Conversations With 13-Year-Old Me {APADO #4}

(This post is part of a series called APADO, where I try my hardest to post once a day for the entire month of October. So far, so good.)
(I’ve been giving a lot of advice recently and it feels weird so I’m just gonna talk about cringey old posts okay? okay.)


What was I doing in 2016?

I was being a little weirdo (and enjoying it).

this is from a video my brother took of us fooling around at a uhaul place in amarillo. in 2016. it wasn’t supposed to be slo mo but doesn’t it look majestic?

I was playing in the snow, hiking and camping, riding bareback at Willow Tree Farm, and really enjoying my childhood (even though I was technically a teenager).

I was starting this blog.

According to my first post, I was a horse-nut, writer, gardener, photographer, half-crafter, artist, and reader. What is “artist” doing so low on this list?

I had a huge vocabulary and no discretion on when to use it. I was throwing around words like “liable”, “whatnot”, and “filibuster”, just because I could.

I was clueless on how I should talk to my followers. Or to anyone, for that matter.

In short, I was being every 13-year-old: living life, having a good time and thinking I was better than everyone else.

And, as a result, my first posts on this blog are really dumb and self-absorbed. On one hand, I want to bury them and hope they never meet the eyes of anyone I respect and trust.

But on the other hand, why bury what you could ridicule? Publically? For your followers’ enjoyment?

The things I do for you guys.

Let’s go see what 13-year-old me was up to.

We’re diving right in with my first post. It was called “The Beginning Of It All”, and it starts:

G’day. I’ll bet you came here from Silver Sky Dolls, my other blog, and I’ll bet you’re wondering why I decided to begin the personal blogging adventure.

Okay, Tess. Never assume that your followers are wondering anything, because they’re probably not (unless they just worship you). Oh, I forgot. You don’t have any followers! Yet.

Why Steeplechase? It’s sort of a crazy name. A steeplechase in the horse world is a race that goes through several jumps and ditches. My outlook on life is a lot like that – a lot of it is going through obstacles. In this same way, my blog is not themed persay, unless me-themed counts.

I know you’re trying to sound like you’re knowing what you’re doing by explaining this blog’s name. Why don’t you just tell them the truth – that you just picked the name because it sounded cool?

(Honestly, I’m surprised I was able to be trusted to pick a good blog name at age 13. By some miracle, I still like it.)

I have my feet wet in a lot of places, and I am liable to get them wet in several more over the years.

Yep! You’re right! You might go on to try animation, embroidery, and sticking googly eyes to anything and everything.


I went on to talk about envelope art. I didn’t really make a point, maybe besides that presentation is important.

I finished that post with this little specimen of a note:

(P.S: Soon, I will go to THE TALLEST PLACE IN TEXAS….Guadalupe Peak! It is an 8-mile round trip for hikers. I’ll be traveling every week next month, so we’re going to have a little bit of a traveling theme for here at Steeplechase and at the partner blog Silver Sky Dolls.)

Get used to travelling, Tess. You’re going to be doing a lot more of it in years to come.

(Also: is the hike the eight-mile round trip or is that the distance to the park? Clarity is important.)

(And: please stop considering SSD as a partner blog. It really is its own thing.)

I did end up going to Guadalupe Peak a few days later, though. That hiking trip was a lot of fun.

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I must have been exhausted when I wrote this post, though, because it has less energy than a slug taking melatonin.

So…We Meet Again…For The Third Time… (Let’s hope I can say that without sounding like your nemesis.)

That’s creepy, Tess. Please stop. It’s not “cool” to be creepy.

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This is a very bad, very blurry picture…

Oh, get used to that, too! Your pictures will be bad and blurry for years to come. Isn’t that comforting?

I had intended to go to bed at ten o’clock the night before, but that didn’t happen, and I was in bed at eleven-thirty. (I sort of go to bed kind of late all the time. Nobody’s perfect.) I didn’t get to sleep until midnight. (I have a minor form of insomnia, I think. It always takes me a little to get to sleep.) And I woke up at four the next morning, because we needed to leave at five, so I ended up with four hours of sleep. Yippee.

You really should try going to bed earlier. Wouldn’t it be nice to be in the habit of doing that before sleep becomes a thing you crave?

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That’s the scope of things. Consider Guadalupe Mountains National Park as your next hiking destination!

Unless you’re a couch potato. Then you can enjoy my photos!

*slow clapping* Very nice. You just called all your followers who aren’t athletically inclined couch potatoes. Oh wait, you didn’t have any followers at this point.

Until Clara was nice enough to follow me, that is. Love you, Clara! Thanks for dealing with me through thick and thin.

I decided to talk about amateur art after that. It was definitely still amateur at the time.

awww isn’t completely ignoring perspective and depth cute?


So…people will probably not read your monologues, no matter how much you beg. Why don’t you do the obvious and just REWORD YOUR MONOLOGUES, YOU VERBOSE CHILD?

