Because there’s no way you’ve read enough NaNo recaps already. 😉 Original Pic from Pixabay Yes, I did NaNoWriMo this year. I kep...

Because there’s no way you’ve read enough NaNo recaps already. 😉


Yes, I did NaNoWriMo this year. I kept it quiet on the blog, because, well, there wasn’t much to talk about. I didn’t have one story I was super excited about and had been planning to work on since September; I just wanted to write something, because I had been editing for so long, I had completely fallen out of the habit of writing new words that weren’t going into a blog post. I wanted to change that, and November came around just in time: I made it my goal to write new not-blog words every single day. Ideally, I would get down some short stories I’d had brimming in my head for approximately ever, but honestly, I just wanted any words. Fanfic, diary entries, random thoughts, whatever. I wrote it all and I counted it all, because I wanted to remember what it felt like to write new words again.

And I did. Every single day in November, even when it was 11 PM and I had a school project to finish and I was so, so tired and I just wanted to go to bed, if I had not put down new words in the past 24 hours, then dang it, I was going to. And so I wrote.

And honestly, I’m really proud of that.

It was hard at the beginning, especially since I’d been out of it for so long; coming up with new ideas was like getting a 20-year-old computer to play a YouTube video: my brain would not load. I didn’t know how to outline, because that’s never been something that worked for me, and the natural flow of pantsing wasn’t coming to me either. I started to worry I’d lost my touch. Did I even know how to come up with these story things anymore? Would I have to spend the rest of my life just editing the ideas I’d already written? Maybe I would never be able to achieve that heart-pounding, wildly exciting, first-draft writing part again… What if… What if…

What if I was writing a historical, and I simply didn’t know enough about the history to supply the story.

So back to the drawing board I went. That story, as much as I love it and want to pursue it, is on the back burner while I study the time around it (pre-American revolution, if anyone’s interested, particularly from the British point of view). I started a new story, this one a fairytale retelling, where I knew enough about the basic fairytale to make up anything I wanted after that.

And that’s when it began to flow again. I was back in my element, writing randomness for the fun of it, coming up with ideas on the fly, learning with my characters as they learned to know themselves, discovering plot twists and new pieces the very second they did. Half the time, I’d have an idea when I sat down to write, only to have them take it a completely different way the moment my fingers touched the keyboard. But with this story, I didn’t care. I was just happy to experience this new novel with them.

I loved it. I love them. The story isn’t over, and I don’t know for sure where it’s going, and it’ll undoubtedly need editing, and I’ll hate it at some point, but for right now, I absolutely love it.

And that feels really good.

All-in-all, I wrote 25,000 words, most of that in one of the above stories, but a couple thousand are in a Harry Potter fanfic and a Thor: Ragnarok one (both of which my sister and I thought up together), and some are random words that I thought were deep at the time and may still be when I go back to read them. Regardless, I wrote. I wrote 25,000 words, 25,000 more than I had in October. I learned that sometimes (not often, but sometimes) the fix is super easy, and you just have to change your perspective. I learned that historicals require a lot of research (newsflash, right?) and I have to come prepared when writing them. I learned that this is one situation where my pantser’s brain has to be reined in; when writing real life, making stuff up is only going to take me so far. I learned that the problem wasn’t me as a writer. I learned I hadn’t lost my touch, but that I just needed practice and a shift in my approach. I learned to accept my own limits and not allow the perfectionism of NEEDING TO REACH 50,000 ruin the joy of reaching half that.

I learned how to write again. And that is the part that I am most excited about. 😊

What did you learn during NaNo this year? If you didn’t do it, tell me about a recent writing accomplishment and drop me a link if you have one! I’d love to hear about all of your endeavors. 😊

P.S.: another writing accomplishment I’m thrilled to spotlight is that one of my favorite contemporary books Double Negative by C. Lee McKenzie is in the running for TCK Publishing’s Reader’s Choice Awards! I got to interview Mrs. McKenzie yesterday on my review blog, and there are some really interesting tidbits, including author insight on the characters and illiteracy in America, if you want to check it out. Also, you can vote for Double Negative here (page 12), until the voting ends in three days on December 10th! Please do support this book; it is an incredible story and absolutely deserves to win. 😊

I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS MOVIE. I saw the trailers... I guess it was a couple of months ago when they first came out, and thought, “Y...

