You all have no idea how excited I am to write this post! I loooove reading almost as much as I love writing and now I get to share my ten (edit: thirteen) most favorite reads from 2018!
The books will be categorized either by genre or (in one case, author status). Almost every single one of these books is rated 5 stars by me on Goodreads, so I have to sort it out for you guys. XD
Without further ado here is the top
I really do enjoy dystopias. I try to mostly stick to Christian dystopias just because of the need for hope in these sort of stories. They are so powerful and so beautiful and the world building is some of the best things ever.
Ok so I’m only gonna count this as one book, even though technically it’s three bound in one. I got it for my birthday in January and guys I can’t even explain how amazing it is. The plot is so deep and so entwined and so perfect. If you know me you know I don’t tend to read spiritual fiction. But this is one book that I was in awe of. The way good and evil are portrayed, the way The Fall is told and the love and redemption of Elyon and- I can go on and on. To summarize it I’m going to say this. As soon as you turn 17 get yourself a copy. It does get super intense and graphic in some parts, so reader digression is advised, but y’all, this is definitely a reread for 2019. Go here for the Goodreads description and here for my veeerryyy long fangirl review. XD
Note: there is a fourth book that was added on later. It wasn’t originally included in the trilogy and honestly I like it better this way. I haven’t read Green and don’t plan to, the story is well completed with just these three. Just thought I’d mention it.
So this wasn’t five stars on Goodreads, but I keep coming back to it, wondering when the sequel will be coming out. It’s soooo just dusty and wet and gloomy and tense and beautiful. I loved the world building, the plot line and some of the characters. Even though over all it wasn’t the most stunning book ever it left an impression on me and, unlike even some 5 stars I’ve read, the story and characters are often on my mind. That’s a good thing for a book. 😀 The story is about a girl named Halcyon and her friends. Living in a future Budapest as an undercover Christian AND a drone snipper is enough to keep the government on her tail, not to mention breaking into a top secret facility. No cliche here guys. It’s all original nail biting suspence. Go here for the Goodreads description and here for my review. I got a free ecopy in exchange for a review and wasn’t obligated to write a good one, but I really did enjoy it.
This is just the cover of the first book, but there are three. I wasn’t stunned with the first book, slightly disturbed actually, but the memories I have after reading it are so fond. I loved the characters soo much. The character development and actions and personality was so amazing. The plot itself was fast paced and never lagging, and very intricate. And by the end of the third book I loved it. I want this series on my series on my shelf some day.
I do recommend age 16 and up for it as there are multiple slightly graphic scenes and I warn you that Parvin (MC) loses her hand. Which really disturbed me because I wasn’t aware of the fact before time. Suuuuch an interesting trilogy and definitely recommend it for your 2019 TBR! Go here to add them all.
I usually try to stay away from romance books in general, but it’s hard with the YA genre. Mostly, I’ve found clean, sweet, well diluted romances that carry a plot that balances the romance. Here are a couple of my favorites.
This was suuuch a sweet little thing! I really enjoyed the plot and the MC’s point of view. I’m not used to reading romances of any sort from boy’s point of view, but this one was so fresh and loving and beautiful. I recommend it for girls 16 and up. Click here to check it out and here to read my content review.
Joanne Bischof has really been a good author this year. I’ve loved her work so much and can’t wait to read more! This book, This Quiet Sky is a tear jerker if I ever met one. But I read it knowing that fact, and I adored it so much. The plot was beautiful and painful, the characters soo precious and I just loved it. So much. So. Much. If you’re 16 years or older and don’t mind crying a bit, get this one now! Add it to your TBR here and read my review here.
Ok soooo. This book? You can read my help with the blog tour here. But basically it was so good I bought it the day it came out. As part of the beta team (because I know Jesseca Wheaton’s work is NOT TO BE MISSED) I got to read it in its slightly earlier stages but Oh. My. Goodness was it good. The romance was soo cleaan and sweet and I’m out of words to describe it! Basically, if you don’t have it on your shelf you are so. missing. out. Add it here and read my review here!
I’m a hardcore Indie publishing fan. I plan to independently publish my own books and the indie book’s I’ve read so far are amazing. I’ve chosen out a couple of the bestest ones I read last year. I hope you get them into your local library and help out a fellow author. Maybe even get a copy for yourself!
I know a lot of my followers know the Willis clan and have probably already read and bought a copy of this gem but I’m writing this here for anyone who hasn’t. It’s a tiny tiny tad of romance, a bit emphasis on family, love, trusting God. Set in a low key dystopian world with a plot that keeps you flipping pages, I couldn’t help getting a (signed!!!) copy for myself. If you haven’t read it yet DO IT and also read my incoherent review here.
There are currently two books in this series, The Coronation and The Rebellion. The Wedding is coming out soon *crosses fingers*. It’s a mix between something like Princess Diaries and the sweetest family relationship focused on God and oh my heart I can’t even express how much I enjoyed it.
So The Coronation is HIIIIGH INTENSITY and I was literally gasping for breath until the last page. I was exhausted and not sure if my nerves could handle the second book, but I couldn’t turn it down when it came out and I got a copy from my library as soon as possible. The Rebellion is not as suspenseful but just as entertaining and admirable. Both infused with a sweet taste of romance and a large serving of role model princesses (I wish I could be friends with that amazing family) the values that Livy instills is just *happy sigh*.
Another thing I have to say is that Livy, the author, is one of the most interactive fun indie authors I’ve come across. She’s so appreciative of each of her readers and she’s so much fun as a person. Check out the books here and my review here.
