Friday, May 30, 2014

In Which I Would Like to Defend Smiley Faces

I understand that some people think that smiley faces are a disgrace upon humankind.

Okay *hands up* I'm laying it on a bit thick. But I know that some people think that smiley faces should not be used in formal blog posts. And to be honest, I agree. Smiley faces bring a whole new informality to formal blog posts, and if the blogger doesn't want to use smiley faces, they don't have to.

You might be wondering why the title of this blog post, then, is "In Which I Would Like to Defend Smiley Faces."

Although I'm fine with not using smiley faces, I am a big fan of them. I use them a lot :-) Whenever I think something that I've written is heartwarming, funny, or a little too harsh, I use a smiley face, either to emphasize my happy point OR to break the harshness down.

And so, in this post, I'm not defending the smiley faces as much as I am giving reasons why to use them :-)
  1. Smiley faces go places where words cannot. Some things cannot be expressed with words, but some of those things can be expressed with smiley faces. For example, as aforesaid--if you want to emphasize a happy point or break harshness down, just add a smiley face. Show that you're happy. Show that you're not angry or bitter towards them. Use a smiley face!
  2. They exercise your pinky muscles. Let's face it. Unless you're using the pinky to type the letter p or an apostrophe or something, you won't use it at all. Smiley faces give you the opportunity to develop your pinky muscles! (Work those pinky muscles, guuuuuuuurrl. Or booooooooooy :-)
  3. Smiley faces give variety to life. There are different kinds of smiley faces! There's the teethy smiley face :D, the regular smiley face :), the smiley face with the nose :-), the stick-out-your-tongue-semi-smiley-face :P, the socially awkward smiley face :], the socially awkward smiley face with the nose :-], the winky face ;), the winky face with the nose--I think you get the idea. For every time and occasion, there is a smiley face. You can even make up your own! There aren't any rules to smiley faces.
  4. You can use smiley faces ANYWHERE. A lot of people think that only technologically dependent people use smiley faces. Although a lot of technologically dependent people do use smiley faces, you can literally use smiley faces ANYWHERE. You can text it, e-mail it, blog it, put it in a book/magazine/newspaper, hashtag it (although I've never heard of anyone doing #:) ), send it in a paper note to a friend, or even spray paint it on the wall of the girls' bathroom at the beach! (Wouldn't advise doing that, though.) Smiley faces do not have to be restricted to technology.
Although they're not very professional-looking when used on a blog post, smiley faces have the potential to cheer up a day. And that's the point to blogging, right? Encouraging people with the words that you say? And what better way to do encourage than use smiley faces?


P.S. What emoji/non-written symbol brightens up your day? (Please make sure to keep all comments edifying to those around you :-)

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

In A New Light

I've learned some lessons about being thankful lately.

My dad said no to a Twitter and a Pinterest because he doesn't want me to get caught up in the whole "obsessed-over-followers" thing. I have to admit: I got kind of annoyed. And mad. And frustrated.

As I was lying in bed, facing the rejection, wondering HOW ON EARTH I can manipulate my parents to give me that social media, I wondered:

Why am I raking down Dad? What about all the stuff that I have already?

I started to see "thankful" in a new light.

It's a very old lesson--being thankful. And in my case, I have so much to be thankful for. My family is awesome, I'm walking with God (or at least trying to), my school is great, my friends are great, this blog is great, I have EVERYTHING. And more. 

So why am I obsessing over the fact that I don't have Twitter, or Pinterest, or an iPhone, when I already have all this other stuff?

Why am I obsessing over the fact that I have "only" eleven awesome followers? I should be grateful that I actually have eleven followers! You guys who are reading this--you're so awesome, and I'm so thankful God has given you to me. I'm sure He's brought you to this blog, to me, for a reason. 

God has given me no reason to want. He provides everything through His Son Christ Jesus, and a chance to live eternally with Him. (And I don't even deserve it!)

And so I'll be content. My dad is right. I don't need to get a Twitter immediately. I'm only fourteen. When I'm fifteen, sixteen, getting older and wiser, I'll get one eventually.  Especially as I start looking for agents and querying, I'd like to build a following.

But for now? Just a taste of what it'll be like later in life is enough. 


