Tuesday, June 28, 2016


It was great. Actually really great. Like, cool.

The camp ran from Monday to Friday at Biola University. It was for aspiring filmmakers, and at the end of it all, I concluded that...I was not going to be a filmmaker.

Don't get me wrong. The camp was great. I learned so, so, so much--we went through directing and sound and editing (which actually gave me a legitimate headache) and lighting and camera work, and all throughout I felt like somehow it wasn't the right fit for me. A lot of the other kids already knew how to use Aftereffects and Adobe Premiere Pro, and while I know I could easily learn how to use those, I felt like if I genuinely wanted to be a filmmaker I would've already hunted the programs down, persuaded my parents to buy them, and already learned how to use them. They had also seen a ton more movies than I had, and it made me realize that while I love movies, I wasn't passionate about them the way I was with writing.

With writing, there's something tangible. You're giving shape to a story, and the words show exactly how the author wants to show them. With moviemaking, it's more about aesthetics and visual appeal. And while I enjoy aesthetics and looking at cinematography, cameras just aren't where my strengths lie.

The last two days, however, were the most fun. On Monday, we were put into groups to make short films; on Tuesday, I shared my concept with the group, and on Wednesday we hashed it out. Then on Thursday we shot and edited it.

Shooting was one of the coolest things I've done so far this year. We were the only group using the on-campus studio that Biola has, and since most of our short film consisted of action sequences, we made our set have a warehouse effect.

And yes, I got to be the main protagonist, which was awesome. One of the guys knew how to choreograph fights and such, and so he made my character do roundhouse kicks and hammer fists and all sorts of cool stuff, and I'm actually really proud of the result.


"Just a Dream"


(Keep in mind that we shot/edited it in 5-6 hours, and it was one of my first acting experiences, so the quality might not be the best, but I'm actually impressed with ourselves.)

P.S. I'm going to Europe! I'll try to post while I'm there but no promises :)


Sunday, June 26, 2016

+ welcome back to the blog!

I had the wonderful privilege of interviewing Ava Key from Quiet Land + Argonaut Nation! She's also interviewing me, so be sure to check Argonaut Nation today to see my interview!

1. What does creativity mean to you, and how does it manifest itself in your everyday life?
Creativity to me is sculpting what is around you and using your imagination to create something new from it.  I come from a very artistic family, and run two creativity based blogs, so my ability to be creative and problem solve is constantly being challenged. 😅

2. I looked at some of your concept art, and I really loved it! What does your process normally look like?
Oh, thank you! There are three definite (i use definite VERY loosely) paths i mostly follow with my art~
1) A fully formed scene or character pops into my mind, pretty much out of nowhere, and i immediately begin working on portraying it. 
2) I see something that inspires me: a particularly interesting person on the sidewalk, a painting of a Greek goddess, a character from a good book, and portray it in my own way. 
3) Im just sketching (because its important to keep in practice, even when you don't have any ideas) and a nice concept comes out in my scribbles.

3. Favorite color? Spirit animal?
Yellow, black, or a shade of peach. Probably a deer, or some sort of small bird, like a canary or sparrow.

4. If you could draw yourself, in what style/technique/setting would you utilize to do so?
My artistic style and favorite mediums are constantly changing, so it all depends on my taste at the moment. Right now I'm enjoying colored pencils, and am using a more loose and cartoony style than what i would normally strive for.

This is so cool! Be sure to check out Ava's websites--they're amazing, and her artistry is incredibly unique.

Thank you for letting me interview you, Ava! (And for being patient with me:)

keep going.

