Tuesday, November 29, 2016

November Wrap-Up, NaNoWriMo



November is already ending.  O.O *shakes head* Not sure how that happened, but it's true. That means it is time for my monthly wrap up.


                 BLOGGING

I have 29 followers?! I think my NaNo hangout helped out with pushing it up this month, but it is encouraging to keep up the blog when I see a new face added to my followers bar. Thanks so much for sticking around and reading my posts!

I actually posted back over here! (yay) I am excited to start posting more than just reviews again. Not sure how frequent it will be, but at least more than it has in the past year. :)
I took part in two awesome posts this month. Those from my writing hangout "hacked" into two of our fellow writers blogs and posted a blog post to congratulate them on finishing NaNo so quickly and a birthday post. So go check out Mary and Sarah's blogs!

Thanksgiving

I Wrote 12k in One Day!

A Trip to the Library


            


            READING
So, I didn't read all the books I would have liked, and didn't like some of the ones I tried. As some of you saw in my Trip to the Library post, I brought home quite a stack a little while ago, and I probably only read about half of them. Some I didn't start because I just wasn't interested in once I checked them out, and others because of time. There was a book or two that I just wasn't to happy about, so after the first few pages I put it down. I did read more than five books though. XD
I read:

  • Storm by Bonnie C.
  • Stars Above by Marissa M
  • Siren by Kiera C
  • Favorite Fairytales Told in Russia by V
  • some of Grimm's Fairytales
  • Counted with the Stars by Connilyn C
  • Shadows of the Storm by Connilyn C
  • Rebels in the Sand by Alwyn H
  • An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa T





                 WRITING
I took part of NaNoWriMo this month, and amazingly I got farther than I thought I would get. (A TOTAL OF 50,300 WORDS!!!) I have basically finished the rough draft of my novel, Changeling , and will soon be sharing more about it to you guys. (I may or may not do a Beautiful Books post? I know it's after November, but the questions still count, right? XD) I am really excited. It's been so long since I've had anything this big, and the thought that I might actually be able to have this story in a somewhat presentable form next year?!
I also wrote 12k in one day. I have no idea how I survived, but I have the words to prove it. :)

                OTHER STUFF
-I found out that I could print my novel on a scarf through Litograph (SO COOL!)
-I work better at night as long as I can "sleep in."
-I have 3 writing conferences I would love to go to, so I'm trying to see if I can make one of them work
-Time-lapse videos are a lot of fun.
-I organized my bookshelf in the midst of NaNo, but I think I might redo it again and put it in a different order. XD We'll see.
-Loving this colder weather.
-I redid my blog a little bit. Added an "about the authoress" page, and a Russia page. Will soon be adding a page about some of my writing.
-I sort've made a button for my blog. I couldn't get the code, but the picture is at the top right of my blog if you're interested.






What were some of your favorite parts of November? For those of who who were writing, did you meet your goal? Are you excited for December?


Thursday, November 24, 2016

Thanksgiving



Thanksgiving! It is that time where we celebrate the time of thankfulness- like Christmas!  (don't worry, I won't skip to Christmas XD) I'm currently away in our family's mountain cabin, enjoying time with family, a Thanksgiving meal, and hopefully stargazing and campfires. XD I'm so excited to be able to have this break. It's something my family has needed as we are transitioning into a new season. This will be the first time my family has done a Thanksgiving like this. The cabin we are staying in is very rustic, and is surrounded by mountains, and is just a little ways away from an old hot springs hotel.
I have so much to be thankful for this year, so I'll be sharing five things I am thankful for. (It would be longer, but I have so much I have to get ready for)


                                                                       ~~*~~




1) Russia.
I know there is a lot going on over there, but I truly had an amazing experience there. I met so many sweet people, and if God ever makes it so, I hope to go back. There was so much that happened there, but if you are interested in knowing more about it, you can read about some of it on my page above ^

2) Family and Friends
I am so thankful for my family and friends, and how they've supported and guided me through life. My family has helped me so much this year, and I don't know what I would do without them. As for my awesome friends, I am so blessed to have you guys, and you have helped keep me going when I was overwhelmed by so many different things.