P.S. What are your thoughts on social media? What do you think should be the appropriate age? Feel free to leave a comment below! (Just please make sure it's edifying to those around you :-)

Monday, May 26, 2014

I'M REWRITING. AGAIN. (This Makes Five Drafts, Guys!)

I am literally so mad at everything right now, it's not even funny.

Okay, I'm not like so mad I'm going to throw my shoe at somebody or grind a USB drive in a blender. (Thanks for the idea, though, Dan Gutman.) It's just that I was trying to mass-edit my manuscript, trying to make all my characters less stereotypical, trying to get this manuscript done before the end of summer when I realized:


Her name was Kasie Jordan. (I love how ironic this is, speaking about her as if she were dead when she wasn't actually alive in the first place...) But anyway, her name was Kasie Jordan and she was really into fashion and I was trying to weave in a thread about her wanting to be a YouTuber.

Did that work out?


I realized that it was OK to have a protagonist who was a little different from me, but not so different I couldn't really relate to her.

I didn't really like Kasie. She was too whiny for my taste, and even though she may have been easy to relate to for other people, I couldn't relate to her too well. And I think a lot is lost when the author can't feel the main character. (Ya feel me?)

I want to write about somebody who was faulted, but not so faulted that I detested her. 

Adrianna Matthews was born.

I technically haven't written anything through her eyes yet, but here's what I do know about her:
  1. She's less whiny than Kasie was.
  2. She's more introverted than Kasie was.
  3. She's a musician and has her own style.
I think I'm going to put more pieces of myself into Adrianna than I did with Kasie. Adrianna is more rational, a little more levelheaded, than Kasie was. The emotions will still be there, but the interpretation will be different. 

I also realized that a rewrite is my opportunity to show my word count who's boss!

See, when I wrote my fourth draft, I overshot by about eighteen thousand words because I didn't really care how long my book was. Now that I know what needs to go into the book and what I can cut from it, I'm going to shoot for 50,000 words--no more, no less.

I think my problem is writing too much; I'm very verbose, and I hate cutting words. So I'm going to try to cut the words down. I simplified the plot structure, and hopefully that should do it.

Overall, I'm decently satisfied with where I'm headed. Even though I wanted to be DONE with this by the end of the summer, I don't think I will. And that's all right. Whatever this manuscript needs, I will give it.

And in the end, I just want to write a good book.


P.S. Have you ever completely rewritten your novel? If so, what did you do? Do you mind sharing some tips? Feel free to express yourselves, but please make sure to be edifying to those around you.

Sunday, May 25, 2014

Last Week's Link List

I've got some pretty kool articles for you guys today, so enjoy!
"The Church Needs More Tattoos"--awesome article that I found very interesting.
"Blessed"--refers to the increasing usage of "blessed."
"Longest Separated Twins Find Each Other"!  Amazing article :-)
"My Wife Has Tattoos" (yeah, I read any article with the word "tattoos")-explains how his views on marriage have changed.
"Can Blessings Be a Trial?" Shows us how blessings and prosperity can be a tripping point in the Christian walk.
Explains a weak point in the movie God's Not Dead.
"The Irony of the Overprotected Child"--Do you feel like your parents are overprotective? This article supports you :-)

Hope you enjoyed these articles!  If you have any special reviews/articles you'd like to share, feel free to send me a message through the Contact Form with the link and I'll look at it :-) 


Friday, May 23, 2014

"Dear Stalker" Retraction & Apology

I would like to make a retraction about a post that I wrote the other day.

The post was entitled "Dear Stalker, I'm Not Dumb" and it addressed a potential stalker's assumptions about me.

After a talk from my dad, I realized that while raking down my stalker, I was making assumptions about him that were unfair, unkind, and not in a Christlike manner.

First of all, it's the Internet. Although all the warning signs showed me that he was a stalker, do I know if he is or not? No. I did not know if he was a stalker. Perhaps he was just a misguided pastor. I don't know. Although it is wise to refrain from answering "weird comments," the truth is that I didn't know, and I should not have made unfair judgments like that. It just goes to show my ignorance and judgmentalism (not a word, but whatever).

Second of all, was it really appropriate? Was it OK that I basically bullied this guy for sending me a weird message? Was it OK?