Saturday, June 25, 2016

i attended film camp this past week.

it was pretty awesome. we learned the basics of lighting, camera work (we got to work with canon c100s!), sound, directing, and editing, and i even got the opportunity to work on a short film with some of my campmates!

but those weren't the most important things i learned this past week.

here's what i learned by attending film camp:

if i had truly wanted to be a filmmaker, i would've done stuff earlier with camerawork and such. a lot of the kids there already knew stuff about doing film work, and some of them were more advanced than what the camp itself had to offer. i know i could easily learn how to do different things, but if truth be told, lighting and cameras and editing didn't really interest me as much.

on the last day, the professor showed a video called "the gap." it wasn't this exact video, but this one included the quote by ira glass, so here it is.

that honestly inspired me the most about anything.

ever since i was seven or eight, i've been writing and reading. and yes, i had a passive interest in other things, but it was exactly that--passive. nothing ever got me going like writing and reading. i always begged my parents to buy me more books, to let me go to writers' conferences.

in march of last year, i decided to stop. i stopped writing fiction. i focused solely on my blog. i read more and i lived more (and i watched more youtube), and at the end of this, i realized that i 




i was born to write. i was ignoring the calling that i had been given, but if truth be told, at the very core, i will be a writer. no matter what any of my other vocations are. i am a storyteller, whether that's for the big screen or if it's for books.

maybe i'll get into screenwriting. maybe i'll get into book writing. maybe i'll get into both.

but the upshot of it is that i am a writer, and i'm done with pretending to not be one. i recently wrote the words "keep going" on a sheet of paper and pinned it up on my wall.

my self-imposed hiatus from fiction writing is over. i began plotting my next book yesterday.


thank God. this feels so good.


Tuesday, June 21, 2016

This is why I’m crazy. And why you’re crazy.

Many times, I’ve felt that people don’t understand me.

Predestination. God controls our fates. I rest in the knowledge that what happens is all in His plan.

I had an imaginary friend named Cheeka when I was younger. My younger sister had an imaginary friend named Angela when she was younger. Just because neither of them necessarily existed didn’t make them any less real to us.

I dream that one day I will be able to make a decent living off of my own creativity. What form of creativity? I don’t know.

Sometimes I get so passionate, it’s embarrassing for me because other people look at me with apathy and wonder why I’m talking about something the way that I am. And my brothers call me weird. Which I don’t mind.

I suck at math and science. It’s a proven fact.

In this golden age of technology, we have SO MANY OPPORTUNITIES. I don’t want to pass any of them up.


Make wise decisions. Have focus. Believe in God’s plan for you. And believe in what He made you capable of doing.


Friday, June 17, 2016

i want an adventure.

i want a mind-stopping, heart-pumping, wind-whipping adventure that makes my hair lighter and my skin tanner and my body leaner. i want an adventure full of laughter, full of love, full of light, full of depth and genuine human connection.

i want an adventure that is soaked in God's Word, soaked in grace and truth and hope. i want an adventure that challenges me, that makes me realize who i am and who He is and who everyone else is and how we relate to one another. i want an adventure that is full of what God created us to do, full of glorifying Him by enjoying what He has provided for us.

i want an adventure full of good music, good food, good company, good fun. it'll have to have its bad moments too--no adventure is without its flaws--but they should be made meaningful with proper perspective.

i want an adventure that makes me more selfless, more focused on those around me and God, and that allows me to figure out what i want to do with my life.

this is life, in general. but things are going to change this summer. i can feel it.




Monday, June 13, 2016

Tears at a funeral, tears at a funeral, I might break
Angry at all the things, angry at all the things I can't change
When you're lost in the universe, lost in the universe
Don't lose faith
My mother says, "Your whole life's in the hand of God"
-Jon Bellion, "Hand of God"

though this world may conspire against me,

i will not fear,

for You are with me.

When He rolls up His sleeves
He ain't just puttin' on the Ritz
(our God is an Awesome God)
There is thunder in His footsteps
And lightning in His fists
(our God is an Awesome God)
-Rich Mullins, "Awesome God"

though people place their hopes in politics,


and others,

i know that You are greater.

You're all I ever needed

-Lecrae, "All I Need Is You"

La da da da dee, you’re not breaking me
La de da da da, ain’t got time for ya, singing
La da da da dee, you won’t shatter me
La de da da da, got an unbreakable smile
-Tori Kelly, "Unbreakable Smile"

though they may think only that which is negative is truly real,

i know that the hope You provide

is the only thing that will heal

the wound in my heart,

on my heels,

in our hearts,

on our heels.


currently praying for peace.