3) Blogging
I have met many wonderful bloggers, and have had a blast doing so. I kinda stopped posting on this particular blog for a while (sorry) But I am determined to change that. *nods* I have been trying to figure out how I am doing my two blogs, and think I finally have figured it out. (those who use Blogger, what do you think of the new layout?) So you should be getting more posts over here.

4) NaNo '16 Hangout.
You guys are awesome, and I am not sure I could have written so much without you all. I had so much fun warring with you guys and reading your snippets. (I really want to read your guys' books. They sound SO good!) Thanks so much Abi for opening the 5k1day for us all!

5) Winter
I LOVE winter. Or any cold weather for that matter. I am so thankful that the weather here in my home town is actually cold. Last year it was summer until just a couple months before spring. It wasn't fun. When it's suppose to be cold, I want it to be cold. I love snuggling up in a soft blanket, perhaps with a warm drink in hand, and watching a movie, or sitting by a fire with Christmas lights lighting the room. I also love watching snowflakes, looking at their different designs just before they melt. (It makes for some awesome sledding as well XD)



What are you doing for Thanksgiving? Do you have any family traditions?  Are you already starting to get into a Christmas mood? What are 5 things you are thankful for?









Saturday, November 12, 2016

I Wrote 12k in One Day!!!

It is the 12th day of November/NaNo, and on day 1 I wrote 12k. Seems only fitting to post today.

So earlier this year I was like "NaNo? Yeah I can't wait to do it! Not sure what I'll do thought."
By October I was like "Yeah, I don't know. I still have a whole lot of stuff I need to do for school..."
Two weeks before NaNo: "I'm still not sure. I either will or will not."
Days before NaNo: *signs up to do a 5k1day writing event* "I don't think I can do this." (can you see where this is going? XD )
A day or two before NaNo: updates my profile a bit, and can't for the life of me write a summary.
Day before NaNo: I'm doing this
10pm: exhausted. Not sure if I'll stay up late to begin.
11pm: takes a small nap.
Nov 1: I began at 12am, and wrote until 1. I got over 1,000 words -not sure the official count, because I was exhausted and didn't memorize the amount. I fell asleep quite fast.
            *wakes up and scrambles for computer* I word warred with fellow NaNoers. by the afternoon, early evening I got my 5k  *celebrates* Then, as I continued writing, I had a horrible thought on the Google Hangout I was on:
Me: *wonders if I could make it to 10k*
Jonathan: "You can do it!"
For the rest of the evening, I warred with Mary (10k), Julia and Sarah (who got 11k), and many others. By the end of the night, I had reached 12k *screams* *stares in shock and amazement* HOW DID I DO THAT? No idea. But got to 20k in only 4 days. So I'm just hoping I'll have enough words to actually write in this story, because I am totally pantsing this thing. (I thought I plotted, but apparently not. whoops)

Two of my fellow bloggers have already made it to 50k. (I'm still not sure how they did it) But to celebrate, me and some other writers "hacked" (so she may or may not have given one of us access to her blog) and wrote a blog post. If you haven't been to Mary's blog already, you should because she's really cool.
I'm not sure I want to say how my writing life has been the past couple of days, but let's just say I'm hoping to finally make it to 25k XD
If you've been struggling at all, be sure to check out my post over here on Nov 15. It'll have some tips that I hope will prove helpful to you.

                          To all my fellow writers, continue on! You got this!

What was your word count on day 1? How far in your novel are you currently? Can you believe we're almost halfway through NaNo?

Friday, November 4, 2016

A Trip to the Library

So I may or may not have picked up more books on top of the many books I have to read this month. XD Most of them were on my to-read list, so I'm excited to begin them.
I thought I would give you a peek into a trip to the library, as well as stopping on the way home to take pictures. So here we go:



The entrance to our historical cemetery.




                   
               The stack of books I picked up today                                                                             



Alienated by Melissa Landers


The Ghostfaces by John Flanagan




                                                    
       
 My failed attempt to take a really cool picture
of my shadow reading.