The Willis clan has got themselves a handful of amazing writers and I could never leave out Crossroads. It’s a high intensity dystopia with crazy characters, fast paced plot, and it will challenge your convictions. I love the way that it was so balanced and so clearly explained, but so entertaining and gripping. Recommended for girls 16 and up because of graphic scenes and highly recommended for boys (brothers, friends, etc.) especially. Paul addressed a topic I’d been very indecisive about myself, and I can’t help admiring the stand that he took. Give it a try and read my short review here.
Jesseca Wheaton from the above mentioned book is also an Independently publishing author.
The next couple books are very very Bible based, very christian concepts, and left an impression on me. I hope you’ll give them a try!
This book is a Pilgrims Progress retelling and one of the highest books on my to-buy list. You can read my help with the blog tour and author interview here. We talked about the plot, the details and the reasoning behind the book itself. Check it out. I really did enjoy the retelling and appreciate the parts that came through loud and clear, and hidden and searched for. Add it to your TBR here.
I haven’t read any other work by Tessa Afshar but I did read this one and I liked the story a lot. Was it morally uplifting and convicting and amazing? Maybe not as much as other christian books I’ve read, but I enjoyed reading about the fiction life of the woman Jesus healed. The author’s note at the end gave a personal touch and I’m really glad I got myself to read this one. I might be exploring more of this series later. You can read more about it here and see my review here.
We all have to give a nod to those many many many many books out there under one category, contemporary. There is always those one or two that left us scarred and in love, and simply didn’t fall under another label. So here is the place for those.
This one was so sweet. And Irishman and a Vineyard, a grandmother with Alzheimer’s. Then a British spy, and a french guard (y’all the conversations between these two? *swoons* the end though *weeps*). And we cannot forget the fair lady, the Prince, and the castle. It’s a classical (can I used that word without knowing what it means? XD) combination resulting in a wonderful wonderful tale. It’s got a bit of romance in it, but it’s clean, lovely, and not distracting from the very very interesting plot and quest. Highly recommended for girls 16 and up. Add it to your TBR here and read my long review here.
I’ve mentioned this book a couple times before, and this year it was a re-read. I also tried out its two companions and although this one was my favorite, I also enjoyed the other two. Kara’s journey and love for family and eventual love for Christ and Abby’s consistent friendship is just all so sweet. It’s also got a tad of romance (will we ever get away from it?) but nothing cringy (ok there are some cringy parts, but the MC definitely didn’t pretend not to cringe XD) I recommend this to Christian girls 16 and up. 😀 Add it to TBR here and read my tiny review here!
Soooo that’s that. My favorite books from 2018. If you’re interested in seeing what else I read in 2018 you can go here and see everything I read! And if you made it this far in the post comment down below and let me know so I can thank you! X”D
Have you read any of these books? Did you add any of them to your TBR? (If you didn’t WHY NOT?!)
See you next week!
Hello my lovely humans! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all! Last year I did a year recap and resolutions post (which you can go read here) and this year I’m going to do the very same thing. 😀
Honestly I’ve been really excited to do this for a while. Most people do this sort of thing once a month even, and I haven’t gotten into that, but this once a year thing sure does get exciting.
That’s all for today folks! I’ll be working hard to post on time for you guys. Usually I try to post every Wednesday. Keep an eye out because next week I’m doing a READING recap of 2018 and I’m gonna share some of the BEST BOOKS in the world that I read in 2018.
Have a lovely week my friends.
P.S. I don’t like B.R.B.’s hair like this.
“Candy! Slow down! I can’t keep up!” Lilian stumbled down the cement sidewalk and hurried to catch up with her older sister.
Candy, the oldest of three girls, glanced back to make sure Lillian hadn’t fallen. “We don’t have a lot of time. The store closes very soon.”
“I know,” Lilian gasped, clasping onto Candy’s mittened hand and working twice as hard to equal her sister’s long strides. “But neither of us will get there it I get lost.”
Candy smiled and squeezed Lillian’s hand, slowing a bit. “That’s true. What an awful Christmas present it would be to come home to Mama without you.”
Lillian giggled, looking up at the right decorative lights around them. The sparkled and reflected off the snow on the ground, glowing red and green and blue. “I think Mama likes me.”
Candy grinned. “I like you too. You brought your nickel?”
Lillian nodded and held up her red mitten on her left hand. “It’s getting sweaty.”
They the bells jungles as they walked into the store. Cinnamon and warmth greeted them and a smiling Mr. Trill did the same. “Well hello girls. It’s quite the evening to be out, Christmas Eve.”
Lillian nodded and let Candy’s hand go. “I’m glad we got here before you closed the store Mr. Trill. I’m here to buy a bit of sugared ginger for a gift.”
Mr. Trill’s face fell. “Oh dear. I’m afraid we’re clear out of that. It seemed quite a popular one. Is there another that you maybe would like?”
Lillian’s heart dropped. “All gone? But those were Mama’s favorite.”
“I’m sorry Lillian. If I had known that you wanted some I would have set them aside.”
Candy watched her little sister interact with the clerk from a distance, giving her some space, but she didn’t seem very excited any more. She turned from the rolls of fabric and walked to cash register. “Is everything alright?”
Lillian’s lip trembled as she looked at her big sister. “He’s all out of the sugared ginger and I can’t get any for Mama.”
Candy looked surprised. “Sugared ginger? I didn’t know that’s what you wanted to buy.”
Lillian nodded. “But now I can’t get it for her.” She dropped her face into her hands and a tear trailed down her cheek. Mr. Trill looked uncomfortable but Candy knew what to do.
She knelt beside her sister and pulled gently on her hands, lifting her chin so she would look at her. “Lillian I’m sorry that there isn’t any. Do you want to pray and ask God to help you find Mama another gift?”
Lillian sniffed and looked around the colorful store full of wonderful things. “Ok… but Mama loves that ginger.”