Of course not. Even if he were a stalker, they're human beings. Perhaps more dangerous than other human beings, but they're still human. It's the same thing as me bullying somebody else from my high school in the sense that stalkers are still people with feelings, hearts, and souls.

Third of all, it was not Christlike. I call myself a Christian, but now I have to question myself. I'm ashamed of the post now. My response should not have been to ridicule the guy. My response should have been to reach out in grace and mercy. Although he may have had bad intentions, I should have forgiven him right away. It was not necessary for me to ridicule him.

My post may have been witty. It may have been funny. But it was not a good post, and I'm sorry that I ever wrote it. Although the damage has been done, I still hope to repair some of it through this post, and my sincere apologies to those who have been affected by it. It just goes to show that I'm not ready to handle followers and fame.

I hope you'll forgive me.


How To Make a Sour Smoothie: Recipe for Disaster

Imagine that you're basking under the sun in your bathing suit, the warmth vibrating into your whole body, the blueness of your private saltwater pool laying pleasantly in your eyes.  Imagine a condensing cool drink in your right hand, cold from the hour spent in the fridge.  Imagine picking it up...the straw sliding through your lips into your take a sip--


Recently, where I live, it's been sweltering hot.  I've also been trying to eat healthier (what a joke), so I wanted to make myself a smoothie instead of grabbing ice cream.

Admittedly, it was more like an EXPERIMENT than an attempt at making something EDIBLE.  Do you ever have one of those days were you're feeling "adventurous" and want to do something out of the norm, JUST IN CASE it works?

For me, that was one of those days.

So I decided to make a smoothie.  




Strawberry Chobani Greek yogurt.

Cool Whip!  Note how it says "Whipped Topping"...because "whipped cream" would be politically incorrect.  I looked at the list of ingredients and it said something like HYDROGENATED OIL, SUGAR, CONTAINS LESS THAN 2% OF MILK.


And...the defining factor...


I think the watermelon was the "defining factor" to all of this.  Had I not put in the watermelon, the smoothie's consistency would have been thicker and the taste would have been better. But when you do something unconventional, you have the adventure of trying to figure out if it's going to work.  Would you rather have Adventure or Amazing Taste?


1.  Throw some ice in.  (Note how I don't say the exact amount of ice...I just say "some ice."  This is the defining point between me and Rachael Ray, guys.)

2.  Toss in a splash of milk and the Chobani.  Blend all together.

Helpful Hint: If you're having trouble peeling the banana from the top, PEEL IT FROM THE BOTTOM INSTEAD.  (*mind blows*)

 3.  Plop a banana in.  Blend.

 4.  Plunk some watermelon in....mmmm.  Blend.

5.  Despite my utter hatred of American society's processed, genetically modified food, Cool Whip is pretty good.  So scoop a couple spoonfuls into the smoothie.  Blend.

 FINISHED PRODUCT ^^^^  It looks pretty inconspicuous, doesn't it? :-)

I knew that the smoothie wouldn't be very good, so I pulled a punch of irony and put the smoothies into the mugs.  (It's ironic because we usually use mugs for hot drinks on cold days, but I used the mugs for cold drinks on a hot day...yeah...get, I'm not funny.)  Anyway, I poured some liquid in (pretty watery), dolloped each with more Cool Whip, and sprinkled some chocolate chips on top.  Then I delivered it to my younger sister, who was watching Sheriff Callie (on Disney Junior).

My first words after taking a sip went along the lines of, "Oh my goodness, this is disgusting."

Okay, so it wasn't THAT bad.

But it was pretty sour.

I think it was the watermelon.


So how can two awesome things not go well together?

PULL YOURSELF TOGETHA MAN! (That's what the guy on the game BopIt says.  I want to hit him every time I hear that.)

So.  Yeah.  The moral of the story?  

Don't make smoothies with watermelon.

Or else they'll turn sour, and when they turn sour you throw some of it out.

And when you throw some of it out, you feel entitled to eating something else sweet.

Something else like Trader Joe's Mini Chocolate-Chip Cookies.

And you end up busting your gut and not being healthy, which is WHY YOU MADE A SMOOTHIE IN THE FIRST PLACE.

I love irony.  Don't you?


P.S.  Had any other baking disasters?  Any tips for those who love to cook and experiment?  Feel free to leave them in a comment below, just be sure to keep everything edifying to those around you!

