Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Seeking Color

Seeking Color by Andrea Nan

It was only a word, but it cut so deep. It was only a remark, but it felt like so much more. So here she was, standing on the edged and looking down at the pavement, so far below, and still they whispered, and still they laughed. A wet drop slipped past her nose and clung to her chin. Another joined it, and the two together made the plunge of the rooftop to vanish into the grey of the world below.

What would it be like to vanish into the grey as well? She wondered. If she jumped she would never be hurt again, but could she dare? The thought of the rushing wind past her ears made her stomach flip, but the thought of feeling one more painful jab made her want to do it. She stood there, in her blood red dress, with her hands griping the edge, and wondered why she hesitated. Why was it that she had not already done it? What was holding her back? She looked back behind her at the sparkling garden, and the colorful clothes, but it all seemed separated from her by a dark bluish mist. Laughter echoed through the rooftop and she cringed. It remind her of all the times that she had been the subject of that laughter, the one cut down, the one pushed away.

The party was beautiful but she stood on the outskirts, separated by the blue mist, contemplating ending herself into the grey below. Yet there was something holding her back. It wasn't another person, for there was no one who had noticed her disappear. Nor was it something within her, for she longed to find herself free from the world, into the grey. It was something else. It was almost like an invisible thread, not a rope, not something strong enough to catch her if she jumped, but a thread that was strong enough to hold her back from the edge. Something told her that she should not seek the grey below, but should seek another color.

In that instant she did not look behind her, at the bluish mist or the sparkling party, nor did she look down at the swirling grey below. She looked up, and there was the sun. It warmed her face and it poured warm life into her cold limbs. She felt the thread strengthen and she stepped back from the edge. The blue mist and the swirling grey all disappeared. There was only the gold of the sun, and she knew that never again would she seek the grey below, she would only ever seek the gold above.

Friday, November 28, 2014

Hello Again!

Hello again everyone! Happy Thanksgiving break!

Life is good, though still busy, I'm loving every minute of YWAM! I'm really sorry that I haven't found a couple minutes to update my blog. Unfortunately I will not be able to post for the next two months as I will be on my outreach. I will be traveling to Asia, and for safety reasons I will not be able to tell you exactly where I will be going, nor will I be able to post while I'm there.

I will try to post a couple posts before I leave and when I get back and I will certainly get back into a posting schedule. Thank you so much for everyone's prayers and support! Have a wonderful day!

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Life Update and Blocked Blogspot

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Hey Everyone! I have now been gone for two weeks, and I would like to apologize for not posting anything at all in that time here at YWAM. Unfortunately blogspot is blocked here, so I have not been able to post until now. The only reason that I am able to post at all is because of a very kind member of the staff who went out of her way to help me get on blogspot. So a big thanks to Lisa for that! In the next few months I am afraid that all my posts may be a bit sporadic, but I’ll do my best to try and post something every week, and keep you updated. Please don’t be offended if I don’t reply to your comments right away as I will not have much time to do that.

That being said, YWAM DTS (Youth with a Mission, Discipleship Training School) has been going really well for me. The first few days were extremely difficult, being away from my family and in an entirely new environment, but as I got over that hurdle I’ve been having an amazing time. I’ve only been here for two weeks, but I have already learned so much about God and myself, and I’ve made a lot of great friends too.

On Monday we are supposed to find out where we are going on outreach, which is the second part of the DTS. Monday also happens to be my birthday, so I think that’s a pretty nice birthday present. I’m very excited to share with you all where that location will be as soon as I find out, so expect an upcoming post on that. I have been really busy here with class, dance, community responsibilities, local outreaches, homework, bible study, small group, and all sorts of other things, so I haven’t had much time to write, though I have had time to write a couple of short stories. Hopefully I’ll be sharing those with you sometime soon.

Thank you everyone for reading my blog! Hopefully I’ll be able to post more soon. Life gets crazy sometimes, but it’s still good. So though my posts may not be as regularly posted as I would like, I’m still going to keep writing, even as my life continues to change.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Top Ten Must Haves for Questing

While I was packing for YWAM today, blaring music, and eating peanut butter cups, I thought about all the hundreds of heroes in books who leave on quests all the time and what they have to pack. Sometimes the hero is thrown into the thick of things so fast that they don't have time to grab anything and have to fly by the seat of their pants in order to get by. Usually though the hero has enough time to pack at least one bag, backpack, satchel, or suitcase, but packing is difficult. It's really tough to decide what to bring and what to leave behind, So here's the question: If you're a hero setting off on a quest, then what do you pack? 

Well, here's a list I made to help out any questing heroes. A list of the top ten must haves for any hero starting out on a quest:

1. Food and Water. Food and water are the most important things to pack when you're heading off on  a quest. You have no idea how long it might be before you find another restaurant, or grocery store, and I'm fairly certain that there are no McDonalds in Mordor. 

2. Weapons. Any quest you set out on is bound to be dangerous, so please don't forget to bring along your weapons! It doesn't even really matter what kind of weapon you bring, a sword, bow and arrows, spear, sling, gun, attack dog, just as long as you know how to use it to protect yourself and your fellow questers.

3. Matches. Matches, tinderbox, flint and steel, magical lighter, it makes no difference, just make sure you have a way to light a fire. Fires are lifesavers on quests, you can cook food, warm up, boil water to use for drinking or medical purposes, scare away wild animals, send an emergency beacon, light torches to explore caves and tunnels, burn down an enemy outpost. Really it is absolutely necessary so always always bring a way to light a fire.

4. Blankets. Bring blankets or a sleeping bag with you whenever you quest. It can get really cold at night and you need to get a good night's sleep if you plan on doing any great questing. You'd be surprised how devastating sleep deprivation can be. To stay on your guard you must be well rested! Blankets also serve as great emergency bandages, and can be used to tie things into bundles in order to carry loot, plunder, food, or anything else. 

5. First Aid Kit. Questing is not a danger free occupation. Odds are you are going to run into a dragon, rockslide, exploding volcano, full out war, poison, and all other dangerous things. You must have a first aid kit with you anytime you go questing, no excuses.

