Saturday, October 21, 2017

NANOWRIMO 2017 // About My Novels


So there's only 10 more days until NaNo?!?! How did that happen? Who's excited? :D I am! I can't wait until it starts like COULD IT JUST START NOW? XD

No? Well, in the meantime, I'll just tell you about the novels I'm going to be writing for NaNoWriMo. Look at me, being willing to tell you about novels I know nothing about. :P You may think I'm kidding, but I haven't done as much outlining as I would have liked to by now. But I know enough to get me started. . . I think.

I even made a collage for two of them! Please don't set your expectations too high, because I'm not very artsy. And they're really to help give you a better idea of what the novel is about, anyway. So. . . bare with me here.


Progeny

Genre: Christian/Young Adult

So if you've been following me for awhile now, more than likely, you've heard me talk about my novel Strangers. And if you've read my writings page, then you know that Strangers is the first book of a series.
Progeny, is the second book. And I can't really tell you much about this one because SPOILERS. XD Not necessarily for this one, but more for Strangers. I will say though, that in Progeny, Lacey has amnesia. *gasp* But I'm not telling you anymore than that. *evil laugh*

Storyboard on Pinterest- I just started it recently so there's not much on there except for a few characters. :P     


Lowlife

Genre: Contemporary/Adult Fiction

Derek is all alone. His parents died four years ago, and his only living family was an uncle who can't even support himself, much less him. A man took him in and taught him to fight, and now Derek is forced to participate in illegal fights to pay off his parents' debt.
One day, Derek meets Eliora (nicknamed "Ellie"), a naive girl who just moved into the area, and he can't seem to get rid of her.

That's pretty much all I have right now. Here's the collage I made for it:



Note: I can't take credit for this title because one of my friends actually came up with it for me. Whenever I'm struggling to come up with a title, which feels like it's every novel, I go to them for help. I also bounce title ideas off them, and they're always extremely helpful. You all should have a friend like this. :)


The War Between Us

Genre: Fantasy

Amaia has always been told to stay away from the people in the forest, but never knew why. One day, she comes across one of them and he's hurt. Unable to just let him die, she helps him. To show his gratitude, he offers to show her his world, but only if she promises not to tell anyone. Amaia agrees, and all too soon, she finds herself caught in the middle of a war.

This is going to be my first time trying to write fantasy, so I'm excited and also interested in how it will turn out. :) Here's the collage I made for this novel:


Storyboard on Pinterest



And there you have it. The three novels I'm going to write for NaNoWriMo. :) On a side note, today happens to be the exact day I decided to do NaNo last year. :D

So what about you? Are you doing NaNoWriMo? What are you writing for NaNo? Which one of my novels is your favorite?

Sunday, October 15, 2017

The Bookish Tag


Hey, everyone! Yes, I know I didn't post last week, but that's because I've been super busy this month. Also, the reason I'm doing a tag this week. (And no, I haven't changed my posting day to Sunday. It's still Saturday, I just took a little longer than I expected to get this post ready. :P) I would like to thank Faith and Libby May for tagging me! :D
 

The Bookish Tag Rules
 
-You must be honest
-You must answer every question
-You must tag at least 4 people

Questions

1. What book has been on your shelf the longest?

Well, this is a pretty easy question, because what you all don't know, is for the first 18 years of my life, I only had one book. . . Just kidding. Umm, no, this is actually kinda hard. :P I want to say it's one of my Bibles (I'm not a hundred percent sure though).

2. What is your current read, your last read, and the book you'll read next?

Haha, current read? Um, yeah, I've started like 8 books, and most of them have been waiting awhile to be finished. :P I think I may be in a reading slump so I just started reading Dare by Tricia Mingerink again in hopes that it will help pull me out of it.
My last read was Rose of the Night by Hope Ann.
And my next read is. . . I don't really know. I'll either finish one of the books I've already started, or I'll read Structuring Your Novel by K.M. Weiland.

3. What book did everyone like, but you hated?

Maybe the Divergent series? I don't necessarily hate it, but I didn't like it as much as everyone else seemed to. I really liked the first book, but that was about it. The second two were just kinda meh.

4. What book do you keep telling yourself you'll read, but you probably won't?

All the books I own that I have not read yet. Just kidding. Hey, I said I was kidding calm down, guys! I actually don't think I have an answer for this. I plan on reading all the books I tell myself I'm going to read.

5. What book are you saving for retirement?

All the ones I don't read before then.  . . . What? I don't have specific books set aside for retirement. Who thinks about that anyway?

"These three I'll read tomorrow. This one I'll save for retirement. Ohh, I'll read these five tomorrow too. But I'm gonna save this stack for retirement. Tomorrow. Retirement. Tomorrow. Retirement."

6. Last page: read it first, or wait 'til the end?

Okay, so I've been known to take a look at the last page if I'm really enjoying the book, but I've kinda stopped because they have a tendency to not be very helpful to me. :P

7. Acknowledgement: waste of paper and ink, or interesting aside?

It can be pretty interesting. I actually don't think it's a waste of paper and ink because I like reading them, especially if it's an author I've never read before.

