May: Month in Review

May was just craziness. There was a whole lot of softball practice and working out, but no tournaments (there were supposed to be tournaments–but that’s another story). For a few weeks, I had a lot of energy (I went to the batting cages so much, one of my coaches asked if I’d been taking steroids because of how my hitting improved)! But then I was sick for two weeks; I felt so miserable at one point that I didn’t leave the house for seven consecutive days. I was finally diagnosed with an ear infection, so that was great–very enjoyable.

I took the kids I nanny out for ice cream and to the pool several days. After nannying five days a week for two years, that job ended this month; it was a good two years, but I was ready to move on. I went to a fun pre-graduation get-together, saw a friend’s musical, made a day trip to TN to hear my grandfather’s concert, made a day trip to Woodstock with a friend, began working with a local nonprofit called Next Generation Focus, had a Mother’s Day picnic that involved cannolis and playing with goldendoodles, went to dinner with friends, went to lunch with a teammate, and went to Mississippi for six days to visit my grandparents–a trip that involved lots of pie, a guided synchronous firefly walk, sailing on my uncle’s catamaran, a cute popsicle shop with friends, and a Memorial Day get-together at my aunt and uncle’s house (a dreamy summer day of homemade coconut ice cream, riding bikes to the little airport a few miles away, and then sitting under a beautiful sunset). Whew!

Oh yeah, and I also graduated! I finished high school on the second day of May and then I graduated on the thirteenth. I graduated with my homeschool group; there were thirteen of us graduating, and all of them except one were people that I’ve been close friends with since middle school. After graduation I had a small party at my house; it was so fun and special and people gave me so many kind and thoughtful gifts (money, books, journals, gift cards to Panera, a homemade picture frame from a little girl at church, a literal lifetime supply of Jellie Bellies…).

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

This month I’m…

Reading: Egg and Spoon, Gregory Maguire. Everything, Everything, Nicola Yoon (did NOT appreciate the ableism). What Light, Jay Asher. Hiding in the Spotlight, Greg Dawson (reread). Seven: An Experimental Mutiny Against Excess, Jen Hatmaker (reread). The Hidden Oracle, Rick Riordan (reread). We Were Liars, E. Lockhart (DANG). All the Light we Cannot See, Anthony Doerr (finally! Yes, it was all it’s cracked up to be). Rilla of Ingleside, L.M. Montgomery (after avoiding it for years… I knew it would make me cry multiple times, and it did). The Selection and The Elite, Kiera Cass. Steelheart and Firefight and Calamity, Brandon Sanderson. You Can Do This, Tricia Lott Williford. My Thirty Years Backstairs at the White House, Lillian Rogers Parks. A Court of Thorns and Roses, Sarah J. Maas. 17 total.

Listening to: Ubi Caritas, Audrey Assad. Can’t Help Falling in Love, covered by Kina Grannis. Satisfied Stars, Adamusic (a Hamilton and OneRepublic mash-up, aka all my best dreams come true). Come Ye Sinners, covered by Reawaken. Willis Clan covers. Oh What a Life, American Authors (full album). The whole (new) Beauty and the Beast soundtrack multiple times! Touching Heaven, JohnnySwim. Cracks in the Floor of Heaven, Oh Honey (NEW FAVORITE SONG). In Your Arms, JohnnySwim.

Watching: The Amazing Race (#teamfun). Cambria Joy vlogs. CrossFit videos. Bandstand vlogs. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. The Brady Bunch. Working with Lemons’ Hamilton In Real Life videos.

Loving: Don’t Leave the Moments Behind by Katherine (Song Beyond Silence). Some Kind of Beautiful by Rachel (Silver Mess). replacing a popular piece of art with something that doesn’t cuss doesn’t make it “Christian” by Aimee (To the Barricade). i, like the moon by Adelaide (down by the willows). 27 Things I Accidentally Did This School Term by Hannah (Hannah A. Krynicki). Do we understand the power of the written word??? — that includes novels and YA // I got fishes by Julia (The Barefoot Gal). All in the Sacrifice by Becca (Becca Liegey). Preparing for a Workshop // Part 3 // explaining your story by Hannah (Ink Blots and Coffee Stains). Rant: Every Christian Novel Ever by Hanne (rockandminerals4him).

