I first heard this song last year at Winter Jam and I’ve returned to it many times since. In a way, it’s starting to become an anthem for m...

Melodic Mondays: What You Want by Tenth Avenue North

I first heard this song last year at Winter Jam and I’ve returned to it many times since. In a way, it’s starting to become an anthem for me.

I’m the sort of person who has a daily plan and wants desperately to stick to it. Who wants to know exactly what all of the next steps are, do them in a pretty, perfect order, and have a pretty, perfect result. I plan my days down to the minute--and they very rarely go the way I intend. But what I’ve been learning lately is that God’s plan is always best. I mean, sure, scheduling isn’t wrong at all, in fact it’s a great way to make sure you use your time productively. However, after I’ve made my productive schedule, I have to release those plans and that day to God and let Him direct it in the way that is best. Sometimes, that means things do go almost exactly the way I wanted them to. Sometimes, it means things go awry but the day turns out even better than I hoped. Sometimes, it means I have to sacrifice something I really wanted to do in order to make someone else’s day. But as they say in the song, “there is freedom in this surrender,” in knowing that I can trust Him, in knowing that He’s arranging my days precisely in His perfect order. And, in truth, my heart is being changed to want just what He wants. I’m not even close to releasing my daily schedule easily, haha, but I can certainly see where I’m more willing to let go and to be guided into His daily will.

We’ll talk some more about this in a bigger sense on Thursday, but for now, what songs are on your playlist? Anything God’s been leading you to lately? Do you schedule your days or are you already at just letting them go as they will? Can’t wait to hear from you, and I will see you in the comment section!


This weekend, instead of a Posts of the Week, I'm sharing something a little different: the wonderful C. Lee McKenzie, (author of my lov...

Guest Post: A Writer's Afternoon by C. Lee McKenzie

This weekend, instead of a Posts of the Week, I'm sharing something a little different: the wonderful C. Lee McKenzie, (author of my love, Double Negative) is here to talk about her latest project, Some Very Messy Medieval Magic.*
***
Well, Alexa, here I am again in your beautiful space. Thanks for helping me get the word out about my next book. I so appreciate bloggers who support writers like me.
*

So, based off of Monday’s video, a cover of “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman , I decided to do a post on my own million (writin...

A Million Writing Dreams

So, based off of Monday’s video, a cover of “A Million Dreams” from The Greatest Showman, I decided to do a post on my own million (writing) dreams: a list of things that I haven’t seen often, things I see a ton but can’t get enough of, and the things I hope to someday write about.

Original Photo from Pixabay

Good Christians, who are reasonable and kind, who actively follow Christ’s example and genuinely touch the hearts of people around them.

Portraits of a quieter, small-town life—that not everyone is dying to get away from.

Teenagers who have GOT HEADS ON THEIR SHOULDERS; their problems are mostly the unavoidable ones that come with growing up, not the easily avoidable ones they bring on themselves.

Teenagers who do make stupid mistakes, turn around immediately, and do everything in their power to make it right.

Personalities that SHINE above everything else.

Darkness that bursts with hope just when you least expect it.

ALL THE REDEMEPTION STORIES.

Acknowledgement of the damage of sin and the healing that only Jesus can bring.

Adorable teen couples who are smart and perfect and act like they’ve known each other for 50 million years. They genuinely strive to love each other, encourage each other, and drive each other forward; they realize love is an action and they aren’t just all about the feels.

Starry settings and sweeping landscapes that simply take your breath away.

Purity in love.

CHRISTIAN POP CULTURE REFERENCES

Charries with mental issues (anxiety, autism, OCD, etc.) still KICKING BUTT in fantasy stories (possibly literally but could be in other ways as well)!

A little less corruption, please.

Logic in love. And sass, but not rude sass. The cute, funny sass.

All the epic fantasies with righteous, noble rulers, who genuinely do their best with their kingdoms and are also very epic in battle. Talking Lord-of-the-Rings epic, here.

Stories that are “cheesy” because they don’t shy away from real darkness or from the unfathomable peace in the midst of sorrow that faith in Christ can bring.

I want to write stories that show the unity in diversity and prove that there can be diversity in our unity. Stories that say we shouldn’t lay down our core beliefs, but that we can also love and listen first. Stories that say those utopian, idyllic visions of life aren’t cheesy or worthless; they’re impossible, yes, because we’re still human, but why should that keep us from striving towards them?

