...It has been a shameful amount of time since my last post. To be exact, it’s been…
Erm, nevermind. No need to be exact after all.
*cough* It was July 26th *cough* that was more than a month ago *cough* that’s terrible.
I don’t really have any excuses for not posting. I didn’t get around to posting my July wrap-up (which sucks because lots of fun stuff went on in July) because my family was on vacation the last few days of July and the first few days of August. Then when I got back I was caught up in getting ready for school, and I never got around to posting pictures from our trip, and then I decided to take advantage of my last week of freedom to do a lot of recreational reading, so I didn’t post… and then school started, and basically I haven’t had time or inspiration to post.
BUT HERE I AM NOW. Back and better than ever (or here’s hoping, anyways…).
There’s a lot that’s happened in the past couple of months, but I thought I’d touch on just a few things in this post…
INFILTRATION- The second installment in my trilogy (The Continuing Forever Trilogy), Infiltration, was released on July 29th. I’m so excited to have two-thirds of the series complete. It’s only available in eBook format, but I did get a few hard copies for friends/family/me and it’s really cool to see it in print (even though the formatting isn’t perfect; transferring it from eBook to regular paperback format proved more difficult than I had envisioned). To learn more about the series and read the book, you can visit the site by clicking here.
I finished the (brief) plotline of book #3 last week and began writing a bit; I’m getting really excited for the conclusion!
THE BLOOD RACE & FARRYN- A fellow blogger and writer, Katie, recently released her debut novel! I got a chance to read the ARC; there was a blog tour going on and unfortunately I was not able to finish the book/write a post in time for that, and I'll be posting a full review at some point, but for now I have to tell you guys: The Blood Race is freaking amazing. You’re definitely going to want to check it out! Visit Katie’s site to learn more about her book and get your hands on a copy!
My amazing friend Joy just released her first novel as well! It’s called Farryn and it’s a super-freaking-amazing adventure story; she’s such a talented writer! I got to read it nearly two years ago (HA!), but it’s finally available for all of you… ;) So go check it out by clicking here. Learn more about it, grab yourself a copy, and proceed to thank me later.
SENIOR YEAR/DUAL ENROLLMENT- My Senior year of high school started on August 14th. I am so close to being done with high school (Hallelujah praise the Lord Amen and thank you Jesus!) which is a little weird to think about it but mostly really exciting.
I’m also dual-enrolled at a community college, so I’m taking a couple of classes there as well as the subjects I’m still doing at home. I’m enjoying my classes for the most part (though one of them is disappointingly unchallenging and group projects are my new least favorite thing). It’s odd to be going to college and surrounded by college students… and even more odd to realize that I technically am a college student. But like I said, I’m enjoying it and there’s a certain level of excitement involved with it. Plus it makes me busier, and I like my life to be somewhat busy. I don’t know why exactly; I just enjoy the busyness.
OTHER RANDOMNESS- You guys have probably noticed this since I’ve been mentioning it from time to time on this blog, but I’ve been reading the “Temeraire” series by Naomi Novik for over a year now. It’s not that I’m not enjoying it (if I didn’t enjoy it I’d quit reading it); it’s just taking me a very long time for some reason. The books give you a lot to take in + I haven’t had a ton of time to read + I have taken a few breaks to read other books/short series. I’m not done quite yet; I just finished Crucible of Gold (book 7/9) this morning. So. Freaking. Close. I don’t really want it to end, but it does start to annoy me when I spend forever plus a few weeks reading one series. (But seriously, if you want a nice long series to read, I definitely recommend these books.)
I’ve been really into art journaling this year. I started my art journal at the beginning of 2017, but I haven’t really mentioned it much or posted pics from it on le blog. I’d like to do a bit of that soon though, so keep an eye out.
I’ve really been enjoying the Bible reading plan that I’ve been following this month, so I wanted to mention that. It’s centered around joy, and there are so many good passages included in it. If you’re interested in that, view it on Pinterest here.
My clogging team is in the middle of preparing to compete at the State Fair next month! It’s all coming along pretty well and I’m getting so excited. This is one of the reasons that September-October is quite possibly my favorite time of the year. We have a new routine (The Devil Went Down to Georgia) that’s really really cool and a lot of fun to dance.
Speaking of Fall-ish happenings, FALL IS PRETTY MUCH HERE AND I AM SO HAPPY. The weather has been cool (it did get hot enough to make me put on shorts today but for the most part…), the leaves are starting to change, unlimited pumpkin foods are available, and gahhhh. I just love Autumn so much.