8. Which book character would you switch places with?

Oh, wow, this has got to be the hardest question in this tag. I feel I may get some strange looks when I say this, but I'm gonna say it anyway. I would switch places with Renna Faythe from the Blades of Acktar by Tricia Mingerink.

9. Do you have a book that reminds you of something specific in your life? (Places, time, person?)

Not really. But I do have books that I bought because one of my friends on Goodreads recommends it. So whenever I see one of the books, it makes me think of the person who recommended it. Is that weird? Because I basically just said that some of my books remind me of bloggers. . .

10. Name a book that you acquired in an interesting way.

Can't. That's classified information. Just kidding. Hm, that's a hard one. I do have books that I saw on one of our shelves and I was like "This is mine now" and then put it on my own shelf. That's about as interesting as it gets. I mean, what counts as interesting?

"Now this book, I got stabbed in the foot trying to get this one. And this one here, was thrown at me."

11. Have you ever given a book away for a special reason to a special person?

I don't think so? Is that bad? I mean, I've thought about it, I just. . . haven't. . . done it. . . yet.

12. Which book has been with you most places?

My Bible, for sure. :D

13. Any "required reading" you hated in high school that wasn't so bad later?

Well, I graduated high school two years ago, so if I hated it then, I have yet to give it another try. There are some books that I was required to read that I'll probably never read again. :P

14. Used or brand new?

I prefer brand new, but I usually get used books in really good condition.

15. Have you ever read a Dan Brown book?

I've actually started one. It's one of the books that's still waiting to be finished. :P

16. Have you ever seen a movie you liked more than the book?

Um, I would probably have to say Tuck Everlasting. I liked the book, but I wasn't a huge fan. This is really the only one because I like always like the book more than the movie.

17. Have you ever read a book that's made you hungry, cookbooks included?

Well, of course, cookbooks make me hungry, I mean, it's food! But I don't exactly read those for fun? Mostly because I find them kind of repetitive. :P So I'd probably have to say Hope Was Here by Joan Bauer.

18. Who is the person whose book advice you'll always take?

Well, I'm not going to include my family. Besides, their book advice can sometimes be. . . questionable. :P

I'd say the person whose book advice I'll always take is Jonathan. :)

19. Is there a book out of your comfort zone (e.g. outside your usual reading genre) that you ended up loving?

Oh, that would definitely be the Blades of Acktar series. All my friends on Goodreads were really excited for the last book, Deliver, to come out. I read their reviews for the other books in the series and decided to give it a try. Now, they are some of my all time favorite books! :D

I tag


As always, please don't feel like you have to do this. If I tagged you, and you don't want to do it, that's fine. And if I didn't tag you and you would love to do this tag, consider yourself tagged! :D


What about you? Which book character would you want to switch places with? Do you have a book that you acquired in an interesting way?

Sunday, October 1, 2017

ONE MONTH LEFT! // 5 Things To Do


Guys guys guys! There is only ONE MORE MONTH UNTIL NANOWRIMO!! XD Like, how are we so close I'm not ready!

But I will be. . . hopefully. :P Although I still have a lot to do, I think I've got myself pretty organized for this month. Just yesterday, I bought a dry erase board (because apparently, these things are helping other writers?). I drew up the month of October and figured out what I'm going to do, in the writing department, each day. I already feel better about this month. :)

So I, myself, have five things to do before November, and I figured I'd share them with you all. :)


1. Outline

Yes, I still have to outline. I'm going to be writing three novels, possible four, for NaNo. Right now, I only have a few notes for each of them, and I've started making Pinterest boards for them too. I don't even have characters yet, except for one, and that's only because it's a sequel. :P But I'm not going to do what I did last year, and not even start outlining until two week before NaNo. There was a good reason though, and that was because it wasn't until two weeks before NaNo that I decided that I was going to do it. :P

You may be wondering why I'm writing three novels for NaNo, so I'll tell you. Last year, I didn't think I would make the 50k, especially since it was my first year/time doing something like that. But I finished the novel I had outlined by the 14th, and then had to find other novels to write. My final word count total was 105,501. This year my goal is 150,000 so I'm trying to make sure that I have enough novels outlined. It's also helpful because if one is giving me a hard time, I can switch to another one and keep my word count going up.


2. Playlists

You probably already know that I'm one of those writers who listens to music while I write. So I need to make playlists. Trust me, you don't want to in the middle of NaNo trying to make a playlist or figuring out what you're going to listen to. It takes time, time you could be using to write. So if you're a writer who maybe needs music to write, I highly suggest making playlists before November. I have an idea of how I'm going to create playlists, I just need to do it now. :P

Also, I'm now on Spotify! :D


3. Caffeine

In case you didn't know, I loove coffee. ;P And I need to make sure that I am all stocked up for November. Creamer too. Why? Because I don't plan on sleeping. Sleep is for the weak. Just kidding, I'll be sleeping. :P But anyway, if you have something that you drink or eat while writing, I suggest stocking up so that you don't have to make a run to the store in the middle of the month. Because if you are behind on your word count, then having to go to the store is just going to waste the time you could spend writing your novel.