I AM SO EXCITED ABOUT THIS MOVIE.

I saw the trailers... I guess it was a couple of months ago when they first came out, and thought, “Yeah, that looks cool. I’ll see it when it comes out on Netflix.” Then my sister told me to listen to “Rewrite the Stars.” And I mean, it’s Zac Efron and Zendaya doing a song together (just for context, I learned all of the High School Musicaldances when I was a pre-teen and Shake it Up!was my favorite show). So, singing, dancing, and two of my favorite actors from childhood? Had to check it out.

I am absolutely in love with this song, (because it’s Zac Efron and Zendaya), but also because there is sucha story behind it. Like, it’s the sort of song that can tell an entire novel in four minutes, and I can already apply it to so manyideas for characters. I love songs that tell stories, and the star-crossed lovers one is often a particularly beautiful one to me.

What upcoming movies are you excited about? Any childhood favorites taking the spotlight? Haha, can’t wait to hear from you, and I will see you in the comment section!

A Crash Course in Culture by Taylor Bennett . A fun little post, in which she has one of her characters, a native Hawaiian, take over her ...

A Crash Course in Culture by Taylor Bennett. A fun little post, in which she has one of her characters, a native Hawaiian, take over her blog for a little while. If you’re planning on writing about Hawaii, or you're just interested in the culture, this is a really cool post.

What to Do When You’re Afraid Your Book is Preachy from GTW. This post is absolutely brilliant. If you’re writing anything with a message in mind, even if it isn’t Christian, read this.

An Open Letter to the LGBT Community by Faith. So, this is obviously controversial, but I think it’s also important enough that it needs to be shared. It’s exactly the kind of message we Christians need to be giving on this issue, and it’s simply not getting out enough. If you care to comment, though, do keep it civil, because I will delete any rude comments on my blog.

Sweet Saturday Sayings by Moriah Simonowich. All of these are lovely and so encouraging. :)

Why You Need to Step Away from Your Manuscript from GTW. Fantastic tips. I’ve had to do this before with my manuscript and it really does make an amazing difference.

A Prayer for Penang, Malaysia by Talya. Another post from my small group leader as she continues on her World Race journey! Really beautiful, and hope you can pray for and support her. :)

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Hope you all enjoyed the posts! Have you ever written in an uncommon setting (meaning not continental US, haha)? Have you ever had to step away from your manuscript? What’d you do in the meantime? Can’t wait to hear from you, and I will see you in the comment section!

So when I realized my next posting date was going to be right around Thanksgiving, I decided, why not be lazy take advantage of that and fi...

So when I realized my next posting date was going to be right around Thanksgiving, I decided, why not be lazy take advantage of that and find a book tag for it! As it happened, I couldn’t find one that I loved completely, so I mashed up two ideas (which can be found here and here), shifted some things around, and added my own question at the end. Pictures will link either to my reviews or Amazon. 😊

Without further ado, THE TAG.


Mashed Potatoes: A Sassy Romance
The original tag had mashed potatoes as mushy and flat, but I like mashed potatoes. I would describe them as mushy, salty, and delicious, and I would also describe (some) sassy romances that way. So.

I read this book about a year ago, and I still remember how much I loved the nerd jokes, the quotes… and yes, the romance too. Some possible trigger warnings that I mention at the end of my review, but mostly, this book was a lot of fun.

Cranberry Sauce: A Book That Was Bitter to Begin


UGH. These books are actually so good, but the beginning of this one (and really, the entire situation they are in) IS SO ROUGH. The emotions and the hardships kill—somewhat literally.

