Saturday, April 30, 2016

Goodbye April

Well, I started my Goodbye March post with saying April should be calm. And it really wasn't. I know May is going to be insane, so let's kiss April goodbye and hope for the best, shall we?

taken by my sister after an April shower


Well, April started with my entire family getting the stomach bug. But at least I didn't have to do school. (I mentioned this before, so that's all the detail you get.)

Then I I got to try out my new gun at Gun Club and managed to do okay, even though the sights were still awaiting adjustment. Now, they're all perfect and I can't wait to use it again (we can't shoot in our neighborhood). Pretty, no?

I got to attend one of my best friend's senior recital and go to the opera with my entire girls' choir. Both of these were so out of the ordinary for me and really fun! The only opera I had seen was a tragedy, so it was nice to do The Barber of Seville and get a happier end after 3 hours :)

Babies! I got to babysit a little bitty one (and she didn't even make noise!) who was all drooly and alert. I hadn't babysat my almost-1-yr-old in a while, and he was crawling, pulling up, eating, and very independent. But he still let me cuddle him, so I'm all good :') And my church friend/employer had her newest baby! I got to hold her and smell her sweet baby smell. Then I got to do some bookkeeping while holding the 10 day old child. I felt very accomplished :D

I also sent out graduation invitations and received my first gift! I'm getting very excited that I'm so close (so forgive me for mentioning this all the time).

I also signed up for Thriftbooks and promptly ordered 3 books (see one below). Then I went to the library and got 4. Then I went to a book signing and got another 1. I feel very prepared for a summer of reading once I get past this graduation business :)



esoteric: adj. intended for or likely to be understood by only a small number of people with a specialized knowledge or interest.

This one came from my Government textbook :)


Check out the ones I shared in the 3 Day Quote Tag if you missed them!


~Cover to Cover: 1~

My dad read Charlie and the Chocolate Factory aloud. Does that count? Hehe. Moving on >.>

~Middle to End: 1~

Jesseca's The Silent Blade, Lydia's Story, and Ivy's The Old River Road. I was editing/beta-ing all of these.

~Front to Middle: 2~

The River Girl's Song by Angela Castillo and The Mysterious Benedict Society by Trenton Lee Stewart.


"This should go a lot better this month since I know what I'm doing now." That's what I said last month. And I wrote three days. For the entire month. :(

~Words: 4,000~

The updated average. Not terrible, I suppose. Better than nothing!

~Chapters: 1~ 

Yep, one chapter the whole month. And it was already mostly finished in March. Oh dear!

~Progress Update: 83%

Yeah, that's right. 3 more percent that last month. *cheers sarcastically*

~Biggest Problem: Creativity~

You have no idea how hard it is to make a single mom with a little baby living in an apartment and going to work sound interesting. It doesn't help when I forget to weave in the actual plot, either. -_-


At least I blogged, y'all.

~Followers: 33~

That's +4 with little to no extra effort from me. Sweet!

~Views: 5,983~

That's almost 6,000. And that's double what I had last month. It makes me very happy :D


I had 5-ish goals for April

1~ Edit my WIP
I actually didn't work on my book hardly at all . . . but I got 4-5 chapters edited . . . ?
2~ Finish at least 2 books.
Well, my Dad finished reading us Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and I finished editing 3 books.
3~ Finish editing Jesseca's lovely story :)
I feel very accomplished in this area. I not only finished Jessecas, I finished Ivy's and Lydia's as well :D Which means I need new books to beta. *hint, hint*
5~ Do/host a guest post
I had the lovely Lydia do a guest post on my blog and I did one for Emily Mundell. I'm working on another the moment, but it's taking research, so I didn't finish it in time for this month :)

Goals for May:

1~ Edit my WIP
Again. It needs help, poor little guy.
2~ Finish at least 4 books.
Because, this really is getting ridiculous.
3~ Find another story to beta
Like I said, I'm open for options again. Please do not hold back if you have a book that under beta reader scrutination. And if it's not, I'd love to have the first look, too :D
4~ Finish writing my first draft
This is really ambitious :P But it needs to happen. This month was a dud. This means I'll have to write anywhere from 4-9 chapters and figure out where this thing is gonna end!!! If I e-mail some of you in tears, just send me virtual confidence, please.
5~ Reach 50 followers
You heard me. And this may require some work for you, too. But I have a new media outlet to explore, an upcoming guest post, and perhaps a giveaway. So with any luck . . . :)

Pray for me, because these are very ambitious. And May is gonna be cra-azy.


