An Anniversary

Today is the anniversary of the first time I made my family watch the Lord of the Rings movies with me. It marks a glorious era of my life.

I read The Lord of the Rings trilogy when I was ten years old. It took an entire year of my life, but it also changed my life. I watched the movies a few years later and, of course, became obsessed with them as well. The mere mention of anything Tolkien makes my heart swell with inexplicable f e e l i n g s.

My parents are not fantasy fans (in fact, I don’t think they understand the concept) and my brother is not really a fan of high fantasy. So I was expecting a struggle, but I knew it was time. Also they got me the DVDs for Christmas that year, so they couldn’t really escape anymore.

It was somewhat difficult, to explain the story and background to my family, but it was an amazing experience to finally share a piece of this enormous thing that means to very much to me. Also, their reactions were priceless. And that is why you are here today, ladies and gentlemen.

Brace yourselves for: My Family’s Reactions to The Lord of the Rings

The Fellowship of the Ring:

Me: If I turn 111, throw me a party like this.

Brother: If you make it to 111, I’m going to kill you.

Mom: Umm, why did they even give the scary guy a ring?

Elrond: Our list of allies grows thin.

Brother: Like the hair on your massive forehead.


Mom: Where did Orlando Bloom go? We need some arrows down here!

The Two Towers:

Dad: Don’t kill the gardener! No fresh basil!


The Return of the King:

*Frodo wrapped up in Shelob’s web* Brother: He looks like Tobey Maguire!

Mom: I don’t know anyone’s names.

Dad: Merry?


Dad: AND SAM! I’ve definitely got Sam.

*Theoden dying* Brother: Come on! Treebeard talked faster than this!

Dad: No, Sam! The little diaper guy is still alive!

I kind of love them. Maybe a lot.

XX. Shelby Jo

Weekly Goal: 5,000

Weekly Count: 1,887

Total Count: 6,641


On Art School

“Wait, so…you’re going to a design school…to study writing?”

I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard some variation of that question. And no response I give is sufficient. When people hear Creative Writing, especially coupled with art school, they automatically put me into a “future-unemployment-going-back-to-college-to-get-a-reasonable-career-to-pay-off-your-masses-of-student-loans-well-why-didn’t-you-do-that-in-the-first-place-you-twit” box in their minds.

Well, let me tell you…

(Or, more accurately, them)

  1. Writing is an art, okay? Whether creative or technical, writing requires a specific skill set that needs to be honed and trained just like any other talent.
  2. By attending a creative college, I am making connections with the future of my industry. I am meeting and forming relationships with the next generation of writers, publishers, film makers, animators, actors, advertisers, illustrators, and so, so many more.
  3. By attending a creative college (especially one as well known as SCAD) I’m also making connections with current industry leaders and E M P L O Y E R S. I’m working with them to learn industry and company standards so that I can, in fact, get a job out of college (because I will actually have masses of student loans).
  4. While it is important I get a job, I also want to have a unique and personal artistic voice. I want this creative basis for my career, and my life. In art school, I’m learning just what my voice is, as well as how to make it commercial and marketable for my future.
  5. There is no “going-back-to-college-to-get-a-reasonable-career” for me. I want to be a writer. No other career will suffice; I am a writer. This is the path I have chosen to my future and it is the path upon which I will succeed.

XX. Shelby Jo

Weekly Goal: 5,000

Weekly Count: 228

Total Count: 4,754

*Yah, I know my word count is pathetic, I’m working on it. As long as I wrote something, it’s still an accomplishment.

Review: 2015

Happy New Year, y’all!

I’ve never really been a New Year’s resolution type of person, but in the last couple of years I have started setting some goals (lame ones like “get a job,” “get accepted into a decent college,” “survive at least 6 months” – you get the idea), and I actually think it’s helped me out.

So, here are my blogging/writing goals for 2016!

1). Read 50 books. I’ve set reading goals in the past, but never really paid them much mind. This year, I only read 20 (new) books (I don’t count re-reads, because I re-read a lot, and it would definitely confuse the numbers). I am going to journal reactions to each book (bc finding my Lunar Chronicles journal entries was obvs rly entertaining), and then post monthly summaries of my reading progress with the help of those reactions.

2). Finish the first draft of #RhanforyolifeThis is a tricky one, because my goal was originally to finish it by spring break, but that isn’t going very well so far. I also want to include editing the manuscript somehow, but I won’t know how far I want to pursue this book until the draft is finished. So, for now, I’m just sticking with a first draft.

3). Continue posting regularly. I have really enjoyed blogging regularly, but it has also proved to be a lot more work than I anticipated, and my life is only going to get crazier! 😉 So twice a week it is, for another year!

Thank you so much for giving me a shot if you have ever visited this site, and thank you x a million for sticking around if you ever decided to come back a second time.

Here’s to a good 2016.