I blogged a whole six times this month!: Blue Sky Tag, Woodstock with Madeleine (Summer Bucketlist 2017!), Writing Plan/Schedule/Goals: Summer 2017!, Writing Lifehacks #1: Creating a Killer Antihero, 10 Great Books You’ve Probably Never Heard Of (but need to read) (because they’re great), Fruit of the Spirit Project: Overview!

Writing: I applied for eighteen freelance jobs and was hired for two (one of which was a 7,000-word ebook on the best diet to complement yoga, which I really really enjoyed writing). I entered five contests, submitted to three magazines, had a devotional published here, and didn’t really edit Angelica at all. Oops. But it’s okay! Remember this blog post from a few weeks ago where I listed some writing goals for the summer? Top of the list: getting an ongoing writing job and publishing something in print. Not only did I have a job interview with a CrossFit company for a writing position and receive the job–it pays the exact same amount per month as my nanny job did, which is perfect–but I literally JUST signed a royalties agreement two minutes ago because a publishing company is going to publish one of my stories as a paperback. WHAT?!! A lifelong dream is coming true before my eyes and I could NOT be more thrilled!! I literally have NO WORDS for how good this feels. Stay tuned for details on how you can order your own copy!

Grateful for: Doing laundry in my room and watching John Crist with Mom. Dancing to King of New York in the bathroom with Joshua while straightening my hair. That feeling of putting up a blog post, leaving the computer for literally five minutes, and coming back to half a dozen likes and comments. Joshua coming to my room early in the morning, getting in bed with me, and watching hilarious Andy Griffith clips. Cracking myself up (“dear cousin Bob”) while doing a freelance writing job (I’d been home alone sick for seven hours, so…). The little book “What Jesus Means to Me” I found that belonged to my grandmother (who now has Alzheimer’s) and the fact that the parts she underlined in 1954 are things God has been teaching me this year. The teen worker at an ice cream place who recognized the Time Turner on my keychain as being from Harry Potter (Potterheads unite!). My grandpa financing my tunes of summer 2017 (JohnnySwim, Judah and the Lion, and Hillsong coming soon to my car!).

Overall, May was amazing. I felt restoration and freedom happening in my heart, and I also proved to myself that I can make it in the writing world. If you want something, go get it–I realized that more than ever this month. I can’t wait to see what June will bring my way!

What were your May highlights? Any fellow grads? Who’s ready for SUMMER?!

 

 

 

 

 

Fruit of the Spirit Project: Overview!

I’m starting a new project that I’m SO excited about!! For the next nine months, I’m going to focus on one of the fruits of the Spirit every month. I’ll pray about it, read about it, and look for practical ways to apply it in my everyday life. At the end of the month, I’ll put up a post recapping how things went and what I learned. The schedule will be as follows: June–love; July–joy; August–peace; September–patience; October–kindness; November–goodness; December–faithfulness; January–gentleness; February–self-control. I’m honestly SO stoked to dive into this project and grow more like Jesus. And there’s more: I want to invite you to join me!

fruta

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law.” –Galatians 5:22-23

Here’s a lil more context: right before these verses, we’re told that the flesh and the Spirit are contrary. Since we have sin natures, it’s not natural or easy for us to display these qualities–BUT, when we accept salvation, we have the Holy Spirit! “You do not do what you want” (v 17)–I definitely want to display the fruits of the Spirit, but I fail every day.

Also, we’re told in verses 19-21 the things we shouldn’t do:

 “The acts of the flesh are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God.”

We’re told to crucify these things (v 24) and to live in step with the Spirit. As my family would tell you, I’m not a pleasant person to live with–daily, I fail to show the fruits of the Spirit. So I’m asking God to work in me in these specific ways each month!

Again, I’d love for you to join me! In June I’ll be focusing on love (I think it’s no coincidence that love comes first–but more on that later). Like I said, I’ll be praying about how to display love, I’ll be reading verses and listening to sermons on love, and I’ll be looking for ways to show love to others. At the end of the month I’ll be back with everything that happened and what I learned about showing love, and I’d love (HA) (sorry) to hear what you learned as well. Then in July, we’ll kick off with joy!

Two final side notes: one, go read Galatians 5 in its entirety because I can’t get enough of it. And two, stay tuned for Month in Review later this week, because I have a heck ton of exciting writing news coming up–like, I just signed a royalties agreement for my book that’s being published. Whaaaaat?!