Mac and Cheese: Book You Can’t Get Enough Of


When I was younger, it was Jude Watson’s Star Wars books. These were so awesome. They held all the spirit of the Star Wars movies, but featured tons of new characters, as well as cameos and reappearances of movie people. They were great.

Green Beans: Healthy Book to Recover from a Reading Hangover
Honestly, I don’t know if I’d call these healthy, but here’s what I’d recommend to get back into various genres:

Contemporary:
 
Also, almost anything by Sarah Dessen would be good for this, my personal favorite being Saint Anything.

Sci-Fi:
 
Because they’re basically the best.
Fantasy:

Also, probably Narnia. I think all these would get me raring for fantasy again, if I ever fell out of enjoying it (like that’ll ever happen 😉 ).

Turkey: Book You’d Serve to All Your Friends
I went over something like this in the last tag I did and I tried to be safe… so this time, I’ll just give ones I wish I could stuff into everyone’s face until they loved it.




Especially Michael Vey. I’m only up to book 4, but it’s a great series and more people need to know about it.

Cornbread: A Book that “Tastes” Delicious, But Crumbles Under Scrutiny


You won’t get far into my early posts without hearing me rave about the Heroes of Olympus series. And rightfully so. I ADORE it, truly I do, and my original review of the last book is full of well-deserved, raving love… but in my opinion, the climax is also a little rushed and the ending doesn’t come together quite as well as it could have. There are just a few plot points I wasn’t quite clear on and there was a lot more I feel like could’ve been done  with the characters and the story. I kinda wish it had unfolded a little more like The Last Olympian did, as far as tying up ends goes.

Still, these aren’t huge issues I have, and like cornbread, I still love it forever.

Pie: A Book Your Life Would Be Incomplete Without




Apart from my earliest influences, these are the ones that REALLY made me love reading, and YA in particular. These would be my biggest and best book memories and influences.

Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade: A Book with Much Hype and Noise… That You’ve Never Read
Because I’ve never actually seen the parade. :p

Anyways, the book would be:


While I like some contemporary, his books just don’t seem to be my type. Much like I’ve seen small sections of the parade, but sitting for however long it takes to watch the entire thing isn’t really my cup of tea. :p

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And there’s my little mashup child of a tag! I’m not going to tag anyone, but if you’d like to do it, totally leave me a link below! I’d love to see your answers. 😊

Quick and utterly unrelated sidenote: my editing service, Aberrant Editing, is running a contest for the best novel tagline, if you guys would like to check that out. We’ve extended the deadline to December 10th, so there’s quite a bit of time left. 😊 Here’s the link to the original rules if you’re interested. 😊

Hope you all had a Happy Thanksgiving!


So, this is what I’ve been listening to pretty much everyday for the past couple of weeks. It’s all so lovely and calming and sever...

So, this is what I’ve been listening to pretty much everyday for the past couple of weeks.


It’s all so lovely and calming and several of the pieces are absolutely magnificent. I especially love Hope by Dyathon, starting at 56:09. It’s so simple, but the bittersweet emotions woven through it get me everytime. The whole mix is just gorgeous, splendid for studying, writing, whatever you really need, and currently (until the next song I hear and love, as is the way in my relationship with music) it is my new favorite thing. :)

So what have you been listening to lately? If you have a NaNo playlist, share it below! Can’t wait to hear from you all, and I’ll see you in the comment section.

In the Pages of a Dream Journal by Mariella Hunt . Some intriguing thoughts about dreams and the effects of recording them. :) Waiting...

In the Pages of a Dream Journal by Mariella Hunt. Some intriguing thoughts about dreams and the effects of recording them. :)

Waiting on the Lord by Faith. An oldie, but a goodie. Absolutely relatable and wonderful.

Word of the Week: Romance by Roseanna White. I just found this really interesting: it’s on the origin of the word "romance," which had quite a bit more to it than I originally thought.

Beautiful Books 2017: How’s the Writing Going? Silhouette by Victoria. HER NANO NOVEL SOUNDS SO UNIQUE, OKAY. CHECK IT OUT. I AM FASCINATED.