6. A Tent. Shelter is the next big thing you need to have, so packing a tent to protect you from the elements is a wonderful idea. Though if you can arrange ahead of time to stay in inns or taverns instead then you might want to do that and save quite a bit of room in your bag.

7. Rope. You'd be surprised just how helpful rope really is. Tie up your enemies, climb up or down mountains, use it to keep from getting lost in a labyrinth, secure a wounded friend to the back of a horse, escape from a tower. It might be a bit heavy but make sure you pack a nice long length of rope.

8. Pots and Dishes. You'd be surprised how easy it is to forget these and how important they really are. Have you ever tried to boil water or make soup without a pot? I mean really, you can roast meat over a fire, but that's about all you can do without a pot or pan. Also it's really difficult to eat whatever you cooked, especially soup without a bowl, plate, or some cutlery. If you're planning on eating at taverns and restaurants all the time on your quest, or going questing caveman style then you can forget this one, though you may wish you hadn't.

9. Spare Clothes. Bring along spare clothes and a nice warm cloak. I bet you it will start raining or you'll fall into a river or lake at some point on your quest and it's always a good idea to have an extra set of clothing along. Try to pack sensible clothes, no party dresses or high heeled shoes, and always make sure that you have a pair of nice strong shoes, odds are you're going to be doing a lot of walking.

10. Any Magical Items. If you have a magical tool to help you then don't leave it behind! Magical items can be dangerous so use your item sparingly and only in great need, though you may just find that it will save your life. 

Well that's about it though I'm sure if I sat here long enough I could think of plenty of other things that would be wonderful to have along on a quest like a map, compass, extra socks...


So what do you think? Does this list pretty much cover it all, or do you have a few more things to add to the list? Are you or one of your characters heading off on a quest soon? If so comment below and let me know what they or you packed and how their quest turned out!

Good luck on your packing and questing all!

Monday, September 15, 2014

100 for 100

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Go Teen Writers is hosting their fourth annual 100 for 100 event. If you sign up at their website then you can join the hundreds of other people who have decided to take the challenge and write 100 words in 100 days, and I'm one of them, Today is the first day of the event and also the last day to register. So if you want to participate you should head over to www.GoTeenWriters.blogspot.com and sign up right now. 

During 100 for 100 you're supposed to work on one project, and if you finish that project you can work on the next one. I'm planning on working on my Beauty and the Beast retelling for Rooglewood Press's "Five Enchanted Roses" contest, which you will be hearing more about in the near future. After I finish that then I'll probably work on a children's book idea I've had for a while, or maybe I'll work on one of the many other story ideas I have planned out on my Pinterest boards. I'm sorry to tell you all that editing "The Paths of Thyme" has been put on the shelf for a little while as I won't have any time to work on it while I'm on YWAM.

This is my first time doing 100 for 100, what about you? Have you participated before? What project(s) are you planning on working on? Comment below, I always love hearing from you!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Blog Poll Results

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Thanks for voting on my poll everyone! According to the above results the top three requests to see more of on this blog were: 1. Snippets from my projects, followed by 2. Writing tips and articles, with 3. Being a tie between photography and updates on my life. Thanks again for sharing your opinion with me I always love to hear your feedback. I'll be sure to post more of the things you voted for in the upcoming weeks. Have a wonderful day, and don't forget to comment!

Friday, September 12, 2014

Looking for Alaska-Book Review

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"Looking for Alaska" by John Green
About: "Before. Miles "Pudge" Halter's whole existence has been one big nonevent, and his obsession with famous last words has only made him crave the "Great Perhaps" (Fran├žois Rabelais, poet) even more. He heads off to the sometimes crazy, possibly unstable, and anything-but-boring world of Culver Creek Boarding School, and his life becomes the opposite of safe. Because down the hall is Alaska Young. The gorgeous, clever, funny, sexy, self-destructive, screwed-up, and utterly fascinating Alaska Young, who is an event unto herself. She pulls Pudge into her world, launches him into the Great Perhaps, and steals his heart.
After. Nothing is ever the same" -From Goodreads

My Review: An interesting book. It was very sad, and depressing, but still thought provoking. I had never read any of John Green's books before I read this one, though I enjoy watching his vlogbrothers videos on youtube on a regular basis. I finally decided to try reading one of his books, and I chose to read this one mostly because I heard a lot about a surprising plot twist at the end, but when it came I didn't find it all that surprising, or amazing, as I had been led to believe. If I had been aware of how much explicit content that is in this book I would surely have skipped it.

It wasn't really worth reading in my opinion, but at the same time it wasn't a total waste. I enjoyed the deep conversations and thoughts that the characters had in this book, and some interesting thought provoking points were raised. I kept thinking about this book for several days afterwards, but it kind of depressed me.

Questionable Content: There was so much questionable content in this book, that if it was a movie and included everything in the book I think it would get an R rating. Swearing, drinking, smoking, drugs, and sex, fill this book from cover to cover. It was pretty disgusting.  

I give "Looking for Alaska" ★★☆☆☆=It was okay. The only reason this book didn't get a one star rating is due to the intellectual side of the book, and John Green's wonderful writing style. Though I am sorely tempted to leave it at one star because of the gross amount of the questionable content. So my advice is you probably want to skip it.

Rating System:

                                               ☆☆☆☆☆=It was terrible! I didn't finish it.
                                               ★☆☆☆☆=I did not enjoy it.
                                               ★★☆☆☆=It was okay.
                                               ★★★☆☆=It was pretty good.
                                               ★★★★☆=I really enjoyed it.
                                               ★★★★★=It was Amazing!

What about you? Have you read "Looking for Alaska" or any other books by John Green? What did you think? Please leave a comment, I always love hearing from you!

Wednesday, September 10, 2014


Hey everyone, sorry for being absent from this blog for so long. I've started at least seven different "I'm back, sorry" posts each one beginning with a different form of "I'm not dead, I've just been busy." While that's true I haven't been so busy that I couldn't drop a note or two to let you guys know what I've been up to, and I'm sorry about that. 