The Selection series and The Siren by Kierra Cass

So, I was laying back on the ground taking this photo, and
suddenly this woman started walking in my direction. I quickly
got up, grabbed my books, and hurried to my car so she wouldn't
ask me why I was taking pictures of books in a cemetery.



An Ember in the Ashes by Sabaa Tahir

           
                                                                                                                  Two fairytale books I am going to use for
                                                                                                         "research" for one of my stories



And that about wraps it up. I hope you enjoyed viewing my little expedition today. I had fun practicing my photography, and I hope that November is going well for you. So long!

Friday, October 21, 2016

Miracles, Blessings, and the Faith of a Child.



I just wanted to share a post I wrote it in September of last year, and just never ended up posting it. Enjoy!

                                                        ~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                                              8/8/15

As we've been traveling, my younger sister has been getting quite the personality. At three years old it feels like she has been with our family for much longer. Always bringing smiles and does whatever means to get to your electronic, she is an amazing blessing. God decided around four years ago, that Isabella would be the perfect match for our family, though in reality, He has known since the beginning. Just a few months before my foster sister went home, Isabella was conceived. The time afterward was really hard. We had lost someone dear to us. In the months after, we slowly were recovering, going to God in times when we were overwhelmed with the grief and emptiness. Only seven months later, a call came for a newborn in need of a family. The journey since then has been worth it. Our life is one of adventure, love, relationships, and serving. I am still learning everyday, and have watched our little blessing grow more and more. Helping her discover the world,  from simple things as left and right, to right and wrong. Doctors said she would have many disabilities, and she has overcome many of them. Because she was born prematurely, she has some delays, but she is quickly shortening the gap. Her mind is growing rapidly, and it is amazing seeing the beginning of many things we would take for granted.
 Imagination; a thing on which we pretend things impossible and possible at the same time. A child's imagination is a precious thing to watch. Their minds still only know so much, and even then, their perspective on things is something many of us have forgotten- faith for example. In the gospels, Jesus told us that we need the faith of a child. Have you ever watched the difference of an adult and child's faith? In a situation, the child will believe that all things are possible, thus asking God for what is humanly impossible. Rather, an adult knows what is fiction and not. And instead of believing that the impossible with God can happen, is afraid to fully believe, and their faith is much smaller when they ask. "Ask and you shall receive."
            "Even if your faith is as small as a mustard seed, you could move mountains."
In this next part of the journey, I await and watch my younger sister. Learning lessons that we can only learn from watching a child, and hope that in the coming years she will be strong in the faith.
                                                                                  ~~~~

Both of my sisters have been such an encouragement to me, and I don't know what I'd do without them. Since writing this post my youngest sister has grown so much. I am amazed of how much she can do, and the doctors thought she would hardly be able to do anything. Isn't God amazing?! If I'm ever going through something, or feeling uncertain I'll just hang out with one of them, or talk to the older of the two.

I just want to encourage you to take leaps of faith. If it's not part of your normal life, start small. We didn't learn to walk by running first, we started with small steps. The more you take steps, the easier taking those giant leaps will be. We just need to trust, and God will lead us. Don't worry if you fall, because you Father will catch.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Russia

So I finally have some spare time where I can share about my experience in Russia this summer. Sorry in advanced for how long it is, but there was just so much stuff we did, and even now I can't write it all.

Day 1: I woke up at 6am or so on the day we were leaving. I met up with everyone at the church and after saying goodbye to my family, we crammed ourselves into three vehicles for the three hour ride to the airport.
Then we had a nine hour flight to Moscow, and filled that time with reading, eating, and watching T.V. (I didn't know this, but they have TV screens to show you where you currently are, how long it's been since you left-and the time- and how long until you arrive-and time. Really liked that) As soon as we landed we went straight to baggage- and had one bag missing for two days, but later got back- and then drove to the church we were staying in for the night. After dropping our bags off, we toured the city all day long, and were exhausted, but had a great time. An important fact is that it is 7 hours ahead there compared to the East Coast. So our team was up for about 32 hours the first day. (so many of us were falling asleep in random places) :D I wish I was able to upload those from Moscow and Red Square, because it was really amazing. I could hardly believe I was in another country.
The next day we visited a smaller church and fellowshipped with them, and afterward toured a little more. Late afternoon we took a train to Vladimir. So day 3 we woke up and headed out into the city to evangelize and invite people to a concert our group was helping put on with the church.