How was your April? You know I wanna know. And of course I will read all of your wrap-up posts, too :) Oh! And if you have a Twitter account, find me! Sorry this post was rather sparse. Gotta dash to a babysitting job!

Friday, April 29, 2016

Quote Tag ~ Day 3

Last but not least.

Another thank you to the wonderful Hosannah this time, because she also tagged me for this :)

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 3 new bloggers everyday
  • Post a new quote everyday for 3 consecutive days

My editing geek shows here. I haven't a clue who Susan Stratton is, but this is just so applicable. Have you ever thought about your life in this way? I suppose I have, but I always think of myself as the character and God as the Author. While that's true, this quote emphasizes just how important it is to exercise our character rights and make certain we don't wreck it halfway through. It's just a happy picture in my mind :)

I tag~
I hope you all enjoyed this. I know I did!

Thursday, April 28, 2016

Quote Tag ~ Day 2

You survived Day 1. Welcome to Day 2.

Thanks again, Hannah. I'm having fun with this :D

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 3 new bloggers everyday
  • Post a new quote everyday for 3 consecutive days

While I have never read anything by Oscar Wilde, I do know who he is. This quote of his really just makes me happy. To paraphrase, it's always what we do in our free time, when we are unconfined by schedules and to-do lists, that determines who we are. I spend most of my free time reading, writing, and editing (or watching a good TV show or on Pinterest). How about you?

I tag~

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Quote Tag ~ Day 1

Warning. This is quite possibly the shortest blog post you will ever see by me.

Thank you, Hannah, for tagging me in the 3 Day Quote Tag! I finally decided to begin today, because I haven't been blogging much lately and I miss it. Besides, I have some awesome quotes I can't wait to share :D


  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Nominate 3 new bloggers everyday
  • Post a new quote everyday for 3 consecutive days

Can I hear an amen? I have absolutely no idea who Cassandra Clare is, but this quote really speaks to me. I've been thinking a lot about the power of words and what a gift and a burden it is to use them for good. Maybe it's just because I'm still plowing through the first draft of my novel. Can anyone relate?

I tag~

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Everything Favicon

Favicons. Want to know what these are, why I care if you have one, and how to make one for yourself? Then read on. Actually, read on anyway.

~What They Are~

Fav-icons. The little icon that appears in the left-hand corner of your blog when it is open in a browser tab. If you haven't successfully created one for yourself, then it will be an orange square with a B--the Blogger symbol. Or possibly a blue W for WordPress. Either way, it is your host company's emblem, not your own. And they are totally fine with it staying the way it is, because it draws attention to them instead of you. Now, that's not what you want, is it? ;)

~Why You Should Have One~

Personally, I find having a Favicon adds a lot to your blog. That's basically the only reason I have, but think about it. It's one of those little "finishing touches" that there is no reason to delay on. It's something that can distinguish you and your blog. Especially when viewing blogs on a drop-down list of someone's blogger reading list, your title is going to stick out among the masses that much more if it has a pretty, personal symbol. And sticking out among the masses is pretty hard to do, amIright? So take the step if you don't have one yet. And if you do, I applaud you.

~How to Make One~

If you already have one, you don't have to read any further, but thanks anyway :) 

It took me weeks a long time to figure out how to actually make myself a Favicon. Provided you are using Blogger, this is how it worked for me. Go to Blogger's website (make a wild guess at the URL). Choose the blog of yours that you want to add a Favicon to. Select layout on the left-hand menu and you'll see Favicon as an option at the very top of the template displayed. Pretty straightforward so far, huh? If you click edit inside the Favicon box, it will tell you the image you want to use has to be under 100KB and a square. Have no fear, all that means is a little photo editing.

I use PicMonkey for photo editing since it's free and simple. So, using PicMonkey, choose edit and select the photo you want to use (I highly recommend this being your own picture for copyright reasons). It should open it up for you in their editing software. Now, just choose resize at the bottom of your options under Basic Edits. You'll have to uncheck all the little boxes and type in the same number for both dimensions of your photo. Mine's 575/575 and came out under 100KB. If your photo looks squished when resized like this, you can either crop or take a different photo more prone to being a square (this is what I had to do). 