4. Word Sprints/Wars

Between now and November, I am going to be doing word sprints, and hopefully word wars too. I want to practice writing large amounts at a time, and limber up my fingers for NaNo. It wouldn't be a bad thing to do if you want to practice too. Or you could be like me and practice writing a whole novel in a month. :P Yup, that's right. I have to write 41,500 words of Strangers this month before I can give it to my alpha readers in November. (Don't worry, my alpha readers aren't doing NaNoWriMo so it's not going to cause any problems.)

So I encourage all of you to do word sprints every now and then. I'm actually looking for someone, or multiple people, who would like to do word wars with me this month (and possibly in November too), so if you're interested let me know! :)


5. Panic

Hahaha! Yeah, I added this one partly because five is a nice number. :P But to be honest, it's not necessarily a bad thing to add to this. May as well get it out of my system. Besides, I plan on having this one done by the 15th. After that, I am not allowed to panic. The two weeks before NaNo starts I want to spend getting myself hyped and excited for November, not panicking.


So those are the five things I'm doing this month. At some point, I'm thinking I'll do a post on the novels I'll be writing for NaNoWriMo this month. You guys don't know anything about them yet, and I'm kind of excited to share them with you. :)


So what about you? What do you have to do this month to get ready for NaNoWriMo?

Saturday, September 23, 2017

The Two Voices


So, today I am going to share with you all a little about writing first drafts. No, not my process or how I go about it or anything like that. 

I think that all writers probably have two voices in their head. The first one is that voice that's just done with everything, like why do I even write? And the second is the voice that still cares and wants to do well, and loves writing and everything about.

You're all pretty familiar with these voices right? I know I am. :P I've thought of some pretty ridiculous stuff while writing, and it was basically because these to voices kept arguing. So I decided to use these two voices to show you what it's like for me sometimes when I write first drafts. I promise I'm not insane. :P



*looks at clock* Okay, it's time to write. Today we're going to write sooo much. An absurd amount of words. So many that it shouldn't even be humanly possible. I can just see-

Do we have to? We wrote just yesterday.

Yes. Yes, we do. In order for this book to be published, there kinda has to be book first. And no, we didn't write yesterday. That was two days ago. Now sit down.

*thinks about not doing as they were told*

*narrows eyes* Resistance is futile. *points to chair* Sit.

Fiiine. I'll try to write something decent today. *plops in chair*

Good good. That's a good little human being. Now yesterday we left them-

Yeah yeah. I remember. *begins typing*


Two minutes later. . .


*stops typing and looks up* You know how hard it is to write about a group of friends when you don't have any?

*blinks* Well, yes, I guess I do. Just do the best you can. Alpha and beta readers might be able to help later.

Yeah, but these two characters don't want to cooperate. Can't they at least pretend they have a life? They are so boring.

Then don't make them boring.

Wait, you're blaming me for this?

Well, you're the one who has them awkwardly standing there talking about the weather. They have so many things they could talk about and you chose the weather. But if you really can't think of anything better, then just leave it and we'll change it later.

Sounds good to me. *starts typing again*

Ohhh. I like that sentence.

Thanks. I've been waiting to write that. That sentence right there is what will make us famous.

Wait, which one are you talking about? Because I'm talking about this one. *points*

Oh, I'm talking about this one.

That sentence?

Yes.

This one right here?

Mhm.

. . . Literally, all it says is "No"!

*grins* Yeah, I know. Isn't it the best thing ever written? Oh wait, do you think that counts as quoting Shakespeare? Is that plagiarism?

*takes a deep breath and tries to be patient* Why don't you just keep writing?

Okay.


Eleven minutes later. . .


Why did you just do that?

Because this character is being annoying, and I don't like him right now. So I'm making his life miserable.

That's understandable, but did you have to do that?

Yes.

Well, I don't think you do so stop.

*doesn't stop*

Did you hear me?

Yup, but I'm not going to listen. I'm going to feed them to the fire ants!

What is wrong with you?

*gets really dramatic* I don't know, I'm turning into a hobbit!

Stop quoting Tim Hawkins!!


Seventeen minutes later. . .


So I'm thinking I want to kill off this character. What do you think?

*takes a look* No!

Why not?

Because it's the main character. And you're only on chapter five.

But he's making so many bad decisions. I think he's reached his limit.

That doesn't mean you can just kill him. Main characters are supposed to make bad decisions, that's part of what makes the story interesting. It will also make them more believable. I mean, how many people do you know make all the right choices?

Only one.

Really? And who is that?

Me, of course.

You- I'm not even going to go there. But no, you can't kill the main character.

Please? I already know how I would do it. I always have multiple ways to kill off characters in case of an emergency. This will be quick and painless.

No. No, what you have in mind is torture. That is not painless!

Okay, fine, it'll be quick.

Torture is not quick! It's a process that's drawn out for the purpose of causing a lot of pain. You are horrible at this.

I'm going to do it anyway. *begins typing*

No, you're not! *drags him away from keyboard* I think it's time to stop for now.

Yes!

But we're coming back in ten minutes.

Aww.

Don't "aww" me.

 

Saturday, September 16, 2017

READ YOUR BIBLE // My Bible TBR


This post was inspired by Julia Ryan's post that she shared this past Sunday. One of the things she asks in it is, why don't we have Bible TBRs?

