Saturday, January 28, 2017

The Magic of Words

This is going to be short and thoughtful because I totally forgot to draft a post this week. Raw me

Have you ever really taken the time to think about words? As a writer or a student, you may spend more time with them than you'd like to.

God created words. He created language. There are so many languages and I wish I could learn them all but alas that's not my gift.

My gift is to use these words in this one language and rearrange and rearrange the 26 letters into a masterpiece.

Have you ever tried painting? You have a vision and for me that painting rarely turns out like the colors in my mind. Words do that to. But words form a painting too and it's just as artistic and difficult to master.

Have you ever considered how cool it is that people can communicate with one another? Think about that moment at the Tower of Babel when no one spoke the same language any more and think about how utterly terrifying that must have been. Ideas came out in words that no one but you understood.

Words get abused through misuse and slander and their a very dangerous weapon. But every dangerous thing has a beautiful purpose it can be set to if you're careful and thoughtful.

I rearranged and rearranged those 26 symbols of our common language into an entire book recently. It was a lot of hard work and I tried very hard to avoid the dangers of words, of miscommunication, and to share the beauty language and reading that language can bestow.

It's really so, so beautiful that we're trusted enough to use words, knowing the hurt and destruction they can cause. So don't break that trust. Who's to say God won't take away the words again? Use them well and use them for His glory. They're magic for better or for worse.


A first draft post of words. Let's communicate -- thoughts?

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Left To Die // Blog Tour

Hello, everyone! I am here today to share a dear friend, Ivy Rose's, newest publication. Please take a look and let me know what you think :)

Ivy Rose is a lovely, talented young woman who (you may remember) published her first novel, The Old River Road, last summer. You can read about my opinion on it here. I was fortunate enough to beta read both her first novel and her second publication: a novella called Left to Die.

While all the characters from her first novel still hold a special place in my heart, Ivy did a phenomenal job making her characters in her newest publication just as endearing as she puts them through the struggles of life as authors are prone to do ;)

Lindy Greene’s life is perfect. Too perfect. But living as a missionary nurse, serving in a small hospital in China, soon brings the disaster she fearfully anticipates. All of her well-thought-out plans for the future disintegrate after pulling a fatally ill, disfigured, abandoned child from a pile of trash. She doesn’t even like babies.
Nathan Thomas can’t find balance. College suited him just fine until his cash ran out, forcing him to the Chinese mission field with his parents. The chaotic atmosphere in China does little to relax his agitated mind, and the pretty blonde nurse at the hospital does nothing to help him focus.
The Chinese mission field isn’t for the faint of heart. Nathan wonders how he can survive his remaining time there, while Lindy struggles to help everyone she can. With different ideals pulling them in separate directions, there is one thing drawing them together: a tiny, sickly, crippled orphan who relies on them to stay alive.
Find on Goodreads ~ Find on Amazon

Sounds really good, right? I thought so, too, and I'm so glad that I've been able to read it twice in the last few months! Ivy did an amazing job writing what God laid on her heart and quite quickly, too!

You can find my 5-star review of the book on the links above ^

Ivy Rose is an 18 year old history lover and literary enthusiast. Aside from writing, she enjoys being outdoors, eating chocolate, travelling, reading, and doing TaeKwonDo. She resides with her family of 9 on the banks of the Long Lake in eastern Washington.
She can be found at various places on the internet:

There's also a giveaway going on that all of you can enter right here!

Left to Die Prize Pack


I am super excited for Ivy to be published again so soon! What are your thoughts? Have you read Ivy's first book?

Saturday, January 21, 2017

Martin Hospitality Cover Reveal

TODAY IS THE DAY!!!! I present to you my 75th post. (And my cover!)

I finally get to share my beautiful cover with all of you, straight from my talented watercolor artist, Mandy Cave (to be featured in my newsletter). She did a wonderful job with the painting and my uncle Michael Foley made the text look super professional and unique, I think!

So are you ready?


*dies* Isn't it gorgeous? I know, I know, I'm biased. But I simply cannot imagine it having turned out better!

Because they are awesome people and Martin Hospitality fanatics, you can find my cover on these people's blogs and social media:

Alea ~ Anika ~ Ashley ~ Faith ~ Faith P ~ Grace ~ Grace Anne ~ Hann ~ Jesseca ~
Jonathan ~ Laura ~ Liv ~ Marrok ~ Mary ~ Rachael ~ Rebekah ~ Rosalie ~ Savannah ~ Soleil ~ Victoria ~

I simply adore it (and all my internet friends for helping spread the word)!! Feel free to spam all your friends' feeds with the photo ;)


What do you guys think?! Pretty enough to want the paperback? I assure you the spine and back cover are just as gorgeous! Now to hope trial prints are flawless ...

