flotsam and jetsam | 7

Though Isengard be strong and hard, as cold as stone and bare as bone,
We go, we go, we go to war, to hew the stone and break the door!

And though the world be messed-up and broken, I go, I go, I go to write this blog post. (See the last flotsam + jetsam here.)

Note: I’m writing this on August 2, but I’m going to schedule it for the 15th 😌 and expect plenty of random emojis because I just discovered how to use them on WordPress. After 1.25 years of blogging. 😂

ALSO! I didn’t post any island living this week, and I might not next week. We’ll see. I absolutely intend to finish it, and to continue to post it on Wednesdays (and other posts on Saturdays), because the schedule has been super helpful, but it won’t be every week. 


I spent most of June and July listening to new music. I discovered a lot of songs and artists I never thought I’d like. Here’s a short(ish) list:

  • turning out // ajr
  • he is not safe // ross king
  • addict with a pen // twenty one pilots (content: “addict” + “suicidal”)
  • homeward // future of forestry
  • in case you don’t live forever // ben platt
  • the girl i mean to be // daisy egan
  • i love betsy // andrew barth feldman (youtube)
  • dear me // nichole nordman
  • all you wanna do // aimie atkinson (content: sexual references)
  • hiding in your hands // mallory bechtel
  • wander. wonder. // the arcadian wild
  • forgive us our trespasses // audiomachine
  • never be alone // shawn mendes
  • sound + fury // ella mine
  • grace & mercy // jess ray
  • peace // taylor swift (content: profanity)

But then I started listening to old playlists. (I was tired of my July playlist.) And remembering all the music I used to love.

  • correspondence: a fiction // levi the poet (some mature content)
  • the passing of the elves // howard shore
  • too good // jess ray (content: mention of drugs + self-harm)
  • empty chairs at empty tables // gareth gates
  • this my soul // the gray havens
  • everything ever 🤣 // andrew peterson
  • wait for me (reprise) // hadestown
  • hamilton // lin-manuel miranda (content: profanity, sexual references)

I guess what I’m saying here is, listen to old songs sometimes. Don’t forget the music you used to love. You’ll probably still love it, and even if you don’t, it helped to make you who you are.




posts by other bloggers that I think you should read

There’s probably a better name for that heading. I can’t think of it at the moment, though. 

  • Sarah @ The Sarcastic Elf had a blogging birthday and created a treasure hunt in celebration (I believe the official prize, a giveaway, will have ended by the time my post comes out, but the hunt can still be fun).
  • Annie @ Zoelogist believes that everyone has a superpower (this reminds me of the book Savvy). 
  • rebekah @ amid these embers wrote a poem about having conversations with non-Christian friends.
  • The fourth annual book blogger awards voting is live now (read May’s post and vote here). (The emphasis is definitely on secular bloggers, and I’m betting most of you don’t know many of the people who were nominated, but I encourage you to check out the form and see! You have to vote in 12 categories, though, so if you’re not looking to discover a whole bunch of new blogs, this might not be for you.)
  • Theia Grace reviewed The Ballad of Songbirds and Snakes. (I just read this book for the first time and wow, it was amazing.)
  • Allison @ A Farm Girl’s Life posted her summer playlist + aesthetics. Her posts always make me happy.
  • Jaiden @ Already Home posted a new song, “Further Up.” I love her music! It reminds me of Sarah Sparks.


the outstanding blogger award

I was nominated for this tag by Gabrielle Joy. Thanks, Gabrielle! The rules:

  • Provide the link to the creator’s original award post. (Make sure to check out the original award post here!)
  • Answer the questions provided.
  • Create 7 unique questions.
  • Nominate 10 bloggers. Ensure that they are aware of their nomination. Neither the award’s creator, nor the blogger that nominated you, can be nominated.
  • At the end of 2020, every blog that pingbacks the creator’s original post will be entered to win the 2020 Outstanding Blogger Award!

What is your current favorite snack?

Any fruit, probably. I don’t have snacks very often, but when I do, it’s usually fruit. Oh, and I’ll always love dark chocolate covered anything (which I have even more rarely than I snack).

Popsicles or ice cream?

Ice cream. Dairy free — I recently discovered I can’t have milk. My favorite alternative so far is cashew milk frozen dessert (apparently you can’t call it “ice cream” on the packaging since it doesn’t really have cream in it).

Dress or skirt?

I don’t really care. I’d usually pick pants over both, though.

Sapphire or ruby?

Star sapphire, like from Eragon.

Eragon - Isidar Mithrim by Chris-LC on DeviantArt

What do you want your college major to be?

I’m not sure. Philosophy, literature, history, musical theatre, Latin, and writing are some of my favorite ideas right now.

Do you want to get married?