Candy smiled “She does. Let’s pray.”
There in the store Lillian and Candy bowed their heads and prayed that God would help them to find a perfect gift for Mama. When Candy looked up, Lillian’s eyes were sparkling. “I know what I’m going to do with my nickel.”
“Give it to the church.”
Candy was surprised. “To the church? But you won’t have anything to give Mama.”
Lillian shrugged and pulled on her mittens, pulling Candy towards the door. “God answers prayers. He will take care of it.”
Candy couldn’t help smiling at the little girl and bid Mr. Trill a good night before heading back out.
Lillian was more than happy to lay the small coin down in the snowy steps of their rock chapel, but Candy knew she had to do something for her.
“Let’s get home now. We ought to be in bed before the clock strikes nine. You know how Papa is about waking early when we get to bed late.” Candy grinned at Lillian.
Lillian laughed and skipped home with her sister.
Candy wished she had the faith simple as Lillian’s, but she understood that things didn’t just appear. The small sack of candies that she’d hidden in her scarf with the new bodice pin under the bed would be from Lilian the next day. At least then she wouldn’t be disappointed.
The next morning when the light first shone in their faces Lillian was the most excited to hop out of bed.
Mama and Papa were awakened too and laughter rang through the house as they all gathered to open the stockings. Candy held Lillian on her lap as Mama opened her stocking and the delighted smile that lit up her face was reward itself to Candy.
“Why Lillian! These are my favorite! Thank you for getting them for me.” Mama smiled. “I’ll be sure to share.”
Lillian squirmed and as Papa took his turn she spoke in Candy’s ear. “See? God did get Mama the candy.” She kissed her sister’s check. “Just like you.”
Lillian turned back to watch the rest of the gifts opened, but Candy was struck. God had answered the little girl’s prayer. She had doubted Him and He had used her to be the instrument.
As they stood up to begin their breakfast preparation before the guests came, Candy sent up a prayer to heaven. First asking for the faith of a child, simple and trusting, and then in thanks that God had chosen to use her as an answer.
It was a merry Christmas.
Good day my lovely readers! So I know technically it’s been a week since NaNo was over but I had a different post. So this post had to be pushed back a bit. XD
Today I’m going to discuss my experience in immersing myself into my regional NaNo community. What I liked and didn’t like and why.
So up until this November I didn’t even know there was such a thing as a regional NaNoWriMo. In Camp Nano last April I contacted my “local” Municipal Liaison (ML) and asked how this whole thing worked. I was super confused because July Camp Nano came and went and I got nothing in my email about the local events. Oh well, so much for that idea. Then October hit and I got a NaNo email. Apparently regional NaNoWriMo is for the actual month of November and not for any of the camps.
Well, I decided to give it a try.
I showed up at my local library for the kick-off party and sat and watched people and how they interacted and what they did. I can say my favorite part of that whole “party” were the stickers.. ok, and the little tiny “plot bunnies” that one of the ML’s made out of pom-poms. Those were adorable. Otherwise the party was really awkward and empty and like… awkward. I didn’t really want to talk to anyone so I sat in the chair and did the little thingies they had like wordsearch and such. (I’m not an introvert. I just didn’t know what I was doing there) I did end up talking to a couple of ladies and it was a bit smile worthy. Otherwise, I had higher hopes for the write ins.
As a side note the man who was “hosting” the kick off party at my library offered an “online option if you prefer to hide behind a screen,” which rubbed me wrong and I don’t know if I was in a bad mood or something. I personally prefer doing NaNo online a lot more (but this is for later) but him saying it that way, that people who do Nano online don’t actually genuinely participate in NaNoWriMo sort of made me wrinkle my nose.
The write-ins were SOOO good for word counts. Honestly, I don’t think it was because of the other people around me. Setting aside three hours of the evening in a library with nothing to be done expect writing I got a good amount of words in. I only ended up going to two of the many many write-in’s they had. I think there were like three every week for the whole month. If I had a car I would probably have went to a couple more but since I had to work with my parent’s schedules I think twice was perfect. I really just wanted to have the full regional NaNo experience before forming an opinion of whether I liked online or local Nano better.
The first write-in I went to was good. It was ML hosted and we talked about our stories, sideplots, *coughs* stranglings *coughs* (We were all authors. There’s seriously nothing to worry about), word counts, and had a couple of sprints. We also discussed Judaism and Christianity because one of the ladies there had been converted from Judaism to Christianity. It was a very good conversation and the few that didn’t participate I think were not Christians (oops) but they didn’t make it difficult. Just waited until the conversations moved on (which took patience because getting a bunch of strangers together that are united through the blood of Christ and they can discuss it for a long time)
Anyway, at the Kick off Party we got bingo cards and there were different tasks that we had to do in our books. (a couple of examples is like reach 10k words over a weekend [which I did not do. XD] or attend a non-ML hosted write in. Win a sprint, race someone to 500 words, fun stuff) So I was able to fill out quite a few of those at the write-ins.
In the second Write-in I attended it was non-ML hosted and I got more words in than the first one. It was on November 29th and the second to last day of NaNo. It felt so good to meet those people when we all had nothing and then to meet towards the end and sort of share our progress and see how people went about their work.
So the TGIO Party was supposed to be at a restaurant on the 6th of December and I was planning to go. We were to bring our bingo cards and for every bingo we were able to make we got a raffle ticket for the NaNoWriMo regional prize. But I only got one or two bingos and I never super connected with any of the people. So Thursday night as I was cleaning the kitchen after dinner I’m like “Why would I go to a restaurant I don’t know is ever good with a bunch of people I don’t really know to have an awkward expensive get together.” So guess what I did? Because I don’t really have to follow any rules I took my sister and we went to a restaurant I know is good and we celebrated just me and her and had our favorite appetizers. We talked about the movie’s we’d watched on December first for my mom’s cookies exchange (I might have to write a post about that). We discussed Finn Mcmissile from Cars 2, the difference between Francesco from Cars 2 and Stefano from Madagascar 3 (they were both Italian). It was so much more fun than going to a TGIO Party and I was so glad that I hadn’t made myself go.