Random tip #1: You can draw anything, even if you don’t specialize in that specific field.

Um…okay? But just a question, Tess – why are you giving art advice? Didn’t you just begin this post by saying you weren’t really an artist?

Random tip #2: It is very, very normal to have bad drawings, sessions or even days. Don’t give up just because it didn’t turn out the way you wanted it to.

Alright, I’ll give it to you – that’s actually pretty solid advice. I mean, that’s a pretty solid “random tip”. You take yourself so seriously, don’t you?


Random tip #4: Draw from real life, but draw from imagination too.

Well, that’s nice and elucidated. You’re so thorough!

I am not telling you to invent weird creatures or design spaceships (but if you want to, knock yourself out; no one’s holding you back).


How does that sound, CLARA??? I know you are my only follower right now, so I will start addressing YOU more often. Sound good?

See ya later, CLARA!

From, Tess

So there’s this thing called a signoff, and you can use it so you don’t sound like a sarcastic jerk begging for followers.

I decided to get more personal after this. And hopefully stop giving advice. But I didn’t stop being condescending?

what’s funny is that my bedroom really hasn’t changed much

I share a bedroom. I have shared a bedroom all my life. Before you go, “Oh, how dreadful!” hear me out. Bedroom sharing is an excellent practice. After all, you’re not always going to have a room all to yourself, be it rooming at a college or grown up and living with your family. Thus, if you have your own room, I am better off than you.

All the flavors in the world, and you choose salty! Okay. This is a good concept worded abhorrently. Maybe you should go for something that doesn’t make people with their own bedrooms feel guilty? Just a rule of thumb – never make your followers feel guilty. Tess, you have so much to learn about writing blog posts.

I hope this inspires you to clean your room!

Spoiler alert, Tessie – it probably didn’t!

Yours sincerely,


Maybe you meant “sincerely yours”?

I started to get the hang of things, though. Which is good. I started to try to add humor into my posts. Which…is good in some ways and not really great in others?


Random tip: If you want to draw a horse in action, but can’t draw a rider for beans, put it on a lunge line, like so:


Gah, I was so cocky back then. Or is it confidence? I can’t tell which is worse, though – to draw horribly and be proud of it? Or to draw well and stress about improvement?

I’m leaning toward stress, though. At least you’re tolerable to be around.

Unlike a certain 13-year-old me.

Ready to be blown away?

(Well, don’t take my word for it, but I am positive you will be.)

Do yourself a favor and stop taking yourself so seriously.


Most Western bits are made of a metal called sweet iron. The reason they call it such is because it tastes sweet in a horse’s mouth, the same way pennies taste sweeter than dimes. (If, as a young child, you ever ate your father’s coin collection, you would know what I’m talking about.)

So, this is actually okay, Tess. You went straight to the point, you explained it well, and you actually made it semi-funny.

(But maybe I just think it’s funny because everything else in these posts is so unfunny, this stands out as mildly amusing. Hm.)

That minor success doesn’t stick around for long, though.

I went and did the stupidest thing. The unthinkable. I wrote a self-centered, boring, rambly “top ten things you didn’t know about me” post. Oh, Tess, you’re an idiot.

7. My second favorite animals (horses are first) are blue macaws.

Tess? There’s this animal -it’s called a wolf. It’s majestic, beautiful and fun to draw. Have you ever heard of it?

I’m still drawing. Still doing amateur art.

It still looks kind of terrible.

once upon a time, this was my best piece of work.

What would you like to see me draw? I’ll consider it.

What would I like to see you draw? Something that has respect for proportions and volume. Ahem.

Things I wish I could tell 13-year-old Tess

  • You are a cocky little jerk who can’t stop talking about yourself. Seriously. Yes, it’s your blog, but that doesn’t mean you can think you’re better than everyone else. Newsflash: you’re not.
  • Your art needs improvement. Also, please start learning to shade now, so that when you’re older, you’ll be better at it.
  • “Random tips” do not equal sound advice.
  • Drop gardening as a hobby. You have a black thumb and you kind of know it, but you’re too prideful to admit it, aren’t you?
  • Be nice to your followers. They might end up being your best friends one day.
  • And please, please, please tone down on the verbosity! THERE IS NO EXCUSE TO USE THE WORD “LIABLE” IN A PERSONAL BLOG POST. EVER.


Disclaimer: I don’t mean to bash beginner bloggers. There’s a learning curve to it, just like anything, and it takes quite a while to get the hang of the right tone of voice to use.

(Here’s where I wonder if I’m being cocky again. I think my blogging tone is good right now, but that’s what I thought back then…oh no, here comes the anxiety.)

I think I was most shocked by my personality back then, though. I haven’t ever realized what a stuck-up, prideful twit I used to be. In fact, I used to think I’ve always been a nice person. Maybe not so much anymore.

It’s very, very encouraging to look back on these posts and see how far I’ve come. In maybe more than just my posts’ quality. Hehe.

tl;dr: Don’t be cocky. Unless, of course, you want an ample supply of cringe to read later.