<3, Rachel


Saturday, June 11, 2016

Hello everyone, and welcome to #ThrowbackTravels, Hawaii edition!

Recently, I was looking for family pictures via my dad's SmugMug account for a Spanish presentation. My dad has (apparently) been accumulating pictures of all of our family trips since 2008, and I stumbled across a lot of hilarious, zany, fun, nostalgia-inducing photos from way back when that I thought would be fun to share.

Because the majority of these photos came from our travels, I asked people on Instagram if they'd be interested in seeing a #ThrowbackTravels series. (They said yes!)

If you guys enjoy this kind of post, please let me know in the comments section if you'd like to see more pictures from other places!

Anyway, these pictures are taken from our trip to Hawaii last year!


Hawaii is an INCREDIBLE place. My family went to the island of Oahu (probably one of the more touristy islands; if we go again, we're definitely going to Maui). While I was there, I don't think I realized how great it was, but now that I'm at home, all I can really remember are the good memories. 

I remember that our first hotel was maybe a three-minute walk from Waikiki Beach, and that there were a bunch of shops and ABC stores (kind of like convenience stores) where you could buy Spam musubi and toothpaste and expensive phone cases. One night we walked to a famous hole-in-the-wall Spam musubi place (Spam musubi is kind of like sushi, but with Spam instead of raw fish), and then to a shave ice place on the block. The fact that everything was walking distance was seriously cool, and it made me feel like I was having nightly adventures with my family. Super chill, super relaxing, lots of good food. Because, you know, that's what vacations should be.

Our vacations are usually jam-packed with activities (my dad believes in making the most of every opportunity), and so while we were there, we took a surfing lesson, went to a luau, went to the beaches every. single. day (snorkeling was probably my favorite part), swam near dolphins, and visited Pearl Harbor and the Dole Pineapple Plantation (where we tried the legendary Dole whip!).

It smelled like the tropics there. It was sunny almost the entire time, and the air was practically stained with salt spray. Now that I think back to it, that was the epitome of summer. The summer before the hardest year of high school, the summer I became an upperclassman, the summer I hung out at the beach and swam in the water and went snorkeling and swam with dolphins. That was summer.

California has a ton of beaches, but the ones we visited in Hawaii didn't have drifting seaweed and were a lot cleaner and clearer. The water was also more temperate (California water is cold, man), and it was gorgeous--waaaay more tropical than California could ever be.

I also loved the historical aspect of Hawaii. Even though I was really tired when we visited Pearl Harbor, being near such a piece of history was both insane and saddening. It was awful thinking about how much life was lost on December 7, 1941 (after a whole year of AP US History, you'd remember the date too!), but also incredible because of the outcome--we joined + helped win World War II, and eventually became the world superpower. (Just the history geek in me freaking out, haha.)

My dad bought a cheaper GoPro, which we used to take a lot of the pictures, and I'm glad he made the investment. (Love the fishbowl effect! !! !)

This picture was from the Dole Pineapple Plantation, which was probably the most tourist trappy of the tourist traps that we visited (you'll notice that I don't look very happy, which I wasn't, because I was so dang tired, haha). We had to buy tickets to take a ride on a train that went on a tour of the plantation itself (TACKY TOURIST TRAP ALERT), and my favorite part was that the air smelled sweet and heavy and tropical, like pineapple. It smelled amazing. And the Dole Whip wasn't half bad either.

We also visited a shave ice place called Matsumoto Shave Ice, and it was by far the best shave ice I have ever had in my entire life. (Thinking about it still makes my mouth water.) They had at least thirty different shave ice flavors, and even though I don't remember which flavors I got, I just remember that they were all good. The syrups tasted like the actual fruits themselves, not just the cheap cough-syrup grape and cherry flavors that you can buy at Walmart, and waiting in an hourlong line was so worth it. Plus, there were small boutiques and shops right near the place, so while my parents waited in line (sorry, Mom and Dad), I went window-shopping.