To be perfectly honest with you, I had never thought about this before. I had never thought to make a Bible TBR. Why don't we? You see all these posts where bloggers share their list of books that they want to read this summer, fall, etc.

We get really excited to share our TBRs with everyone, but we never share which books of the Bible we're reading, or want to read. Personally, I would love to know what books of the Bible you are reading as well. Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying that sharing your TBR is a bad thing. But I do have a question for you: do you get just as excited to read your Bible?

Let me be the first to admit that I don't feel that I've been reading my Bible as much as I should recently. And that bothers me. I want to change that, which is why I made a Bible TBR for myself.

These are the books of the Bible that I want to read between now and the end of this year:


Yes, I know it's only six, but I also want to read books that I feel God wants me to read. At the end of the year, I'll do a post in which I'll give you the list of all the books of the Bible that I read.

Julia also gives a challenge. To find out what it is, go read her post. I challenge you to take her challenge. I can't accept the challenge right now due to other things I've already committed to, but I plan on doing it just as soon as I can.

God gave us the Bible, a book that should be opened every day, not only when we go to church.


What about you? Do you have a Bible TBR? If not, are you going to make one? Are you going to take Julia's challenge?

Saturday, September 9, 2017

PHOTO DUMP// This Summer


So I've been seeing a lot of picture dump posts going up recently, and since I took a LOT of pictures this summer I decided to share some of them with you. :) I will say that, even though I've gotten better at taking pictures, I'm still not the best photographer. :P But I hope you like these anyway!


Back in June, my parents, little brother, and I all hiked a mountain. It was pretty steep and there were quite a few times when we had to climb onto rocks almost as high as I am tall. And I'm tall. :P Personally, I don't think the hike was long enough, but it was still a lot of fun! :D



The rocks on the right side of this path were almost as tall as me


There is a tunnel behind me, and I wanted to crawl into it to see how far and where it went, but I didn't have time. :P


This is a place where I went swimming three times this summer. And the next pic is of a sign that you see on the way there. :)


My friend and I thought this was really funny and cool :)


I didn't end up taking as many pictures on my days off as I thought I would, but here's a few that I did take.



I picked up a lot of stuff while we were on this beach.


I wasn't aware that my friend was taking a picture of me. He and my brother had climbed a rock, which I later climbed too. They had to spot me though because I'm not as good at rock climbing as they are. :P


This was when I climbed the rock, but I came up the other side. In this picture, I'm trying to decide whether or not I want to use the rope to get down.


This is a sign my dad and I saw while we were in this coffee place. We bought seven pounds of coffee there. :D




I only got pictures of one sunrise and one sunset this summer, and here they are.

The benefits of getting up at 3am :)



So which one is your favorite? :)

Saturday, September 2, 2017

August Wrap Up


Well. August was quite eventful. . . Okay, I'm really not very good at beginning wrap-ups. I feel like when you guys read this, you're all just like, "Someone put her out of her misery." So I'll just get this show on the road. :P



Writing

Um. . . I wrote next to nothing last month. :P It's horrible, I know. I did work on fixing some important details for Strangers though. I plan on finishing that within the next two months so it can go out to my alpha readers in November.

I've worked a little on the outlines for the two novels I'm going to write for NaNoWriMo this year. Yes, I've already started thinking and planning for NaNo. So far, I know that I'm going to write at least two novels. There have been a few times where I'm just like, "I am SO ready for NaNoWriMo!" And then I'm like, "Ha! Yeah, right. You're not even close to being ready." :P

Also, an idea for another novel hit me while I was on my walk this morning. It has me really excited. :D I should make a Pinterest board for it. I should probably add this one and my fantasy one to my writings page. But if I do that, I want to give them titles. I've noticed that some of you give some of your WIP titles before they're even in the outlining stage. How do you do it?


Reading

*nervous laughter* *awkward silence* Yeah, we're kind of failing in this department. :P Of the ten books I had with me at camp, I didn't finish one. Not a whole lot of reading time. The only book I finished this month was Tyra by Jaye L. Knight. Okay, it's technically a short story, but it counts towards my reading goal on Goodreads. And, speaking of my reading goal, I am currently sixteen books behind schedule. . . So we have some catching up to do. I'm hoping to get more reading done this month. :P 


Blogging

Besides my wrap up for July, this was my only post for the month of August:



Other bloggers posts for last month:



I'm still working on catching up on everyone's blog posts.


Other

So. I'm back from camp. The last day for me was August 16th. This was a great summer at camp, and, of all nine summers I've spent there, it was by far my favorite. I learned a lot, and had so. much. fun. :)

Last Friday, my family and I went over to my grandparents where we met with my three older siblings, who are all married and live all over the place. It's been six and a half years since all five of us kids have been together. We had a ton of fun! The two nights that we were over there, the five of us stayed up late playing games, making a lot of jokes, and laughing nonstop. :D Then on Monday, we came back, and my older brother and one of my older sisters came too. They stayed here all week and left this morning.

If you follow me on Instagram, at some point you'll see some pictures from this past week.

And that was my month! :)


What about you? How was your month? Are you getting ready for NaNoWriMo?