Yes, probably, but I’m trusting God to know if and when that’s the right choice for me. And if it’s not, well, I won’t have to deal with disagreement concerning design choices in my skoolie/tiny house. XD

What is your favorite sport?

To play: tae kwon do (I don’t compete, but I still count it as a sport) and musical theatre (yes, I know that’s actually not a sport, but it can be just as fun and team building and time consuming). 

To watch: hockey, basketball, gymnastics, ice skating/figure skating, and ski jumping.

I nominate… 

My questions for my nominees (some of these are more like actions/tasks to do 😜):

  1. What is your favorite new hobby or activity that you’ve taken up in quarantine?
  2. Re-listen to one of your favorite songs/albums from when you were younger. Write down your feelings, reactions, and thoughts. Post them as the answer to this question. 
  3. Text/email a friend and ask for a song recommendation. Listen to the song. Write down your feelings, reactions, and thoughts, and post them. 
  4. Which song was more fun to listen to? Do you like listening to old or new (to you) music better?
  5. Click on the blogger above you on my nominees list (Ainsley, click on Beck’s blog :)). Read one of their posts! For your answer to this question, link to a post by this blogger that you enjoyed, and say why you enjoyed it. 
  6. What’s the latest sentence you read (other than in this post — in a book, other blog post, email, etc.)? Type it here. Imagine a different context for it. Explain your new context. Optional: if you’re inspired, write a very short piece (50-200 words) inspired by it. 
  7. How many pairs of shoes do you own? Which is your favorite?


I’ve been thinking lately about friendships. What they are, how we make them, what happens when they end.

How long does it take for an acquaintance to become a real friend? 

How long does it take for a friend to become a mere acquaintance? 

When is it time to purposely end a friendship? Begin a new one? 

How do you tell the difference between friendship and romance? 

I don’t know the answers to these questions. But I want to learn. I hope someday I do. I’m trying. 

Oh, and I like Garrett’s post about drifting apart from a friend.


I love getting letters and emails.

I love reading blogs. 

I love reading books. 

I love all these things so much that I have about 10 email pals and 12 pen pals. I follow about 300 blogs (don’t worry, they’re not all active and I only get email notifs for about 20 of those). I read ~200 books a year. 

Is that too much? Is there a point where I need to stop finding new people to email/write to, new blogs and books to read? To start… focusing on what I already have? 

To work more on my own blog, on my own books? 

Right now I’m trying to cut down on the number of blogs I follow. To read books intentionally, rather than randomly/sporadically based on moods and whims. To work on my own platform and creations. 

But I haven’t yet figured out how to stop saying yes to new pen/email pals. Human connections are necessary (I think) and enjoyable (sometimes), and the medium of writing allows me to express myself so much more deeply and accurately. I learn and grow by communicating with other people. 

Will I ever stop using writing as a way of making friends? I don’t think so.


Is it okay to not respond to blog comments? 

(Am I just using this post as an opportunity to ramble about unrelated topics?)

Are people hurt when I don’t respond to their comment?

Should I comment on every post I read? 

Is it okay to like a post if I don’t agree with everything it says?

(Why are there so many questions I don’t know the answers to?)


Some days I hate being human. 

Hate being trapped in this body. Looking the way I do. Feeling so deeply. Longing for home. 

this yoke is not easy

Maybe I just don’t like being myself. After all, I can think of plenty other humans I wouldn’t mind being. 


Some days I like being human. 

Like being myself. 

I feel so alive —

The way the ground smells after rain

The color of my eyes in the mirror

The latest letter from a far-away friend

God, help me remember these things when I am tempted to despair.

Help me remember why I love this world. 

This is just a glimpse of the world I was made for.

Oh God, help me. 



  • listen to old music sometimes
  • read new blogs (especially the ones I linked to)
  • I like to make up interesting tag questions 
  • what is friendship?
  • when is it time to stop finding more content to consume?
  • someone should write down the rules of blogging/commenting/liking
  • it’s hard to be human
  • it’s beautiful to be human; help me remember, Lord

sign off

 P.S. And we will sing…

Published by Maya Joelle

classics student, bookdragon, wordsmith, forest girl, incurable romantic seeking to adorn the dark with my words and kindle hearts with legendary fire looking for beauty in the ordinary but the men signed of the cross of Christ go gaily in the dark

22 thoughts on “flotsam and jetsam | 7

      1. XD. I don’t think you know what you’ve invited but….for the content finding/comment replying thing…I think you should look to yourself and say, “Would I rather people respond to me out of duty/obligation or out of pleasure” and go from there. I mean, people SHOULD produce content for people who want to read them, right? 😉 And comments are just so the author knows they’re being “kudos-ed”, if that makes sense, not so the commentor is singled out (unless the author wants to reply). 🙂

        Also…pants are great. But dresses are great for hiding knives and stuff 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  1. Wonderful job coming up with interesting questions for that tag!
    I feel you on your worries about comments. I have a love/hate relationship with them, as in “Aww, someone actually read this! And commented!” “Oh wait…I have to answer them? Ugh.” XD Somehow it’s just really draining. *shrug* So for me, I don’t mind when my comments aren’t answered, because I know from experience it’s possible to appreciate them but still not want to answer. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Ahhh, this was a lovely conglomeration.