You see, in a week and a half I'm going to be going to DTS (Discipleship Training School) with YWAM (Youth with a Mission). YWAM is an international, interdenominational Christian mission agency. Their mission statement is to know God, and make Him known. For over fifty years they have been mobilizing young adults to help meet the needs, and minister to, hurting people all around the world. DTS is a five month training school divided into two parts. The first three months is called the lecture phase. During that time the students learn more about God, the Bible, and sharing the Gospel, as well as getting to know their fellow students. The last two months of the school is called the outreach and it takes place in another country, helping the people there through service work, and evangelism. You can check out their website here if you would like more information about it.

I'm leaving on the 20th of this month, and will be there till February. So these past weeks that I've neglected this blog I've been stressing out about leaving for five months to a place I've never been before. I'm very much a homebody and an introvert at heart so leaving my home to go to a place I've never been to before, to live with a bunch of people I haven't met yet, is going to be quite a stretch. I've always fantasized about having an adventure like all the characters in my favorite books, but now that I'm on the verge of my own adventure, it doesn't seem all that appealing, just really scary and uncomfortable. Honestly I'd much rather stay at home and hide under my blankets away from all responsibilities, I guess I know how Bilbo Baggins felt now.

You might ask me, "Why are you going if you don't really want to?" and that's actually a pretty good question. You see, God told me to go on YWAM. I don't know if you really believe that God speaks to people nowadays, but he does, and I heard him tell me to go. So even though I'm pretty scared, nervous, and would prefer to just stay where I am, I know that God wants the best for me, and that He's always right. So I'm walking in Faith even though I honestly would prefer not to.

I'm not sure exactly what type of schedule I will have once I'm at DTS but I hope to continue posting on this blog twice a week, though I may have to drop it down to only once a week, we'll see, and I'll keep you updated. If you have any questions please leave them below, I always love hearing from you! I also want to thank everyone who has voted on the blog poll I posted a while ago, your votes really do help me figure out what kind of content I should continue to post. If you haven't voted yet I invite you to vote on the poll in the sidebar. Have a wonderful day everyone!

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Blog Poll

You may have noticed that there is a small poll on the side of this blog, asking you what sort of content you would like to see more off in the future. I would like to know what sort of blog posts and content you enjoy the most, so that I can use that information to better this blog. Lately I have been going through a lot of transition, and this blog has been one of the many things changing. Currently I am not really sure what direction it will be headed in, so if you would like to take a moment and click on your top three favorite types of content that you would like to see more of on this bog (in the sidebar), I would be very appreciative. If you have any other comments or suggestions to make please comment below, thank you!

Friday, August 22, 2014

Shatter Me-Book Review

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"Shatter Me" by Tahereh Mafi
About: "Juliette hasn't touched anyone in exactly 264 days.

The last time she did, it was an accident, but The Reestablishment locked her up for murder. No one knows why Juliette’s touch is fatal. As long as she doesn’t hurt anyone else, no one really cares. The world is too busy crumbling to pieces to pay attention to a 17-year-old girl. Diseases are destroying the population, food is hard to find, birds don't fly anymore, and the clouds are the wrong color.

The Reestablishment said their way was the only way to fix things, so they threw Juliette in a cell. Now so many people are dead that the survivors are whispering war – and The Reestablishment has changed its mind. Maybe Juliette is more than a tortured soul stuffed into a poisonous body. Maybe she’s exactly what they need right now.

Juliette has to make a choice: Be a weapon. Or be a warrior." From Goodreads

My Review: I almost put this book down about halfway through, I think I could have just dropped it and moved on with my life without really missing anything. Though now that I've finished it I am interested to see what happens in the next book. The first part of this book was sort of interesting, but a bit slow. Juliette was in a prison cell thinking poetic, though strange, thoughts about the outside world. No really, some of them were really really weird and this continued through the whole book... Here's a few of them for an example:

"I'd like to cry into his eyes."
"There are 400 cotton balls caught in my windpipe."
"James and Adam glance back at me and I melt into pink Play-Doh."
"I offer him a smile. Try to keep my organs from falling out. Hope the holes in my head aren't showing."
"I'm blushing through my bones."

See what I mean? They make me want to facepalm, hard. Besides all these semi poetic weird descriptions scattered throughout the whole book, Juliette has this interesting curse/gift thing that causes her to inflict serious pain on anyone she touches. This intrigued me and was what made me pick up the book, but it really wasn't explored all that much. Near the end of the book something really exciting happens and I feel quite sure that her ability will be explored a lot more in the future books in this series. The ending saved this book for sure, if it wasn't for that twist, I would probably have hated this book. There was way too much questionable content in it for me. I will read the second one, but after that, if it doesn't get a lot better then I'm abandoning the series.

Questionable Content: There was a whole lot of kissing in this book, and I mean a whole awful lot. The characters never went all the way, but you could tell that they really wanted to. I didn't appreciate that, and wished they would have kept that to a minimum. There was also a lot of swearing, with most of it happening towards the end. As for violence, it wasn't terrible, but violence in books and movies doesn't really bother me normally. Some descriptions may bother younger readers as it got a bit graphic at times.

Because of all the questionable content, I give "Shatter Me" ★★☆☆☆=It was okay. However, I am looking forward to reading the next book. I think the future developments in this story have a lot of potential.

Rating System:

                                               ☆☆☆☆☆=It was terrible! I didn't finish it.
                                               ★☆☆☆☆=I did not enjoy it.
                                               ★★☆☆☆=It was okay.
                                               ★★★☆☆=It was pretty good.
                                               ★★★★☆=I really enjoyed it.
                                               ★★★★★=It was Amazing!

Have you read "Shatter Me"? If so, what did you think? Are you planning on reading it, or are you going to skip it? Whatever your opinion, please leave a comment, I always love hearing from you!