So before I go into my opinion of regional Nano I want to explain how to get to your own local NaNoWriMo group. I highly recommend for everyone to try it out at least once in their NaNoWriMo careers. I was sort of concerned that since writers tend to be introverts (*cough* not me but most people *cough*) I would have to adopt some of them and make sure it didn’t get awkward but GUESS WHAT? They got along just fine without me like they have since NaNoWriMo started. X”D And for that I was glad. I didn’t feel like forcing my extrovertedness during NaNoWriMo. During most of the time during write-ins I had my earphones in and just wrote to my hearts contentment. So even as an extrovert I didn’t have to talk all that much. Which was good because I was there to get a word count boost. XD
Ok there I went chattering. To join your local NaNoWriMo region you go to the NaNoWriMo site (clicking on the link if you want). You need to have an account on the site already, so if you don’t have one go ahead and make one. Then, on the dashboard there will be a button called “Region.” If you let your mouse hover over it there will be a dropdown menu that will allow you to “Find a Region.” This dropdown is the same place that you will go to visit your home region’s page. Once you click the “Find A Region” button you can then search your city and state and country. The one nearest you is going to be your home region. Pick that as your home region and you will recieve emails that will notify you that NaNo is coming up and remind you to check your home region schedule for write-in dates and locations. It’s honestly a lot easier than I first thought it would be.
Personally, I won’t be doing local NaNoWriMo again. It wasn’t all that bad, it was nice to have a group of people who knew what my acronyms were, who could relate to my love for my characters and to talk to face to face. But… I guess.. It was awkward.
I’m super super glad that I did the whole shazam (during a write in I was told that that is a real word) and experienced it for myself. It’s a valuable time that I appreciate and I’ll look back on like “Wow, I did that and it was cool.”
One thing I learned was that there are the Camp people and the November people. Each person has a preference. For me that preference is Camp. It’s more intimate, more fun. You make friends with the people you’re in a cabin with, you chat through the whole day, converse, share ideas, balance each other’s crazy things and laugh too much. Another thing you can’t do during November is set your own goal. During camp in April and July you set your own goal, something you can reach and accomplish. In November everyone works for 50k and some of us can’t do that!
In conclusion I highly recommend and suggest you immerse yourself at least once into your local writing community. I didn’t even know there were that many people in my area that wrote and how many local authors are indie published/working towards indie publishing! It was a great experience. But personally, though I don’t exactly know why or how I decided this I just feel that Camp and online NaNoWriMo is much more enjoyable and fun and just a blast.
So there is my Regional NaNoWrimo Experience. What about you? Have you ever tried out your local writing groups? Do you prefer November or Camps? Do you even know what NaNoWriMo is? (Hint: It’s National Novel Writing Month XD)
That’s all for today girlies. Talk to me in the comments, tell me about you!
Keep laughing and loving and living.
Hello! Good day to you girls! I have a couple things.
First, as I am planning to be more consistant and good as a blogger I’ll be making a couple changes to the theme, style maybe, as well as updating it to be visible on a WordPress reader and possibly easier to follow and like. 😀 You could help out (if you have a WordPress account) by following me through your app. It’s easier to get notified and reply to new posts through that. 😀
Anyway, on off from this boring talk. So today I’m going to be talking about a super simple idea that maybe isn’t as well known as I first thought.
Let’s admit it. We’re a messy bunch of people. Humans aren’t all that great at controlling and maintaining and leading and guiding and making choices etc. etc. We make messes.
When it comes to any situation in life really, we are given a choice. We act on our knowledge, our intuition and thoughts and ideas and logic. And sometimes we act on our wants.
Living life I’ve always been under this impression. Be careful when you make choices. Everything needs to be measured by God’s standards and guided with His will. A mess doesn’t result from seeking His plans. It never does. And so that’s how things go.
But guess what? I’m human. Hopefully so are you. With this in mind we come to the sad conclusion that no matter how hard we try we still make mistakes. We rush into things, say the wrong words with the wrong intentions and receive the consequences. We make things messy, hard, wrong, complicated, upset and confusing. Then we are bewildered. Umm.. What now? Sitting in the broken pieces of our lives we wrinkle our noses and turn where we should have in the first place. “Dear God, what a mess. Please fix this.”
Is this the right thing and the right way to do it though?
When we ask God to fix our mess what are we asking Him and how? Are we asking Him to look at this disaster and, please, make it all perfect again? Basically, are we seeking our plan or His will?
Seeking God first in any situation (even the no-brainers!) is the best way to go always! But when we miss that step and turn to Him in the midst of our pile, we should have the right heart!
It’s wrong to ask God to “fix this mess” when our hearts aren’t repented. When we turn to Him only to use Him as a genie in a bottle that will snap His fingers and everything will be breathable again that’s so wrong! Our God is an awesome God! He is all powerful and all knowing and Yes! He can fix your situation. Without hesitation He wants to help you. He loves you! But He also wants to teach you a lesson.
When our hearts are not changed from a situation we have missed the point. When a baby touches a hot spoon, waves at a candle flame, or runs too quickly at the pool, it will learn a lesson from the pain, even when the pain was self inflicted. The same idea applies to our mistakes and hardships in life. If we haven’t learned our lesson (to trust God and obey His word) then commanding Him to fix this mess is absolutely a loss to everyone.