Monday, May 19, 2014

Here's To Truly Growing Up

Celebrities today seem to think that in order to grow up, they need to go clubbing and do idiotic stuff, like twerking.

It seems to me that our society has a twisted take on "growing up"; for example, cussing (to start with), astoundingly dangerous feats (like drugs/alcohol/Justin Bieber drag racing), and inappropriateness (twerking).  Today, this post will be covering three points:
  • Why We Have This Mentality
  • Why We're Not Being "Mature"
  • What We Can Do To Stop This
Why We Have This Mentality

Why do we have this mentality?  What's wrong with us?  Here's how I see it:
  • We are innocent, carefree young children.  
  • We become slightly less innocent, carefree tweens.
  • As we are exposed to more and more, our innocence wears off and we start to want to "have fun" as we get into the teenage years.
  • After a couple years of Anchorman 2 and Miley Cyrus, we "figure out" that having fun means getting high and drunk.
  • We do dangerous, dumb things.
And the cycle continues.  How does it keep moving through the generations like this?  Well, it's human nature.  We're naturally faulted, so naturally we do dumb things, and those dumb things pay off into catastrophe, whether minor or major.

You might argue, "Well, Rcubed, if we're naturally faulted human beings, then maybe this is the way we should live."

It's not the way we should live because God told us so in the Bible.  He said to act in a Christ-like conduct and to take care of the bodies that He's given to us.  Granted, we'll trip and fall occasionally, but Christ will always pick us back up.  

Also, we shouldn't knowingly sin and think "Oh, Christ is going to save me from this," because a true Christian continually strives to become more like Christ.  God did not give us grace to take advantage of; He gave us grace because He knew that even when we tried our hardest, we still couldn't live a life worthy of Himself.

After all that's said and done, we have this "getting older means getting higher" mentality that can only come from fallen human reason.  And only Christ can rescue us.

Why We're Not Being "Mature"

Sometimes I see video game commercials on TV and they're marked "mature" because they have too much violence or whatever.  And I think, What does "mature" really mean?

There are several definitions of "mature" on Google; I picked out the one that I'm highlighting today: "having reached an advanced stage of mental or emotional development characteristic of an adult."  I think that, unless your family runs a blue cheese farm, this is the most common definition of mature that you find circulating teenage vocabulary.  

Teenage years are exciting.  We get to do more things and "grow up."  The problem is, there are certain connotations with being "mature" that weigh too heavily in the teenage mind.  Dating.  Watching R-rated movies.  Going to 7-Eleven to get cigarettes when you're eighteen.  Listening to explicit music.

Is that really being mature?  Have you reached your "advanced stage of mental or emotional development" and consequently, as part of your "maturity," have chosen to start smoking even though you know that it causes emphysema and lung cancer?  Or is it simply just taking advantage of your age?  

Because just because you're sixteen doesn't mean you're responsible enough to have your driver's license.  Just because you're eighteen doesn't mean you should smoke.  Just because you're twenty-one doesn't mean you can drink alcohol with wisdom.  You just can, because you're old.  And "mature."  There's less in an age than you think.

Are you mature enough to choose not to do the stuff that you know will negatively influence your life?

What We Can Do To Stop This

This is a mentality that is ravaging our society today.  Kids everywhere are doing dumb stuff just because they're old and "grown up."  They listen to Jay-Z and go crazy; twerk and smirk; get drunk and go punk.  

What can we do?

For starters, let's start with ourselves.  We can choose not to participate in ritualistic "growing up" activities.  We can maintain healthy relationships with God, family, and friends.  We can pursue our dreams in a way that will impact the world positively.

We can truly grow up and make the decisions of one who is responsible.

And I'm not done growing up yet.  I'm still in the process of learning, and I probably will be for the rest of my life.  However, there will be a point in my life where I will be deemed "grown up," and I will be able to do all of the things that people are abusing today.

But the point of growing up is discerning what is grown up and what is not.

So let's raise our glasses (of Kirkland Signature fat-free milk) and toast:

"Here's to truly growing up!"


P.S.  Any thoughts, ideas, suggestions?  Feel free to comment below, but please make sure to keep everything edifying to those around you :-)

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Sunday Last Week's Link List

Hello everybody, and welcome to the second Last Week's Link List!