If you’re planning to join me on my Fruit of the Spirit project, comment below!

10 Great Books You’ve Probably Never Heard Of (but need to read) (because they’re great)

You can thank me later for extending your TBR list. These are ten of my very favorite books, and I can’t wait to share them with you!

  1. The Emily series (LM Montgomery)

I’m sure you’ve heard of Anne of Green Gables and the books that follow it, but L. M. Montgomery wrote another series that’s just as good (if not better) than the Anne chronicles. The thing I love about the Emily series is that Emily is an aspiring writer–just like me, and just like many of you reading this! However, she was an aspiring writer over a hundred years ago, making me very glad that I have Microsoft Word and Pinterest and Facebook support groups.

emily

2. Heat, Mike Lupica

Knowing me, we obviously couldn’t get through this list without a good baseball book! Even if you’re not into baseball, this is just a great, well-told story with a central theme of never giving up.

heat

3. Under the Baseball Moon, John H Ritter

Again–even if you’re not a baseball person, you’ll still love this book. It’s a classic summer story, full of jazz music, skateboarding, and beaches. There’s a touch of magical realism and a girl who loves softball and it’s all wrapped up in a little California town: no better formula for a good book!

baseball

4. Room in the Heart, Sonia Levitin

Of course we also couldn’t get through this list without a Holocaust book. I’m a nerd about the Holocaust and particularly about Denmark and the Danish resistance, and this is a very well-researched historical fiction account of a girl who “will risk everything to protect the people [she] hold[s] closest to her heart.”

room

5. Seven Alone, Honore Willsie Morrow

I LOVE books about the Oregon Trail, and I LOVE books about orphaned siblings taking care of each other–so this one is a win-win! I have my mom’s tattered and marked-up copy that she read in junior high, and I’ve read it so many times over the years–it’s definitely inspired many of my own stories.

sevennn

6. My Vicksburg, Ann Rinaldi 

Here’s another one of my all-time favorites. I’ve always been a big Ann Rinaldi fan, and I think this is my favorite book of hers–a tale of a young girl’s survival during the siege of Vicksburg (plus I’ve been to the battlefield at Vicksburg so that was super cool).

vicksburg

7. Risky Gospel, Owen Strachan

Ugh, SO GOOD. I really can’t say enough about this book. If you want to be on fire for the Lord–read it.

risky

8. Little Men, Louisa May Alcott

In the spirit of being completely honest and forthcoming, I didn’t know this book existed until three or four months ago, but it has taken its rightful place on my shelf of favorite books. Practically everyone has heard of Little Women, but I think it’s a shame that few people know about Little Men, a charming story of the orphan school that Jo March runs as an adult (I want to be Jo March when I grow up).

littlemen

9. Guitar Notes, Mary Amato

Many of this book’s Goodreads reviews say that it’s a “light, fun read”–which is true. But it’s also true that it made me cry, and not many books can do that! It’s a sweet little friendship story cocooned in cello concerts and school practice rooms and, well, guitar notes. Read it. You’ll see.

guitar

10. The Chosen, Chaim Potok

From what I’ve heard, many people have had to read this book for school. I discovered it on my own several years ago, and ever since, it has remained in the top five or six books that I name whenever someone asks me my favorite book (and believe me, that’s a hard list to get on). If you’ve been assigned this for school, don’t go into it expecting a boring schoolbook. This is a fantastic story and everyone needs to read it at least once in their life.

chosen

Have you heard of and/or read any of these books? What are some of your favorite lesser-known books? Let’s chat!

Writing Lifehacks #1: Creating a Killer Antihero

*WARNING: This post contains Harry Potter spoilers. Also, none of the images are mine.

Today is the first post in a new series that I’m super excited about: writing life hacks! I’ve never done a post quite like this before, but I’m going to begin gearing my blog more towards a writing focus, so this series is going to continue for quite some time. First topic? How you can create the perfect antihero. Before we get into things, let’s discuss what exactly an antihero is.