Saturday, August 26, 2017

Things Are Changing

I took this picture myself :)

Sometimes things happen and we can't do anything to prevent it. Things change whether we want them to. . . or not. It can be really hard when you don't want it to change. And this summer, a lot of things changed.


Things were beginning to change when I turned 18 because, I mean, I was now legally an adult. It took a little getting used to, and it also took me a little while to adjust. It felt like, all of a sudden, so many questions and responsibilities were being thrown at me at once. It was a bit overwhelming.

To be perfectly honest, I'm still not completely adjusted to this whole "being an adult" life thing. :P People will ask me these questions, and I'm like, "Wait, I have to think about that too?" It's never ending! And I'm sure it will continue for a long time. Maybe it won't end, maybe this is just a part of being an adult.

But, like I said, a few things changed this year. Three of my friends got married this summer. Like, what? It isn't time for that yet. We were just 12 last year, right? This is one of the things that has really made me realize that we aren't kids anymore. Even though I still act like it sometimes. :P One thing you guys should know about me is:


What this post is really mostly about though, is something that doesn't have to do with adulthood. But it is a change. And it felt like a really big change. Actually, it still feels pretty big.

Depending on how long you've been following me, you may know that back when I first started blogging, which was this past January, I did a post on how I came to be here. And in it, I told you that I took a writing/literature class for four years, 8th grade to my junior year of high school. My best friend took it with me, and her mom was the one teaching us.

For the first two years, I went to their house twice a week, and the last two, every two weeks. Needless to say, I spent a lot of time there, right in their living room. For four years, I went into that house, that living room, and sat in "my" chair. They'd always have a fire in the stove, so it was always warm (occasionally, really hot :P).

Every day I was there, I would learn something new. Every day, we would make jokes and laugh, sometimes laughing so hard we had tears running down our faces. Every day, we would have so. much. fun.

I always looked forward to the days I got to go over and learn and spend time with them. This place was where I discovered my love for writing. This place had a special place in my heart.

At the beginning of this year, I don't remember exactly when, my mom and I met my best friend's mom in the store. Of course, we talked and caught up with one another. It was then, that she told us that she and her husband were going to move. (Their daughters, my best friend and her sister, had already moved out, and are living in another state.)

I was a little surprised, but I guess I was okay with it. I don't think I really thought that they were going to move. And for a long time, they hadn't yet. . . until a few weeks ago.

It was a few weeks ago, that I had a day off at camp. One of my friends and I went into town, and in order to get there, we had to pass the house (and we passed it every week). As we passed, I saw people there. But they weren't my best friend's parents.

Instead, I saw strangers- intruders- and they were tearing down the shed that was next to the house. The place looked different. . . it felt different. Things changed. And it finally hit me. They moved out, just like they said they were going to. I just hadn't wanted to believe that it would actually happen.

But it did. And there's nothing I can do about it, nothing I can do to change it. The house is different. The house will never look the same, be the same, feel the same.

Thankfully, though, I still have the memories, and I'll never never forget where I found my love for writing, the passion that was just waiting to be discovered.

Even though more and more things are changing in my life, I've realized that there is one thing- no, one Person- that will never change. And that is God. He is the one constant in my life. One that I know will never. ever. change.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

July Wrap-Up


Hey everyone! Wow, July went by really fast! So fast that I only ended up posting once last month. #oops :P (So I won't have a "blogging" section this time) It's been colder than previous summers, and I don't think I've gone a day without putting on a sweatshirt at least once. I don't really mind though because I love wearing hoodies. :) Anywho, let's get started.



Writing

I think writing went pretty well in July. I participated in Camp NaNoWriMo (this time I was in a cabin) and I started with a goal of 3k. I know, it's such a huge goal. :P But the reason it wasn't very high was because I knew that I would be here a camp, and wouldn't have a lot of time to write. And, not to mention, the writing would be by hand. I didn't even start though, until the 15th because I was soo busy. Unfortunately, as the end of camp nano approached, I realized that I wouldn't be able to reach my goal, so I had to lower it. My new goal was 2k, which I'm happy to say that I reached. :)

Also, I've shared the prologue of Strangers (which was what I worked on for camp nano) with a few campers. Now, I don't really like sharing my writing, especially rough drafts, but I gave in to one camper, which then led to more. Here's how it happened:

So, I'm really good friends with one of the guys on my day off, and his younger brother is a camper here. At one of my basketball periods, I mentioned that I write (I don't remember why I said this). Apparently, my friend's little brother didn't know this, so proceeded to ask me about the books that I'm writing. I told him, and he expressed great interest in them. Later, I started the rewrite of Strangers and asked his opinion on something. He asked to read the prologue since that's what drives the rest of the story. Thankfully, he really liked it, and his friend was standing right there so I let him read it too. Then, I was telling my co-counselor (in the bunk) and a couple of my girls overheard and asked to read it, which led to more of them reading it.