Once you're happy, hit save. Name it whatever and make sure it is indeed under 100KB. It'll tell you right above the green Save to my Computer button. If not, resize smaller; if so, save. Even if you're not using PicMonkey, this process should be fairly similar. But you get Old Navy adds if you use PicMonkey ;)

I made it this far, and inserting the image as it now stands did not work. I finally figured out that the image must have the extension .ico instead of the default .jpg or .png in order to work. And it's very simple to change. Go into your computer where you saved your picture and right click it. Select copy and make the copy say .ico at the end instead of what it wants to say. It should accept this without much of a fight and then, voila! The picture you're going to use.

Head back over to blogger and select choose file inside the Favicon box. Select the one with .ico at the end. Save in the Favicon box and then hit save arrangement in the upper right-hand corner. You can type your blog's URL in or hit preview. Where there was formerly the Blogger emblem, should now be the image you spent so long on. If not . . . make sure your image still shows up on Blogger and you did attach the .ico file.

I hope that worked!


First, check out Morgan's giveaway. It's awesome and almost over!

Second, celebrate my 2 month blogaversary it's way better than Earth Day was! You're all the reason I've made it this far :D Looking forward to more!

Now. Was this post helpful to you at all? (Sorry, I know the screenshots weren't great. Double clicking helps.) Have you already conquered the Favicon hurdle? Would you be interested in seeing other tutorial posts if I can come up with any that could save you time, or does Google suffice? Do tell all.

Monday, April 18, 2016

A Cover Release

What a post on Monday? That's a first!

*blows trumpet* I'm here to present to you a cover release by the incredibly talented Hosanna. Stick around to read all about her novel that she is about to release into the hands of the world and all my reasons why you should love it.

Does this cover not just speak mystery to you? I love it!

The Mystery of the Midnight Trespasser

"Rosy growled, and I knew she was pacing the porch. I sensed her uneasiness. Something was wrong. Rosy never barked at cars; why would she choose this one?" 

13 year-old Emily Kessler believes in God, but when she discovers someone trespassing in the middle of the night, can she learn to trust in Him completely? Will she have the courage to solve the mystery with her friends? And when everything falls apart, will Emily be able to keep those she loves safe?

Is it just me or does this sound awesome? I gotta say, I grew up devouring Nancy Drew but I am no good at writing mystery! So I'm very excited to see a young writer branch into this genre :)

The release date is APRIL 26, 2016. That's coming right up, so stay alert!

Now you're all wondering. Who is this Hosanna person? I have the answer for that. *dims lights*

Hosanna Emily wrote her first novel at age fourteen.  She is a homeschooled, independent author who is the oldest daughter in a family of eleven.  She enjoys exploring the sparkling creek by her home in rural Kentucky, reading, drawing, learning American Sign Language, and spending time with her family and with her Creator.

To learn more, visit her blog at:


On a wholly unrelated note (but not really because it's still about books), I was reading from Psalm 29 this morning in the middle of the monsoon that's been flooding my town. We get almost a full week of gray skies! *happy dance* Verses 3-4 stood out to me:

"The voice of the Lord is over the waters;
The God of glory thunders;
The Lord is over many waters.
The voice of the Lord is powerful;
The voice of the Lord is full of majesty."

Our lights kept flickering during church yesterday as the street got more and more flooded and it was going to be more and more dangerous for people to go home. But I love the rain and the new life it brings. And the fact that you could hear the thunder and have the lights go completely out on you while singing "Be Strong In the Lord" . . . I just thought it was really special. It stood out to me, too, because everyone who was there had to make special effort. It goes down as one of my favorite Sundays. For some reason I always get more sentimental when it rains :)


Why are you still here? You should be on Hosanna's blog. Shame on you! *glares* 

Anyway. All in all, sounds like a pretty great read, yes? I, for one, am very excited :) And let me know how I did; this is new for me.

Saturday, April 16, 2016

How I Grew In Writing: A Guest Post

Today I have a friend of mine doing a guest post for me! Introducing the lovely Lydia. *drumroll*

Hey, guest writer here!

My name is Lydia and I am a blogger (among many, many, many other things) who runs two sites: A Little Bit of Joy and Gratitude and Be a Ray of Sonshine.

I used to think I did not enjoy writing, and I know I was not very good at it. Writing stories and poetry was a distant dream that I didn’t ever think would become a reality.

Step one to making a dream a reality- do something to work towards your dream! Just something. Anything. Break your dream down into small steps and take the first one. It doesn’t matter how small that step is, move your figurative foot. How do you think babies become marathon runners?