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Character Development Series-Well Deserved Vacation

Give your character a well deserved vacation, because we've reached the end of the Character Development Series! Where would they like to go? A tropical island, or a busy city? What activities would they enjoy doing on their time off? Would they relax, or go sightseeing? Would they go by themselves, or take their family, or friends with them? What types of foods would they enjoy on their vacation? Would they enjoy a fast paced vacation, or a time to just sit and rest? Whatever vacation your character would like, they deserve it. After all you put them through they could use a little rest and relaxation. 

Thanks for participating in the Character Development Series, I hope you all enjoyed it! Please let me know what you thought of the series. Did you love it? Hate it? However you felt about it please let me know in the comments, I love hearing from you!

Sunday, August 17, 2014

New Deviant Art Account

Hello everybody, first of all I would like to apologize for the considerable drop in the amount of posts I have been posting in the last few weeks. My life has been speeding up faster and faster as the summer comes to a sad but inevitable end. I will be posting a survey of sorts sometime in the near future asking you what type of posts you enjoy most and would like to see more of, so keep your eyes peeled for that. If you have any feedback you would like to offer me please go ahead and leave a comment. I love hearing from you! Suggestions and comments are always more than welcome. 

Anyways, getting back to the main point of this post, I have created a Deviant Art account. Deviant Art is a website designed specifically for sharing your artwork, it's a really neat place. Now you can follow me on Deviant Art, favorite my artwork, leave feedback, comments, share my work, and even buy prints if you want. I will still be posting a few pieces of art on this blog, but the majority of my art will be on my Deviant Art account. All you need to do to check out my art on my new account is click here.

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Character Development Series-Starbucks Order

(All rights go to Starbucks® no copyright infringement intended)

Do you like coffee? I don't, but some of my characters certainly do. I was browsing through the Starbucks® menu the other day and it got me thinking. Have you ever gone to a coffee shop with a couple of friends before? If you have, have you noticed how interesting it is to see what everyone orders? Some people will order the same thing every time. Others will never get the same thing twice. There are so many options on the menu to choose from. It's interesting to think that maybe a person's order reflects their personality. So that leads to today's Character Development Series question: What would your character order from Starbucks®?

I chose Starbucks® because they have such a huge selection to choose from. They have all sorts of coffees, teas, smoothies, hot chocolates, and other beverage options. That's not all though, have you ever looked at their bakery menu? They have cookies, scones, doughnuts, croissants, danishes, coffee cakes, and so much more. Not to mention all the sandwiches and other food options they have. My mouth is watering just writing this! Why don't you take a quick look at the Starbucks® Drink Menu, and the Starbucks® Food Menu, and ask yourself: "What would your character order?"  

Don't forget to comment, I always love hearing from you, and all about your characters! 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Beautiful People August Edition-Thalia

It's time for Beautiful People again, this time it's the August edition! For those of you who don't know Beautiful People is a monthly set of questions to help me, and you, get to know my characters. Last month I participated in BP and answered the questions about my character Jastin from "The Paths of Thyme". The month before I answered the questions for Nadasa, also from "The Paths of Thyme". This month I will be answering the questions for Thalia Grey, Nadasa's caretaker and herbalist teacher. 

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1) What does your character regret the most in their life? Thalia regrets the many mistakes that she made in her past. Her greatest fear is that her past will catch up with her, and she has spent most of her life running from it.

2) What is your character's happiest memory? Most sorrowful memory? Thalia's happiest memory is the day her father took her to the castle archives where he worked and let her read anything she wanted. Her most sorrowful memory is the day she recovered from the plague only to discover that her entire family had not survived, and she was alone in the world.

3) What majorly gets on your character’s nerves? When people don't listen to her. She has a lot of wisdom to offer from many years of experience, specifically as an herbalist, but many times she has been silenced, especially for being a woman. Nadasa happens to be really good at getting on Thalia's nerves as well.

4) Do they act differently when they're around people as opposed to being alone? If so, how? Thalia feels the need to stay in control, to not let anything surprise her, or catch her off guard. Around people she is very cool, professional, and unshakable. When she is alone she lets the act slip, revealing that inside she really is the same scared little girl she was years ago, who makes mistakes, and doesn't always know what to do.

5) What are their beliefs and superstitions? (Examples: their religion or lack of one, conspiracy theories, throwing salt, fear of black cats.) Thalia used to be religious when she was young, but after her family died she turned her back on everything she used to believe in. Instead she dedicated her life to helping people, becoming a gifted herbalist, and saving many lives, though inside she has always felt empty.

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6) What are their catchphrases, or things they say frequently? "As an herbalist and healer you have an obligation to any wounded person, or even animal. If you can save someone then you must, even if they are an enemy. Do not withhold life, for if you do so then you are worse than a murderer.”

7) Would they be more prone to facing fears or running from them? Thalia has run from her past her entire life, it is her greatest fear. She can handle anything life throws at her, except she is unable to face her past mistakes.

8) Do they have a good self image? No, Thalia has spent her whole life trying to make up for her past, but she has never felt good enough. She sees herself as no better than a murderer.

9) Do they turn to people when they're upset, or do they isolate themselves? She has Isolated herself so much that she is not even sure if she is physically capable of opening up to someone.

10) If they were standing next to you would it make you laugh or cry? Neither, I would just feel very bad for her, and try to help her work through her many issues. She is a very damaged character, but despite this she has tried her best to move on and better herself and the world. I believe this shows great strength, but no matter what she does she will never be able to move on unless she forgives herself and lets go of the past.

Thanks for reading! I hope you enjoyed getting to know Thalia. She plays a more minor role in "The Paths of Thyme" but still holds a special place in my heart. If you have any questions about Thalia, my book, or anything else, just leave your questions in the comments and I'll answer them as soon as I can. Have you participated in Beautiful People before? What did you think about this month's questions? I really enjoyed them, what about you?