From Challies Dot Com:
Analyzes how Christians view the secular film industry.
As part of "False Prophets" series, takes a look at the false teachings of Teresa of Avila.

From The Rebelution
About how a seventeen-year-old girl won a primary election over a state delegate.

From The Writer's Alley
Supports protection of family time AND writing time.

From Life As a Young Lady
Explores the quirky narrator's thought process; really enjoyed this one :-)

From Every Stinkin' Page
Provides insight on how to develop your writer's voice.

Hope you enjoy these articles as much as I did!  


P.S.  Have any articles/reviews/things you think I'd like (whether yours or just something you've read)?  Publish it in a comment below!  (But please keep everything edifying :-)

Friday, May 16, 2014

VIDEOS (Part 2): Interview w/ Ellie Rha!

As promised on Wednesday's post, I am interviewing my friend, thirteen-year-old YouTuber Ellie Rha.

1) What inspired you to start posting videos on YouTube?

1.      On YouTube the first beauty guru I watched was Bethany Mota, then Zoella, then Tanya Burr.  These ladies are now up to their necks in subscribers and after watching them I became one of those subscribers.  After continuously watching their videos and just seeing them talk to the camera I realized that I wanted to do something like that.  I thought that it was pretty amazing that they could share all of their tricks and tips and I thought that I wanted to share mine too.   I wanted to be role models to others and a successful beauty guru like [they are].  My inspiration came gradually and slowly but, it was definitely always there. 

2) What kinds of videos are you posting on your channel--fashion/makeup tips, stories, random stuff?

   On my channel I plan on posting videos such as:
-“How to Dress Like…..” and this would be me explaining to the viewer how to get the style and look of that person, not just an outfit that is identical to that person, so that the viewer is given the steps to achieve that style with any type of clothing
-I might also do some stories on clothing disasters I’ve had and ways to solve clothing disasters
- I also plan on doing an #AskEllie video where my subscribers can ask me questions regarding beauty, makeup and fashion tips and I’ll try to answer their questions.

3) What do you hope to achieve through your videos?

Through my videos my plan is to educate, inspire, and make sure that when my viewers see I have uploaded a video they are filled with joy, excitement and contentment.  My hope is to make sure my viewer’s lives are happier and filled with more color.  I hope to make their days that used to be filled with black clouds, now filled with rainbows without the rain.

Couldn't have put it better myself!  Thanks so much for your answers, Ellie!

Watch and subscribe to Ellie's channel at


P.S.  Interested in being interviewed on here?  Send me an e-mail at randomrantsrcubed (at) gmail (dot) com, or use the Contact Form on the sidebar!

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

VIDEOS (Part 1): My Interest/Future Plans

I've started to become interested in YouTube and making videos.

Ever since I found out that my friend had a YouTube channel, I checked YouTube on my phone and found out that it worked.  

And then after I saw my friend's YouTube videos, I started making my own videos, sending them to my friends, and figuring out the schizophrenic video-making program on my computer.

And I discovered that, if I keep the clips short, sweet, and funny, I think I can make this work.

My plan is--as soon as my dad OKs the idea of my own YouTube channel (probably when I'm fifteen or sixteen)--I'm going to try to strike out YouTube videos.  (Don't worry, I'm not planning on being only a YouTuber.) My writing will still be more important, of course, but I think YouTubing will be fun as a side project.

But as of now, I'm just practicing for the future--working on my private Rcubed's Video Diaries, sending them to my close family and friends. :-)

Stick around on Friday for more fun and games when I interview my YouTubing friend, the fantabulous ELLIE RHA!


P.S.  Interested in videos?  Have any experience or advice?  Feel free to share  it below; however, please keep all comments encouraging and appropriate!

Monday, May 12, 2014

3 Ways to Rock Those Glasses

I don't usually do fashion posts much (due to my lack of expertise/interest in the matter)...but since I've been wearing my glasses a lot lately (due to a VERY AWESOME eye irritation *sarcasm* ), I decided to do a fashion post.  How To Rock Those Glasses.