Sayonara for now,


Life, Writing

It’s Meh Birthdeh (Interactive Adventure)


You are baking in your kitchen this fine day, January Sixteenth, Year of Our Lord Two Thousand Eighteen. Suddenly there is a knock on the door. A letter flits through your mail slot and skids across your floor. You pick it up, fingering the soft grey envelope. Your name is typed on the front by an antique typewriter. 

Without stopping to bother with a letter opener, you tear into the envelope. A card falls out. It reads:

You are invited to
Tess’ Fifteenth Birthday Blog Bash!
(Fifteen referring to her age, not how many years the Bash has been running)
Tuesday, January 16th, 2018
Bring your favorite sugary treat.
Location: on Steeplechase

You set the letter down on your kitchen table and comb your countertops for something edible. You find a half-eaten package of cookies and a roll of refrigerated bread dough. That’s right – you were making apple turnovers. It appears you have two options here.

If you grab the cookies and hurry right over to the party, skip to part 2.
If you decide something homemade would be better than something store-bought (and half-eaten), put your turnovers in the oven and go to part 5.


Cookies under your arm and hoodie over your head, you arrive at the big oak door. Your fingers tremble from the cold as you knock twice on the door – why’d it have to be so chilly today? It must be thirteen degrees below freezing, you decide. After a very prolonged pause, the door opens. Tess is standing in the entryway, clad in plaid pajama pants, earbuds in her ear. She looks you up and down and says – “You’re not here for a party, are you?”

“Yes,” you reply. “I got your invitation.”

“Already?” She takes her earbuds out and facepalms. “Oh, no.”

“What?” you ask, confused. Wasn’t there supposed to be a party?

“Come in,” Tess beckons, closing the door behind her. You notice your surroundings – there are bags of groceries on the counter, cleaning supplies next to the fireplace, and a stack of books next to an oversized armchair.

“I’m so sorry,” she apologizes, clearing the pencil shavings out of the chair so you can sit down. “I’m so not ready yet! I shouldn’t have asked those ninjas to deliver the invitations. They did it way too quickly!”

You see that there’s no other choice. If you don’t help Tess get this party together, then it’s going to be a flop. She’ll be so embarrassed. Reluctantly, you say, “Well, I can help you.”

“Really?” she says, pushing a piece of her hair out of her face. “You’d do that?”

“I wouldn’t want your birthday to be awful!” you say.

“Oh wow, you’re Superman himself, oh thanks!” she exclaims, giving you an overenthusiastic hug. “I made a list yesterday of things I need to do. Have a look, do whatever you like!” She thrusts a list into your hands. The only things you can read on it are:

  • Set up music
  • Decorate
  • Get dressed

The rest of the points are so hurried, you can’t tell what they say. But considering you can’t get dressed for Tess, it looks like you have to make a choice:

If you decide to set up the music, head over to part 3.
If decorating is more of your area of expertise, go to part 4.


Tess hands you a Rubbermaid tub full of CDs. “Just set it up on the folding table over there.” She opens her dryer and drags out a tobyMac T-shirt and a pair of jeans. She then disappears into the bathroom.

You set the CDs on the table and examine them. Some Owl City, some Royal Tailor, lots of tobyMac and tons of epic soundtracks. You finger one of these – it’s called LEGO Universe. A play through the tracks brings up a pretty good song for a party. You write it down to burn it on the playlist.

Eventually, you’ve sorted through the CDs and come up with a playlist. It’s got a lot of driving beats and fun songs. But then you wonder – would karaoke be a good idea?

If you think that hearing all your blogfriends’ Taylor Swift impressions would be a fun idea, set it up in part 8.
If you think you’ve done enough damage, go to part 9.


“I’m so glad you’ll decorate. I’m not so good at that kind of thing!” Tess laughs. She tells you that the decorations are in the plastic bags on the counter and heads off to get dressed. 

You inspect the decorations she bought – balloons, streamers and…a pinata? It looks very classic, the basic donkey with the multicolored paper strips glued to it. But you wonder – where are you supposed to hang it? There isn’t a chandelier or anything in the room.

You set the pinata down and hang up the streamers, curling them once or twice to give them that great-looking cartoon party flair. Then you run out of breath blowing up balloons (you’re inclined to believe they’re made of dishwashing gloves instead of thin latex) and hang them around, because you don’t see any helium anywhere.

Tess comes out, wearing a tobyMac T-shirt and a pair of jeans. “It looks great in here!” she exclaims.

“Where did you want me to put the pinata?” you ask.

“Gerald?” Tess laughs. “I only bought him ‘cuz I thought he was cute.”

You chuckle, knowing that it would have been traumatic to see him get whacked to bits anyways.

Advance to part 15.


The turnovers are radiating away in the oven, making your mouth water. Every whiff of their beautiful scent reverberates cinnamon and apples, two of the most wonderful things about winter. And on a day as cold as this, hot pastries will be the absolute hit of the party, you think.

