and my friend. :P)

~Livi Jane

Friday, February 3, 2017

A Question of Honor - Cover Reveal

Hi y'all!

Yes, I'm already back! (With a super duper exciting announcment!)

My friend Jesseca will be publishing a novel NEXT MONTH!!

I'm sure most of you reading this post know Jess, but I am honored (pun not originally intended XD) to be participating in the cover reveal of her book, A Question of Honor!!!

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Isn't it beautiful??

I was among the beta readers for this story, and it was completely incredible. You will not be disappointed.

About the Book:
Releases March 3rd, 2017

A man. A child. A war.
When German soldiers invade France during World War II, young Joyanna's perfect world is shattered. In the hands of those who hate her, she battles to comprehend why people can be so ruthless and cold toward those whom they have never met.
David Sullivan, pilot in the Royal Air Force, was certain he would never hate, but a painful loss forces him to either reconsider or do the inconceivable—forgive. He is suddenly challenged by the realization that doing God's will is not easy, but most important. With the lives of freedom-fighters relying on him, he must learn the difficult lesson that he is not in control, but merely one who must surrender his heart of obedience to One greater.
A sudden turn of events lands Joyanna and David in the same country—but for far different reasons. When their paths cross, David finds he must make a decision that will affect them both for the rest of their lives.
Will he chose vengeance, or will he let his life be ruled by a higher standard? A standard of Honor.

Doesn't it sound just sound amazing? I promise, though, there will be tears. (I'm not saying if they'll be happy or sad, but I am saying they'll be both.) *grin*

Now, come meet the wondeful young woman who wrote this amazing story!

About the Author:

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Jesseca is an 18-year old daughter, sister, and a child of God. Her days are spent reading, cooking, spending time with siblings, or playing piano. And writing, of course! At an early age, words fascinated her, and her love for the printed page has only grown. She lives with her parents and seven siblings in the sunny state of Kansas, and she’s convinced there’s no place like home.

Be sure to get yourself a copy when it releases! I, for one, am ecstatic to read the final version of A Question of Honor, and already can't wait for the next book in this series!

Thanks for stopping by, everyone!

~Livi Jane 

Thursday, February 2, 2017

February!!!

Hello!!

I disappeared again... And apparently February arrived while I was gone!

January was, well... A whirlwind! Honestly, it wasn't the best month I've ever had. But that's okay! God is trying to teach me things, mainly to trust Him.

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January highlights:

  • I did a lot of crocheting... Even tried something new and crocheted a pair of baby Converse shoes. I think they came out fairly decent for my first try! (Usually I stick to headbands and such.) ;)
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  • I had a super fun hangout with my sister and two of my friends. And guys. I actually bought things at the mall. A lot of things. (For those who don't know, I kinda like to...well...hoard money... XD)
  • I was able to help out with a portion of the halftime show at a college basketball game. That was such a fun weekend!
  • The weather was...interesting. It was freezing one week, hot the next, and this week it's been feeling really nice outside! I don't understand Louisiana weather...
Other things happened, but to be honest, January was a huge blur for me. The highlights intertwined with the not-so-good things, such as the little accident my dad with slicing off the tip of his finger (it's much better now), my grandmother being in the hospital, and my great-aunt's passing.  But again, I think God is trying to teach me to have more faith in Him and His plan.

This verse in my bible readings the other day jumped out at me:

"The Lord shall reign forever and ever." (KJV)

Yes, He shall! No matter the circumstance!

Goals:

January:

Clean out my room - Um... Sorta. Let's just say it quickly became a mess again.

Start planning for Fine Arts 2017 - Check! All of  my writing entries have been finished and just need editing! And I still have to work on my solo drama.

Write at least 3,000 words and finish editing NaNo stories - I actually kinda forgot to keep track of the number of words I wrote in January, but I think I wrote at least the 3k I was aiming to write. 
And I did edit most my stories, and even ended up editing an older-ish story and changing it quite a bit, plus rewriting another unfinished story that I hope to finish this year!

And guys... I finished Sunlight and Shadows!!!!! (If you want to know more about it, go here.) I am SO excited. I've set it aside for now, and plan to edit it in a little bit. But I am beyond excited that I finally completed this story!!!

February Goals:
  • Start editing S&S
  • Write at least 3,000 words
  • Post one of my stories here on my blog
  • Comment more often on other bloggers' posts (I see them, I promise!)
  • Be more active in the blogging sphere
  • Read Susan K. Marlow's newest book, Courageous Love (Check! It was so amazing!! Possible review coming for this book.)
  • Continue reading the bible every day
All right, this wraps up today's post! I already have my next post mostly written, so it won't be weeks and weeks before I return! :P 

What are some of your goals for this month? What are some of your highlights from January?
Let me know in the comments!

Have a wonderful February, everyone!!


~Livi Jane

P.S. Just realized  this was my 50th blog post! Yippee! :D