Blog Tour: There Was Always Laughter by Sarah Holman. As a fellow Christian homeschool graduate, this book sounds so good to me! I think these are stories me and my siblings would absolutely relate to, haha

I don’t have an answer by Taylor Bennett. I relate to this post so much, even now, after almost a year in college. I don’t have the answers for what my life’s gonna be. But I know God does and, together, we’ll rest in that. :)

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So, what did you think of the posts? Do you keep a dream journal? How's your NaNo novel going? Can't wait to hear from you all, and I'll see you in the comment section!


A couple weeks ago, I was reading a post by a blogger I don’t know very well and she was talking about a difficult time going on in her lif...

A couple weeks ago, I was reading a post by a blogger I don’t know very well and she was talking about a difficult time going on in her life. When I got to the end, I was about to comment “I’m praying for you”—but just before I hit “publish,” I stopped. It occurred to me that I say that often, on Facebook, in blog comments, wherever it seems appropriate, that “I’m praying for you,” even if I don’t know the person very well, sometimes even if it’s our first interaction.

It simultaneously occurred to me that that was a little weird. After all, I didn’t really know her. This was maybe the third or fourth time I’d commented on one of her posts. Suddenly, something about praying for her seemed too close, too personal. I didn’t know her like that, to comment on her blog for one of the first times and say that I was praying for her and her situation.

I hesitated, wondering if I ought to post the comment after all, or perhaps just skitter away to the next blog post and pray for her in the privacy of my own thoughts. But I was going to pray, I realized, regardless of whether or not I told her, and I figured, we're family in Christ, right? This is what we're supposed to do, and it might help her to know that somebody really cared. So I went ahead and made the comment; I told her “I’m praying for you.”

I don't tell this story to sound like a “good Christian,” and I don’t know if anyone else has ever felt this way; I just know that that these are the thoughts that occurred to me, forcing me to linger several extra minutes before I could bring myself to make the comment. And in the days after, the incident got me thinking, forcing me to consider, until I figured out why I want to be comfortable telling others I'm praying for them, why I say it so often, and why I always mean it.

Original Photo from Pixabay

It’s pretty straightforward actually: for the simple reason that we are family in Christ. And that makes us close enough. I don’t have to know all of your problems to know that we share a God and that, because of this, I want to support you in the midst of whatever you’re going through. You don’t have to tell me everything that’s going on (in many cases, it might even be better you don’t), but I promise I will still pray about it. Because we are family in Christ, you are a part of me and I am a part of you (1st Corinthians 12:12-14, 25-27. Galatians 3:26-29. Ephesians 4:15-16. John 17:20-23). You are important to me. Whoever you are and whatever you’re going through, you matter to Christ and you matter to me.

So, yes, I will pray for you.

And if you’re not a believer in Christ, does this exclude you? Absolutely not. See, I believe all people matter to Him, matter enough that He died for you and for me, before we were even born, knowing that we would start our lives in sin (Romans 5:6-11), knowing that we would spend much of our time rejecting Him, through our actions if not our words, knowing how we would hate Him and ignore Him and smear His very name. But He did it anyway, because He loves us, because He is love, because we are His creation, because all of us are important to Him. My God is love to all creation, and you, dear one, are a part of that. You are important to me. Whoever you are and whatever you’re going through, you matter to Christ and you matter to me.

So, yes, I will pray for you, too.

That said, I’d like to end this post by asking: is there anything I can pray for you today? You don’t have to tell me all the details, you can private message me if you need to, or you can just comment saying you’d like prayer, and I will gladly hop on that. You matter to Christ and you matter to me, and He loves to hear people call His name, to obey His command to pray, to hand their problems over to Him, and trust Him to handle the worst of it. It’s a way we can come together, in trust and in love, growing closer to Him and to each other.

Regardless of whether you comment or not, know that I’m praying. Know that I care. Know that you matter. To Christ and to me.

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