It’s finally time to take them out. They’re little triangles of golden-brown perfection and the filling is peeking out the sides. They’re so decadent looking. Maybe you should sample one of them? After all, there are an entire dozen.

If you decide to test one, go to part 6.
If you strengthen your resolve and resist, go to part 7.


You take one of them off the baking tray. It’s soft and gooey, still plenty warm from the oven. You take a bite. It’s flaky on the outside, but the inside tastes like heaven itself. They’re everything you love about McDonalds’ apple pies but without the trans fat. You reach for another. It’s so warm and soft and juicy.

You take a deep breath and close your eyes. Oh, these turnovers are just scrumptious.

When you open your eyes, there are three left on the tray.

With the realization that you just ate nine apple turnovers in one sitting, you begin to panic. Tons of questions fill your head. How did you eat all those turnovers? How are you going to burn it off? And, more urgently, what are you going to bring to the party? Three apple turnovers aren’t going to cut it.

You work out that you have two options: to go to the store and get more turnover-baking ingredients; or to show up to the party without anything and hope everyone else brought enough sugar. But one thing’s for certain – you’ve eaten your share of sweets for today.

If you decide to go to the store, head to part 12.
If you shrug off the responsibilites and just go with the flow, breeze over to part 11.


After the turnovers cool, you wrap them up in printed cellophane. It has red and green snowflakes on it. You hope she won’t notice that they’re leftover from your Christmas baking. You tie a pretty bow to seal them up and smile at your handiwork. Baking is so much fun.

Without further adieu, you put on your hat, scarf and coat and slide your fingers into your gloves. Then, you tuck the precious turnovers into your arms and walk over to Steeplechase.

It’s colder outside than you realized. The wind is pushing against your face, giving you a blush that Covergirl would try to sell. The tips of your fingers are cold, even through your gloves. And, worst of all, you’d decided to wear jeans today, so the frigid, stiff denim is making it hard to walk.

Finally, the door looms ahead of you. You sigh a sigh of relief, your breath hanging in the air. The turnovers made it – and so did you.

Go to part 16.


“Karaoke?” Tess shrugs when you tell her about your idea. “Why not? It sounds great to me. If you’ll set that up, I’ll see what I can do about decorating.”

You don’t push it, even though you know that combining Tess with a tape dispenser, easily unravelled streamers and balloons is a recipe for having everything look like a pinata. Rather like the pinata she bought, actually, which is sitting on the counter. You inspect it with a smirk. It’s a goofy-looking donkey festooned in ribbons.

“Where are you going to hang this up?” you call as you watch Tess rummage around in the kitchen drawers for tape.

“Whaddaya mean?” she asks. “Gerald is staying right where he is.”


“You think I’d be cold enough to whack an innocent donkey to bits? No thanks.” She pats him on the head. “Gerald can be the mascot.”

You shrug and burn one more CD of good karaoke songs, wondering what things will end up looking like once Tess is through with it. Finally, with the stereo plugged in and everything set up, you turn around.

All Tess has accomplised in this time is making a curtain door out of most of the streamers. She tosses a cardboard core over her shoulder, where it joins two others. “There,” she says, extending her arms. “Isn’t it great?”

You laugh and offer to help blow up balloons. Slowly, but surely, you get these spread out around the room in something close to a decorative manner.

“Well,” Tess says, “it’s not a cartoon party, but it looks pretty good if you ask me. Thanks for all your help, I couldn’t have done this without you.”

“You’re welcome,” you say. “Anything to -“

You’re interrupted by a knock on the door.

“Here we go!” says Tess, opening it up.

Go to part 10.


It’s no secret that Tess is decorationally challenged. You offer to help her as you see her coming closer to the bags of decorations.

“Thanks,” she says, handing you the bag. “I’ll just hand you tape, ‘cuz I’m not so good at this.”

You laugh. Then you set to work hanging up streamers and balloons. Soon, the whole room looks great. But when you reach for the pinata, Tess stops you.

“Nuh-uh,” she says. “That’s Gerald. He’s not to be abused by candy-greedy savages armed with sticks.” Patting him protectively, she places a party hat on his head. 

Just then, you hear a knock at the door.

“Let the party begin!” she says, and opens it.

Go on to part 15.


“Welp,” says Tess, bopping a balloon over your head, “this isn’t a picture-perfect party, but it sure is great!”

You have to agree. Even though there aren’t any streamers anywhere else, everyone’s been having a grand time making their entrances through the curtain. The music is perfect – just the right variety of songs. And the half-package of cookies you brought is now an empty package. That’s good, right?

You look over. Tess is standing on the folding table with one of the karaoke mics. “Is anyone ready for some karaoke?”

There’s a general consensus of “Yes!”

“I know we all want to sing our hearts out, but there’s one person who helped make all this possible. If it weren’t for the help I got this morning, you’d have opened this door to find me in my pajamas. Let’s hear it for my helper, aye?”