When I began keeping a journal around the age of 12, I was not consciously working towards becoming an author who blogs, writes stories, and enjoys expressing myself through poetry. Looking back, however, that was a good first step. (Aside from learning my ABC’s at the age of two, and learning to read, and write my name, etc, of course.)

Writing in a journal every night boosted my writing abilities tremendously and set me up for later success in other areas of writing.

The biggest thing I learned was consistency, but patience, how to sound interesting, good form, organization, etc also came with the territory. My vocabulary expanded as well, and writing so often, over time, improved the overall quality of my compositions, regardless of what I was writing.

Because I was in the habit of writing daily, later on when I wrote a short story for school and discovered that I truly enjoyed that process, I was excited to continue writing stories for fun and worked on them consistently.

Poetry was still something I was afraid to touch. But, once again, school assignments gave me the nudge I needed, just like the loving parent who moves their hand a little further away from the child reluctantly taking their shaky steps. What do you know? Poetry wasn’t as hard as it had always seemed and I loved it.

The foundation I had formed with consistent journal keeping and then short story compositions, boosted me further along as I began exploring poetic writing on my own. Even the thing I was afraid of came into range after taking the other steps in areas slightly less daunting.

Each time I took a step in my writing I got better. (Just like each time a baby moves, reaching for the hands in front of them they grow more steady.) Practice is the absolute best way to improve your writing. And be patient with yourself! It’s okay to fall on your face sometimes (or every few steps...), that’s part of the growing process. I promise, even though it hurts, it will help.

Open yourself up to criticism AND praise. You need both in order to know in what ways you can improve and in what ways you are already excelling!

Blogging was something other people suggested I get into. I didn’t find it scary (except for actually setting up the blogs...I am so not a “techy”), but it was still something new. I knew it would give me more opportunities to grow and improve and would open me up for both criticism and praise.

Once again, the foundation of consistency was one of the biggest boosts.

I first kept up with a blog on which I published my short stories and poetry as they came together. Then, it was suggested that I write a blog about my family, our life, joy, and gratitude. It took me a few weeks to get used to the idea, but, once I took the leap and wrote the first post, I was off running.

This family blog has been up for almost a year now and there has only been one time where I fell behind three weeks. Other than that one time, consistency has been easy, and I know it is because of the foundation I began building when I first started keeping my personal journal.

I feel like I am always writing.

*Stops to calculate*

Actually, I probably spend at least an hour to two hours every day writing. (Wow, I never thought about it before, that’s actually a lot and I don’t even really “feel” like a real author. Now, the fact that I have just written an entire post about writing, all the writing I do, my journey, yeah, you can laugh at me. I’m shaking my head. The things we never thought we’d be...God really does have a sense of humor!)

And I know I am always improving.

I don’t know when I started being called an “amazing writer” (I still am trying to grasp the fact that people think that about me), but I know I didn’t get here by waiting around NOT writing consistently. All this is to say, take the first step!

Be consistent.

Try new things.

Be open to criticism.

Graciously accept praise.

Get back up when you smash your face on the ground.

All this will help you grow, whether it’s writing, or any other dream you have. Go for it!


Doesn't Lydia have a fun voice in her writing? Trust me, she's even more awesome in person! Do her a favor and go check out her blogs and please feel free to interact with her in the comments this time :)

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Till We Have Faces ~ A Review

Presenting . . . my first book review! Because I have to share my love and admiration for this book. I hope I'm not to vague. I'm trying not to give anything away!

I haven't read many retellings. But Till We Have Faces by C. S. Lewis is one of the best you will find. And the best part? It's a retelling of the story of Psyche and Cupid. Greek mythology is my favorite!

~Back Cover~ 

In this timeless tale of two mortal princesses--one beautiful and one unattractive--C. S. Lewis reworks the classical myth of Cupid and Psyche into an enduring piece of contemporary fiction. This is the story of Orual, Psyche's embittered and ugly older sister, who possessively and harmfully loves Psyche. Much to Orual's frustration, Psyche is loved by Cupid, the god of love himself, setting the troubled Orual on a path of moral development.

Set against the backdrop of Glome, a barbaric, pre-Christian world, the struggles between sacred and profane love are illuminated as Orual learns that we cannot understand the intent of the gods "till we have faces" and sincerity in our souls and selves.


Orual (or-wahl): This is the woman telling the story. She's an extremely ugly princess with an extremely lovely younger sister. She spends the entire story trying to wrap her head around why the gods do what they do. She cannot reconcile their injustice with the blind faith and dutiful sacrifice she sees given them. She loses the only person who ever loved her to jealousy and rage and spends most of the book trying to come to terms with reality. 