I'm pretty sure that almost all of my girls have read it now. But every one of them has said that they really liked it and asked me when it's going to be published. This is soo motivating! :D


Reading

I haven't gotten much reading in this month. I have yet to finish a book since I've been at camp, but I have three books that I've picked up in the last month, and those are Viper, The Ruins of Gorlan, and A Wrinkle in Time. Pretty much my only reading time is during rest time, which is right after lunch. As it turns out, it's kinda hard to read and shush girls, who are being louder than they should be, at the same time. :P I do have some bookworms in my cabin, and they have asked me multiple times what books I'm reading.

Apparently, I have a lot of books on my shelf because one of my girls thought that my shelf was a library. We all had a good laugh over that. :)


Other

So, as you know, I'm at summer camp, and have been all last month. :P (You're probably getting tired of hearing me say that.) This is my ninth summer in a row here at camp, my third year as a counselor, but my first year as a bunk counselor. Obviously, there are pros and cons to being in the bunk, but overall I really like it. :D My co-counselor is the best, and we work very well together. We all have a lot of fun and very much enjoy being, and doing, things together. Sometimes, strange things are said too. Here are a couple that I heard my girls say:


"Get your nose away from my dryer sheet."

"I hate Star Wars, it hurts my eyes."

I also have had a lot of fun teaching basketball and ultimate. It's so rewarding seeing campers learning and mastering new skills. :)

I know that I haven't been blogging as much as I had hoped (and probably even said), but I'm trying to do better. I'm also behind on reading other blogs, but don't worry, I haven't forgotten about you. I will read all the posts I've missed just as soon as I have enough time. I promise. ;)


How about you? How was your July?

Saturday, July 15, 2017

The #VoicesofYA Tag


Hey everyone! As you know, I didn't post last week. It was crazy, and I had nothing prepared. But today, I am going to do a tag, which was created by Caitlin, that Jonathan tagged me for a long time ago and then Gray tagged me for it a couple weeks ago. I'm great at this game, aren't I? :P Thanks, guys! :D


The Rules

1. Thank the person who tagged you
2. Link to the original creator
3. Answer the ten questions
4. Tag at LEAST two other YA writers/blogger

Questions

What draws you to YA?

Are you still a young adult if you're 19?? I actually don't know the exact age range for this genre (if there is one). :P I know that I was initially drawn to the YA genre because I was a young adult myself, and I liked reading books with characters my age (and I'm still that way). I still really like the YA genre. It's one of my favorites and will probably always be.

Describe your writing process. Do you like outlines and structure, or seeing where the story takes you?

Um, both? Maybe? I don't know, I've tried to do like a whole outline many times, but it never actually happens. . . :P As long as I have a general idea of what the novel is going to be about, and where it's going, I just write. I do want to try doing an whole outline sometime though.

How long have you been writing? Where are you in your writing journey?

I've been writing since I was 15. (I feel like my answer to this question has changed a couple times, but it is 15.) Where am I in my writing journey? I think I'm right where God wants me to be. I mean, ever since I made the decision to take writing more seriously, I've learned a lot. And I feel like I've learned the most since I started blogging back in January. I can't wait to see what God has in store for me. :)

What do you need to write? Coffee? Music?

I actually don't think I need anything. Even though I almost always have coffee and music, I can write without them (this rarely happens though :P). I prefer to have my earbuds when I write because it helps to me focus. I'm easily distracted sometimes, and unnecessary noise bothers me. It's probably one of my pet peeves. And it doesn't help that I have good hearing. :P

If you could offer one piece of advice to another writer (OTHER THAN "don't give up"), what would it be?

Know why you're writing. Why do you write? Is it for God or yourself? Maybe it's something else.* But I think this is a really important question that every writer should ask themselves.

I'm planning on doing a post about this at some point. :)

What book still has you reeling from its plot twist? (*no spoilers please*)

I don't think there is a book. Plot twists will get me when they happen, and sometimes for a week after. But I guess I'll say The King's Scrolls by Jaye L. Knight. I'm not sure I can tell you about the plot twist without giving anything away so I just won't say anything. If you want to know what it is, you'll just have to read the series. :)

What books are you most anticipating for this year?

Well, I think most of the books that I'm looking forward to for this year have already released and I've read them: Martin Hospitality, The Reluctant Godfather, Dandelion Dust. But another that I'm really excited for is Exiles by Jaye L. Knight! I can't wait until that one comes out. :D (I'm pretty sure a lot of people have said that one :P)

In your opinion, which YA book/series has the most unique premise?

Oh man, that's a hard question. I guess, even though I wasn't a huge fan of the series, I'll go with the Divergent series. Other than that, I'd probably go with the Blades of Acktar also.

What is your all-time favorite quote from YA lit (I know, I'm cruel)?

This is cruel because I have many. But here's one of my favorites:

"My first choice would be to give you more god children, but that would be far too cruel to do - to them."
-The Reluctant Godfather

What book do you most hope will have a movie adaption?

The Blades of Acktar series by Tricia Mingerink. I think that would be super cool! (Please tell me I'm not the only one) But only if they follow the books as closely as they can, because if they change things, it just wouldn't be the same.

And that's it for this tag. The people I'm tagging are:


As always, if I tagged you, please don't feel like you have to do this tag. And if I didn't tag you but you'd like to do it, consider yourself tagged! :)


What about you? What draws you to the YA genre?
 

