Summer Recap

(I apologize that this post is a day late. I ran out of time yesterday to finish it!)

The school year starts in less than a week and the summer is coming close to an end. I’m okay with that though. I absolutely adore autumn, and I’m just not a huge summer fan. But that said, I had an amazing summer this year — probably the best summer I’ve had. I saw so many new sights, visited cool places, and hung out with insanely awesome people. So here’s my summer recap of all the places I visited this summer!

And oh boy, I feel like I visited a lot of places! And I took a ton of pictures, way too many to share here. But I’ll share some of them because I’m really happy with how most of them turned out. (Note: some of the pictures were taken on my phone and some were taken on my camera, which is why the quality may not look the same.)

Milwaukee

Milwaukee Art Museum

I’ve been to Milwaukee before but I had never been to the art museum there. Unfortunately, when I went there, all the permanent exhibits were closed for remodeling, so there wasn’t much to see. However, I didn’t go down there specifically to see the art museum. I actually went down there with my sister and a friend to see Imagine Dragons in concert. And AHHHHHH they were so amazing live!!!

Imagine Dragons Concert

Like wow. They are so talented and humble and their music rocks and I’m convinced that this is what Heaven sounds like. My eardrums approve.

Ireland

Ireland

OMG Where do I begin with Ireland?!?! First off, I can’t believe I finally traveled to a different country. It was my first time being out of the U.S.! And I’m so happy that Ireland was the place I got to visit. I absolutely loved it there! I spent about a week and a half traveling all over the country with a church group, but I wish I could’ve stayed there even longer. There were so many places that I wanted to explore more!

Because I saw/did so much in Ireland here’s a list of things that I loved about the country:

  • The scenery! GOOD GRAVY everything was so green and blue and hilly and it was just so picturesque.
  • The ruins! There were ruins everywhere. Like, you’d just be driving down the highway and our tour guide would be like, “Oh yeah, and there’s a watchtower dating back to the 11th century. And on your right is a castle owned by King So-and-so and there was a big battle there so that’s cool.” It was just so fascinating because we have nothing like that here in the U.S. Ruins
  • The people! I’ve always heard that the Irish are some of the nicest people you will ever meet and I totally believe that. Maybe it’s their accents that make them sound so nice but I barely had any interactions with rude people while I was over there!
  • The towns! All the tiny villages are so clean and tidy! Dublin was a little crazy, but all the smaller towns we visited were so quaint and welcoming! I loved it!
  • The cathedrals! We saw soooo many cathedrals and churches, both Catholic and Anglican! All of them are magnificent and breathtaking!Far
  • The music! IRISH MUSIC IS SO MUCH FUN.
  • The food and drink! I liked the food because it wasn’t anything super crazy. It was basically just meat and potatoes and I love potatoes so I was totally okay with that (though by the end of the trip I was kinda sick of having potatoes at every supper). And the legal drinking age over there is 18 so I COULD LEGALLY DRINK HOLLA HOLLA. Except that I tried Guiness and did not like it and that’s basically all that they drink over there so yeah. I did try Baileys Irish Coffee and IT WAS DELICIOUS.

I would love to go back to Ireland some day. I loved it, and I’m so glad I had the opportunity to visit it this year!

Look! I found my name in Blarney!
Look! I found my name in Blarney!

Devil’s Lake State Park

Devil's Lake

Devil’s Lake State Park is a gorgeous area in southern Wisconsin. I was there last fall for a brief time, but I didn’t get to really do anything because it was cold and we only had a couple hours to look around. This time though, I was invited to go camping at the park with some friends. We ended up hiking all the way around the lake (which is about six miles) on rough, difficult trails. It even started pouring on us when we were hiking the most treacherous path, so that was exciting. The next day we then hiked to a small waterfall and went kayaking on the lake. I felt so adventurous.

Mississippi River

sunset over miss river

My mom, sister, and I spent a couple days checking out the towns in Wisconsin/Minnesota along the Mississippi River. We did some shopping, saw some cool scenery, and stayed in the Cat Suite at a hotel (and let me tell you, that was one of the weirdest things I’ve ever seen). We ended our little vacation with a relaxing dinner cruise up the river.

Northern Wisconsin/Upper Peninsula 

LakeOur family has a camper parked up in northern Wisconsin, right along the border of Wisconsin and the Upper Peninsula. My sister and I just went up there this past week for a few days. We didn’t have great weather, but we still enjoyed kayaking (though I had a giant spider crawl on me when I was out in the middle of the lake — not fun), cooking food over a campfire, and chilling in the camper. We went up to the Porcupine Mountains State Park for a day and saw Lake Superior, the Lake of the Clouds, and a mini waterfall. There were some bumps in the trip, but we still managed to have fun!

Some sea (beach) glass that I found along Lake Superior!
Some sea (beach) glass that I found along Lake Superior!
Lake of the Clouds
Lake of the Clouds

So that was my summer! I’m really glad I had the opportunity to travel around more this year, something I haven’t always been able to do in the past. How was your summer? Did you visit any cool/new places? Let me know!

Until next Friday,

Erin

ABCDE…SFJ

So as a writer, I’m always looking for new ideas to help me create characters that are interesting and have depth. I’ve seen a lot of creative tips on this subject, but there’s one thing that I don’t see very often. Something that can help your character development skill level up.