Instead of wrinkling our noses and commanding God to pull us from this mess, we will turn to Him as a tired, pained child and instead of ask Him to show us what to do.
The situation is delicate. Broken, hard. But there is no anger, no demanding attitude. Only a humble, repented heart. That is when the lesson has been learned and that is the right way to ask God when you’re in a mess.
We need to understand a couple of things. First, that God is not a genie in our command. Second, He is all powerful and He loves us (as I already mentioned above! XD). Hard situations teach us to trust Him, and all the more when He doesn’t give us a life of ease as soon as we turn our eyes up at Him. He is teaching us something. We need to let Him teach it.
For the longest time I thought asking God to fix a mess was wrong! I was under the impression that asking God to fix a mess was commanding. I’d gotten myself into this mess and I could ask for strength and wisdom and patience to get through it. I could not ask Him to pull me out and clean it up and fix everything.
But it is ok to ask Him for help! The phrase itself is a sort of demand. But rephrasing it puts our hearts in the right perspective and it is just perfectly fine to ask God to help when you’ve gotten into a mess for yourself!
God I’ve gotten into this mess, and I know it. I turn back to you, please show me what you would have me to do now.
He will. He is so so faithful! He will NEVER leave you, no matter how big a mess you’ve gotten, or how small, or how totally devastating it is, or how big of a rebel you’ve been. He is ready in every moment to wrap you in His arms and show you what to do now.
God never fails to guide us in any place or situation or setting or time we are in. If our hearts are in a place of humble surrender He is the Father of the prodigal son, running to us. Dressing and providing for us. That’s why He sent His Son for us while we were yet sinners. The Creator sent Jesus to earth to die for our sins while we were still spitting at Him so that the moment our hearts cry out in repentance He is able to take us under His wing and into His home and guide and guard us.
A humble heart with Jesus is a key to God’s plan. There is nothing better than that.
As a sort of side note I wanted to mention that the phrasing of a sentence doesn’t matter to God. You can ask Him to please fix this mess with the most humble and surrendered of hearts, just like you can ask Him to guide with a prideful and rebellious one. The point here is your heart and your mindset on God. The way we phrase our sentences and pray can often give us a hint as to where we stand with Him in our hearts, but it’s not a concrete determination.
Asking God to fix a mess is not a sin, but demanding He do it your way with your outcome is.
Seek God girls. Keep laughing and loving and living. 😀
Heyo girls. How’s life? How was your November? Thanksgiving? I had a great month. I’ve just about reached my Nano goal and am more than ready for a December break. I’ve missed you girls and writing on this blog and keeping up. I absolutely love writing but after a while everyone needs a break.
I’m taking the month of December to do the other things I love. Hanging out with my family, organizing a Christmas party for my friends (you can read about last year’s party here!) reading, blogging, buying gifts and relaxing. You know, normal December stuff.
For my blog I have a couple of plans. I want to grow it. I want to post consistently, reach more girls, make more friends. I’m very excited for the coming up year. So many things are happening for me; graduating school, working towards and publishing Dewdrops and Butterflies, getting a job and just growing up in general. I’m so excited for what God has planned for my year. So for Geoturtle I’m going to keep you updated on my major events, and also keep bringing you helpful tips and articles.
I’m going to get into other blogs and do more guest posts. I’m going to do more collaborations and try and share more short stories. Here’s to a brighter, funner, more consistant blog year!
Now, moving past those boring facts I just wanted to say Hi! I’ve really missed you girls a lot. Life gets busy a lot you know. But I’m ready for it to slow down.
I’m going to schedule posts for this coming up month that way if I get to writing one or not there should be a new one in your inbox every week.
What about you? How has your blog been going? Do you enjoy blogging or are you wishing you could get a break? Do you have a blog? Are you wanting to get one? What are your tips for me to get out and make more blog friends? I want to talk!
Also, Penny mentioned that I should make my blog compatible for the WordPress Reader App. I thought it was, and I’m wondering if any of you guys use the WordPress Reader app and have trouble with my blog?
Keep smiling and laughing and living!
Helloo girls! First, I want to say I’m soooo sorry that I’ve been missing posts. I’ve been really busy with my senior year of school and participating in NaNoWriMo officially, striving to actually win it this year. 50k words in 30 days is such a challenge.
Oh wait, are you asking what project I’m working on? It’s not Dewdrops and Butterflies. No, this is a new one. Remember a couple weeks back I did the “Most Likely Tag”? Well I mentioned a character then that I wasn’t yet giving any information on.
Meet Jake Jett.
This… Is a super super special character to me (I was going to say person but that would make it sounds like I got a boyfriend 0.0). But let me back up.
In Camp Nano at the end of July I reached 85,000 words for Dewdrops and Butterflies, writing the epilogue and those two iconic words “The End.” I was done.
Of course, if you ever wrote anything, you know that writing “the end” is definitely not the end. The next step is just the dreaded word.
Bleh, I discovered that I’m definitely not an editor by choice.
I took a break through the month of August and half of September before plunging back into my manuscript
The first round of edits went fairly well. I was able to comb through and tag the most obvious changes that need to be done to the plot and create a uniform consistency in things like names (one of my characters had two names, James in the first half, Joseph in the second. He’s staying as Joseph), seasons, and the time frame.
Then I started the second round.
It’s not awful y’all. Editing is not super super bad. It’s just… not writing. Instead of spending time doing what I loved, writing, I used that time to erase, rephrase, edit, scan, and correct hours of work. It was tedious and I came away exhausted, but not satisfied.
Because I am a writer.
I kept at it, knowing this manuscript was going to my debut. I was going to get Dewdrops and Butterflies published.
I stressed like a stressy person, all the while this little thing called a plot bunny nagging my head.