The guests cheer. Tess looks you in the eye and tosses you the microphone.

“Come on up!” she says.

Thanks for helping out with the party! Comment the lyrics of your favorite song – don’t be shy!


You knock on the door, hoping whoever answers it will think the goodies you were supposed to bring are underneath your coat. Then you can sneak over to the table where everyone else has piled their stuff and get away with being a leech.

The door opens. Tess is standing there. There’s a streamer over her shoulder, obviously thrown by an enthusiastic friend.

“Hey!” she says, hugging you. “Thanks for coming!”

Oh no, you think. She’s going to feel that there’s nothing under my coat! Do something!

“I came without turnovers, unfortunately,” you manage to say. Then you add, in a confidential whisper, “I ate them all.”

Tess cracks up. “Well, those have gotta be some killer turnovers. Oh well. It’s you who I wanted to see, not your baked goods. Though, turnovers are hard to beat.”

The two of you laugh and she welcomes you inside.

Come on into part 16.


When you finally get to the store, the bakery’s closed, reminding you that if you don’t hurry, the party will be over. Since there’s no time to go back to the house and make something, you are stuck with the offerings of the bakery case. And there’s not a lot to choose from.

You narrow it down to two things. The first is any of the many varieties of cookies on the low shelves. They’re ubiquitous, but safe.

The second is a cake with Thomas The Tank Engine on it. It’s very appealing, being that lovely azure color and all.

If you buy the box of cookies, go to part 13.
If you take a risk with the TTTE cake, go to part 14.


Treats in hand, you arrive at the door, ready to party. You knock three times, knowing that Tess will think of that famous line she loves to use in her stories – “once for purpose, once for luck, and once more for good measure”.

She opens it up. “Hey! Thanks for coming! Those look great!”

You laugh. Good old food-oriented Tess. “You’re so welcome! Happy birthday!”

She welcomes you in, plops a party hat on your head, and shows you where the treat table is. Lucky for you, there’s cupcakes, baclava, and a bowl of Reese’s Cups, but no cookies. It looks like the safe option was a pretty good bet. Setting your tray of cookies next to the other desserts, you step away and join the party.

What kind of cookies did you bring? Say it in the comments!


You hope Tess hasn’t grown out of it. You hope she won’t think you’re insane. You hope your listening to her weirdness will pay off. You knock twice on the door, bracing yourself. Tess opens it. She has her mouth open to greet you when she sees the cake.

“Oh. Wow. Is that a THOMAS CAKE?” she squeals. “HOW DID YOU KNOW ABOUT MY SECRET FANDOM?!”

“It’s just the blogosphere, Tess,” you say, sighing with relief. So she hasn’t grown out of it.

She relieves you of the cake, holding it triumphantly above her head. “A THOMAS CAKE!” she exclaims. A mixture of cheering and nervous laughter erupts from the other guests.

You sit down in a chair off to the side, glad to be off your feet. Well, if it took the misfortune of eating all those turnovers to bring that much geeky excitement to Tess, the calories were worth it, right?

You certainly hope so. Your other hope is that you’ll dance the rest of the calories off.

Did you know that TTTE is Tess’s weird obsession or did you just guess? Say so in the comments!


The party is a huge success. Everyone’s laughing and talking, the music sounds great, and best of all, the decorations are spot-on. “I really have to hand it to you,” Tess says as she pats you on the back. “I’d have been up the creek without a paddle if you hadn’t bailed me out this morning.”

“It’s no big deal,” you say. “I’m always ready to help a friend.”

“I know that now!” she laughs. “Enjoy yourself tonight. You deserve it.”

You glance over at the treat table. “Don’t worry. I will.”

What delicious treat do you choose from the table? Comment below – it can be literally anything you want!


The party’s been fun. Everyone’s been here and talking, the food’s been great, and everyone has been grooving all night.  Tess taps you on your shoulder as your hovering over the treat table. “Hey,” she says. “Thanks for coming! I really appreciate it. You really have made the party feel like a party!”

“You’re so welcome!” you reply. “Thanks for hosting it!”

“It wouldn’t be the same without you, though!” she smiles. “Enjoy yourself tonight!”

You glance down at the table of treats below you. “Oh yes, I will!”

What treat do you choose from the table? Comment below – it can be literally anything you like!


Life, Thoughts


There is a good chance that this post will get lost in the myriad of “happy-new-year-here’s-my-unrealistic-list-of-resolutions-that-i’m-probably-not-going-to-do-but-i’ll-justify-it-all-at-the-end-of-the-year” posts. But I just have to add my cherry on that cake.

Without further adieu, here we go.