We had many people accept Christ as their savior (at the end of the two weeks we had over 20) and many more who listened and asked questions. We handed thousands of tracts and
 Gospel of Johns out. One thing our entire group was surprised about was that if you give a Russian something to read, they'll read it. Here in America we just glance at it before throwing it in the trash, but over there we would come back twenty minutes later and see people reading the stuff we had given them.
The church we are partnered with was so friendly and hospitable. We immediately connected as brothers and sisters in Christ. And even our team grew closer together, and we got to know each other better. It was a wonderful time of fellowship with other believers.
Pictured left: Russian Rubles.    Pictured right: Gospels of John
One of the things that was most amazing for me
was when believers from both America and
Russia would sing together
                                         (A palace in Moscow)  
in their native language. One of the things I love is to hear others singing
together and worshiping. To hear it in different languages at the same time is something I've wanted to hear, and loved so much.
The translators we had were amazing people. One of them had been saved three years ago by someone handing them a tract in the exact area we had been working in. It was truly amazing to think about, and I've prayed many times for those we talked to, that they would search for God.

While we could only communicate with a few of the believers there in our native language, we did many things together to connect us all. One of the many things we would do was play extreme musical chairs.
 (Which is a lot of fun if you've never played it before) And if it was after church we would sit and try to have some form of conversations. I even pulled up the Star Wars: Rogue One trailer in Russian, and we are all excited about it.
(And yes, a few times I used Google Translate so I could understand.)  :) The Russian language is really a cool language. I had learned a little before going, and it is quite easy to read once you learn the alphabet. But I am no master and could not have conversations while we were there. The people were generally nice. When
 witnessing I did come across people who were a little upset that we would ask them if they believed in Jesus, or other similar questions.

The food there wasn't bad at all. I had some borsht soup, but it was not my favorite. The meals we had were quite good (including a crepe type meal) and they had some excellent drinks. (I forget what it is called, but they had this lemon-mint soda that was really good)

 I'll try to get my next post up soon, but if you
 have any questions, let me know and I'll try to answer them next time. To everyone who supported me monetarily or in prayer, thank you so much. I will never forget it, and hope to one day go back, Lord willing.
Until next time!



Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Don't Worry


My day has been mainly of me taking a practice ACT math test, skimming over the ACT science, and looking up a few random and not so random things on the internet. After having the house to myself for most of the day, I got in the car, turned the radio on, and ran an errand for my amazing mom. I was exited to get out of the house, and just not think of the future. As I came back, the radio hostess was talking about a challenge that is currently going on, and said that today's challenge was to not worry. 
I start my senior year of school next week, and am about to start cramming everything I can for the October ACT test. With the possibility of going to college next fall, and trying to get a couple jobs, and still be calm and listen to God,  I easily start freaking out and worrying about what's in the future. But things like this, where God uses the radio and a certain song or two, remind me that I shouldn't worry.
                   "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is no life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?" Matthew 6:25-27

All the songs I've listened to in the past 30 minutes have basically been about trusting God, living for God, and to not worry. One that I enjoyed, What You Want by Tenth Avenue North, came on, and I just wanted to share some of the lyrics:

Everyday, I've been feeling the pressure
I always gotta know the plan
It's a weight that I've tried to shoulder
I thought I could, but I can't
And I'm so tired of chasing dreams
When I am wired to let you lead

You're changing my heart
To want what You want
To love how You love
And that is enough
There's no greater plan
That I need to know
You only ask me to follow


We shouldn't try to take so much control in our lives, that we don't let God continue to guide us. In our world, we often think that the more control we have, the better, when it just causes more stress for us in the end.
                                "Turn our worries in to prayers," -Amanda Carrol.
Every time you worry about something, send a prayer up. God listens to you. The Creator of the world, hears you. Don't be afraid of the future, because God has a wonderful plan for you.


~Whatever you are going through, don't give in to the worry and fear. Choose to follow God, and He will show you. All you have to do is trust.~