Okay, so to make up for the lack of posts in recent weeks, I’m going to be very diligent about posting at least weekly throughout the rest of September, and then in October I’ll quite possibly be posting every day. Granted, I won’t be writing a new post every single day; that’s just not humanly possible (for me). I’ll be writing some of the posts beforehand so that I’ll be better about keeping up with it. I’ve put together a “Blogtober” challenge which includes challenges from past Blogtobers I’ve seen, as well as a few entries I came up with. If you’re interested in seeing that let me know; I’m not sure if I’ll post it on here yet but if not, I could definitely send it to anyone who’s interested. :)
I think that’s all I have to mention for now… I’ll be posting pictures from my family’s vacation early next week.
How have you guys been? What are some of your favorite (or least favorite, if you prefer) things about Autumn?
Thanks for reading! Have an amazing day.
Confidence is kind of a big thing in high school (or at any point in life, honestly). Most of us lack it in some way; all of us hear that we need to have it. I'm not here to disagree with that- having confidence in yourself is a great thing. But the way in which confidence is often spoken about maybe isn't so great.
First of all: The key to confidence does not lie in how we feel about our appearance.
We (girls, especially) are told all the time that we should like how we look and be confident with our bodies "because we're beautiful". And yes, liking how you look and feeling confident about that is awesome! But is that really the only reason we have to be confident? Is being able to suddenly decide, "Yes, I am beautiful" the secret to achieving confidence?
Spoiler alert: It's not. Confidence has nothing to do with how pretty, smart, or "liked" we are/feel like we are.
See, confidence doesn't lie in how we feel about our "worldly worth". Because none of that matters. How pretty you are/think you are doesn't matter. Your cleverness doesn't have anything to do with it. The number of followers you have on social media is irrelevant.
None of it truly matters.
I'm starting to think that that is where confidence starts: realizing that none of those things matter. Your worth doesn't lie there. Your worth lies in something much, much bigger.
You want to know what does matter?
The fact that you are chosen. The God who created Heaven and Earth, the mountains and the oceans, the galaxies, the planets, and literally everything else chose you. Not because you look nice, not because you know all sorts of facts, not because you have a lot of friends. Not because you deserved it. (You didn't; none of us did.) He chose to love you, not because of anything you are and regardless of anything you're not.
I don't know about you, but I think that's pretty amazing. If you really spend some time thinking about it... it's hard to wrap your head around. It doesn't make sense. And yet, it is so.
(Quick side note: I'm not saying that we should be confident because God chose us, and that must mean that we're pretty great, right? Because we're not that great. I'm saying that we can be confident in the knowledge of our God and the fact that He has chosen to love us in spite of all our imperfects and sins.)
If you're having a hard time believing that and feeling confident, just remember all of the things that God says you are. Because He says that you are
Unique (Psalm 239:13),
Loved (Jeremiah 31:3),
Strong (Psalm 18:35),
Important (1 Peter 2:9),
Forgiven (Psalm 103:12),
Protected (Psalm 121:3),
Empowered (Phillipians 4:13),
Chosen (John 15:16).
Thanks for reading, friend.
Have a great day!
Writing two posts for you guys today (click here to read the book review I published earlier) due to the fact that I missed a post yesterday (ack) and haven't been very active in the blogging world lately (double ack).
Anyways. I have some very good reasons, I promise. I thought I'd write a quick post and let you guys know what's been going on lately!
So there you have it... (some of) the things that have been taking so much of my time these past few weeks. Be sure to keep a look out for more Infiltration and "Wings" updates within the next couple of weeks!
How is your Summer going?
Thanks for reading, friend. Have a great day!
(P.S., here's the first look at the cover of Infiltration...)
A while ago I read The Gifting by K.E. Ganshert, which is the first book of the Gifting Trilogy. Since then I've read book #2, The Awakening, and I'm about to delve into book #3 (The Gathering). I really love this series and I can't wait to read book three. My mother and sister have read all three and they both really enjoyed them as well.
This trilogy is an excellent read if you're like me are sick and tired of the usual blah that seems to make up a lot of Young Adult books these days.
The books are set slightly in the future, and tell of a world that we may find ourselves living in sooner than we'd like to think. The book is written from the POV of a girl named Tess. Tess is able to see into the supernatural world... and in a world where no one believes that the supernatural exists, she's considered crazy. The story follows Tess as she tries to find answers and discover if there are others like her. It's fast-paced, enticing, and filled with relatable and well-written characters. It keeps you wanting to read more and more and more. (Not to mention: there's zero language and very little romance.)