There are two telltale signs you can look for to determine whether a character is an antihero or not. First, an antihero is a central character–he or she is one of the protagonists, if not the protagonist, in the story. Second, this character does not have the good qualities you’d expect in a hero. A character must fit both of these requirements in order to be an antihero. A classic example of an antihero is Severus Snape. He’s certainly not the most likable guy; he’s cruel and selfish, and at first glance, you’d probably peg him as a villain. But Snape ends up being on the good guys’ side. The great thing about antiheros is that because they’re so tricky, you as the writer have more space to explore their complexity and really make them a memorable character. Nearly everyone has a heated opinion about Snape, and that’s because Rowling crafted her antihero so skillfully. So how do you create your own antihero? We’re getting there. Just hold your horses.

snape.gif

Lifehack #1: Put your antihero at center stage.  

We discussed this above, but it’s really central to the whole idea of an antihero: your antihero must be a leading character in the story. Otherwise, how will people get to know and appreciate their complexity? Regardless of whether you’re a plotter or a pantser, it can be very helpful to plot out your antihero’s character development according to all the other lifehacks we’re about to discuss. Keep in mind that it would behoove you to showcase a certain degree of allure–when you’re planning your character, choose bad traits that will make your antihero more appealing than distasteful, and that will draw your readers in because they want to know more.

Lifehack #2: Give your antihero backstory.

Your antihero should not be “bad” just for the heck of it; there needs to be a reason, a method to the madness (really, this goes for all characters, but especially your antihero). Give him or her a background that explains why they act like they do. Snape is cruel to Harry for more than one reason: not only did James Potter bully Snape when they were children, but when Harry came to Hogwarts he was a daily reminder to Snape–who loved Lily Potter–that Lily never loved him back. Just don’t reveal your character’s backstory too quickly–dish it out in bite-size chunks a little at a time.

snappe

Lifehack #3: Let the light win.

At the end of the day, your antihero needs to let the light win. Antiheros are typically conflicted people; it’s a battle between light and dark. If you let darkness win, your character is no longer an antihero–he/she is a villain. For instance, Snape has a good-guy moment in book five, when Umbridge has captured Harry and asks Snape for truth serum. Snape tells her that he doesn’t have any more; Harry, desperate, blurts, “He’s got Padfoot at the place where it’s hidden” (meaning, Voldemort had Sirius). When Umbridge demands to know what that means, Snape says, blasé, “I have no idea.” However, he follows through and sends a Patronus to check on Sirius. So in order to be a true antihero–and so that your readers don’t completely write this character off–your character needs to ultimately do at least something that’s very obviously good.

umbridge

Lifehack #4: Make your readers wonder.

Yes, your antihero needs to perform a few good deeds. But it’s completely acceptable (and, to be honest, totally fun) to conceal these good acts under cover of your character’s undesirable traits. For instance, in the scene we discussed above, Snape doesn’t seem very likely to help Harry. When Umbridge asks if Snape has the Veritaserum, Snape replies, “Unless you wish to poison Potter–and I assure you, I would have the greatest sympathy with you if you did–I cannot help you” (Rowling, 745). But then as Snape leaves, he recognizes and acts on the secret message from Harry. The brilliancy of Rowling’s character Snape is that she keeps us guessing, and you can do the same thing with your antihero: make your reader constantly flip back and forth between loving and hating your character. Make them change their belief that your antihero is on the good or bad side. Your antihero can appear to be working for evil, but make sure they have a hidden timetable for good, and make sure you show just enough of that to make your readers curious. In the end, some of your antihero’s actions might peg them as evil, but at heart they should always intend good.

Have you ever written a story with an antihero character? Which lifehack was most helpful? What’s your opinion on Severus Snape? Let’s chat!

Writing Plan/Schedule/Goals: Summer 2017!

I officially graduated high school this past weekend (more on that later, when I have some pictures back), and my five-day-a-week nanny job ends for good in a couple of days. This means that it’s summer, and THAT means that it’s time to get into gear with writing!

I categorize my writing into two sections: freelancing and fiction. In this post, I’m going to lay out my schedule in both of these categories for the next few months; I’m going to talk a little about my WIP’s and a little about my money-making goals (basically: to single-handedly reverse the starving-artist stereotype by this August). Then, at the end of the summer, we’ll take a look back at how things went… and you guys won’t have to yell at me at ALL, because I totally will have found a steady writing job for a popular fitness website and won a huge flash fiction contest and published a 60k-word novel that’s on the New York Times bestseller list. Did I hear someone say overachiever? No? Good. Let’s get into it.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

1. Upwork (one-time freelance jobs).

Upwork is a freelance writing website that a friend recommended to me. I’ve tried out several sites that are similar, but I like this one the best; the rates are pretty fair, there’s a nice variety of jobs, and the site itself is easy to navigate and doesn’t make you pay to use it. Every morning I apply for several jobs–last week I wrote a 7k-word ebook on yoga diets–and I’m hoping that between Upwork and pitching to various publications, I’ll soon have more jobs than I know what to do with. (Also hoping that that doesn’t come back to bite me.)

