Tuesday, March 20, 2018

What is Going on in My Life

Hello everyone!

I feel like it's been forever since I've just given y'all an update on my life. Long story short: I've been very busy but not accomplishing a lot. Let's go through this by category.

Writing/editing: This week I've been working on editing my story Just Your Ordinary Thief. I was pretty excited when I went into this project, but then I hit a huge section that needs rewriting. That put a damper on my enthusiasm. I've been trying to tackle that, but progress is slow. I've got nearly a fifth of the book to rewrite. But, on the good side, I'm having a lot of fun revisiting these characters. My goal is to get that done before Camp NaNo next month.

Photography: I have been so happy now that spring is here that I get all these nature photography opportunities. One of the goals I've made for this year is to take a photo every day, so that's been kind of interesting to work on. Sometimes the photos are a little on the desperate side (desk, books, phone ext.), but it's also helped me to get out and take more photos.

Social Media: This week I've been working on cutting back on my social media, and it has been great. It is much harder then I expected though. *Cringe* I've started trying to only check my stuff twice a day. It doesn't always work, but it has made me much more aware of how I'm spending my time.

Misc: My brother has been teaching me to drive! I've really been enjoying that. Last night I drove into town for the first time. Since we live out in the country, it was a thirty-minute drive. Stopping smoothly is so much harder then I expected.

I rediscovered my Beauty and the Beast Broadway music, so I've been listening to that a lot lately. <3

So there you go, that's whats been going on in my life. What's up with you? Anyone else working on editing?

Friday, March 16, 2018

Cover Reveal || Tricia Mingerink

Hello everyone! I'm here to help reveal the cover of Tricia Mingerink's new book. Are you ready?


About the book: 

A prince cursed to sleep.

A princess destined to wake him.
A kingdom determined to stop them.
 High Prince Alexander has been cursed to a sleep like unto death, a curse that will end the line of the high kings and send the Seven Kingdoms of Tallahatchia into chaos. With his manservant to carry his luggage and his own superior intelligence to aid him, Alex sets off to find one of the Fae and end his curse one way or another.
A hundred years later, Princess Rosanna learns she is the princess destined by the Highest King to wake the legendary sleeping prince. With the help of the mysterious Daemyn Rand, can she find the courage to finish the quest as Tallahatchia wavers on the edge of war?
One curse connects them. A hundred years separate them. From the rushing rivers of Tallahatchia’s mountains to the hall of the Highest king himself, their quests will demand greater sacrifice than either of them could imagine. 

Release Date: May 28, 2018


About the author: 

Tricia Mingerink is a twenty-something, book-loving, horse-riding country girl. She lives in Michigan with her family and their pack of pets. When she isn’t writing, she can be found pursuing backwoods adventures across the country.
You can connect with her on FacebookPinterestGoodreadsTwitterInstagram, and her blog.

Monday, March 12, 2018

Dear Fighters

Hello everyone! I feel like I owe y'all a lot more then just a piece of my writing, but I've been sick all weekend and just don't feel up to much more. Hopefully on Friday I will be able to give y'all an update on what's been going on with my life.

Dear fixers 
Dear doers 
Dear fighters
Work is endless
You may finish something today
But tomorrow it will be back 
You may be accomplished 
But you will never do it all 
You will be working endlessly 
You cannot dig yourself out
Of this endless pit 
You cannot do it all 

Please stop trying to
Please take a break 
Take the world off your shoulders 
And let yourself stop
You may think that’s impossible 
But I know it’s not 
You’re a fighter 
You’ve fought to get the world there 
You’ve fought to keep it spinning 
Now please 
Give it a break 
Just set the world down 
And rest

You will never fix it all 
You will never accomplish everything 
You will never be perfect 
So please stop trying 
Do what you can 
Do your best 
And leave the rest to God

Friday, March 9, 2018

I Am Ivy

This is a piece of flash fiction I wrote on a plane back in August and I just now brought out of my files.  