  1. Post at least a dozen posts here on Steeplechase. I won’t look back on this past year when I didn’t post nearly at all. I’m trying to turn a new leaf and be an actual blogger and not just some teenager with a blog.
  2. Finish my part for the MAP I’m working on (and write a blog post about the process). As I think I’ve mentioned before, I was cast a part in a Multi-Animator Project that’s due January 26th. I’m still inbetweening. Let’s hope I won’t need an extension.
  3. Finish plotting my April Camp Nano project. I have been tangling with tons of ideas over winter break and I kinda sorta have an idea on what I’m going to write about. Next up – craft a plot that’s actually decent and has an end. XD
  4. Help my team win AAWC. I haven’t a clue who the people on my team are, but I want to help us succeed. So I’m out to write stories that are witty, creative and use several of the prompts.
  5. Learn diagonals. This is a horseback riding goal. And I’m almost certain that nobody has any idea what it means. If you do, tell me and we can nerd.
  6. Have a birthday. January 16th, y’all. *refrains from begging for presents*
  7. Do more Art Dumps. You guys seem to like those.


  1. Do Camp Nano! Hopefully my story will be plotted by then. Hopefully I’ll know what I’m doing and not be inconsistent. Hopefully I can break all my bad writing habits and write something cohesive. *inhales* Hopefully.
  2. Finish my Wreck This Journal (and do a WTJ tour). I love my Journal to pieces, so I hope to finish it and give you guys a tour.
  3. Join another MAP. The best way to animate better is to animate more. Seriously.
  4. Learn to draw human faces. I can do pretty good bodies but my faces are always awkward. I want to be able to draw pictures of my charries because then I wouldn’t have to describe them.
  5. Replot Project Orion. I love the characters in that story to death, but the plot is, er…..okay it’s hands down horrible and I skipped a bunch of stuff that should have happened because I honestly didn’t know what I should have written.
  6. Hold a giveaway. Because…*blushes* Steeplechase will be turning two years old in June. Two entire years! I’m thinking already of what I want to reward you guys with for sticking through with me in my crazy blogging journey.
  7. Aaaand post more on Steeplechase. You poor sad neglected blog. *cuddles*


  1. Julynowrimo. In other words, taking on a 50k for Camp in July. This will probably be when I rewrite Project Orion.
  2. Ride Traveller. Otherwise known as my bike. With school being out and the days being long and hot, there should be plenty of opportunities for cycling adventures.
  3. Read three long books (and review them here on Steeplechase). If anyone has any suggestions, I’d love that. I don’t do magic (like sorcery magic) so keep that in mind.
  4. Learn at least three new riding skills. Summer is the best time to ride, and I hope to learn some new stuff. Maybe even compete in one of the little derbies my barn holds?
  5. Take a dare. Bring it on. I want an adventure.
  6. Get in physical shape. My legs are strong as iron from horseback riding. My stamina, however, leaves a lot to be desired. Running, jumping rope and biking should help with that though.
  7. Document it all on Steeplechase. Also known as making rash promises.


  1. Plot out a Nano. Maybe I should start like, right after julynowrimo. Or maybe I should allow myself some procrastination. My summers are busy. (Not like my Autumn’s are less busy, though. Heck, my entire life is busy. It’s what happens when you’re creative.)
  2. Write that Nano. I can’t tell if I want to beat my record of #8k1day or if I want to be safe and keep on track. Nah, I think I’d rather try to beat it. It’s more dangerous fun.
  3. One more MAP. After a summer off from deadlines, I need to get back on the animation bandwagon.
  4. Get in bed at some sort of normal time. I almost hurt myself these past few months by not getting enough sleep. Bedtime for Tessie or she gets cranky.
  5. Make a Hanukkah tag/blog series. I was kind of sad to miss out on all the festivities you guys were having. I believe in Jesus but we don’t celebrate Christmas with presents, holly or trees. So I want to have a Hanukkah party here on Steeplechase and celebrate too.
  6. Actually buy all my family Hanukkah presents. Bad Tessie. Go sit in the corner.
  7. Post. On. Your. Own. Flippin. Blog. Or else you’ll have to take away your title as blogger and give it to someone else more deserving than you.

Well, I think that’s the big stuff. I may do some of it out of order, but it’s good to have a place to start from.

Do you share any of my goals? Tell me which ones – we can be buddies!

Sayonara for now – here’s to a great year!


Life, Writing

Thirty Gifs for Thirty Days

There was not a day I was actually on par for all of Nanowrimo. And because of this, I had a load of work at the end greater than or equal to the mass of Mount Everest.

But you’re not here to hear me complain about how awful and busy November was. You’re here for gifs. So let me introduce….

Thirty Gifs for Thirty Days

(Disclaimer: Unfortunately, I don’t have the sources for any of these. They just come out of my personal collection, gifs I’ve found and saved, or made myself. Don’t kill me plz I’m not trying to copy, just entertain ;))
(Disclaimer II: Wordcounts per day based on a 12am-12am basis. Sometimes I stopped to sleep :D)

Day One


I had good intentions, but here, at the beginning, I made the mistake of saying I had twenty-nine days left to get caught up. But the words I wrote this day were just gorgeous, so I wanted to stop while I was still writing good stuff.