XX. Shelby Jo

Being an Adult

(I think?)

Winter break has really made me think about what “being an adult” means. If I felt like I was treated like a child at school (which I am, reason #39874641 why college is no different than high school), I completely forgot what it was like to be around my family.

You would think, that they would be the people to notice and respect my abilities, over anyone, but they – my immediate and extended family – are the ones who place the most safe guards and limitations over me.

I am by no means just talking about curfews and rules at home, but even in conversation, I feel like some kind of second class citizen. Like I am not capable of the same thoughts and accomplishments as they.

So at what point am I considered a “grown up?” When do I finally get to receive credit for what I am doing and have done? Why does that always go to my parents now instead?

Are we all asking ‘When am I enough?’

I’m sorry this is so short, and more of a rant than anything, andddd that my internet presence has been so terrible recently…hopefully things will become regular again once the holidays are over.

Weekly Goal: 5,000

Weekly Count: 893

Total Count: 4,526

XX. Shelby Jo

On the Internet

…And the collapse of the universe as we know it…

Okay, so like I said Friday, I spent the last 5 days basically without internet access. I had limited mobile access on a decrepit Ipod Touch, but no computer options. IT. WAS. M I S E R A B L E.

Which, of course, got me thinking. Older generations have this innate idea that younger generations – mine and a few of those surrounding mine – are “addicted” to the internet and to technology, and that its this great tragedy that is going to result in the stupification and ultimate downfall of mankind. Which always seemed absurd and was generally infuriating to me (let’s talk chronological snobbery, kids).

Nope, I was serious. I think chronological snobbery, more specifically  juvenoia, are concepts that come into play here. Chronological snobbery is a logical or rhetorical fallacy in which a user assumes a fact based on an age or other length of time. Juvenoia, though not necessarily a technical term, is a fear based on the effects of social change on youth. Clearly the combination of paranoia, and juvenile (Liberal Arts major. Shut up.). It seems logical then, to assume that the “juvenoia” for our time is this fear of the internet and it’s effects. But juvenoia on the whole is chronological snobbery. It’s an illogical and and pointless fear.

Because the Internet, like anything else on this earth, is a tool. It therefore cannot shape entire generations, and, frankly, a generation on its own cannot shape the world.  Foolish people will find ways to be foolish no matter what the era or tools at their disposal; intelligent people will use every available tool to better themselves, no matter what the era; and the downfall of mortal existence was bound to happen anyway so don’t get your panties in a twist.

The Internet is an amazing, collaborative, revolutionary thing, and without it, my career choice (and life/human existence goals) would not be possible. It was opened up entire worlds, and maybe that is a little scary, but it’s also astounding. I am not afraid of this unknown, because it gives me something new to explore in this old world. That thought thrills me, and maybe I am addicted to it. But you know what? Instead of looking down on people, for any reason, let’s look at how we can help people and how we can learn from them.

Weekly Goal: 5,000

Weekly Count: 431

Total Count: 3,633

XX. Shelby Jo


Can we talk about motivation for a sec? Because I’m an extremely hard working person. Give me a task, and I will complete to the best of my ability absolutely as soon as possible. I used to think that was the same as being motivated, but it turns out that’s not true.

No matter how much effort I put into my job, or homework, or whatever, I am no closer to my goals. I have spent so much time doing the things I was told were important, that I no longer have time for the things I think are important. I rarely write, and read maybe an hour a week. No matter how many reminders I set, or distractions I eliminate, I just can’t bring myself to do the thing!

It’s so bad, that the only way I could motivate myself to write a blog post WAS TO WRITE ABOUT NOT WANTING TO WRITE A  BLOG POST. And I see the problem with that, and I despise myself for reaching this point, but I just don’t know what to do. I don’t know how to reward myself for a job well done, or how to set consequences for the things I fail to complete. It’s not even procrastination or laziness anymore. I just don’t know how to make these things enjoyable, or successful. Writing, blogging, reading, and research seem like a waste of time compared to “important” things like the computer art project due Monday, or writing as many volunteer articles for the newspaper as possible in hopes of getting a paying job as soon as one is available.

This is one of the reasons I’m trying to get back into blogging, but it’s also something I know I will be fighting with for a while to come (note my word count for the week – the first week ever on this project). Comment or message me if you have any tips, or stories, or if you ever struggle with motivation. We can cry and be unproductive together.


Weekly Goal: 5,000

Weekly Word Count: 3,202

Total Word Count: 3,202

XX. Shelby Jo


I just finished my final shift at the 2015 Savannah Film Festival! WOO WOO! I was very ready to be finished (in case you hadn’t noticed 😉 ), and, if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to go nap until Monday.

I heard someone say while leaving the theater today, that this was the most depressing film festival he had ever been to xD “Wonderful,” he goes, “but really just sad.”

Have a great Halloween! Stay safe!

xx. Shelby Jo