And a kid named Jake.
My first round of edits for D & B reminded me of several little side characters, and one of them was an 11 year old boy named Jake Jett. His backstory was short but sorrowful, and Rose ended up completely ditching him.
After reading that chapter during editing Jake just wouldn’t leave me alone. He sat quietly in the corner of my mind, brewing and curing.
Fast forward to October first I was at my breaking point. It was so hard to submit hours and hours of work to my manuscript and come away still wanting to give something, but feeling completely drained.
That was when I started hinting at this story. Jake’s story. Something about a boy lost in the crowd, expected to live up to his family name but left to do it on his own.
And the grown version of the same boy. Walls built up, hurting and alone, but having forgotten how to let people in.
And instilling a theme of guarding your heart and forgiveness at the same time.
Exposed to the light of day and spoken aloud, this story bloomed into something bigger than I could keep inside.
October 15th I wrote the first words to what would become my new novel.
Currently I’m at a lot of words. On the NaNoWriMo site and towards my Nano goal I am at 29,445, but going back to since I started writing it in October I’m probably closed to 45k. That’s half way.
Why then? Why haven’t I said anything yet? Well, Jake was something that stumbled across me very very quickly and everything just happened so fast. I have half a novel in one month. I’ve only just realized that I’m actually committing to it. The sequel to Dewdrops and Butterflies.
Dewdrops and Butterflies named itself. Originally it was one girl, one Man, one summer but I fixed that nonsense to something nicer, more appealing, and not so yucky. Dewdrops and Butterflies refers to something that changed Rose through the course of the book. Butterflies were her symbol of home, and they changed from a plastic gift to the true beautiful, fragile life. Dewdrops represented the clear morning opening to the possibilities of a new day, and a climatic scene in the book.
Naming this new novel required some work. First, since it was the sequel, I wanted it to be similar to Dewdrops and Butterflies both in the way it related to the novel itself and syllables (especially the syllables). Dewdrops has two syllables, and butterflies has three. With these facts in mind I played around with a couple different ideas until I came up with something that just fit for me.
Playgrounds and Black Markers.
It’s got the syllables and the theme, feeling/vibe that this whole story carries.
Playgrounds and Black Markers is going to be the same way that Dewdrops and Butterflies was. Three different POVs, one from the main character, one from a side character and one from the past. But instead of this being a Rose based book, it’s a Jake based book.
Before you run off crying that I ruined a series, keep reading.
Rose is still a first person POV.
I myself tend to dislike series that switch between different characters in every book. It uproots the relationship you’ve built with the character and I mean come on, who doesn’t want to know what happens to the MC in the new books? So I fought with that as it cured inside my head before I started writing.
I settled on Jake as the Main character after all, but where in Dewdrops and Butterflies Alex was the second POV still first person, Rose is taking that place in Playgrounds and Black Markers.
With this format, we are still able to hear Rose’s thoughts and see her life move forwards, but get to know Jake as the Main Character. And guys, I love him so much.
Oh dear where to even start. I guess I’ll start with Rose since you’ve known her the longest.
She’s still our spicy confident girl, black hair and curls and a scar, though slightly faded over the four years between the books, still running down her cheek. But she’s grown.
In the care of Alex and Jenni and the safety of their home she’s honestly just blossomed. Her love for Jesus has grown and woven into her life and the fear and unsettled tension that ruled her in Dewdrops and Butterflies has completely drained out of her, replaced with a calm peace.
But she’s still Rose. In Playgrounds and Black Markers she’s gotten complacent in her relationship with Jesus and an invisible wedge came between her and Angel.
Rose doesn’t guard her heart. In this book she’s been through two boyfriends and accepts a courtship with a third. Angel seems to consistently nag her to pray about it and take a step back from guys if she wasn’t ready to commit to marriage.
A side note since I’m the author: She’s a lot sweeter and easier to work with in this book. She’s matured a crazy amount for sure.
I’ve repeated his story several times in different places and every time I write it I’m afraid that I never succeed in accurately portraying his character. But here I’ll try again.
He was born when his older brothers were 17 and 11. He was unwanted by his mom but his dad, Captain Robert Jett, discouraged her from getting an abortion and raised him mostly alone while Leah pursued her career of becoming a nurse.
Rob was killed in a car accident when Jake was 9 and left the boy with a busy mom and absent brothers.
Jake was expected to carry a respectful behavior and uplift the Jett name. His oldest brother had gone to collage and graduated with a master’s degree as a doctor and his second brother as a lawyer. Leah groomed him for a major in architecture and minor in engineering, not considering that he could want something else for his future.
We meet him as a 19 year old several month from graduating his senior year and moving out to collage.
Umm.. I want to win NaNoWriMo this year. So that would bring me to about 65,000 words at the end of November. And I don’t want to stop there. While Dewdrops and Butterflies took me 10 months to complete, the aim is to finish Playgrounds and Black Markers in three months. But we’ll see about that. December can be a busy busy month.
Dewdrops and Butterflies is aimed for girls ages 13-18. It’s clean, with a depth that requires thought but encourages the right response.
Playgrounds and Black Markers is not like that. Jake and Rose are 18 and 19 and although it is definitely a clean book, it’s aimed at a higher age range and maturity. More serious subjects are discussed and actions and behavior aren’t as closely censored.
That said, everything I write is clean. Both novels are created, written for, inspired by God Himself and I seek to glorify Him in everything, so it’s not to worry.
So that’s what I’ve been doing. Writing Jake’s story. What about you? Are you doing Nano this year? How has your November been going?
Happy thanksgiving girls!
Good day my friends.