I leveled my gun and fired. I didn’t care where my bullet went. No one did. We were all just trying to win this war. The screaming had started at dawn that morning when we started fighting. It hadn’t stopped yet and we were coming up on nighttime. I felt like screaming myself just from having to hear it. 
I took a deep breath and tried to steel myself as I fired again. 
There was a yell directly following my shot. 
Maybe they were right, maybe girls weren't really meant for war. Because at that moment, I was shaken to the core. I wanted to shout or cry. But instead, I did the unthinkable. I jumped over our barricade.  
I could see who I had hit right away. There was a young man lying on the ground right in front of me. 
I didn’t look around me, I didn’t see if anyone was shooting at me. All I could think was that this young man was going to die if I didn’t get him out. 
Why he was different then all the people I shot that day, I didn’t know. But I couldn’t stop myself.
He groaned as I pulled him into a standing position. But he was able to stand with his arm around my neck. He could barely drag himself through the fight with my help . 
I couldn’t go to his army or mine, so we shuffled along until we reached a group of trees, just past the battle. 
I let him down so he was leaning against a tree and then ripped off my jacket. Blood already coated it from where he had bled onto it while I helped him. Now I wadded it up and pressed it against the wound in his side.
His dirty blond hair fell down onto his forehead as he pinched his eyes closed for a moment in pain.
I started trembling as the weight of what I had done came to rest on me. I had just helped the enemy.
But I held the cloth to his side. He needed me. 
I glanced up at his face just as he opened his icy blue eyes. Pain didn’t diminish the brightness of those eyes. 
“Why are you helping me?” He whispered. 
I stared at him, unable to tear my eyes away. 
“I don’t know.” My voice almost broke trying to talk. 
He studied me for a minute. He knew I was from the other side. We both knew. 
I expected him to say something along the lines of how much he hated me for my loyalty. 
But he did the unthinkable. He held out his hand in a gesture of friendship.
“I’m Rome.”
“I am Ivy.”

So, what did you think?

Monday, March 5, 2018

February Highlights

February was pretty awesome, here are my highlights!

I finally finished writing Andrea's Star, which I started writing for NaNoWriMo!! It came out a lot higher word count then I thought it would, which I was happy about. When I sat down to write the ending I got really tired and fell asleep without meaning to. I ended up plotting the ending in my sleep. What's even more cool was that it was actually a pretty good ending!

I enjoyed getting to watch the Olympics, though I only watched the opening ceremony and two events one night. But I did get to see Shawn White win gold, which was cool.

On Valentines day my sister and I were in a hurry, so she dropped me off at the grocery store while she filled the gas tank. I grabbed my flowers and got up to the checkout.... only to discover I was short of the price. I got really discouraged, but was ready to just walk out, when the cashier whipped out her card and covered the rest of it, saying she was glad to do it. It wasn't much, but it was amazing to me.

My mom took me and my sister to the zoo. I hope I never feel to old for that, because it was amazing.

I raked a lot of leaves this month. 
(Why is something this little in my highlights? Well, now that I've carted so many leaves away that I've begun to groan anytime I see leaves, I thought it was worth mentioning. Seriously though, I never want to see dead leafs again.)

I've become the queen of finishing things the night before the deadline. I had two months for one project, and a month for another, and both were finished by pulling late nighters right before they were due.

My family worked our last day at the food pantry we've volunteered at for six years now. 

Spring started to show its self all over the place with flowers, and new leafs! Of coarse, we also have had 80+ degree whether, which has been awesome.

I finished editing my story Autumns Dance, which I wrote for NaNo. I loved that story so much it was fun to go back and revisit it!

Sometimes... Chosen Vessels 

The Journey Begins Tracey Dyck

I Hope You Dance Totally Graced 

Sharing About First Novels A Writers Faith

You Have No Idea and Basic Burning Youth

Dry Soul /Living Water A Purpose and a Promise 

So my February was pretty awesome, how was yours?

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Bursting With Dreams || Blog Launch

Are you bursting with a dream? Do you long for a place where you can connect with other creatives like you? Well Hailey Hudson has created just such a place. 