For whatever reason, pop society has taught us that no glasses = better look.  I mean, come on!  What's with the whole "nerd with glasses" or "homeschooler with glasses" stereotype?  Why not "kool kid with glasses" or "awesome person with glasses"?  Sheesh.  There are plenty of kool kids out there who wear glasses.

Anyway, here are the 3 WAYS TO ROCK THOSE GLASSES.  (Warning...there's a lot of pictures.  Most of which have a minion creeping on you in the background...)

1) The Ninja Style

Very simply put, the NINJA STYLE is a) a black tank top, and 2) a messy bun.  The bottom is up to your choice--I usually put on jean shorts.  If you're a simplistic dresser like I am, then you'll love this--super easy, super comfortable, and super fun.

2) The "Professional" Style

Basically, the "Professional" Style is for those who want to look a little more dressed-up than just a black tank top.  I find that a long-sleeved shirt looks more "professional" (so to speak) than a tank top, and the hair down, especially when it's wavy, adds to the overall effect.  And if you can see without the glasses on, then put those glasses on top of your head!  It adds a unique feel to the outfit :-)

3) The Kid Style

For those who are kiddish, and enjoy being a kid (like I do), then this style is for you.

Earbuds are a must.  They not only supply you with a steady stream of your favorite music, but they also give you a "I'm a very swag person" vibe.

I have an infinite supply of these, thanks to my overachieving siblings.  Add a couple of well-made ones with your favorite colors to add a kiddish look :-)

A side ponytail, or an Elsa-style side braid is fun and quick, and it looks a little bit more thoughtful than if you just slap it up in a ponytail.

It kind of freaks me out how much my minion was in the pictures.  Yes, it's in my room.  Yes, it likes food.  Yes, sometimes it scares me.  It added that "creeper" aspect to this post...So I'd just like to give it a shoutout.

Hope you enjoyed this post!


P.S.  What was your favorite style?  Do you wear glasses?  Feel free to comment below--I always respond--but please make sure to keep everything edifying to those around you :-)

Sunday, May 11, 2014

Party Snoopers DISCONTINUED (but there's something else!)

Hello Everybody-

I feel like such a bozo/dummy/incompetent person right now, but I'm making the executive decision to halt Sunday Serials, at least for now.

I know this isn't good for my track record--2 successful Sunday Serials, and 2 discontinued Sunday Serials--but I don't think I can deal with this.  I was originally going to keep going with it, but I read Part Six and realized that my writing was terrible and confusing and that I needed to put more time and effort into it.  To be honest, I don't have that time and effort.  

So as of now, I'm discontinuing all Sunday Serials until I can actually keep up with them.  

However, I will post everything that I've written for Party Snoopers on the "Sunday Serial #4" tab.  I wrote 12 parts total, so you can view them there.


Instead of Sunday Serials, I'll be doing something a little less time-intensive.  I'll call it "Last Week's Links List."  Basically, I'm going to post links of articles/reviews/etc. that I read and found interesting in the past week.  Most of them will come from my "Blogs I'm Following" list under my Blogger Profile, and others will come from just Internet surfing. 

Last Week's Link List:

"These Are Real Children.  They Need Your Help.  Don't Turn Away."  Article by Julianne Fortney at The Rebelution blog.

This article challenged me in a way that I've never been challenged before.  Fortney talks about caring for children in Africa, and how they're not just pictures to sponsor--they're REAL children.

"The Wonderful Democracy in Writing." Article by SC Write.  

This post made me realize that writing truly is FREE.  The publishers don't charge, and you get money if you publish a book!  Made me realize how lucky I am :-)

"Sentence Variation."  Article by Anastasia Elizabeth at Every Stinkin' Page.   

This post prompted me to examine my sentence structure.  Is it too repetitive "he said," "she said"?  Anastasia Elizabeth gives you several ways to vary up your sentences.

"The False Teachers: T.D. Jakes." Article by Tim Challies.  

Tim Challies is a Christian blogger who writes book reviews and articles about theology and Christianity today.  In this article, he highlights T.D. Jakes, a pastor who denies the existence of the Three Persons in the Trinity--thus making him a "false teacher."

The number of links will vary, depending on the amount of time that I have to put them together.

Feel free to include the link to an article, blog post, review, etc. in the comments--it can be yours or something that you read that you think I might like!  I'll try to read and (maybe) include them on this list next week, but no promises :-)