And so we come to the final POTW of 2017. *epic music plays* . And we begin. Networking 101 by C. Lee McKenzie . I love this advic...

And so we come to the final POTW of 2017. *epic music plays*.

And we begin.

Networking 101 by C. Lee McKenzie. I love this advice! Considering how quiet and awkward I can be, haha, looking at it from these perspectives really helps.

The Three Rules for Creating Art that Matters by Mrs. Stephanie Morrill. This post is just… so honest and inspiring. A brilliant reminder of the most important things we all should do in writing, in art, and in life.

The Shadowy Road Not Taken by Mrs. Erika Beebe. Not a blog I frequent, but I stumbled across while replying to comments on Verbosity, and I really love the way she closes out her year. The quotes, the poems, the lessons, I think there’s something we can all pull from it.

Eight Reasons Why I Celebrate Christmas by Priscilla Krahn. This one was shared on a friend’s Facebook account, and I found it really fascinating. It’s a great reminder, not only of the Reason for the Season, but of what Christians' lives should start to look like when we begin to actually apply who He is.

If You Are Considering Suicide, There Is Hope by Eliza Downer. A harder hitting one, but an important reminder of the hope we have available to us.

18 Ways to Make Christmas More Meaningful by Rebekah B. So, Christmas is over. But many of these are things we could do all-year round anyway, and for the ones that aren’t, well, I’m keeping them as a reminder for next year. 😊

Robots 101 by Victoria @ Wanderer’s Pen. Super fun post about writing robots! There are awesome tips to remember if you’ve got any automatons in your story, plus the fandoms I recognized. *heart-eyes* I only realized with this post how much I love my robots, lol, but I really love them.

World-Building: Setting for all Genres by Diana Peach. Stumbled across this one via a favorite author’s blog. It’s really informative, and I plan to go back and read it when I’m editing my novel again. Setting’s something I’ve never been able to do well, but I think approaching it this way will really help!

‘Tis the Season of Rereading: How to choose what to reread (ft. a handy flowchart) by Shar. I don’t normally reread, but this is a really helpful post. She goes into some of the actual reasons why one would reread, and the flowchart really is handy. If you’re trying to figure out which of your books to read again, definitely check out this post!

Minutes at a Time by Julian Daventry. This is such a great reminder and something I have definitely had to learn at certain stages of my life: just because you don’t have an hour to do that task doesn't mean you shouldn’t do anything at all. Do whatever little bit you can and watch those little things add up. 😊

Character 101 by Skye. These tips are so on point. Some of the best advice for characters all compiled into a single post: the most important thing really is treating them like humans.

Always Be Honest Even If {When} It Hurts by Keturah. An examination on the contradictions that arise with lying and love, this post is profound and thought-provoking. I love how she explains her conclusion; it definitely makes you have to consider it.

How I Started Writing Again by Grace. In which she shares 8 tips for how she pulled herself out of her writing slump. If you’re in one of your own, definitely check this post out! It might be just what you need to climb out. 😊

50 oddly specific OH MY GOODNESS NO bookworm moments by Noor. These are too relatable! I literally spent this entire post nodding and giggling. The gifs, the pics, all of it is perfect.

Slow Down this Christmas by Moriah Simonwich. Again, so, Christmas is over. But it’s never too late to take a breath, enjoy the silence, and thank Jesus for His arrival.

More Than Modest: Respect by Keturah. Don’t worry, lol, this is not your classic list of rules and standards. This is an honest and poetic outpouring of truth that leads us all to make our own decisions in the end. And I think that form of expression is one of the most important things in this world.

10 Reasons Why Bookworms Panic at the End of the Year by Cait. Everything… is so… on point. Especially the one about forgetting what books are about. Literally, this is why I write reviews. Because I can never remember unless it’s like Percy Jackson or Star Wars or Lunar Chronicles or something super epic that I’ll love forever. I kid you not, I’m really bad at remembering these things. :p

Dead Things Are Beautiful, Too by Victoria Jackson. This is absolutely beautiful. I love how she took this snapshot of life and put the reader directly into every second.

Learning from Wonder Woman by Sam @ Onions, Lemons, and Apples. In which she pulls 4 awesome writing tips from this awesome movie. My personal favorite is number 1 about the secondary characters, but all the tips are great.

Introducing… Our New YouTube Coordinator by Rebellious Writing. Within this post, Keturah does an incredible guest post on the reasons why she reads and writes. It’s short but brilliant, and I 100% agree

Back to the Future by Talya. A really interesting post about time… and how awesome it is that we have a God who’s outside of it.

Writing Exercise #21: Winning in 2017 by Mrs. Shannon Dittemore. If you’re feeling like this week, this month, this year, you didn’t get done all the things you wanted to get done and now you’re panicking because only hours remain in 2017, just read this post and take her advice. It’s perfect and soothing and reminds you that you are not a failure. There’s so much you have already completed, and THAT IS AMAZING, and there is a ton more you can still do in 2018. 😊

My Dream Reading Space by Victoria @ Wanderer’s Pen. Best. Reading. Space. Ever. The end.