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Writing Environment

I get asked a lot about what environment I write best in, so it's time I answered it in a post!

Overall, I don't consider myself that picky, but I've tried different things and do have my preferences.
When I write, I usually write at home. My bed is usually pretty comfortable if my back is in a good mood. Otherwise, our dining room chairs are pretty awesome. I've actually only taken my laptop to Starbucks once to get some writing done and it was a really great environment, except for the fact that I people watch. A lot. But that could be considered character research, right? 
One reason I like coffee shops for writing is because the temperature is always on the cool side. Even in the winter. I cannot work nearly as well when I'm warm! It completely slows down my brain. Why do I live in Texas, you ask? Because it's the ideal state except for the weather :(
I'm not one of those people who has to have a fuzzy blanket, socks, or certain pens to get some writing done. However, I'm much more likely to get a significant amount of writing accomplished if I get everything I might possibly need before I sit down to begin. Internet is almost always a must, though I can survive without it in small doses. Water, granola bar, chocolate, laptop, charger, notebook, pens, character sheets, earbuds, and any other resources particular to the project are called for on most occasions. Obviously, lots of space is also in order.
Speaking of earbuds ... I always thought I couldn't write with music (it still says so in my About Me page). I think the reason for that is I prefer to listen to music with beautiful lyrics and I absolutely cannot do this while writing! It's much too distracting. I'll end up typing lyrics, singing out loud, and researching the artist instead. Whoops. I got Spotify on my laptop several months back and it has been the best thing! I've rediscovered amazing wordless music and it can help me tune out other things that would be more distracting (like voices). If I am going to be working somewhere perfectly quiet, though, I don't always do music. Silence can also help me think.
When writing, I primarily use my laptop, Sir Percy. Laptops are not as aesthetic as notebooks, but I am a slow(er) writer by hand and my wrist gets tired very fast. So Sir Percy is used for most research, drafting, and all editing. Notebooks I reserve for brainstorming, random ideas, and developments I don't want to forget.

I think that sums it up!


Be sure to visit my blog next Saturday, Jan 21, because I will be revealing my cover!!

What do you require for your writing environment?

Saturday, January 7, 2017

2017 Goals

I still haven't wrapped my head around the fact that it's a new year. There's no telling how many months it will take me to write 2017 instead of 2016. But I have got to have some goals in print because January is running away with me!

You guys get to be my accountability partners ;) Ready?
That comes out to 3 a month, which sounds reasonable to me! I'll begin with the book of Proverbs and see how far that gets me :) I would love to memorize some poetry as well, but we'll see ...
I read 55/50 books last year and I intend to read 50 books again. It's a round number and hopefully more of the books I read will be on Goodreads this year! (That's the downside to being an editor.)

I will take suggestions. Of course I have a crazy TBR, but you never know what my library may have :)
I really didn't listen to much music outside of my favorite artists (basically Josh Groban) until 2016. The main difference was getting a Spotify account. Best. decision. ever. I have found some new artists and soundtracks that I adore and I listen to music almost every day now.  If you have anything you'd like to recommend, go for it!

Sierra Abrams inspired me with her Spotify playlist, where she adds a song for every day. I am not that adventurous. So my goal is one song for every week. For obvious reasons, there's only one song so far. But this is the one I've been humming and writing to all week :)

I would really like to commit to just writing a single draft of something. But I'm going to be more adventurous than that. Write two entire drafts (1 first draft, 2 projects). *dies* I am going to shoot myself for this later, I just know it. But with all the NaNo events, I think I can eke something extra out. Or maybe I'll just revise something in the works ... So many decisions!
I was "organizing" my bookshelf the other day and realized I have 4 beautiful, completely blank journals. And 2 composition notebooks. If I can ever think of a way to use them that will be worthy of their splendor, I will use them. I'm bad about buying journals and never using them in general, so here's to overcoming that flaw ;)
I attended one conference last year (the East Texas Writers Guild one in Tyler, Tx) and it was so fun! I really want to attend at least one this year. Preferably more than that, but we'll see. I'm really considering attending the Realm Makers conference this year if a local friend is going. It wasn't really my genre last year. But now? At least I've begun a Christian Dystopian NaNo novel. :P And Ted Dekker is the keynote speaker.
It would be super easy to say I want to publish just something. But with Martin Hospitality's release next month ... I need to go further. I chose the word "items" on purpose, though. I expect my second publication will be a guide, short story, or novella. I've obviously got options :P Decisions will have to be made once I get past publication #1!


There you have it! 7 goals for 2017. (Seven is like my favorite number ever.) What are some of your goals?