7.17.2017

8 Things You Might Not Know about Lima, Peru

A week ago today, I got back home from a 10-day mission trip to Lima, Peru.  Next to Realm Makers, it was the most amazing trip of my life.  We served in communities and put on an evangelistic drama, as well as a lot of other incredible things.  (I plan to do a recap post sometime in the near future.)  For now, here are some crazy things you might not know about Lima.  The culture shock is real, friends.



1. The traffic is insane.  


Picture a very large city with a ton of traffic.  Now picture that same city where the traffic laws don't have to be followed. Car horns = hi, I'm here; big car/bus = I'm first

This is an intersection.  Yeah.  Crazy, right?  (Photo Cred: Mom)


2. You can tell kids in public school about Christ.  


Wouldn't that be nice to adopt in America?  One time, we invited a whole kindergarten to watch our drama.  We had to do spur-of-the-moment public speaking and it was actually pretty embarrassing.  (How can you even embarrass yourself in front of 5-year-olds?)


Here our team is praying with school children...
on school premises!  It was amazing!
(Photo Cred: Mom)


3. You can't flush toilet paper.  


There's a little trash can to the side of every toilet to put used toilet paper in.  Isn't that gross?


4. There are pickpockets everywhere.  


Story idea for a gang of Peruvian orphans trying to find their way in the world?  (First thing that came to my mind.) When in very crowded areas, you have to wear backpacks on your front and hold it close to you.  It's kind of awkward to walk like that.


5. The people are super nice and open to the Gospel.


Unlike in America, people like tracts.  They will listen to you tell the story of how Jesus Christ died on the cross and rose again to save us from eternity without Him!  When in doubt, tell someone your testimony.



6. The roads are SUPER bumpy.


Especially when you're trying to do face paint in the back of a bus.


There are also these really cute taxis.  They're actually enclosed
3-wheeled motorcycles.  (Photo Cred: Mom)


7. The soccer fields are usually concrete and very dusty.


Since Lima is in a sort of desert, there isn't much grass and water has to be brought in on trucks.  Thus, concrete soccer fields.


Here's a very dusty soccer field.
(Photo Cred: Can you guess?  Mom)

Another picture of the soccer field, featuring an adorable
little girl (sadly, I forget her name), and myself.
(Photo Cred: Mom)



8. They think Americans are the coolest (mostly the kids).  Especially people with light hair and/or light eyes.

Here's my sister with a very adorable little girl after we performed
our evangelistic drama.  (Photo Cred: Mom)


Have you ever been to Peru?  What did you think of it?  Have you ever set a story/part of a story there?


7.03.2017

How to Take Critiques without being emotionally destroyed by them

At some point or another, someone is going to read your writing.  This could be a school essay, a short story, or your baby (novel).  It's scary because you wonder if you are good enough.  Is this good enough to get published?  Is this good enough to get a good grade?  Am I actually a good writer?  Did I to X plot point right?  Are my characters realistic and likable?  I find that a lot of times, I use beta readers as validation that my work is finally good enough.  I hope hope hope that it is...but then the critiques come in.  It's a very sad feeling to know that you still need to fix things.  Sometimes, it makes you feel like a failure.  Here are some ways to combat those feelings.

1. Separate yourself from your work.


Your identity is found in Christ, NOT your writing.  Before sending your work out, take a step back from it.  Realize that this isn't personal anymore, it is a product that you made.  (I learned this from Thomas Locke at Realm Makers last year.)

2. Realize that beta readers are your friends.


They offered to critique your story because they want to help YOU.  It isn't an evaluation of how good of a writer you are.

3. Be open to change.


I've beta read for some people who defend every single editing decision they made.  Yeah, that's a little frustrating because how are they supposed to get better?

4. It's okay to be upset, but don't dwell on it.


This isn't quite as easy as it sounds.

5. There's always another novel.


So this novel is beyond hope (at least for the present time).  Write another one!  And another one!  And another one until your writing improves.  Even published authors haven't hit their "ceilings".

Have you ever gotten harsh critiques?  How did you get over them?