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Character Development Series-Favorite Season

Sorry everybody, this post is a day late. I lost track of the days of the week, which seems to happen so often in the summer, which is related to this week's character development series question. What's your character's favorite season? Why? In the summer the days seem to blend together into one long stream of time. The days are hot, long, and usually filled with carefree fun. In the fall, which happens to be my favorite season, the air is crisper, and leaves turn colors and fall from the trees. Time is more measured in this season, as kids head of to school and watch the clock carefully so they are not late to any of their many activities. In the winter the world is cold, and white. Time seems to slow down, picking up only through the winter holidays. That are filled with fun and laughter, but a different sort than in summer. Finally we have spring, where time begins to speed up again, the snow melts, the earth turns green, and the world explodes back into color. It rains often, bringing new life, and lot's of mud. So which season is your character's favorite? Which one can they identify with most?

Note: I am aware that seasons do not always behave this way depending on where you live.

Don't forget to comment! I always love hearing from you!

Monday, August 4, 2014

Blog Design Update

Hey everybody! You might have noticed a couple of changes around my blog today, well actually quite a lot of changes. The whole thing is completely different! 

(My new blog button, please go ahead and take one!)

I've been meaning to give my blog another design update for a while now, and I finally got around to doing it today. Christine Smith over at Musings of an Elf recently updated her blog's design as well. Her new design gave me a few ideas and enough motivation to finally get it done. So what do you think of the new design? Pretty different huh? I thought I'd go for a more sleek, simple, and professional look. What do you think? Did I succeed? Do you like it? Hate it? Whatever your opinion is about the new design, comment below, I always love hearing from you!

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Bucket List Tag

I found this lovely tag over at Hidden Orchards, and Lianne Taimenlore. As both of these ladies tagged anyone who wanted to participate, I decided to go ahead and do it. The rules are vague, so I just picked ten different things that I would love to do before I die, and were not too preposterous. Seriously though, there's some really weird things out there on some of the pinterest bucket lists I looked through...
Anyways, here is my bucket list:

Though I am not an amazing artist I really enjoy drawing and creating art pieces. Art is very powerful. I have been inspired by many different pieces of art over the years, and I believe that it would be amazing if I could inspire someone with some of my art too.

A longtime dream of mine, to have one of my books on every bookshelf.

I think riding in a limo would be fun, I haven't done it yet, but someday I hope to.

Horses have been my favorite animals for as long as I can remember. I've always wanted to have my own horse. I've lived within the city limits my whole life, and horses are expensive to keep, so I have been unable to have one yet. Someday, someday...

 The great wall of China has always fascinated me. Such a huge piece of architecture, with so much history behind it. It would be amazing to walk on the great wall someday.

I love learning, and am really looking forward to going to college. I hope to study writing extensively, as well as literature, art, or perhaps communications. I really have not decided yet.

 I've always dreamed of traveling the world, and setting foot all all seven continents would be amazing! One down, six to go.

My family has owned two dogs in my life, we got both of them full grown, so I've never had a puppy. I love dogs, cats are really nice too, but I like dogs just a little bit better. Puppies are so adorable, and I've always wanted to have one.

I've dabbled in songwriting when I was younger but my attempts were quite embarrassing, and a bit ridiculous. I would like to write a song before I die, a good one.

I love stargazing, but I don't like going out after dark by myself, and I can't find anyone to do it with me that often. I think that stargazing on a roof would be amazing, because that way you don't have to lay in the wet grass, and you're even higher up to look at the stars. 

I nominate:
Brooke Faulkner at Teen Words of Steel
Grace M. at Fictionally
Imogen Elvis at Gossiping with Dragons
Willa Nicole at Willa Nicole Scribblings
Ghost Ryter at Anything, Everything
Christine Smith at Musings of an Elf

If I didn't tag you and you would like to participate, feel free to do so. If you were tagged and would prefer not to participate, then don't. It's completely up to you so please don't feel pressured. 

Don't forget to comment, I'd love to hear about what's on your bucket list! 

Friday, August 1, 2014

Those Final Two Words: The End.

Four years ago I had an idea, an idea that very well may have changed the course of my life. That idea was a story, a story about a young girl named Nadasa. A story that is now entitled "The Paths of Thyme". For four years I plotted, planned, wrote, developed characters, and worked on "The Paths of Thyme" which grew into something far bigger than the tiny idea it started out with. Nadasa, Jastin, Dan, Thalia, Hagan, Nika, Isa, Markus, Wing, and all the rest of the characters came to life and became so real to me. After a long journey of four years, with over six majorly different versions, a grand total of 66,346 words, and 298 typed pages, I have finally witten those final two words that I have dreamed of writing ever since I started:

That's right, "The Paths of Thyme" is done. Finished! Well, I've got a whole lot of revision to do yet, but I have finally made it all the way through the whole story, it's all there. All of it. Finally. I did it, and I can hardly believe it. I completed my first novel, the project that I've been working on for four years is done! Now what do I do? Ah yes, revision, and you know what? I'm actually pretty excited about that. Now if you'll excuse me I'm off to celebrate with a whole lot of ice cream, and chocolate, lots!

(Oh, and if you're wondering. Yes, this means that I completed my Camp NaNoWriMo goal.)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Orphan's Song Cover Highlight

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I am very excited to share with you all this amazing cover for "Orphan's Song" by Gillian Adams. It's such a beautiful and intriguing cover, and I can't wait to read the book! I've been following Gillian on her blog Of Battles, Dragons, and Swords of Adamant for a while now. It's one of my very favorite blogs, and she inspired me to get back into blogging after I had given it up. So you might want to go check out her amazing blog here, or perhaps you'd like to participate in the publishing kickstarter for Orphan's Song though Enclave Publishing here.

Here's the blurb for Orphan's Song:

"Every generation has a Songkeeper – one chosen to keep the memory of the Song alive. And in every generation, there are those who seek to destroy the chosen one.

When Birdie’s song attracts the attention of a notorious Khelari soldier, she is captured and forced into a centuries old conflict plagued with ancient secrets and betrayals. Rescued by traveling peddler Amos McElhenny, Birdie flees the clutches of her enemies, determined to discover the truth behind the Song’s power.