    Currently I am not doing tags—but thank you for the nomination! I feel the need to tell you that I have fifteen pairs of shoes. It’s a problem.

    And now I am contemplating all of the rambles there at the end. It makes me wonder, am I truly intentional about what I’m reading? I think I am, but there is always room for improvement—what is the nature of long-distance interaction—the purpose of communications—

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I adore your flotsam and jetsam posts. I feel like I’m sitting down and getting to listen to your ramble and get to have a piece of the things you value like good music, stories, and thoughts. 🙂
    There are some really good songs there.
    But also I’m so happy you gave that shout out to Annie’s post. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it since I read it on her blog.
    Did I mention I enjoyed reading this post?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Please tell me how to use emojis!

    Yes, I love “This My Soul,” especially the final chorus.

    And yeah, I feel you on the content consuming part. I took a two week camping trip and when I came back I had so many emails and such to catch up on that I finally put my foot done and said, “I’m going to be intentional with the content I consume.”

    There are no hard and fast rules, but I listen to my intuition. If I’m not getting joy or learning something new out of something, I remind myself I have the freedom to put the book down, adjust my following settings, or unsubscribe to all the random ads I get in my inbox. I don’t do this to completely distance myself from books and blogs I love, but to be intentional, because now I have to type the url. As for comments, I just say how the post makes me feel. Does that make any sense?

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I enjoyed reading this post; I especially liked the quote at the very beginning. 😉 Thanks for nominating me for the award! I’m excited to answer your questions. 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  6. these posts are fun 🙂

    I think, with acquaintances turning to friends and friends to acquaintances, that it doesn’t have to do with time at all. I’ve met people I’m friends with from two seconds after the introduction. And I’ve known people for years without considering them more than an acquaintance. Which isn’t to say that sometimes friendships don’t take time to form or that people we thought we’d never be friends with don’t sometimes end up being cherished friends, but…it still hasn’t anything to do with time, is what I think.

    Question: how do you read 200 books a year? Is it hard?

    When I read some really good books and feel inspired to write, but just keep reading instead because I’m lazy, and then I begin to enjoy the books less, that’s when I know I need to stop consuming and start creating. It’s important to be filled with stories, but it’s also important to not let your own creative muscles atrophy out of laziness; plus I feel like God has given me the gift/desire to create, so if I don’t do the thing that He’s GIVEN ME TO DO…that’s bad. And so when reading makes me LESS inspired to write, that’s when I stop. That’s probably not everybody’s yardstick, but it’s mine. *shrugs*

    Idk about the liking/commenting thing. I’ve thought about that too. I simply don’t have the energy to comment on everything I read. I like that WordPress lets you like things, so you can acknowledge comments and posts that you appreciated even if you don’t comment. And I definitely like posts without agreeing with everything in them! Especially then, actually. Because it would be weird to leave an argumentative comment, like, “I disagree with you here and here and here, but OTHER THAN THAT, good post!” you know? 😛

    This is kind of long – I hope you don’t mind. All your rhetorical questions made me want to answer them despite their nature!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. WELLL… I used to read 200 books consistently. Last year it was more like 150. It’s not that hard, because I naturally prioritize reading over a lot of other hobbies/tasks since I enjoy it, and I’m a very fast reader. I don’t think I’ll read that many this year because I have a LOT of school to do this fall.

      I don’t mind and I enjoyed reading your answers!

      Liked by 1 person

  7. ahh
    andrew peterson and taylor swift and hadestown in the same playlist
    your mind is gold and i truly mean that : )
    i wish i had the energy to touch on all the points to make but alas i do not, but i do have thoughts on comments
    i think whenever possible and whenever they can be left with sincerity and more than just a shallow “good post!”, so much the better for those writing posts, but at the same time, i can understand the possible stress of feeling like you have to comment on everything. this could just be me projecting, but i think it would be really nice for people to do more than merely like and glance over something and then leave, especially if that person worked super hard into pouring their soul into those words. but if those words don’t invite conversation to begin with then it defeats the purpose, i guess. one day it’ll make sense.
    but thanks for this maya. your flotsam and jetsam are enjoyable things to read through.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you enjoy ’em; I like writing them.

      Also yeah, I really do appreciate it when people comment, which makes me feel bad when I don’t, because I know how nice it is to get a comment, but then sometimes I just don’t anyway because I don’t have the energy…

      Liked by 1 person

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