Last week I was walking along the beach, when suddenly a group of about ten rays came swimming by. They weren't huge -- just about 20 inches in wingspan at the most. I was amazed, as I've never seen them in the wild before. Then, as I kept walking, I realized that they weren't the only group. Hundreds of rays were swimming all along the coastline! It was amazing! When I talked to my grandpa later, he said that in the 30 years he's been coming down here he has never seen anything like this. I thought that was absolutely amazing.
My first week it was just me with my grandparents, but some extended family members had a nearby unit and I was able to spend a lot of time playing with my little cousin. We had a blast building sandcastles, drawing pictures and swimming in the pool. I feel so blessed to have been able to spend so much time with such a creative and sweet little boy!
My family and my brother's girlfriend joined us on Friday which has changed a lot of dynamics. On Saturday night all eight of us sat down to watch "The Swiss Family Robinson." It was one of our favorite live action films growing up, so it was really fun to watch all together. However it was also pretty funny to look at it through adult eyes, and notice some lines we'd never picked up on before! For instance, in the big end fight, little Francis says "Look! It's a man getting squashed!" We howled over that one.
Last year at this time I was attending a little church in the mountains of Virginia. This month I've been able to attend a little church on an island. It's been a really wonderful experience. Last night we had the founder of the International College of Prayer preach and that was fantastic. This week our sermon was on the meaning of faith and it was also very eye-opening.
Another highlight of the service was a baby dedication. Now I've been to a lot of baby dedications... but I've never seen a little guy as happy as this one was! He just wiggled his feet and smiled at the audience... so much laughter!
We also had a singer who was a very old little lady -- probably at least 80. When she came up I did a double take, wondering how she could possibly still have a decent voice at her age. Then she started singing and blew us all away with the power and sweetness of her voice! It's not unlikely that she had some history on stage or in opera, she was that good. And the most amazing thing was that not only did she sing three times for us, but she also sang for the early service as well!
I've been spending time with my sister and my brother's girlfriend, which has been nice. We all are pretty close and excited to hopefully be family some day. And it's nice to have other girls to go tanning with, or go out to breakfast with.
In fact, on Saturday my grandma treated all of us ladies to pedicures! It was my first time with such an experience and it was absolutely delightful! We had really nice beauticians and the ten of us chattered away like a scene from "Steel Magnolias."
I've been reading lot of Orson Scott Card down here. I absolutely love that man's writing. I finally finished all of his 'Ender' and 'Shadow' series and just love them...
I've also started a new writing project. It's been so long since I really crafted a new mythology that I've almost forgotten how much work there is to do! Especially with an ensemble cast when you have to figure out personality and backstories and physical appearance and motivations for all of them...
Do you ever feel that your writing is more about exploring your characters than about creating them? I sometimes feel that these are people that really exist, and I'm just uncovering who they really are.