Psyche (sike-ee): The lovely and loved younger sister who leaves happiness in her wake. Her cause of anxiety is only her sister's willful disbelief in the kindness and mercy of the gods. Going against her better judgment for the sake of her older sister, she ruins her best chance of happiness and is born into legend.

I will leave all the other delights like the Fox (philosopher), the king (father), Batta (crone/nurse), Bardia (guard), and Ungit (a goddess) to you.


Like every good ancient history book, a grimy and barbaric setting. However, Glome is at peace with its many surrounding city-states and is able to rise above the petty quarrels in which the others are always ensued. This makes them all obliged to Queen Orual, and so some economic benefit is acquired. Even still, the people always retain the ancient Greek mindset and the desire to live barbarically and in subjugation to their gods.


Orual is trying to determine the nature of the gods her people serve so willingly. All she can see is the hatred and misery that their doings inflict, causing more by her own blind and foolish actions. The entire book is her story, setting yet another myth of the gods straight and accusing them for being so hard to find out. If it had only been simpler, she might not have caused so much ruin. Her version of love had destroyed something precious. It is while she is on trial with the gods that she come to this realization that inspired the title:

“I saw well why the gods do not speak to us openly, nor let us answer . . . Why should they hear the babble that we think we mean? How can they meet us face to face till we have faces?”


5/5 stars. I know what you're thinking. Really? But yes. While this is a deep read, very much like the ancient tellings of the Greek myths themselves, I cannot recommend this book enough. Following Orual through her journey is enlightening to the struggle every Christian has. How can there be so much bad in a world with a good God? Watching her reach the end of her journey and seeing the results of her headstrong self-reliance is both tell-tale and a warning to the rest of us. I would love to discuss everything C. S. Lewis was thinking when he wrote this renowned classic, his last work. I saw this recently and it struck me as a thought he wove into the book.

 And if this review isn't enough? Trust that you will love Lewis's message and storytelling devices, even if the read isn't your favorite ;)


So, how was the review? Have you read this book?! No? Okay. I'll be asking that question again next week, so . . . get on it ;) In all seriousness, though, how much does my promotion of this book appeal to you?

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

The Infinity Dream Tag

Wow. Another tag! And it's about random facts again. This tag is a little wiser and requires 11 facts, so you have been warned. Thank you, Mary, for tagging me :)


1. Thank the blogger who tagged you.
2. Tell us 11 facts about yourself.
3. Answer the 11 questions given to you.
4. Tag 11 bloggers and give them 11 new questions to answer.


1. I collect agate slices. It started when I purchased on our Michigan vacation about 12 years ago, and I've strived to get one on every vacation since. I have one from Michigan, Texas, Colorado, California, Washington DC, Missouri, and Kansas, respectively. :)

2. I always look at whatever I am drinking. I don't think it's paranoia, but . . . it weirds me out not to look into the cup (or at the lid) of whatever I'm drinking.

3. I like to cook. And bake. Anything but cookies, because rolling balls and doing batches wears me out. What I actually like is the mixing stuff up.

4. I don't listen to music very often. Like at all. I'm allowed, and I have people I like, but I can't multitask with it, so . . . I just don't do it very often. ((please don't kill me))

5. I have owned 3 hamsters. Bet that was a new one for ya, huh? I had them consecutively. Valerie was a birthday present from a friend and was golden and perfect, but she died after a few months. So I got Stormy, a gray one, as a replacement and she was psycho. As in attack monster. And I thought she was entertaining at the store . . . We returned her and got Chester, an obese golden hamster. He lived for several years but had to stretch himself out to fit through the playground tubes xD

6. I adore frozen yogurt. We just got our second place locally that I've yet to try. Orange Leaf has been extremely satisfactory so far, though :) Coconut is my favorite flavor.

7. I am a pyromaniac. Look it up if you have to, but it basically equals awesome. And explains my snatching the matches at every birthday party. I have only ever sacrificed a few hairs and a roll of toilet paper to this passion.

8. I almost drowned twice. They weren't really close calls, but they felt like it. I flipped out of my swimming ring once, while trying to speed across the pool. I inhaled the water and hit the bottom of the pool as I blacked out. I saw someone jump in and I came up with my nose burning really bad. The second time, I dove to touch the bottom of a 12' pool. I forced myself to make it but panicked when I realized I was virtually out of breath and had to go back up. It took a really long time to break the surface D:

9. I have held a python. Twice actually, and I was volunteered both times (this is different than volunteering yourself). Thank you, kind zookeeper, I love you and your slimy creature, too. *insert sarcasm* Those guys are a lot heavier than they look!