Recently I’ve been so very stressed out about a lot of things. If I list them you might laugh, but for me personally, they are quite big things, so I’m going to list them anyway. XD
What else could be causing stress? If not for me, for you? A project you have going, limits and deadlines no one is pushing you to but yourself? Maybe it’s your social media, blog or peir pressure. What about maybe friends?
Friends CAN be a cause of stress, believe it or not. Fake friends take up our time and nerves, and can make us over all exhausted. I’ve recently stopped entertaining fake friends. I’ve stopped pretending to be everyones best friend. It’s ok if not everyone in the youth group knows my name. They don’t need to.
It’s ok if they don’t say hi to me every single time we’re in the same building, or I don’t demand a hug. It’s perfectly OK. Because what am I losing if I don’t? Nothing worthwhile. Except I will lose my stress!
My point is this. Life is stress. Stress is part of life. The questions is will you let it be your WHOLE life?
I choose to smile. I choose to let go. Yes there are stressful things. But there’s only one thing I can do. Work on the chapter I need to get written today, the lessons I need to complete today. Get my hour of PE in today. Be a good friend to my true friends. And trust God.
Trust God with everything else. I choose to trust Him with my alpha readers, with my deadlines. I choose to trust Him with the growth of this blog, with the revival of my life, with the struggles that I face every single night, and with the fact that I am not perfect.
His mercies are new every morning and He has NEVER failed me before.
I want to encourage you girls to write down everything on a paper. You’re sitting down right now. Get a sheet of paper and a pen and write out what you’re stressing about. Everything. I mean everything. No one else has to ever see this paper.
Once you have it written out, point to them in order and dedicate them to God.
I was honestly shocked when I realized I’d forgotten to leave the alpha readers in God’s hands, even though He had shown Himself so clearly in every other aspect of the book. It still took a conscious decision to say “Ok God, this is your book. Your deadlines. I trust that you are going to get it to the girl(s) who need(s) it.”
Thank you so much for today and for taking care of me. Thank you for the ways that you’ve shown yourself to me in my life and in the lives of those around me.
Today I pray that you would please release this stress that bogs me down. Take it from my shoulders and help my heart to understand that you’ve got it all. This burden is heavy. It pulls me down and some days I just want to kneel and cry. I can’t do this alone. I know you know that and I know I knew that. I know it again.
Jesus cleanse me with the blood that you shed for me and help me to live the life you planned for me. Help me to glorify you with every day and to encourage, uplift, serve, and bless those you have placed in my life. Don’t allow this stifling stress to close my eyes to your ultimate plan.
In Jesus name I pray,
Hello! My friendly person named Penny from A Southern Belle With Stories To Tell tagged me for this super fun tag and I’m really excited for it.
We’ll start with the rules really quickly before jumping into it. 😀
1. Thank the blogger who tagged you.
Thank you Penny! I hope you find this post to your satisfaction so you’ll take me off the hook for missing ONE TAG that you tagged me for before. *eyeroll* X”D
2. Include this link in your post.. Which I did. 😀 Pretty blog by the way. Never read it before, but it looks nice.
3. Use your own lovely Original Characters (OC’s); don’t use a friend’s characters or characters from your favorite fandom. They can be from any project, so long as you created them. For more fun, try to use as many different characters as possible.
4. Tag at least five lovely blogger friends to play along. (This will be hard but I’ll do my best.
I’m gonna quickly tell you what’s going to happen because I was a tiny bit confused when I first read this tag. There are questions that I have to answer, and my answers have to be one of the characters my mind has created. I’m going to make a small rule that I have to use characters that I’ve actually written a fair amount of their story. And preferable using their photo’s as well!
Onto the fun! (Oh, and side note, I plan to add a couple more questions, but I won’t tell you which ones they are so the people who I tag can’t weed them out.)
Which Character is most likely to be a poet?
Oh my Harold. Harold Miles June is the oldest brother in a family of 7 and the husband of my very first MC in my very first novel which we shall not talk about because (who talks about first novels? *hides).
This is Harold. It’s a historical fiction, so he would not be wearing his shirt like that. X”D He’s absolutely one of the sweetest guys ever. Super caring and such a gentlemen and great daddy. He is somewhat on the quiet side, but not too much, and loves to write and study his Bible.
Who is most likely to buy a sports car?
Um… Peace probably.
He’s Harold’s younger brother. More outgoing, still set in the 1800s, but he is the one going after new things and super much fun. 😀
Who’s most likely to dance in the rain?
My goodness is that even a question? Angel Carpenter of course!
Angel is my current WIP MC’s best friend and she’s a ball of sunshine. I love her so much. She’s a ray of light and a bundle of energy and she’s got an undying love for God and creation. She’s a fox girl.
Most Likely to look good in a kilt.
Um.. In a what? Umm…. I think I have to say Joseph.
Joseph is my other MC’s best friend and he’s this golden guy. He’s so wise, so much fun, way to encouraging and he’s so solid in his faith. He’s there for Alex in the hardest times.
Most likely to get punched in the face.
Um.. Who do I blame for this?
I think there are two answers. The first is Jake Jett, who I’m secretly squealing about inside but not ready to say anything about him yet, or Rose Wells herself. Jake, because he got punched, and Rose because when she was younger she would always pick fights (she was the one to punch Jake. X”D) I’m going to post both pictures..
Most likely to drop everything and become a sheep herder.
Um.. is this even a thing? These are hard. XD
Um…. I’m gonna say Love from my first novel. I don’t have a photo of her but she’s a spur of the moment kind of girl. 6 years old. Blond hair, yes her name is Love. That’s why we don’t talk about first novels…
Most likely to be found in a library.