And that is it for 2017! It’s been an amazing year in the blogosphere, and I thank you all so much for making it that way. For making this a lovely, wonderful, kind, encouraging space where we can all get together to talk and think and read and write and learn. I love you guys. I love being here. I love reading and sharing your posts, and having you read and share mine. Thank you so much for reading, and I will see you next year!

P.S. For my blogoversary next week, I’m going to do a Q&A, so if you have any questions for me, put them in the comment section or send them using my Contact Me! page. I’ll be sure to answer them next week. :)

So, for the first time ever, haha, I am doing a book haul! This is my Holiday Reading Haul, all the books I want to get to over the next 2 ...

So, for the first time ever, haha, I am doing a book haul! This is my Holiday Reading Haul, all the books I want to get to over the next 2 ½ weeks while I’m on break from school. 😊

Yeah, I know. I’m a little crazy. :p

A few of these are from my family’s personal collection, but most are from the library I work at (all the ones with the stickers on the spine). I also want to read The Girl from Everywhere, which Skye recommended and I bought on my kindle… I don’t even know how long ago. :p I’m not under any delusions that I’ll actually finish all of these, but, as I am both overly ambitious and mildly insane, I hope to at least make a dent in the pile.

For those titles you can’t see very well, Princess Ben by Catherine Gilbert Murdock is on top, The Nest by Kenneth Oppel and Between the Lines by Jody Picoult and Samantha van Leer are on the bottom right, and A List of Cages by Robin Roe and Girls Like Me by Lola St. Vil are on the middle left side. I’m about halfway through Princess Ben and so far, I absolutely love it. 😊

What do you plan to do on your break? Any book recs to share? (because I’m not drowning in these at all, mm-mm, not me). Haha, hope you all have a lovely Christmas, and I’ll see you at the end of December for 2017's final Posts of the Week compilation!

PS: I didn’t do a really Christmasy post this year, but last year, I did one on the true meaning of the Christmas spirit. If you’re a little out of holiday jollity this year, just not feeling it with the lights and the music and traditions, etc., please check out the post. I do hope it will refresh you. :)

So, honestly, I have entirely too many Christmas songs I want to share with all of you. :p I just can’t pick one! I love Just a Girl becaus...

So, honestly, I have entirely too many Christmas songs I want to share with all of you. :p I just can’t pick one! I love Just a Girl because of how deeply it goes into the real parts of the Christmas story and the unique perspective it uses to make something new out of something we all think we know. I love Grown-Up Christmas List because it’s gorgeous and it reminds us of other important things we need to wish for and fight for, not just during Christmas but all throughout the year. And I love Christmas Eve -- Sarajevo because EPIC MUSIC plus CHRISTMAS MUSIC. I didn’t know that was a thing, but now that I do, I absolutely love it.

So, instead of picking one song, I created a playlist on YouTube, cleverly titled “Christmas” and linked to it below. I plan to add more over the next couple of days, and I hope you all enjoy listening to them throughout the rest of the Christmas season (and beyond if you want. There’s no time limit on Christmas). To you and yours, have a wonderfully merry Christmas and happy holiday season. 😊

So, what’s your favorite Christmas song? (or your top five, if you’re indecisive like me, haha). Do you have any recommendations for a better playlist title? Lol, hope you enjoyed, and I will see you in the comment section!

Falling Snow Snippets by Skye . Beautiful little pieces from her contest story! I got to critique the whole thing, and I’m telling you, it...

Falling Snow Snippets by Skye. Beautiful little pieces from her contest story! I got to critique the whole thing, and I’m telling you, it is excellent.

Character Karaoke, also by Skye. Because MUSIC. Some of it HAUNTING MUSIC (which I may or may not have had on replay since I listened to it). Also, there's some more about her story, which, as aforementioned, is really pretty amazing. :)

December’s Featured Follower--Donna Galanti. This is a feature over on C. Lee McKenzie’s blog, and this month, the featured author, Mrs. Galanti, wrote a lovely post about rediscovering childhood wonder. It was beautiful. :)

Introducing Half Mystic journal’s issue IV: Grazioso by Topaz. This post alone is lovely; how gorgeous must the journal be? Honestly, I’m going to reread this post every now and again, just to remind myself of beauty in the world

That’s it for this week! Lately, I haven’t been able to read as many blogs as I would like to, but NOW THAT I’M FINALLY DONE WITH SCHOOL FOR THE SEMESTER (i’m mildly excited, can you tell?), I’ll hopefully be doing a lot more blog reading and (hopefully!) be able to do a pretty epic POTW for the end of the year. Leave your link below, and I’ll make sure to drop by your blog before the next one goes up. :D

Hope you all enjoyed the posts! And I’ll see you in the comment section. :)

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

Because there’s no way you’ve read enough NaNo recaps already. πŸ˜‰

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 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. :)

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!

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