Ky Huntyr has stolen many a thing in his time as a street-wise thief and senior member of the Underground—a gang of orphans banded together to survive—but he never thought he would be guilty of successfully stealing a priceless treasure from the Khelari and bringing their wrath on his comrades. Haunted by the tragic consequences of his raid, Ky joins Birdie and Amos in hopes of drawing the Khelari after him to keep the Underground safe.

But war soon threatens all of Leira, and the enemy is closing in. When Amos’ shadowed past threatens to undo them all, Birdie is forced to face the destiny that awaits her as the Songkeeper of Leira."

Now doesn't that sound like the kind of book that you would love to get lost in? To add to your bookshelf? Recommend to friends? Read over and over? Memorize your favorite sections? It certainly sounds like that kind of book to me. I can't wait for this book to be released! How about you?

Author Bio: Gillian Bronte Adams was born with a pen in her hand, a sword at her side, and a saddle beneath her feet. As a speculative fiction writer from the great state of Texas, she delights in combining epic adventure and fantasy with themes that point to the greatest story of all—or, as she refers to it, writing to the echoes of eternity. During the day, she works as the Equine Director at a Christian youth camp, while at night, she kicks off her boots and spurs and transforms into a novelist. 

Check out her blog here!

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Character Development Series-Wrote a Book

Here's an interesting paradox for you. What if the character you were writing in your book, wrote their own book? What would it be about? What genre would they write in? Fantasy, Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Children's, YA, Adult, Romance, Self Help, Religion, AutoBiography, Biography, Horror, Paranormal, Post Apocalyptic, Etc.? What would the main theme of their book be? What type of main character would they write about, someone like them, or someone completely different? Would their book be light hearted, or something dark and gritty? How long would it take them to finish writing their book? Would they seek to get it published, or would they just leave it in the closet?

Whatever your character would write about, and whatever they would do with it once they finished writing it. I would love to hear about it, and to hear more about you and the book(s) you're writing. Please don't forget to comment, as always I love to hear from you!

To view the entire Character Development Series click here.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

The Paths of Thyme Excerpt-Nadasa and Dan

"Nadasa and Dan" by Andrea Nan

Here is an excerpt from "The Paths of Thyme" as promised. This scene takes place near the beginning of the book, between Nadasa and her best friend Dan. Dan is a shepherd, and most of you have probably never heard of him until now. Well, I hope you enjoy this scene. Please don't forget to comment and let me know what you think!

“What are you doing up there Wren?” Came a voice from below her tree. Nadasa leaned forward to see a tall strong boy with straight blond hair. His head was tipped back to look up at her, and he was grinning. She laughed at him, and through a handful of leaves down on his head.
“I'm building my Nest, Ash.” she called, using his middle name as he had done with hers, it was a bit of a private joke between them.
“Is there room for another up there?” He asked formally, bowing as if he wanted to ask her to a dance.
“Come on up Dan.” Nadasa said, “I'm having some trouble with Thalia so I flew away to the trees.” Dan started his ascent, he wasn't as graceful as she was but he could still climb pretty well. As he climbed he called up to her,
“You know, Nadasa you shouldn't run, or fly, away from your problems. It only makes them worse.” Nadasa sighed and climbed lower in the tree to a wide tree branch that had enough room for both of them to sit comfortably side by side.
“I know,” she said as Dan reached the branch and sat down. “But I couldn't think of anything better to do. You should have been there,” she said looking into his hazel eyes, “Thalia was so angry.”
“I know,” Dan said, “She told me everything, and sent me out here to get you.” Nadasa stiffened, and crossed her arms huffily,
“Well you're not moving me an inch.” she said. Dan smiled again, and leaned back against the thick trunk of the tree, trying to get comfortable.
“That’s what I told her. I said that I couldn't move you an inch unless you decided that you'd like to, which you won't of course.”
“I just don't understand why she didn't tell me that I was a Wanderer.” Nadasa said, twisting a few leaves together with her hands and tossing them to the ground below. “I think I deserve to know about my past and my heritage.” Dan nodded thoughtfully.
“For some reason she believed that it would be best not to tell you. She probably has some good reasons.” Nadasa puffed out her cheeks and let out a gust of air as she tried to sort out her feelings.
“But she never even told me her reasons!” Nadasa complained, “She just said that it was better if I didn't know and that the Wanderers are not my people.”
“But Thalia said they abandoned you.” Said Dan “Doesn't that kind of make you an outcast or something. I mean if they didn’t want you, then you're not really part of their group then right?” Nadasa gave him an angry look,
“It’s not that simple.” She said, “If one of your older brothers suddenly decided that he didn't want to be part of your family, does that mean that he wouldn’t be part of your family anymore.”
“No…” Dan said slowly,
“Exactly,” Nadasa continued, and warming to her subject, “Or if your father decided that he didn't want you to be his son anymore, you would still be his son, it wouldn't change that. It would only change your relationship with him.”
“I guess.” Dan finally admitted.
“See, I’m still part of the Wanderers whether they want me or not.”
“But what does that change?” Dan asked looking in her eyes. “So you're part of the Wanderers, what does that mean? It doesn't really make a difference around here. You're the same girl you’ve always been.” Nadasa looked away, a pained expression on her face. He didn't understand, and how could he, she thought. Dan had always had a family, and knew where he belonged, but she didn't. She had no idea who she was, and who she was supposed to be. Discovering that she was a Wanderer had given her hope, that maybe somewhere out there, she had a family, a group of people to whom she belonged. She knew that she couldn't give that up, and she wouldn't. Not ever.

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Exciting Announcement: New Camera!

Hey Everyone I have an exciting announcement to make, I just got a new camera! It's a Canon EOS Rebel T3. It's a pretty nice DSLR camera, and I love it! I spent a lot of money on it, but I think it was worth it. I don't intend to pursue photography as a career, but I really enjoy taking good pictures, and having such a nice camera is amazing. Here are a few pictures I took while experimenting with my new toy. I'm sure that there will be many more in the future.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Five Glass Slippers-Book Review

I was very happy to get Five Glass Slippers in the mail the other day, to my delight it was shipped quite quickly, and was a lot thicker than I had previously thought. I really enjoyed reading all the different Cinderella retellings, all the authors really did a marvelous job.