Gah these are all so hard! X”D Umm… I think probably maybe Jackie from on of my other books that I never finished, The Standing House. He’s big on learning new things especially to make sure and survive after the world ends blah blah blah.. Let me see if I can find a picture…
There he is. He’s really smart, educated. He’s got his priorities straight and *spoilers* ends up giving his life so that the MC Kayla lives. *end spoilers*
Most likely to sleep through an earthquake.
Haha that’s hilarious. Umm… I’m going to say… probably Jake. But after he’s grown up.. so in the sequel that I’m not yet telling anyone about…
I love this kid so much… But I’m not saying anything right now.
Most likely to steal food from another person’s plate.
I’d say probably Jenni of course. There’s even a scene in Dewdrops and Butterflies where that happens. XD
Jenni is Alex Johnson’s wife and Rose Wells’ foster mom. She’s such a sweet lady and so funny. She’s got a depth to her but also a silliness and she had to be amazing to deserve Alex so I made her amazing. XD She is my only charie modeled by an actress because I picked her face before I knew that the model was an actress. This is Diana Agron, but I call her Jenni Johnson. XD
Most likely to cheat on a test.
Rose, hands down. She had no reason not to, and nobody really to enforce the fact that it’s not really the right thing to do. XD
She basically raised herself, just living with her parents in their broken down mobile home. And she can be pretty sly, getting answers from here or there. Not that she really cares about her grades, just enough so that her parents wouldn’t get a call from the teachers. She would be good at hiding it.
Most likely to say “oops” after setting something on fire.
Oh goodness gracious. X”D Umm… It depends on the size of the fire. Something small it could be Joseph, if it’s something big and destroys lots of stuff, I’d say Kayla from The Standing House. The world’s already pretty much too far gone, so setting something ablaze wouldn’t need much more than an oops. XD
Kayla is actually part android, but she didn’t know it for a long long time. Jackie knew and ended up making her his vow, that means, making his purpose in life to get her safely to the Standing House where the research that successfully created her could continue. It’s super complicated y’all. I sort of love it, but I don’t think I’ll ever publish it.
Most likely to open an orphanage.
I’d say probably Alex and Jenni both. They have really big hearts and such love for kids that have gone through difficult times in their lives. Becoming foster parents opened their eyes to the huge need and I’m sure if God were to guide them, they would open an orphanage without hesitation.
I love these two so much! *slaps hand over my mouth to keep from squealing too loudly*
Most likely to run off with the circus.
Hmm. I’d have to think for a moment. Probably Peace. He’s pretty impulsive and loves to run off and do random stuff on his own, though he’s probably just follow it as it travels. He would never join the circus itself. XD
Most likely to survive the apocalypse.
Oh Jackie and Kayla for sure. They already sort of did. (except Jackie :'( )
Most likely to fake their own death.
Jake Jett. I can’t say anymore but this guy. :'(
Most likely to Die and haunt their friends.
Riley Poole. But he’s Penny Wood’s character. *runs away to escape Penny’s wrath*
So that was a lot of fun! I hope you guys enjoyed getting to know my precious characters a bit more and maybe got a little bit excited for when Dewdrops and Butterflies is ready for publishing!!!!
I actually really am curious what these authors will do with these questions! YAyyy. 😀
If you’ve been tagged, PLEASE come back and comment below this post that you did it so I can go READ IT!
Till next week y’all!
This post is for ALL girls. Both a reminder and a warning and a PLEAD FROM MY HEART!
My sisters and I call it part of Sympathy Sucking, but it’s only a narrow portion of that. Today I’m going to address this narrow portion because it’s in DESPERATE need of addressing.
Girls love their compliments. Being told we’re beautiful, our hair or clothes is nice. It makes our day. If someone tells me the sweater I chose to wear that day looks good on me, or that the flower I pin in my ponytail is cute, it makes me feel good. Feel noticed and acknowledged.
There is nothing wrong with compliments. They should be given to encourage and uplift our friends and family. But notice they shouldn’t always be focused on the outward appearance. We all know that, right? Then why is that all that ever seems to be given?
It’s easy. It’s simple and effortless. You don’t even have to like something specially to tap that person on the shoulder with a compliment on your lips. It might put a smile on their face, but you should not get a good feeling from that. It does not make you a nice person. It makes you a flattering woman. (XD)
When you give a compliment, be real and honest. And if it’s not an honest compliment don’t give it.
This can go two ways. If stopping with the dishonest comments seems to drain your ability to give compliments, make an effort to notice real things about people. The way they’re always asking if you have a prayer request that they could pray for, or the new cardigan they picked up from the mall that looks perfect with that outfit.
And if you simply give compliant to be a nice person, it’s so temporary, like a thin piece of rice paper, broken through with a simple bit of pressure. And you’re likely to gain a reputation as a person who throws compliments around that end up not meaning anything really.
Now on the other end of the spectrum, why I started this post:
STOP TURNING IT AROUND! If someone gives you a compliment SAY THANK YOU. And that’s that. Do not go on to say how you just looove their shirt that day too! Because more often than not it turns into an awkward pointless conversation.
Not mentioning names, but this was a recent event at my youth group where on of my friends told another friend she liked her hair, which that friend had curled specially for youth group that day. The friend with the curled hair smiled and said “Oh thank you! I love your hair too.” Which then both me and my friend looked at her hair and it was nothing special at all, straight hair pulled back into a ponytail. And then to back peddle the curled haired friend laughed and waved it off, saying “I just always love your hair.”
It was odd and awkward and not at all genuine, making it sad.
So… moral of the story. Please girls, stop turning things around! If someone compliments your new clutch, say “thank you.” There, now good girl. And if you’d like to return the favor in genuine interest, don’t give it right then. Because that feels like a cheat. And it is just… sad.
Giving compliments is an art, taking them is something to do with grace. Please learn this girls, and please stop making things so shallow and pointless.