Words written: 643

Day Two


Realizing that I hadn’t written very much yesterday, I made the plunge and was fairly productive.

Words written: 1957

Day Three


I threw that resolve out the window on Friday, though. I guess I got busy, or distracted, or just didn’t.

Words written: 0

Day Four


And then there was my Sabbath. I didn’t even give Nano a thought. Which was a good thing. We are commanded to relax on the Sabbath day, so by not stressing, I was doing good, right?

Words written: 0

Day Five


Welcome back to reality. I made a valiant effort to catch up before it got over my head. And though I didn’t get fully caught up, I made a huge dent in it.

Words written: 2588

Day Six


I tried to make the same dent I had the day before. Haha, nope, not happening. But oh well, I still had time, right?

Words written: 849

Day Seven


Just another less-than-productive day passing through. But I was proud of the words so I didn’t exactly care.

Words written: 615

Day Eight


This was the day I told myself, “If you write 1667 every day for the rest of Nano, you won’t be so behind, right?” So I wrote the required amount, even though I really knew that I was slowly getting behind. My chances of winning had gone from an 80% to a 75%.

Words written: 1798

Day Nine


Wrote casually. Yeah, almost just like that. PUSHEEN

Words written: 933

Day Ten


This was the Nigel day, the sorry excuse for an effort day, the least amount of words written (besides the days I wrote nothing). The awkward day. The day I started to realize that I was behind and had no idea where I was going with my story.

Words written: 108

Day Eleven


The realization that this was one of the least productive nanos I’d ever done hit me the second Saturday. I was away for the weekend, relaxing, but then I remembered: oh man Nano. I went to sleep thinking about how much I’d have to write and told myself I was going to do this thing, get caught up. I wasn’t too far behind. Yet.

Words written: 0

Day Twelve


Nope. I was traveling home. I tried to plan out the rest of my novel, but ended up drawing wolves instead. When I got home, I looked at the website.

Par: 20,000 words!
You’ve written: 9,491 words!

It was enough to send me to bed shivering. But I resolved – I’m going to really do it this time.

Words written: 0

Day Thirteen


I should have been writing. I really should have. But I remembered this fateful day that I had signed up for a Multi-Animator Project and my part was due January 23rd. And I hadn’t even started. So I half-wrote and half-animated, too excited about my animation success to deal with my nano failure.

Words written: 1045

Day Fourteen


I did really good that day. Coming to face the dragon of Nano, armed with nothing but a keyboard, I wrote ala Flint Lockwood nearly all day.

Words written: 2565

Day Fifteen


Congratulations, Tess. You did averagely. You didn’t do any more or any less. Yipee.

Words written: 1475

Day Sixteen


I gave myself a pep talk that day. Tomorrow, you are going to write like crazy, so you can spend your weekend in peace. Once you came out of the weekend, you are going to write like even more crazy and get caught up. Got it? Okay. Weekend in peace.

Words written: 1439

Day Seventeen


I tried to try. That’s all I can say. But that trying to try was not enough.

Words written: 0

Day Eighteen


I love Saturdays. Hakuna matata, folks, cuz I took my God-given day of rest and did not even rest my thoughts on Nano.

Words written: 0

Day Nineteen


Did I seriously just do what I set out to do? Did I seriously make an effort to get caught up? Was that effort actually something worthwhile?

I surprised myself with my productivity.

Words written: 5162

Day Twenty


On its own, this day would have been pretty good. Not stellar, but pretty good. But after the first 5k day, it was…awkward. Yee.

Words written: 1846

Day Twenty-One


This was the day where it wasn’t just my wordcount that was bad. It was the day where I could not word to save my life. The end result was worse than a kazoo. Yeah, these scenes aren’t going into the rewrite.

Words written: 1479

Day Twenty-Two


Par: 36,666 words.
Wordcount: 25,000 words.

Reaching the halfway point should be an invigorating experience, and it usually is. But it’s extremely depressing when you have eight days left and you just got there. I made a great resolve to write like a whirlwind, a stand mixer, and Spinjitsu all combined. But then I remembered….I’m going to my grandparent’s tomorrow for Thanksgiving….oh no.

Words written: 498

Day Twenty-Three


Actual footage of me at my grandparents’ house, trying not to think of all the words I should be writing.

Words written: 0

Day Twenty-Four


I wanted to get back earlier on Friday, so that I’d have some time to write before the Sabbath. But between all the stops we made, we got back too late and I hid my disappoinment and shame.

One of those stops was at a river. I love to wade in rivers – something about the water rushing over my feet and yeah. I made the mistake of walking in the water that was not moving, the water on the edge. And in trying to catch minnows, I got – wait for it – actual leeches on my feet.

That was the most disgusting thing I think I’ve ever seen. Fortunately, my dad helped me brush them off. They were little and orange and acutally sucking my blood. Disgusting.