About: What happens when Cinderella is so painfully shy that she cannot bear the idea of attending the royal ball? Or when the slipper fits . . . but on the wrong girl? What happens when Cinderella is determined to oust an imposter prince from her rightful throne? Or when she is a cendrillon miner working from a space station orbiting a cthonian planet? What happens when Cinderella, a humble housemaid, is sent with a message for a prisoner trapped in a frightening fairy circus?

Here is Cinderella as you have never met her before, wearing glass slippers and off on unforgettable adventures!
From Goodreads

My Review:

"What Eyes Can See" by Elisabeth Brown: I really enjoyed this start to the collection. The Cinderella in this story is very sweet, and painfully shy. It was a very unusual take on the classic tale, with kind stepsisters and a caring stepmother, but it worked very well. I really enjoyed getting to know Arella, her sisters, and the prince. A very sweet story, with a surprising, but delightful ending.

"Broken Glass" by Emma Clifton: The main character in this story, Rosalind, is almost the exact opposite of the Cinderella in the first story. She is opinionated, stubborn, and not afraid of anything. It was great to read about a character with such a strong personality. I loved reading about the different love stories that wove together to make an exciting, and intriguing story. The setting was not all that clear, I believe that is was supposed to be sort of steampunk, and sort of fantasy, but the characters made up for that. I loved the twist at the end, (no spoilers here...) and I can't wait to discover what happens to all these lovely characters next.

"The Windy Side of Care" by Rachel Heffington: This Cinderella story was great. It was unique, exciting, and filled with the unexpected. I enjoyed getting to know Alisandra, a very capable girl who knew what she wanted, and was not afraid to do what needed to be done. I really enjoyed reading about her, and her attempts to reclaim her rightful throne. I loved the unexpected twist of the "fairy godmother" and the ending scene was quite good.

"A Cinder's Tale" by Stephanie Ricker: This story was by far my favorite. I loved Elsa and all her friends. I loved how all the classic elements were translated seamlessly into a beautiful science fiction universe. I especially loved the part about the trying on the "glass slipper", it made me laugh. It would be hard to tell that this was a Cinderella telling if you didn't know, and I really liked that. It was not like someone just chucked a painfully obvious retelling of Cinderella at your head. It was very tastefully done, and a wonderful read. I loved it, and cannot wait to read more in The Cendrillon Cycle when it is released in December.

"The Moon Master's Ball" by Clara Diane Thompson: The final story in the collection was my second favorite. I loved Tilly, the balance between her sweet, and hardworking personality, and her fears. Shaped her into a delightful character who was well rounded, believable, and very likeable. This story had a slightly haunting feeling to it, which was very beautiful. I loved that it was set in autumn, the crisp nights, and the pumpkin patches, made for a beautiful setting. I loved the element of forgiveness that was briefly explored, it was very sweet. All in all, it was a perfect ending to a delightful collection of varied tales.

Questionable Content: None

I give "Five Glass Slippers" ★★★★☆=I really enjoyed it.

Rating System:

                                               ☆☆☆☆☆=It was terrible! I didn't finish it.
                                               ★☆☆☆☆=I did not enjoy it.
                                               ★★☆☆☆=It was okay.
                                               ★★★☆☆=It was pretty good.
                                               ★★★★☆=I really enjoyed it.
                                               ★★★★★=It was Amazing!

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Character Development Series-Personality Color

Which color represents your character's personality? Does your character have a temper? Then maybe red, or orange would suit them. Are they layed back, and easygoing? Perhaps baby blue is their color. Are they mysterious, or have a dark past? If so then maybe black is the right color for them. Are they cheerful, and upbeat? Yellow or hot pink might be the way to go. Are they sophisticated, and classy? White, grey, or navy blue might be good choices. Down to earth, with a love for nature? Green, or brown are good fits. Are they rich, and vivacious? Perhaps philosophical, and a deep thinker? If so then purple is a good way to go.

These are just suggestions to get your imagination moving. If your character does not fit any of these, then feel free to choose a color based on your own ideas. If you're having a hard time deciding, then you could try taking this Buzzfeed personality color quiz for your character and see what you come up with.

Don't forget to comment, I always love to hear from you!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Camp NaNoWriMo-Fourth Week

We have now reached the fourth week of Camp NaNoWriMo, the final full week before the end.

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My WiFi was down last night, so instead of spending all my time on Pinterest, I finally got around to writing. I'm still really far behind my goal, but at least I have a few more words down. I don't really have anything to say about the fourth week of camp, except keep plugging along, you'll get there. 

What about you? How's Camp going for you?

Hopefully later this week I will be posting a book review for "Five Glass Slippers", and perhaps a few snippets from "The Paths of Thyme" or my Beauty and the Beast retelling. Also if you have any requests or ideas for future posts I would love your input as I now have no more content lined up for Sundays. Have a wonderful day, and keep writing!

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Author Influence-God

We have now come to the end of the author influence series, and I have saved the best author for last, God.

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There is no author in all the world that can ever rival Him. He created every single person that has ever lived, and each one of them with a unique story very different from everyone else's. He created all the authors, writers, and storytellers in the world and put their stories in their heads. Each one of us has a unique story, a unique life. God has given each of us writers a special story that only we can tell. I have read countless books, and heard thousands of stories, by many authors. I can still say that not a single story, or author, can ever influence me more than my God. He gave me a life that is a wonderful story unlike anyone else's, unique. He gave me words and stories, and told me to be a writer. I know that He chose me, and that he guides my life's story. He is the greatest author there ever was, is, and will be. I think that you'll agree with me that that's best kind of influence there is.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Character Development Series-Typical Outfit

What is your character's typical outfit? Can you find them in jeans and a T-shirt, or sweatpants and a hoodie? Are they the type of person to dress up when they go out, but then lounge around in pajamas at home? Do they enjoy dressing up, or despise it? What is their favorite outfit or article of clothing, does it have any sentimental value? Do they have an accessory that they always wear? A scarf, sunglasses, or a certain piece of jewelry? What is your character's opinion on clothes in general? Do they view them as a way to express themselves, or do they view clothes as trifling necessities? How many pairs of clothes does your character own? A huge walk in closet full, or just one outfit that's falling to pieces? What color does your character tend to wear the most? How many pairs of shoes do they own?