2. A steady writing job.

If you know of any websites, companies, or online magazines that are hiring copywriters/bloggers/aliens/ebook writers/starving eighteen-year-old writers who don’t have their college degree yet, LET ME KNOW. My goal by the end of August (actually, preferably by the end of July… or, like, by the end of May) is to have found an ongoing, part-time writing job that I can do from the comfort of my bedroom, because freelancing is fickle (let’s all appreciate that beautiful alliteration for a moment).

3. Short fiction.

This category divides into a few sub-categories. First is contests; I enter several writing contests every month, and I plan to continue doing that and hopefully make a little cash on the side. Second, I also submit to several magazines each month, and my goal by August is to be published in a print magazine. And finally, the time I feel the most creative is when I’m listening to music (something like this) and perusing cool photos and story prompts on Pinterest; it’s so much fun and it gives me ideas for flash fiction stories that I can submit to said contests and magazines, so I want to do this at least three or four days a week. HOWEVER, I have to be super-duper careful because this is where plot bunnies come from. Yup, it’s true. Maybe you’ve searched under your bed before, wondering where plot bunnies come from, thinking that they were like dust bunnies and liked to hide in the dark recesses of your room. But I’m here to tell you: plot bunnies actually come from Pinterest. Delete your account now. Except don’t, because then you’d also lose your novel aesthetic boards that are the only thing inspiring you to plough forward with what you’re actually supposed to be doing. Okay, moving on.

4. Angelica.

Have I talked about Angelica on here before? Because if not, I NEED TO. Angelica was my project from late January to early March of this year before I abandoned her in favor of getting high enough grades to graduate high school; she’s a dystopian story, currently 18k words and soon to be 30k words(-ish?? I’m going to call her a novella). My goal is to fill in the gaps and polish her up by early to mid June. I’m considering self-publishing her on Amazon as an ebook (as a general rule, I can’t stand ebooks and they are from the devil–but I’ve written two in the last month and they’ve put gas in my car. So. Whatever works).

5. Florida Market (that’s not the actual title lol).

Remember this story? The one I said I was going to write in thirty days last December? Yeah. That didn’t happen. I only got 7k into my goal of 30k. However, during the last couple of weeks of June, I’m going to revisit that story and outline the rest of it; then, during July, I’m going to do Camp NaNo again and finish this freaking book! I’m so excited, because I really do love it.

6. Warsaw Children.

About five years ago, I began writing a book titled Warsaw Children, a historical fiction story about the Warsaw ghetto uprising. I think it really has potential as a children’s novel, so that’s going to be my August project–to research, outline, and finish the first draft.

7. My new novel.

8. No. I’m NOT going to let myself write ANOTHER novel this summer.

9. Blogging.

You can expect three types of posts on my blog beginning in June: posts about my personal life (fun adventures with friends, like this one), devotional-type posts, and posts about writing (tips, etc). I also have a bunch of ARC’s waiting to be reviewed from books that probably came out six months ago. What can I say–I just like to do everything 100%, and that includes procrastination.

10. My Camp NaNo project.

Finally, I have a lot of work to do on the secret project I did for April’s NaNo (which I didn’t win… oops). By the end of June, I hope to have it completed to the point where all of y’all can buy/read it!

Gosh. That was a lot. To sum up, this summer I’ll be doing freelance writing every day; writing and submitting short fiction multiple times a week; blogging once a week; and completing first/second drafts of Angelica in May, Florida Market in July, and Warsaw Children in August. I realize I’m putting a lot on my own plate, but I like it that way, and I’m so ready to get started!

 

 

If you stuck with me through this whole post (which sounds a lot more organized than I actually am), you’re my hero and I would treat you to lunch at Panera if I could. Leave me some topic ideas for future writing-related blog posts in the comments, + let me know your summer writing plans!

Woodstock with Madeleine (Summer Bucketlist 2017!)

This wasn’t one of my (many) pre-scheduled blog posts for the month of May, but my friend Madeleine and I had such a fun adventure yesterday that I just have to share about it anyway!