10. I have never broken a bone. Actually, none of my 6 siblings have either. My dad said we couldn't because we don't have medical insurance, and so far so good :) *knocks on wood*

11. I like to wear dresses. They make me feel happy. So thank goodness I can wear at least a skirt (if not a dress) every Sunday to church.


1. What is your favorite season?
Fall/winter. The equivalent of jackets, sweaters, pullovers, hoodies, leggings, boots, gloves, and all that awesome stuff. None of this sweat and water sports for me!

2. If you could only eat one dessert for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Pineapple chess pie. It's easy to make and it's really good cold for any meal. :)

3. What superpower would you most like to possess?
Reading by osmosis.

4. Do you prefer chocolate or vanilla? (I'm apparently hungry right now.)
I will always choose homemade vanilla ice cream, but otherwise, everything else goes chocolate.

5. What are some books that make you perfectly and incandescently happy?
Perfectly and incandescently, hm? All the ones on my Recommendations and Reviews page. Pollyanna (and it's sequel) and Mara, Daughter of the Nile were two that I don't think I've mentioned before and liked a lot. The latter is Historical Fiction, of course :)

6. What is a movie that you enjoyed which you originally weren't expecting to like?
Prince of Persia. The critics gave it a bad rap and knowing it was based off a video game . . . I just wasn't interested. But I watched it anyway since my parents said it was actually pretty good. I ended up liking it a lot. The acting was good, and the plot was interesting. And it was almost completely clean, too. I was impressed.

7. Given the choice between leaving your family behind in order to move to a fictional world or 
staying where you lived for the rest of your life, which would you choose?
Staying where I live. Fictional worlds always have a hitch, guys ;) And, quite honestly, I don't have a huge issue with where I live. It's semi-small town. And it's Texas. It really just needs to have cooler weather and I'm set.

8. Which mythical creature would you adopt?
A pigmypuff. They've been known to sing on Boxing Day.

9. What is one of your biggest pet peeves?
*puts hands in mouth* "Are you in school?"
"No, I'm at the dentist."
*jabs mouth* "Do you go to school?"
*panicked face* "Why not?"
"I'm homeschooled. How else could I afford to be here at 11 in the morning?"
*injects amnesia* "That's nice."

I promise, it's this exact conversation every time!

10. What fictional character would you most like to have as a friend?
Neville Longbottom or Edmund Pevensie. Both of them are highly underscored and overlooked due to their shaky beginnings, but I appreciate people that truly change and stand up for their family and friends the most. They'd both be invaluable as a friend.

11. Would you rather write with a pencil or pen?
Pen for everything writerly. It'll last longer and flows smoother and it's all chaos anyway, so erasers don't matter. For school, I tend to use mechanical pencils because they're still smooth, but you can erase and make everything look all even and beautiful.


I have to tag 11 people. And I'm going to do it, too. No more skipping out and cheating for me! As always, you don't have to, and you can do it if you want to anyway :)

Aberdeen @ A Glimpse of Starlight
Anna @ Anna S. Brie
Emily @ A Purpose and A Promise
Emily @ Writer Emily Mundell
Faith @ Stories by Firefly!
Hannah @ HannahRodzzz
Mariya @ name is ayiram
Olivia @ Meanwhile, In Rivendell
Olivia @ Plot Therapy
Sophia @ Ravens and Writing Desks
Sophie @ The Magic in Our Words

Your questions, ladies and gentlemen. You can answer them in the comments if you don't want to do a whole post :)

1. What is your favorite month of the year?
2. When buying a book cheap, do you prefer an e-book or a used paperback?
3. If you could smell one thing for the rest of your life, what would it be?
4. Have you ever read a Shakespeare play (in old English)? If so, which one(s)?
5. What are your birthday traditions?
6. Do you prefer to write by hand or type things up?
7. What is your favorite style of house (cabin, modern, Victorian, beach, etc)?
8. Wide rule or college rule paper?
9. What is your least favorite chore?
10. How long have you had your blog and what is one tip you would share?
11. If you could visit one fictional world, which would it be?