To put it simply, I'd definitely give the Gifting Series 5 out of 5 stars for upping the game of Young Adult novels and providing something new, unique, and interesting for teens to read.
(If you'd like to find out more about the series via Goodreads, click here.)
I hope you guys enjoyed this review.
Thanks for reading!
(P.S. I know it's been forever since I've updated "Wings", but I decided to wait a bit longer. Things are a little crazy right now due to the fact that "Infiltration" comes out next Saturday. However, new "Wings" installments will be coming your way the first weekend in August. )
Have a great day!
I don't know about you, but I've been an avid reader pretty much since I first learned how to read. (I pretended a lot before that.) I've definitely moved on to some older Young Adult/Adult books within the past four-or-so years, but there are a few books I read when I was younger that I still love and re-read. That being said, I decided to compile a list to share with you all- it doesn't matter how old you are; you'll probably enjoy at least a few of these.
(Note: Some of these books are categorized for older elementary or middle school students, but they should all be appropriate for anyone of any age.)
1. The Penderwicks
The Penderwicks series by Jeanne Birdsall currently consists of four books (The Penderwicks, The Penderwicks on Gardam Street, The Penderwicks at Point Mouette, and The Penderwicks in Spring). These are some of the sweetest, purest books you will ever read- I promise. The characters are unique and relatable and funny and lovable and the books are beautifully written and engaging.
2. Thimble Summer
I really don't know what to say about Thimble Summer by Elizabeth Enright, other than the fact that it still puts me in a "summery mood" and that I laugh a lot (in a good way) whenever I pick it up to re-read a chapter.
3. The Saturdays (The Melendy Quartet)
Another winner by Elizabeth Enright. These books (The Saturdays, The Four Story Mistake, Then There Were Five, and A Spiderweb for Two: A Melendy Maze) were always very comedic and relatable to me due to the fact that they're written about a large group of siblings (and I happen to have a large group of siblings...). This series is similar to "The Penderwicks" (not to say that they are at all the same) in a lot of good ways but definitely sets itself apart with the stories, characters, and themes throughout (not to mention: Elizabeth Enright... 'nuff said.)
4. Ella Enchanted
Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine... where to start?!
I'm pretty sure this was one of the books (if not the book) that really got me into the Fantasy genre. (If you're currently thinking about the movie, stop! I enjoyed the movie but it wasn't loyal to the book at all.)
This book has a plot that will keep you reading for hours on end, characters that you'll fall in love with, comedy, tragedy, fantastical creatures, spells, curses... So many wonderful things are involved and again, this is a book that I still read and enjoy on an almost regular basis.
5. Gone-Away Lake
Gone-Away Lake (again, by Elizabeth Enright...) is filled with mini-adventures, funny characters, a bit of mystery, and life lessons. You'll want to check out the sequel (Return to Gone-Away) as well.
CATWINGS OH MY GOODNESS. I adore this series so much.
Catwings by Ursula K. Le Guin, along with its sequels (Catwings Return, Wonderful Alexander and the Catwings, and Jane on Her Own) are (and always will be) some of my favorite books on this entire planet. I mean... they're freaking cats with wings. What more do you need out of a book? (Other than more pages... Each book has about fifty pages and is thinner than a magazine. Still, it's nice to have a sweet, short read sometimes.) These are some books that I really look forward to introducing my kids to someday... they're just so. flippin'. amazing.
Read them, guys. Do yourself a huge favor.
And there you have it... a few of my all-time favorites.
What are some of your favorite books from when you were younger??
Thanks for reading, guys!
Sorry for being absent for the past week... I'm back now with a nice and long "end of the month" post.
June was a busy month... a really busy month, but it was also incredible.
So, without further ado, here's a bit about what went on this month...
- Birthday -
- Creed Camp -
- Novel Progress -
- Reading -
- Music -
- Random -
Until about a week ago, I thought July was going to be a bit of a boring month (especially after June)... However, it looks like it's going to be almost as (if not equally) busy as June! My family is having a bunch of people over tomorrow to celebrate the 4th, and the day after that I'm going to a baseball game with some frensss. I'm also taking placement tests/enrolling in my local community college to start classes next month (August), so that's all very busy. July is my last month of freedom, ack. AND, at the very end of July, my family is going on vacation. Not to mention a lot of other busy but less interesting things. So yes... it's going to be another exciting month!