And that’s the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI).

If you’ve ever taken a psychology course, you’re probably very familiar with the Myers-Briggs test. In fact, you probably took one to determine your own personality type. However, if you’re not really sure what I’m talking about, this page here might be helpful. I’d try to give you an explanation myself, but seeing that I’m no psychologist, I probably shouldn’t try. I find the Myers-Briggs stuff fascinating, and I’ve done some of my own research on it, but I’m not an expert.

I am, however, an expert on my characters. So I thought it would be fun to try to figure out their personality types. If I could determine which of the 16 personality types each of my characters were, it could help me to know how they would react to certain situations, how they would see the world around them, what kinds of people they would want to hang out with, etc. And there is so much information about personality types online! For example, if you determined that your character’s personality type was INFP, and you wanted to know about INFPs and relationships, just type it in to Google, and you’ll get countless results. You do have to be careful though, because some things that you find might be purely opinionated and inaccurate. It’s always good to check multiple sources to see if information lines up.

For anyone wondering, my personality type is ESFJ. I haven’t taken the official Myers-Briggs test, but I have taken several different personality tests online and I’ve determined that I am an ESFJ. (Actually, in the middle of writing this post, I got distracted and took several different personality quizzes. I seem to be borderline ESFJ/ENFJ. I think it really depends on the day/situation/mood I’m in. Sometimes I am more intuitive than sensing, though I think in the end, ESFJ is most like me. K. End ramble.) One time I got ENTJ and I was like? That’s not me at all? I am definitely a feely person, not a thinky person, thank you very much.

ANYWHO. I digress. We’re here to talk about my characters, not me. So as I was saying, I attempted to figure out my characters’ personality types. I took my characters from my current WIP, Music’s Curse, and went through the 16 personality types to determine which one suited who. Using the page that I linked to above as a reference, I would put myself in a certain character’s shoes and ask, “Is he extroverted or introverted? Sensing or Intuitive? Does he focus on logic or feelings? Organized and decisive or spontaneous and adaptable?” That would then help me string together the four-lettered personality type that best suited that character. After I did that, I would go read the short description that went with the personality type I had chosen to see if I thought I had accurately chosen my character’s personality type.

And I gotta say, I’m pretty proud of myself. I think I nailed almost all of my characters’ types on the head. And because I am so pleased with myself, I want to share the results with you.

First off, we have the main character, Karina. Karina is an ISFJ. She’s quiet, loyal, cares about the feelings of others, and committed to her goals.

Next is Dryn, who is Karina’s love interest. I pegged Dryn as an ENFJ. He is very aware of how other people feel and wants to bring out the best in people.

And now we have the villain, whose name I’m going to keep a secret because I don’t want you to know who it is (you know, on the off-chance that my book will be published someday). I’m going to geek out a little bit more about his personality type because I didn’t even have to think about it. I knew in a heartbeat that he was an ESTP. Honestly. He is so ESTP it hurts. I apologize to all the E/ISTPs out there, but I just don’t get along great with those types. They’re too spontaneous and impulsive for me. Also, I get along much better with people who are “feely”, not “thinky”. Which is why I would get along horribly with my villain if he were real. Read the summary given for ESTP on the Myers-Briggs site that I linked to, except think, you know, evil while you read it. That’s it. That’s my villain right there.

Okay, so then we have Kristina, who is kind of a morally gray character and actually one of my favorite characters to write. Her personality type was a little harder to figure out, but I think I’ve decided she’s an ENTP. She’s very outspoken, flighty, and good at facing new challenges.

Then there’s Xavier, who’s very sweet and caring but also kind of miserable because he’s got a sucky love life. He’s definitely an ISFP.

Now we have Ava, who is Karina’s younger sister. I had some difficulty with Ava because…well, she’s only 10, and she’s cursed for basically the entire book (so she doesn’t really do much). However, Ava is going to be the main character for Music’s Curse sequel, and she’ll be older, so I decided to figure out her type based on how I imagine her when she’s older. I wanna say she’s an ENFP, since I imagine her as outgoing, imaginative, and spontaneous.

And last is Henrietta, who is Karina’s maid and friend. Henrietta is definitely a social creature and just really loves life, therefore, I’ve pegged her as an ESFP.

I’m not going to lie, I had a ton of fun doing this, and I feel like it really did help me discover my characters more. If you decide to try this little exercise on your own characters, go ahead and leave your results in the comments below. Also, feel free to tell me what your own Myers-Briggs personality type is! I’m curious. I’d love to know!

Peace out,

Erin

(P.S. I accidentally published this post first to my old blog, so I’m sorry if I confused anyone. I’m not used to publishing at a new site yet…)

First!

Welcome friends, old and new alike! I’m excited to be back blogging with all of you! This is just a quick post letting you all know that this blog is now up and running. Feel free to take a look around — I have two pages about me and the blog, and a page about my WIP, Music’s Curse, because I’ll probably be talking about it quite often, so it’ll be a nice little reference page you can use.

I’ll have new posts up on Fridays, though this week I may publish one sooner. I have a great idea for a post about Myers-Briggs that I really want to write, so that may be up sooner than Friday.

So…yeah! Here’s to a fresh, new start! Hope to see you all around! *raises mug of coffee*

–Erin