I want to write characters who are “flat,” because they’re good; or “uninteresting” because they’re pure; or “lacking in complexity,” because they don’t have quite so many gray areas. I want to be able to show the truth for what it is; not that gray characters are a bad thing (I love my Lokis, you guys), but that characters aren’t automatically bad if they’re not gray. I’d like to write and read people who are actually really good or even actually really bad; I think that line is often a little too blurred. Some readers seem to think that genuine good characters are “unrealistic,” and that’s just not a great state of affairs.

I want to remind of the simple things, the beautiful things, the complex things, and the places where the light is. I want people to leave knowing that good will triumph in the end, no matter how dark or difficult it gets, and that there is always a reason for the things that we go through, because in Christ, there is always hope.

***
I’m not sure that was exactly a million, but here’s a portion, I suppose, of all my writing dreams. 😊 Hope you enjoyed!

What do you want to write about or dream to see a little more of? Have you found a favorite book that encompasses all of your favorite things? TELL ME YOUR SECRETS. Haha, I can’t wait to hear from you, and I will see you in the comment section.

And y’all probably thought I was done talking about The Greatest Showman. This song is one of my favorites in the original musical, a...

Melodic Mondays: A Million Dreams cover by Alex Boyé

And y’all probably thought I was done talking about The Greatest Showman.

This song is one of my favorites in the original musical, and I absolutely adore their rendition! Just the beauty and color and joy and pure talent, man, the talent in this video. They just take the original song and shape it into something that steal your heart and makes you soar away, like your dreams of the world are really getting ready to come true. Can’t help but love it.

Have you seen any sweeping music videos lately that just took your breath away? Are you over The Greatest Showman yet? Lol. Can’t wait to hear from you, and I’ll see you in the comment section!

I AM FINISHED WITH SCHOOL FOR THE SEMESTER! CELEBRATE WITH ME! Finals are finally finished, so I can spend the next two weeks (until the su...

Posts of the Week: 5.5.18 Edition: Books and Blogging AND FINISHING THINGS

I AM FINISHED WITH SCHOOL FOR THE SEMESTER! CELEBRATE WITH ME! Finals are finally finished, so I can spend the next two weeks (until the summer semester) reading, writing, and blogging. Also, working. Probably mostly working. But that’s at a library, so it is okay. :)

On to the posts!

My Blogging Strategy by Keturah. In which she shares her secrets for world domination! Oh wait, sorry, no, this is how she keeps her blog on a schedule. My bad. Anyways, she does share some great tips in this post, so if you’re struggling with keeping your blog on task (like moi), you should check it out. :)

Five Books I Related To by Shanti. I love her descriptions of these books! They’re so simple and genuine, like they came straight from her heart.

Discussion: Do I Rate Books Based on Genre? by Shar. A really interesting posts about reading preferences and biases. Give it a read, and then chat with her (and me!) about your favorite genres and the different ways you rate books. :)

***
Well, that’s all for this week! Do you have a blogging strategy that keeps you on schedule? (please tell me your secrets). What are some books you relate to or your favorite genre? Can’t wait to hear from you, and I will see you in the comment section!


Hey, all! Would you look at this, three posts from me in a week, haha. Today, I am welcoming the wonderful C. Lee McKenzie to the blog to s...

Why You Should Try Writing for a Themed Anthology: Guest Post by C. Lee McKenzie

Hey, all! Would you look at this, three posts from me in a week, haha. Today, I am welcoming the wonderful C. Lee McKenzie to the blog to share about the awesome new anthology she is a part of called Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime.
***
Hi Alexa,

Thanks for sharing news about Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime on your blog today.


Why is it a good idea to submit a short story to one of these themed anthologies? In my opinion there are several:

  • If you're an unpublished author, this is a great opportunity to be in print and have credits to put on your bio. 
  • If you'd like to try out a different writing style or switch from your usual category, this is the perfect time.
  • If you've written novels and want a change, the short story gives you that opportunity.
  • If you love to write short stories, here's a chance to perfect this genre. 
  • If you've never written to a theme with the idea of putting your unique spin on it in a prescribed number of words (an excellent writing exercise), here's your chance. You'll learn a lot.
  • If you're interested in expanding your author network, the anthology will put you in touch with other writers.
  • If you're a seasoned book promoter you get to use your experience, but with support of other authors. 
  • If you're not familiar with book promotion, here's a chance to learn from those with more experience.
  • This will be my fourth themed anthology. With each one, I've learned something new about writing, publishing, and promoting, so I'm kind of a cheerleader.  I think readers will find this one has some excellent stories.
***
Tick Tock: A Stitch in Crime
An Insecure Writer’s Support Group Anthology

The clock is ticking...