The Hardworking Creative launches today, and here is the mission statement: 

My name is Hailey Hudson, and I’m a hardworking creative who inspires other creatives to put in the legwork that’s necessary to make their dreams become their reality.

This is a place where creatives are celebrated. Whether you’re a writer, painter, filmmaker, graphic designer, violinist, dancer, actor, you name it—if you pride yourself on both your creativity and your work ethic, then you are welcome here. If you’re looking for your people, you’ve found them.

At the age of eighteen, I became an author and a freelance writer. As I looked around, I realized I had many friends who were incredibly talented in various creative pursuits and who hoped to make it big—but they weren’t actually doing any work towards their dreams. Creativity is a fantastic thing to have, but if you want to be successful, hard work as equally as important, and that’s the premise that this website was founded on.

Here at The Hardworking Creative, you’ll find monthly success stories from young creatives just like you, plus more exciting content explaining what the lifestyle of a hardworking creative really looks like—tips on marketing, branding, and social media, and more.

This website is the launching pad for your success. So stick around. I can’t wait to watch you succeed.

“To anyone who’s bursting with a dream—come one, come all.” –The Greatest Showman

Head on over and check it out at The Hardworking Creative! This is a site that you will not want to miss! 

Monday, February 26, 2018

Andrea's Star || Story Tidbits

I just finished writing my novella Andrea's Star, which I had started during NaNoWriMo. I would love to give y'all a synopsis, but so far what I've got is: "Its about a girl and her family." Yeah, still working on building those synopsis skills. I'll write one eventually. 

Anyway, here are some unedited pieces of the story:

"Katie, I tired, I really tried." 
But he should have tried harder. Andrea could have gotten hurt. I got hurt. Daddy should have been there. He should have kept me from those men, but he hadn’t. He had just sighed and let them take me, like it was no big deal.
Well, nothing like this was ever going to happen to Andrea. I would make sure of it. 

Daddy left. I watched Andrea play with my toys. I would protect her. She would never get hurt. 
But that keep I just kept staring at my pink cast, wondering if my arm would always be broken. 

“Katlin!” The pain in his eyes didn’t break through the fury inside me. 
“Just like all those years ago, you let us get hurt!” Images faded together, forming one fuel for the pain I was feeling. 
“Lower your voice.” His was authoritative, but I didn’t pay attention. He reached out twords me. 
“Don’t touch me!” I screamed “Just stay away. I never asked for you to come back in our lifes. Just stay away from both of us!” 

"Grandad would have known what to do." I whispered, holding the ring with both hands. 
He would have been so sad that I didn't talk to dad. He would have helped me find sense in all this mess. He would have known how to trust. 
I slipped the ring onto my thumb, letting it hang loosely, the string dangling into space. 
Granddad would have told me trust. 
I spun the ring slowly. It was so comforting in face of all the problems I could not touch.  

Friday, February 23, 2018

A World of Problems

We yell
We scream
We want to fix
A world of problems
We shake our fists
And argue
We want to lock up
Whoever did this
We try to grab attention
We want people to hear
Our opinions
We yell
We scream
All this time forgetting
That God never asked for rants 
He never asked for arguments
And the weight of this world
Isn’t ours to bear
Maybe we should replace yells with tears
Screams with helping hands
Arguments with encouragement
And opinions with prayer
Because in the end
I think you’ll see
That one tear was better
Then a flood of posts
And one word of encouragement
Is better than any argument you made

I'm praying for you, Florida. 

Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Savoring Single

Hey Everyone! I'm participating in Shelley Black's Savoring Singleness tour!

About the book:

Why savoring single? Because you were meant to enjoy it!

Finding purpose, knowing love, and experiencing adventure aren’t reserved solely for the married girls! You can enjoy a full and vibrant life even while being single. It’s also a perfect time to partner with what God wants to develop in you through this once-in-a-lifetime part of your journey! Girl, being single is okay. There is a purpose for it, and it won’t last forever. So savor it!