Saturday, July 1, 2017

June Just Happened

Hello from camp! Yes, I am at camp as I write this (the actual camp I told you about last week, not Camp NaNo).

This month has gone by soo fast, guys! Definitely the craziest month so far this year. For me, anyway. :P So this past week has been staff training week here at camp, and it feels so weird when I have free time because I'm so used to having a ton and a half things to do.


Writing

Yeah, I don't think I wrote anything this month, but I did manage to prepare for Camp NaNo some. Unfortunately, not as much as I would have liked. I think I have enough to make it through NaNo though.

All of June I've been getting bombarded with new ideas for Strangers. *evil smile* It is going to be so much better after this rewrite. And, I think I've said it before, but I'm going to say it again. I am really excited to rewrite Strangers. :)

Reading

Half-Blood by Jaye L. Knight       The Reluctant Godfather by Allison Tebo                

Yes, I know. I read soo much this month. :P No, I'm actually disappointed with how much reading I did in June. I tried to fit in more reading time, but it was really really hard. But I have started two other books: Samara's Peril and Rose of the Night. I'm almost finished with the latter.

Blogging

My posts in June:

Other bloggers posts that you definitely need to read:


Other

So, like I said, June was a crazy month. But a lot of fun stuff happened! As you may have seen, I participated in my first two blog tours ever. :) Those were really fun, and actually weren't as hard as I thought they'd be.

Staff training week here at camp was the last week of June. It's been great to reconnect with my friends that I really only get to see here. We've had a ton of fun doing things together and getting ready for our campers, who are coming today! :D For those of you who don't know, I'm going to be a bunk counselor for 9-ll year old girls. :) I'm also the basketball and ultimate frisbee counselor. I'm super excited for camp! :D

Camp NaNo starts today! :D I'm also really excited for that, because I'm actually in a cabin this time! They've all been very welcoming and I'm looking forward to getting to know all of them in this next month. :) My goal is to write the first 3k of Strangers. I know, that's a low goal, but it's pretty much impossible to gauge how much writing time I'll have. Who knows, maybe I'll end up writing twice as much? That would be great. :)

The other thing that happened this month was Father's Day. For that, my family took a little trip. We hiked a mountain, which we actually haven't done in a while. Here are a couple short interchanges that took place on the hike.

(For this first one, there was a really rocky place, and the rocks were kinda big)

ME: *runs past dad up these rocks*
DAD: Show off!
ME: No, I think I'm just part mountain goat.

DAD: When you go back down a mountain, you always want a controlled decent.
LITTLE BROTHER: Hey Karyssa, you see that cliff over there? It will be a controlled decent if you hit that rock at the bottom.
ME: *laughs*

ME: *trips*
LITTLE BROTHER: Did you just trip?
ME: . . .yeah. Why?
LITTLE BROTHER: On what?! There's nothing there, the ground is flat!

After we finished the hike, I tried to figure out how many times I tripped. And, in two miles, I tripped about 20 times. I now refer to myself as "the clumsiest outdoorsy person you'll ever meet". :P

I also wrote a poem for Father's Day, and I was going to post it, but it would have been on a day that I don't normally post. I remember some of you saying that you wanted to see more poetry so I decided to share it now. Here it is:

This Man

There is this man
I really love.
He is always there
When I need him.
When I am excited
Or happy that
Something went right,
He smiles
And rejoices with me.
He holds me
When I cry,
When I am down,
Or if I just need
Someone
To lean on.
This man, is always there.
He has taught me a lot.
He is one of
The reasons
I am who I am
Today.
This man is
My role model,
Someone
I look up to.
And even though
He may have
A lot of nicknames
For me.
I will always know him
As Dad.

What about you? How was your June?

Saturday, June 24, 2017

"The Sorceress and the Squid" Blog Tour

Hey everyone! Welcome to- yup, you got it!- The Sorceress and the Squid blog tour! :D The moment we've all been waiting for has finally come. My friend, Emily Mundell, has published her first book. How cool is that?! :D Super cool, I know. ;)

Now let's get this party started!

Blog Tour Schedule graphic.jpg 
casually inserting blog tour schedule

About the Book


In the magical land of Perth, divisions between the Old Kingdom and the New have waged for centuries. The humans have long harbored a mistrust of the spell-casting Fae and vice versa. In the midst of this conflict, Estrella the Sorceress lays waste to the Training Academy for Human Warriors, making an enemy in the soldier, Jalen. During their standoff, Jalen is turned into a squid and Estrella, unable to restore him to his original form, takes pity on him and travels west across the Sea to bring him to the Wizard in hope he can be saved. But is there more to the unrest in Perth than meets the eye?



About the Author


Emily Mundell is a 19 year old author, artist, horsewoman and lover of the wonders of the wide world. She hails from the Great White North of Canada and has spent her life growing up in the heart of rural Alberta in a close-knit farming community - though she has often entertained fantasies of inhabiting the Shire.

Writing is her true passion - though horses and art take a close second. With fantasy as her primary genre, Emily has been writing stories since the tender age of eight when she finished her first "book". She is currently working to complete her Creative Writing Certificate through the University of Calgary. An avid bookworm, true country-mouse, and unconventional tree-climber, Emily can usually be found on a horse, working on one of her half-dozen projects, chasing a loose cow, or being swept off her feet by the man she calls her own personal "hobbit".