Can a dead child’s cross-stitch pendant find a missing nun? Is revenge possible in just 48 minutes? Can a killer be stopped before the rescuers are engulfed by a city ablaze? Who killed what the tide brought in? Can a soliloquizing gumshoe stay out of jail?

Exploring the facets of time, eleven authors delve into mysteries and crimes that linger in both dark corners and plain sight. Featuring the talents of Gwen Gardner, Rebecca M. Douglass, Tara Tyler, S. R. Betler, C.D. Gallant-King, Jemi Fraser, J. R. Ferguson, Yolanda Renée, C. Lee McKenzie, Christine Clemetson, and Mary Aalgaard.

Hand-picked by a panel of agents and authors, these eleven tales will take you on a thrilling ride into jeopardy and secrecy. Trail along, find the clues, and stay out of danger. Time is wasting...

$14.95 USA, 6x9 Trade paperback, 204 pages, Freedom Fox Press
Mystery & Detective (FIC022000) / Crime (FIC050000) / Thrillers (FIC031000)
Print ISBN 9781939844545 eBook ISBN 9781939844552
$4.99 EBook available in all formats

Reviews:
“Each story is fast paced, grabbing the reader from the beginning.”
- Readers' Favorite, 5 stars

“I thoroughly enjoyed this collection of thought-provoking crime stories.” - Denise Covey, author

Founded by author Alex J. Cavanaugh, the Insecure Writer’s Support Group offers support for writers and authors alike. It provides an online database, articles and tips, a monthly blog posting, a Facebook and Instagram group, Twitter, and a monthly newsletter. www.insecurewriterssupportgroup.com

Tick Tock links:

Thanks again for hosting us, Alexa.

Lee
***
No problem! Thank you so much for coming!

So, have you ever written for a themed anthology? Ever read one? Have a favorite? Can’t wait to hear from you, and thanks so much for coming, C. Lee!


Oh. My. Goodness. This movie ! It was beyond incredible, and it’s because it has everything : moments of hilarity and moments of gr...

Movie Review: Black Panther



Oh. My. Goodness. This movie! It was beyond incredible, and it’s because it has everything: moments of hilarity and moments of gravity; heart-pounding action sequences and heart-breaking emotional scenes; wild car chases through crowded, neon-lit streets, and meditative moments on an African hillside, just two soft voices and the wind in the yellow grass. It felt more realistic and down-to-Earth than most superhero movies; yet at the same time, the sweeping, sci-fi country of Wakanda was like seeing Asgard on Earth. Every section of the Wakandan lives featured Star Wars level advancements, yet they were woven seamlessly into the African jungle and perfectly complemented their culture. It was impossible, it was brilliant, it was beautiful. I don’t know if I’d say it was my favorite superhero movie, but more than many of the others, it was my kind of movie: action-packed but thought-provoking, painful yet hopeful, totally science fiction yet absolutely real.

The best part of all, though, was the characters. There was T’challa, the young ruler: nervous but noble, wise, and caring. Shuri, the princess: brilliant and witty, but surprisingly brave and wonderfully steadfast. Okoyé, the general: powerful, loyal, and shockingly deadpan (the expressions she gave people though). And Nakia, the spy: shrewd, smart, servant-hearted, and zealous about serving the rest of the world. Even the villain was a true character in his own right, a person with a passion that you could almost understand—even though, of course, he went about fulfilling it in completely the wrong way.

All-in-all, Black Panther is an excellent film. If you like action movies, you should see it. If you like sci-fi movies, you should see it. If you like political thrillers, you should see it. Somehow, it manages to be all of the above and weaves it all together into something superb.


Template by Sora Templates. Design by Alexa @ Summer Snowflakes. Button by Mae from Superswankified. Powered by Blogger.