I told my mom when I got home, and she almost lost it.

How did I get talking about this? The point is that I was too busy getting my blood sucked out of me to write. 😉

Words written: 0

Day Twenty-Five


Yup, that’s right, I am going to cry. I checked the site Saturday night and lost it.

Par: 41,666
Wordcount: Still 25k 😛

This was not good. At all.

Words written: 0

Day Twenty-Six


I made good effort to get caught up, but yeah, it felt like I was waking up after seventy years of cryo.

Words written: 2435

Day Twenty-Seven


And then I got it. I should have gotten into this groove days ago, weeks ago. I cracked down on myself and wrote like something otherworldly.

Words written: 7595

Yup, you read that correctly.

Day Twenty-Eight


Hours of sleep for an average teenager for four days: 36
Hours of sleep I had gotten in four days: 20.

That’s a little over half the amount of sleep I needed.

Words written: 1358

Day Twenty-Nine


I had so many words to write by now, I didn’t care what I was writing about. Spend sixty words talking about the joy of smashing an ugly lamp? Totally okay. Use up 400 words on feeder freezer mice for pet snakes? Yup. And yes, these are all actual wordcounts on actual things I wrote about.

Words written: 5612

Day Thirty


I had to do it. There was no choice. I had twenty-four hours to write eight THOUSAND words. Let me put that in perspective.

If one word equalled one mile, I needed to walk from France to South Africa.

If one word equalled one hour, the time would equal almost a year. (333 days)

If one word equalled one calorie, I needed to eat a Family Meal (16 chicken tenders, eight biscuits, and a pint each of rice, coleslaw and mac n’ cheese) from Popeyes.

If one word equalled one dollar, and I made the average wage of an American woman, I would need to work 57 days.

If one word equalled one pound, the words I  had to write equalled the weight of a large hippopotamus.

But I walked those miles. Spent those hours. Ate those calories. Made those dollars. Coaxed that hippo onto the scale.



And with that,

at 11:30 last night,

I finished Nanowrimo.

How did your Nano go? Did you win or lose? What’s your record for words in a day?

Seeking sleep and respite from my Writerapp,



Life, Thoughts

Excuses are reasons for not blogging for an entire month in disguise! (gif post)

Table of contents:

  1. Talk of life
    1. School
    2. MAPS
    3. Nano
  2. October Goals
    1. Complete/Incomplete
  3. November Goals


When I was still in sixth grade, I thought high school would be an amazing, epic adventure with a bunch of new stuff to learn. Now that I’m pretty deep in it, I’m finding out that it’s an amazing, epic adventure with a bunch of new stuff to learn and a truckload of homework.

(My brother’s like, “Where did you get the idea that it would be fun?”)

Every morning, I wake up and take about an hour to do what I want to do. Then I get cracking on my schoolwork.

From left to right: History, Government, Economics

I am literally crazy for attempting all three of these courses this semester. But it has been fun. In fact, they all seem to kind of blend together. Kind of like a three-headed monster named Histgovecon (hist-GUV-ee-con).

And while I do this, I will be animating something actually real….I’M IN A MAP GUYS ASDFGHJKL THIS IS IT REAL DEAL AAAAAAA.


Ahem. A Multi-Animator-Project, or M.A.P., is an event where lots of animators get together, and animate little ‘parts’. Once strung together, they make a full video (in this case a music video). And I have twelve seconds to animate. Which is much much much harder than it looks.

And then, there is the all-important thing all of us will be doing this November


Yup, I’m doing a full 50k. And it will be tough, as always.

IDK why I put this one in. I don’t even watch Muppets. Maybe it was the donuts.

If you have been following me for a little while, you will note that I started a little club. Go join! We will rock this Nano!

So, between Histgovecon, MAPs and Nano, I’m going to be really busy this November.


1. Write an “October Goals” post. Done! That was so easy LOL
2. Make that post a GIF post. Done! Hehe this one was so easy too.
3. Finish planning my Nanowrimo novel. Half-done. I kinda know what I’m doing but there’s this one part I need to find out what’s going on. In like, two days. :O
4. Get going in animation. Done! I got Cedric and Flash MX2004.
5. Word War with Ava Half-done. We worked on it tho.
6. Get a Wreck This Journal. Done! I bought one and started doing stuff in it.
7. Finish all the books I need to read for school. Half-done. I’m about halfway through all of them. Makes sense right?
8. Learn some new jokes. Done! Here’s an example: What did the pirate say when he put his wooden leg in the freezer?  Shiver me timbers!
9. Write out all the posts that I’ve been meaning to post for a long time. Umm…Not done. I still have five unpublished drafts.
10. Fufill all these goals. Half-done. 7/10 complete.



Yeah, I’m feeling like this right now:


So really, I won’t be blogging, neither here nor on SSD, for all of November. Something has to give.

I’m sure when I come back it’ll be like this:

“What have they been doing while I was gone?”

See you in a month!