Hawaii was incredible. If I ever get a chance to go again, I'd definitely go to one of the lesser-visited islands, just so I can enjoy the benefits without the crowds and the tourist traps. And if I could live there for a month or two, that would be amazing.

What's your dream vacation? (Mine's a backpacking trip across Europe with my friends or a cross-country road trip, also with my friends.) What's the coolest thing you've ever done/coolest place you've ever been to? SHOULD I DO MORE POSTS LIKE THESE? Spill below!!

70 Things I Learned From Junior Year

Monday, June 6, 2016

*cringes inwardly at the pic of me dabbing*

70 things i learned from junior year

  1. If coffee has not already become a part of your life, it will be soon.
  2. Sometimes you just have to go in the car by yourself and cruise through your neighborhoods, blasting Katy Perry.
  3. Don’t go out like this.
  4. This isn’t the end.
  5. It’s all right to wear gym clothes, but you’re only young once. Try to look good once a week.
  6. Life is much easier with Spotify Premium by your side.
  7. YouTube is a time-sucking leech, and I don’t even like YouTubers that much anymore.
  8. Group projects are terrible.
  9. Group projects are terrible.
  10. Group projects are terrible, particularly when you’re doing them with people who don’t do anything. Because then you end up doing all the work, and you have to deal with their opinions.
  11. It’s not lit.
  12. Make sure to enjoy yourself at least occasionally.
  13. Don’t stop creating, no matter how hard it is.
  14. Everyone is human.
  15. Sometimes you have to confront people to get things done.
  16. God is good.
  17. Tori Kelly’s music is good for the soul.
  18. Stress eating is directly linked to weight gain.
  20. Compromise is hard to achieve.
  21. Twitter is THE place for teenage angst. People love it when you tweet something relatable. It makes you feel better. Do it.
  22. Everyone starts to look older...except for you.
  23. Admit when you’re wrong, and don’t rub it in when you’re right.
  24. Get a gym membership and go.
  25. Don’t become a cynic.
  26. Pursue joy.
  27. You’re never too old. Chase your freaking dreams.
  28. Take chances.
  29. Don’t feel the pressure to go to prom; there’s always next year.
  30. Not all ideas are good ideas or ideas that you’re going to be able to carry out.
  31. There is good, and there is bad.
  32. Spanish grammar is the bane of my existence.
  33. Precalculus is the bane of my existence.
  34. AP classes are worth taking when you hit May.
  35. Try to forge relationships with people you wouldn’t ordinarily be friends with.
  36. There is more to you than even you know.
  37. Only make onion dip once a year, or else you’re going to get fat.
  38. Go places.
  39. Push yourself.
  40. Rest.
  41. Shy away from the mainstream.
  42. Talk to your parents.
  43. Talk to your siblings.
  44. Talk to God.
  45. Talk to yourself. It’ll help you keep your sanity.
  46. It’s okay to not be okay.
  47. It’s okay to be okay.
  48. Who cares what other people think? (Everyone does.)
  49. Cliches are really hard not to use. Try not to use them unless you have to.
  50. No regrets.
  51. Everything takes longer than you think it does.
  52. Learn your limits.
  53. Punching a wall is okay sometimes but don’t break your hand.
  54. If you tell people you’re giving them something, give it to them.
  55. Remember their birthdays.
  56. Don’t be a narcissist.
  57. Good remixes are life.
  58. Having a car isn’t that great.
  60. Compliments are some of the awesomest things to give.
  61. Unfollow all those celebrities whose tweets and pictures you don’t need in your life.
  62. You’re almost done. Just keep swimming (and studying).
  63. You waste more time than you think, especially when you’re on the Internet.
  64. Don’t let your conscience cut itself off.
  65. Laugh at yourself.
  66. Lol noooooooooooo
  67. Yogi Berra quotes are life.
  68. Ideals don’t always match reality, but my reality is another person’s fantasy.
  69. Use the resources you have to better the world.
  70. Pancakes are better than waffles.

(ps my friend GRACE is doing a "lessons she learned from sophomore year" post going up soon!! check her blog out!)
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