Phew! There you have it! I've been tagged yet again, but I may save that post for a week or so, to change it up a bit. Hope you enjoy the questions and are staying afloat with your word goals or whatever insanity is going on in your life ;)

Saturday, April 9, 2016

Coffee Shop Chat

Have no fear, I still live (barely, but back to that later)! And I am super jazzed to announce that I am finally participating in my first ever link-up! Welcome to my Coffee Shop Chat and tell me that name doesn't make you happy. :)

~What I Did This Week~

A lot on Sunday. We always do communion, a potluck lunch, and an evening service on the first Sunday of the month. This week I also attended the New Members Class in the afternoon, since I'll be 18 and able to vote on church issues. I've technically been a member since my family joined 10 years ago or so, but they want the young adults to take the extra step and initiative as a coming of age type thing. Anyway, it was a very packed day, but pretty relaxing nonetheless. Until . . .

No one really slept Sunday night because the stomach bug my littlest brother had spread. I didn't get it Sunday night, but everyone else did. One by one, they'd all tromp past my bedroom door and into the bathroom. They lined the halls and couches and floors of the two bathrooms we could use. My grandfather was in for the weekend and sleeping in a room with the guest bath to himself, so we let him be and ushered him out of the house at dawn. I believe he escaped unscathed!

So we got an unexpected week off of school and life and all that adult stuff and did nothing.  All week. It was really kind of nice. I did catch the bug eventually, but not until Tuesday night. Just in time to have to cancel all my weekend jobs. But who needs money when you can lay in front of the television for days? By that time, everybody else was more human than not and we all shared our first real meal since Sunday lunch on Wednesday night. Except for me. I was still living on old Chicken Noodle Soup. But we're all on the mend now and sanitizing the house and wondering what it'd be like to actually step outside and see fellow humans again.

~Movies I've Enjoyed~

I'm just going to go with movies I've enjoyed recently. I watched Belle last night with my mom and sister for my first time. Actually, I hadn't even heard of it until the lovely Olivia highly recommended it. So we rented it from Amazon, and I loved it! Jane Austen meets William Wilberforce. It was very well done :D

I watched Father of Bride with Steve Martin again this week while I was couch-ridden. And it's just a hilarious, relatable, good movie. Not perfectly clean, mind you, but a go-to comedy nonetheless :)

~Currently Working On~

  • reading books! I just haven't been getting to the ones I started, so I'm mainly relying on the ones I'm giving feeback for :)
  • editing for Ivy, Jesseca, and Lydia. These three ladies are all going to be well-loved, published authors some day, so watch out!
  • writing my 20th chapter . . . still :P And ironing out the plots of my next WIPs-to-be
  • blogging this post and trying to catch up with all the posts on my feed!
  • life. Graduation prep, two choirs, that thing called school, keeping my siblings alive and sometimes even fed and happy. All that good stuff.

~Myers-Briggs Type~

I'm an INTJ. That stands for Introverted, Intuitive, Thinker, Judger. Yep, that basically sums me up. But it's not as bad as it sounds! Maybe these Pinterest blips will help explain the complex that is my life. ;)

This quote from Katie's novel Song of the Desert is also me 99% of the time, unless you are my best friend. So you people shouldn't worry ;) 

"I don't know what to say Xander please answer I don't want to talk to you people."

~Coffee or Tea~

I've always thought I've liked tea and disliked coffee. Come to find out, I have never been able to finish a cup of hot tea, so I stick with iced. And I'm just starting to appreciate coffee in greatly doctored Starbucks proportions. ;)

~Favorite Genre to Read~

While Sci-Fi is one of the only genres I dislike on a regular basis, Historical Fiction is probably my favorite to read. It's just . . . so good. Any story that has an element of someone's real life, or a real event, or anything like that is immediately 100x more powerful and interesting to me. I just can't always get myself wrapped up in a completely fictional story. But don't worry, I'm coming over to fangirl land in some regards ;)

~Getting Ready For a New Week~

I just loved this prompt. It's so thoughtful. And it's Saturday, so it works. On Saturday, we always chill, do housework and/or yardwork, and take showers. They're usually pretty open. But last Saturday I was babysitting and did our local Hike for Life, so every now and then there's something out of the ordinary :) On Sunday, we go to church, which currently consists of children's choir in the Sunday School hour and then the service with a sermon from 1 Peter. We come back to the house to a large lunch with dessert. Sometimes my grandfather takes us to see a movie, or has some epic plan. But most of the time, we all just nap and hang out and eat leftovers for supper :) Side note: Papa drives a 400 mile round trip every weekend just to see us. Just kidding, he drives 400 miles every week to do the music at our church. Dedication, man.