What was your favorite thing that happened in June? What are you looking forward to in July?
Have a great day, friends.
Happy Independence Day!
Long time no post... I blame that on Summer and will continue to blame it on Summer as I have two more busy weeks ahead of me. I'll do my best to keep to the schedule around here, though!
So, since the last time I've posted,
I FINISHED THE SECOND DRAFT OF MY SECOND NOVEL.
Much excitement; such relief.
And, even better: I actually like this book. I'm honestly disappointed with Continuing Forever now... ugh. But at least this book is eons better. I can't wait for you all to read it.
I sent it off to some of my awesome friends/pre-readers earlier this week, and I myself am currently working on my third complete read-through. Everything is on schedule for publication next month!
In the meantime, you guys get a sneak peek at one of the protagonists of "CF II"... and one of my favorite characters ever.
Parker was first seen at the end of Continuing Forever, but there wasn't much to him at the time. In the second book, he steps into the spotlight as one of the main characters and POVs. Since beginning book #2, I've developed the character a lot and I am really freaking excited about Parker.
Parker is "inspired", so to speak, by one of my best friends. This fact made the character development process much easier in some ways... and a lot harder in other ways. Overall, though, I think it definitely turned out for the best- you guys are going to enjoy reading from his POV.
For right now, though, here's a bit more about Parker...
Eyes: dark, brooding, and forest green (I can't take credit for this description)
Hair: raven (dark brown/black)
- Personality -
Extroverted. Practical. Witty. Forthright. Kind.
Brisque. Assertive. Stubborn.
MBTI: INTJ, most likely.
(Very) Notable trait: Sarcasm. (I'm not kidding, you'll see...)
So there you have it, friends. A bit of information about Parker. He has his aggravating qualities, but all in all, he's pretty great. I can't wait for you all to read from his POV next month.
If you want to find out a bit about Savannah, you can do so here.
Thanks for reading; have a great day!
Recently, I finished editing the first draft of "Continuing Forever II". The editing/revising process (and the writing process too) has been going much smoother for book #2 than it did for Book #1, so I thought I'd share a few things I figured out/learned this time around. (Please note that I'm not claiming to be a professional, only as someone with a bit of experience.)
1: Take a break. (A long one.)
A lot of people think that you should hold off the editing process until at least a month after completing your rough draft. I didn't do that when I was editing Continuing Forever, but this time I took a four month break (maybe longer than was necessary), and it has made a huge difference. For starters, as soon as you finish the rough draft, you're usually kind of tired of your novel, right? Taking a break gives you a "vacation" from having to constantly be reading your own words. You can read through it as a reader, and not as someone who just put a lot of time and energy into writing sentences and paragraphs they now hate.
2: This is a good time for character development.
While writing the rough draft of "CF II", I didn't focus too much on ironing out the details of my characters' personalities. They were more or less consistently themselves, but I added most of the endearing quirks, personal idioms, and personality flaws/characteristics during the editing process. This worked really well (for me, anyways) because I was then able to go back and develop the characters without worrying about well-thought-out characters and an intricate plot.
3: Paper is better.
While editing Continuing Forever, I was reading the document and making edits at the same time. This was nice because I could read and edit at the same time, but it was tedious and involved a lot of scrolling through pages upon pages... not to mention, staring at the screen for too long. So this time around, I printed the rough draft and read through the hard version, making edits/suggestions/notes with highlighters/pens/sticky notes. After that, I opened up the document and added the edits I had come up with while reading the paper version. This took longer, of course, but I feel like the entire edit was more thorough, and I enjoy reading from paper vs. a screen any day.
4: Plenty of time is necessary.
Even though taking a break is definitely beneficial, it's also important to give yourself enough time to edit and get second opinions well before your target publication date. This might seem a bit obvious, but if you're a procrastinator (*cough* like myself) then sometimes the publication date can creep up on you. Really fast. For me, I decided that three months was a reasonable amount of time for me to read-through and edit "CF II". And it was (even though I did the majority of the editing during the last week but that's irrelevant). I've given myself about two and a half months between the close of the editing process and the publication date for all of the other preparation (mainly beta readers and feedback). That is looking like it will be enough time (for me) but we'll see how it goes... heh. Basically, make a deadline that is way before your actual deadline, and stick with it. It's safer that way.
5: You can change anything during this phase because no one except yourself has read it.