Don't forget to leave a comment! I always love to hear about you and your characters!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Camp NaNoWriMo-Third Week

Hey guys, welcome to week three of Camp NaNoWriMo! I was planning on giving a big pep talk about not giving up, writing everyday, etc, but I decided that if I did that I would be a pretty big hypocrite, since I'm over four thousand words behind on my word count goal.

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Yikes, I know. I've been procrastinating for quite a while. So I haven't really gotten much writing done. You know, I've decided that procrastinating is probably the biggest enemy to creativity. Negativity is up there too, but it's not quite as big of a problem as procrastinating. I love writing, I love story telling, I love blogging, I love being a writer, and I would love to someday become an author, but I've got a little problem, well it's actually a big problem. I procrastinate all the time, and I'm not entirely sure why.

Procrastinating is easy to do, there's so many things you don't want to do, and so many other things that need to get done. It's really easy to put off the hard, boring, and annoying things that need to get done, and work on simpler, more enjoyable tasks instead. While you procrastinate you get a lot of other less important things done, but you still have the one huge task that you need to get done looming over your head, and it's not fun. In fact sometimes it can be downright miserable, and I'm not even sure why I do it all the time, it's really not worth it. Everyone always tells me that the only solution is to just do it, and while I guess I agree with that, it doesn't make it any less hard.

The third week of Camp NaNoWriMo has just started and I'm terribly behind, but I'm not going to give up. I can't promise that I will stop procrastinating, in fact I think that is unlikely, I can't give you a big pep talk, or encourage you to just keep going, but I'm not giving up, and I don't think you should either.

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Author Influence-Jonathan Rogers

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A few years ago I read some pretty terrible christian fantasy books. They were riddled with cliches, one dimensional characters, unoriginal storylines, bland settings, and predictable endings. Basically what the author had done was take the Bible, the greatest story ever told, and reason that the best way to write a fantasy was to change the setting, character names, and just basically rewrite the Bible with a few minor changes that did nothing to disguise what they were doing. I understand that they were trying to write an allegory, but it really did not work. Needless to say I did not get through the entire series, two books was enough for me. Because of this I am afraid that I lost faith in all christian fantasy authors for a while.

This went on for a while, with me believing that the only good christian fantasy authors were like C.S. Lewis, and J.R.R. Tolkien, dead. I wanted nothing to do with such an unoriginal genre. I'm not sure why I picked up "The Bark of the Bog Owl" by Jonathan Rogers, I knew that he was a christian fantasy author, and I suppose that I might have been giving the genre one last chance to redeem itself. Whatever the reason I started reading the book I am very glad I did. What I discovered in this unusual fantasy retelling of the life of King David was fresh, different, and unpredictable. I realized that not all christian fantasy was full of cliches, and that there were still many original stories out there, just waiting to be discovered.

Jonathan Rogers restored my faith in christian fantasy, and allegories. Making me not ashamed to call myself a christian fantasy writer, and be apart of such an interesting and varied genre.

Friday, July 11, 2014

Cinder-Book Review

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"Cinder" by Marissa Meyer
About: "Humans and androids crowd the raucous streets of New Beijing. A deadly plague ravages the population. From space, a ruthless lunar people watch, waiting to make their move. No one knows that Earth’s fate hinges on one girl."

"Cinder, a gifted mechanic, is a cyborg. She’s a second-class citizen with a mysterious past, reviled by her stepmother and blamed for her stepsister’s illness. But when her life becomes intertwined with the handsome Prince Kai’s, she suddenly finds herself at the center of an intergalactic struggle, and a forbidden attraction. Caught between duty and freedom, loyalty and betrayal, she must uncover secrets about her past in order to protect her world’s future" -From Goodreads

My Review: I was quite skeptical when I first heard about this book. I thought, Cinderella as a cyborg? Now that's just weird. Later I saw a few good reviews for the book on different blogs, and that made me curious to see if the book was as good as they said it was. What made me decide to read the book was this beautiful fanart I discovered on Pinterest:

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This portrait looks nothing like what I imagined a cyborg would look like. Messy brown hair, and grease stains. It flipped my preconceived ideas on their head, and made me really want to read the book and get to know this interesting and unique girl/cyborg, and I'm glad I did. 

This book amazed me. I didn't expect it to be as good as it was, and it was a wonderful surprise. Marissa Meyer seamlessly blended together the classic fairytale of Cinderella, with a dystopian, post apocalyptic world, filled with technology, death, rust, and plague. Creating a beautiful and yet dangerous setting that was believable and interesting. While the fairytale was recognizable, the story was in no way cliched or predictable. Some of the small things that were tossed in there made me smile as I recognized them from the classic story. I loved Cinder's character, a strong, smart, talented, and interesting girl, who still had flaws. She was afraid, doubted herself, and went through some very rough times, but did not let that stop her from doing what she had to do. 

I am very excited to read the next books in the series! There are more reviews to follow.

Questionable Content: The descriptions of the plague were in depth, and not for the very queasy reader. There is swearing at one point in the book, but it is justified and not the worst. The romance in this book was very clean, with no kissing or anything. There is a bit of violence but nothing like something like "The Hunger Games" or "Divergent".

I give "Cinder" ★★★★★=It was Amazing!

Rating System:

                                               ☆☆☆☆☆=It was terrible! I didn't finish it.
                                               ★☆☆☆☆=I did not enjoy it.
                                               ★★☆☆☆=It was okay.
                                               ★★★☆☆=It was pretty good.
                                               ★★★★☆=I really enjoyed it.
                                               ★★★★★=It was Amazing!

This is my first book review on this blog, if you enjoyed it, or would like me to write more reviews in the future please let me know in the comments. Are there any specific books you would like me to review? Have you read "Cinder"? What did you think?