~Looking Forward To~

  • my lovely friend of 10+ year's Senior Recital tomorrow *sniff*
  • going to the opera later this month with the entire flock of hooligans that makes up my girls' choir ;)
  • sending out invitations for my graduation in May. Six weeks from today!!!
  • cooler weather (okay, so it's a long way away. so what?)
  • storms. I can hear thunder and see the sky getting grayer right now, so yay!

~Conversation Starters~

These are for all of y'all to answer in the comments in your own Coffee Shop Chat :D

1. What is your favorite book of the Bible?
2. What is the landscaping around where you live? (trees, soil, horizon, civilization proximity . . . all the details!)
3. What is your favorite sort of blog post to read?
4. What does your ideal productive day look like?


So what did you think? I don't really know how this compares as far as link-ups go, but it was fun :) Are you going to do a Coffee Shop Chat? Be sure to check out Tessa's blog (which I linked to at the beginning) for all the lovely details!

Saturday, April 2, 2016

A Fact About Me

Well, I kind of forgot it was Saturday until recently, so I'm going to do this fun tag from Rachael for my post today. Thanks for giving me an easy out, Rachael ;)


  • Take the banner and paste it to your post.
  • Tell a single, meaningful fact about who you are.
  • Explain this fact as open, and explanatory as you can.
  • Tag at least one other blogger, and give a reason why you think they should do this.
  • Add a Bible verse to close out this tag.
  • Thank the blogger who tagged you.
  • Have fun!

Yeah, well just one fact seems a little shallow, so I'm going to follow in my tagger's rebellious footsteps and do as many as I want :D

~Fact #1: Favorite Foods~

You all know I like to look at mushrooms and eat cheese. My new cheese find is pre-sliced Havarti from HEB. Oh my goodness. You have to try it. It's amazing, I promise. And it's mild, so don't worry, I'm not throwing blue cheese at you yet. I also happen to adore every single vegetable ever with the exception of celery and beets, which I loathe. Yes, this means I like asparagus, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, radishes, and all of that lovely stuff :D And if I had to eat a dessert it would be chocolate or pie. :)

~Fact #2: My Alphabetical Alphas~

Um, so I have 5 people alpha reading the first draft of my novel, morphing it into my second draft. I realized the other day that their names are alphabetical!! I have Gloria, Ivy, Jamie, Katie, and Madison. Fill in the gaps with the people, I am reading for, and there is Hailey, Jesseca, and Lydia. Awesome, no? I thought it was very awesome.

~Fact #3: I Used to Hate the Idea of Blogging~

Several people had told me I should give blogging a shot since I liked writing/editing and it's the way to connect nowadays. Well, a few months ago, that made me shudder. Come up with things to say and connect with people online? What? Are you crazy? I don't talk to people for real, so why would I online? Once I got into the mode of following blogs (something else that never appealed to me), I decided I wanted to join the crazy world and here I am :)

~Fact #4: Shuffling Skills~

I have forever shuffled using my thumbs on the corner of the deck (which is apparently some fancy Vegas trick). In reality, it's just my excuse for teaching myself. I have just recently learned how to shuffle cards like a normal person, complete with being able to do the bridge in natural slow motion. Cool, no?

~Fact #5: New Babysitting Job~

Another job I never thought I would enjoy, but I do. I babysit. A lot. I got like 3 new clients in the fall and I just got a new one this week! A little 2 month old baby girl will be mine to hoard and cuddle for several hours this evening. I may possibly be very excited. And, yes, she is the cutest thing ever! She also happens to be the age of the baby in my WIP, which means I will secretly be gleaning knowledge for my book :D

~Bible Verse~

From my favorite character in the Bible. I just love the story of Esther, don't you? She's so brave and unsuspecting! And I love all the huge wars between Greece and Persia that were going on at that time.

"Go, gather all the Jews who are present in Shushan, and fast for me; neither eat nor drink for three days, night or day. My maids and I will fast likewise. And so I will go to the king, which is against the law: and if I perish, I perish!" ~ Esther 4:16


Ta-da! You should feel very fortunate for receiving all those extra facts. If you liked this tag, consider yourself tagged (because I'm lazy like that). You've got a link-up and lots of guest posts coming your way, so be prepared for change. Mwahaha! Now, I expect a random fact about you all, whether you're doing the tag or not :)