My Review:

I’ll be honest here, singleness is not a topic I really dwell on much. I’m eighteen and very happily… me. I am very well aware this might change but until then, I’m pretty happy. 
So why did I pick up a book on singleness? Well, honestly I just enjoy most none fiction. 
And this one did not disappoint me. 
For the first few chapters, Miss Black did focus mainly on singleness and how to be content. She gave practical advice on how to rededicate that time to God. She showed how to use your singleness to pull your closer to God, and how the things you learn now will apply to your whole life.
My favorite part of the whole book was the section about purity. The author did it in such a way it really was not uncomfortable, and she really showed the reasons behind it. Also, she covered mental purity, which I appreciated so much. It really got me to thinking about way's I can work on making my thought patterns purer.
Overall, this was a very thought-provoking book on singleness.
I would not recommend this for anyone under 15 due to the mature themes discussed. 
*I received a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. 

About The Author:

Shelley Black has journeyed through being single longer than she expected and has since found joy, hope and purpose from a once begrudged season. She now challenges the status quo of what it means to be single as a modern-day Christian female, with a passion to infuse hope and restore joy to every single-girl heart. Shelley is a loving momma to her pup Lucy, is one proud “T” to six nieces and nephews and serves her local church in North Mississippi as the worship leader. Find her at SavoringSingle.com and across social media at SavoringSingle.

Monday, February 19, 2018

When Dreams Are Just Beyond Your Fingertips

I've been thinking a lot about dreams recently (Which explains last weeks post.) and I suddenly realized something. Sitting here, at eighteen years old, I am almost touching some dreams I had when I was younger.

Go to college. Learn to drive. Have a consistent job. Grow my blog. 

So maybe none of my dreams are huge, but they felt huge to me. They still do, in a way. 

I will be taking online college classes this year. Though I'm not going for a degree, I am looking forward to going back into school (Yes, I've missed it). 

This month I will be taking my first driving lessons. I might be a bit late jumping onto the bandwagon with this one, but that's because my siblings needed to learn first. I'm excited to finally get behind the driver seat. 

I'm am now working regularly as a babysitter. While babysitting is not my favorite thing to do, it has been great. Not only am I learning new skills, but I'm also earning money to pay for my college!

For two months now I have been working on a plan for my blog. I've realized some of the faults I have when it comes to blogging, and I'm working on ways to get better. I can't wait to see where the blog will go from here.

I've been dreaming about these things for years, and now they are close enough to feel. I am excited to see them unfold and see what God has in store. 

What are some dreams you are near to touching? 

Monday, February 12, 2018

The Dreams of a Thousand Nights

Here in this place 
Lays to rest
The dreams of a thousand nights 
The hopes of a thousand tomorrows 
The wishes of a hundred dandelions
And the longings of countless days 
Here in this place 
Lays to rest 
The dreams of a thousand dreamers 
Hundreds of fallen starts 
Here is laid to rest 
A million tears of pain 
The sadness of winter nights 
The anguish of summers crushed 
The bitterness of fall’s past 
And the depression of never sprouting spring 
Here in this place 
Is laid to rest 
Everything that we wanted 
Everything that we wished for 
Everything that should have come 
Here in this place 
Is laid to rest 
Every dream Good choose not to fulfill 
In the hope beyond hope 
That He will use these broken things 
To be soil for new plants
New dreams 
New hope and the promise 
Of countless tomorrows 
To be with Him 

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

January Highlights

I can't believe January is already over! Here are my highlights from the month!

I printed off my book Flight from Kelar using Lulu.com so I could read through it easier! It was awesome getting to hold my book like that for the first time. The cover turned out so much better then I expected.

I won a copy of Blossoms Gold by Hayden Wand and it was beautiful!

My sister and I roasted marshmallows in our little fireplace! It turned out surprisingly well. Before that I had only ever made them over a bonfire, so this was a new experience.

This is Luke with my gear from our walk.

I took a long walk with my dog Luke for company. We went for several miles and I just enjoyed getting to think. 

On a little back road behind our property I found an abandoned tractor. Obviously this meant I needed to take pictures with it, so I did.

I got a job! Okay, so its only one day a week for two hours, but its awesome. I'm helping babysit during a woman's bible study. It's been great!