The author sounds pretty cool, doesn't she? I thought you'd agree, so I have Emily here, all ready for an interview. :)

So Emily, my first question for you is, how did you discover your love for writing?

That is a tricky question. I'm not entirely sure? I've always loved stories and loved reading since I could read (and before that loved being read to), so that was certainly part of it. I wrote my first "book" when I was eight about myself, my friends and our horses so I guess I discovered this passion somewhere before then? I only wanted to write about horses back then, and I didn't spend nearly as much time on it, but I did to it so I guess that's something.

Wow you've been writing for a long time then. :) What inspired you to write The Sorceress and the Squid?

There is a long weird answer to this question! The inspiration for this story came from a late night Facebook conversation between myself and Jonathan (my then-not-yet-boyfriend-now-fiance). We were deep into the subject of his secret identity as a ninja squid who trained an academy of ninja squidlings to take over the world and yadayada. Now, clearly this isn't quite what I wrote down for my book, but the seed of the story was born from this conversation. Later, after I had become his girlfriend, it was decided that I was the sorceress who had turned him into a squid and later the next year I started writing this book. The rest is history.

Haha, what an interesting way to be inspired! :D So why did you choose to self-publish?

Good question. For most of my life I was not into the self-publishing scene at all. I had some preconceived notions about it - mainly that it was unprofessional. However, as I researched and was forced to study it for a class in college, I realized that there were actually some solid things about it, and that you could totally self-publish in a very professional manner. It just depends on who you are. Once I had that revelation, I also thought that even though I still wanted to be picked up by a publishing house one day, self-publishing my first book would help me create a platform from which to be recognized by a publishing house. These days that's basically a prerequisite for getting published anyways. So I decided to follow this through with my first novel and so far it's been a really rewarding experience. I would absolutely do it again (being traditionally published is even losing its appeal except for the wider audience reach possibilities).

Oh cool! Yeah, I used to feel the same way about self-publishing, but then I started "meeting" indie authors. :) What is your favorite part, and your least favorite part, of the whole writing and publishing process?

I'm a very organized person, so I've enjoyed the marketing aspect of publishing a fair bit so far (except for all the socialization it involves). I also do enjoy writing the first draft most of the time - even if I end up ripping out my hair once in awhile. Holding my book in my hands was a great feeling as well. Some dislikes would be editing, mainly rereading the same things so much, and trying to figure out websites and their little things and being totally uncertain about what I'm doing at times. There were definitely some frustrating moments, but the rewards outshone them.

I totally agree with you. I feel the same way about all of that. Except the publishing parts since I'm not published yet. :P So what is your favorite genre to write in?

Definitely fantasy, hands down. I have been working on my own fantasy epic for eight years, almost nine and I love it. Of course The Sorceress and the Squid is also fantasy and I have a couple of other story ideas that are fantasy as well. My favorite writers are JRR Tolkien and CS Lewis and they are my biggest inspirations/mentors. CS Lewis is quoted saying, "If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world." I love this quote because I think it really reflects the heart of a good fantasy story, but also - mostly importantly - reflects the Kingdom of God and the Heaven He has created for us to belong to. I think that's just so cool.

I also enjoy writing sci-fi, contemporary, and dystopian fiction - just not as much. ;)

That is really cool! C.S Lewis is one of my favorite writers too, and I love that quote. I find him to be very quotable. :) What do you do when you're not writing?

So. Many. Things. XD I'm a farmkid so I am often out feeding cows, driving tractors, moving cows, getting back a loose cow, etc. I love horses to death and spend a lot of time riding. Whether it be at home, at my barn over jumps, at my summer camp working with camp horses or working horses for friends. I can usually be located in a saddle. I'm an artist as well and I love to draw and paint (though time for that is minimal these days), and I also enjoy photography. I like being outdoors. I live in Alberta, Canada near the Rocky Mountains and love going out there for a hike with friends/family. I like to climb trees. I like to hang out with my homeschool friends and my camp friends when I can. I love being with Jonathan as much as possible. I do a lot of stuff - too much stuff!

No kidding! You must not get much sleep. My last question is, do you have any advice to give aspiring indie authors?

Advice! I am so not good at advice! :P I think the main thing is to realize that even though it's called "self-publishing" you don't have to do it completely, totally by yourself. It's okay to ask for help, to hire people to help, to ask questions of those who have gone through the process. It's a daunting task to just write a book, nevermind trying to publish it. Don't be scared to ask questions! Also, realizing that it's an awful lot of work and you really have to make your project a priority in order for it to come to fruition. And if it takes a long time, don't sweat it! My entire writing and publishing process was nearly two years, it's okay to move slowly. Be brave!

Ah, that's great advice! :D Well, that's it! Thank you so much Emily for being with us today. :)

Thank you so much for having me, Karyssa! I really enjoyed your questions! :D


And that's a wrap, people! Here are the links again, where you can check out the book for yourself. Go buy it! You know you want to. :)


Thanks for stopping by! See you next week! :)