This is the Super Blue Blood moon!

My family and I got up at six to watch the super blue blood moon. We had blankets and hot chocolate and a great view from our deck. Unfortunately just as it was covered clouds moved in. But we did get it see it up until then, so it was totally worth it!! 

Its that time of year again when things are frozen yet somehow Ceder lives on. I was down with a fever and burning eyes several times this month. Thankfully it hasn't been as bad lately!

One day I was hit with inspiration and I wrote a 1,800 word flash fiction called "Alice." Unfortunately, that was the only writing I got done all month long. =/

I took a lovely two week blogging break. It gave me some great time to just step away and reevaluate some things. I'm working on some new plans for the blog now!

I worked my first 1,000 piece puzzle with my sister Rebekkah. It was a Nancy Drew puzzle my mom got me, which was super cool!

Maybe Summer of 1999

The Purest Lauren Elizabeth 

Fly Bird Fly Letters to Jayna 

When Books Become Movies Writing is Life

Thoughts: Change and Two Years A Purpose and a Promise 

My January was not all I expected, but it was good! How about you?

Friday, February 2, 2018

What a Month Without Movies Taught Me

It's easy for me to get wrapped up in movies. I'm that person that could pretty much love any movie the first time. I get caught up in the emotions and characters. I love dramatic scenes and amazing endings. Once I start a series, I want to see the whole thing. I tend to overlook flaws in logic (because I really don't mind them in most shows) and minor bad content.

So while making my new years resolutions I decided that for one month, I would put aside all movies (including YouTube). I've done this multiple times before over the years, and I've always enjoyed it. Since I only average about two movies per week when I'm really into them, I didn't think it would be that bad. I didn't even think about evaluating my movie choice while I was away from them.
Let me tell you, when you completely step away from something, you start seeing it in a different light.

On January 7'th I was home alone and reading through Philippians. I stumbled on Philippians 4:8 again.

And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. -NLT-

Now I've read this verse a lot in my life. So I decided to play a little game with it that my mom taught me. I would see if the movies I loved could stand up to the test. I tried Star Trek first because I've watched hand picked episodes. It stood up to the honorable test. ... yup. that was about it. 

Then I got to thinking, you know, Star Trek is about the most worldly show I watch, so I decided to try something more neutral: Bionic Woman, the old 70's TV show. Its a pretty light, fun show with no objectionable content in the first season.  So... it stood up to pure and honorable. But when I thought about it there was nothing really good in that show ether. 
So tried one last one The Encounter. Its a Christian movie that has really blessed me. It past every single test. But I got cought up on the worthy of praise thing. What is worthy of praise, exactly? I decided to look it up in my concordance. 
Out of all the mentions of praise in the Bible, only a handful of them have to do with anything other then God. 
So it would stand to reason that since God is pretty much the only thing mentioned as worthy of praise that only movies that bring us closer to God are worthy of praise.

So all month long I've been thinking about that. I'll be honest, I don't like the idea of giving up all my non Christian movies. But here are some things I've realized now that I'm almost done.

1. I used my free time better. I got a lot more reading done this month, and I really got to thinking about how often I waste my time on movies and YouTube when I have work to do.

2. Most of the movies I am excited to get back to are Christian ones. Somehow a lot of the movies I was really itching for at the beginning of the month seem shallow.

3. It's been easier to push away fear. I've always had a bit of trouble with the unknowns of walking in the dark by myself. But without movies (good or bad) ringing in my ears, telling me what might be hiding out there, it's been easier to reason with myself how ridiculous I'm being.

4. Its hard to let go. In reading Philippians 4:8 I realize there are no exceptions. Period. God call's us to an incredibly high standard so that our life's will be a better quality. But letting go of the things I've loved and still love is hard.

I'm not promising that from now on I will never watch another show that isn't Christian. I have had some secular movies that have blessed be immensely. But what I am going to try to do is think before I sit down to watch something. God gave me the gift of free choice, and I want to use it wisely.

So what are your thoughts on this, do you agree, or disagree? I'd love to talk with you in the comment section below.