I recently made a list of things I want to do/adventures I want to have this summer (see below), and one of those things was exploring downtown Woodstock–a cute little town about an hour away from where I live–with my friend Madeleine.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

Madeleine came to my house yesterday morning, we piled all our stuff into my little car, and we were off! Surprisingly enough, we didn’t even get lost (I’m known for being very directionally challenged). We spent the drive there catching up, and when we arrived in Woodstock, we went to several cute little boutiques.

One of the shopkeepers recommended the taqueria across the street, so we crossed the railroad tracks to find some food. Sadly, the Pie Bar and the Cupcakery–both places that we’d been planning to hit up after lunch–were both closed on Mondays. So we visited some more stores after lunch (including one filled with hippie-esque merchandise that had a very creepy basement. When in Woodstock, I guess). We also found some cute walls and murals!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

There was a fro-yo place that was supposed to open at 2 PM, so we sat in a little garden for a while, waiting for it to open. The weather couldn’t have been more perfect yesterday.

When the fro-yo shop never opened, we were forced to go to the Copper Coin next door. What a hardship.

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

We left Woodstock and headed home, singing along to the WOW Hits 2017 CD; along the way, we stopped at an antiques shop (that ended up being closed–everywhere was closed yesterday), a thrift shop, and a cute little produce shop where I commiserated with the owner about trying to make a resume when you have nothing to put on it and bought Fanta in a glass bottle. We also swung by the house I lived in for the first six years of my life. It was such a fun day!

Processed with VSCO with c1 preset

The best part of yesterday? I felt physically pretty good all day. I had a similar day out with friends last December where I was on my feet all day, and I came home with a huge headache and promptly fell asleep–which has been the norm for well over a year now. But yesterday, after a busy weekend and a long day, I came home and worked on a freelance writing job. Then I went to softball practice, and I really felt fine and had plenty of energy to get me through all of it. Maybe the new vitamins I’ve been taking are working after all!

If you live near me, have you ever been to Woodstock? If you don’t, are there any cute little Main Streets near your house? Would you rather go to the Pie Bar or the Cupcakery? 

Blue Sky Tag

First I just have to say, I FINISHED HIGH SCHOOL THIS MORNING. Whoop. Next, shout out to Anna from Northern Hearts Alaska for tagging me (go follow her fantastic blog!). I can’t wait to take a crack at these questions!

Why do you write? I write because I have to. Seriously, I’ve tried to stop writing before, and it was torture. Stories just won’t stop writing themselves in my head, and I have to get them out. I write because I love words, I’m passionate about stories, and I have a lot to say.

Do you have a favorite genre to write and why? For years I focused on writing historical fiction because I love history, but to be completely honest, it’s a lot of research and I’m lazy. I’d rather just read historical fiction that other people have written. So these days, I’ve been trying my hand at contemporary and dystopian and really enjoying both! I’ve tried fantasy lately too, but I’m really terrible at it, so props to all you fantasy worldbuilders. You’re talented. 

What or who got you writing? What got me writing was the great Sonlight (homeschool curriculum) books that I read every day when I was younger. I’ve been obsessed with reading from an early age, and I think that the tales of missionaries in foreign jungles are what really fueled my imagination and put endless stories into my head for the first time ten years ago.

What is your favorite book and why? Do you mean, what’s my favorite child and why? The first thing that comes to mind at the moment is Crooked Kingdom by Leigh Bardugo (here’s my Goodreads review of this gem). Also, Mitch and Amy by Beverly Cleary–my copy fell apart a few years ago because I loved it so much. ALSO, The Outsiders by S. E. Hinton–it’s the best. OH MY GOSH, and The Green Glass Sea and its sequel. I’ll stop now.

If you could live anywhere in the United States, where would it be? I’ve always wanted to live in Montana or Colorado or just some state in that area with beautiful mountains. I think I’d also enjoy living in California.

montana
Seriously–who wouldn’t want to live here?! (x)

What is your favorite movie? Either The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, or Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, or Charlotte’s Web.

vodt
(x)

Chocolate or candy (think Sour Patch Kids, peppermints, etc.)? Chocolate! Unless, of course, the candy is Jellie Bellies. They trump everything.

Where do you get inspiration from? *whispers guiltily* Pinterest. (I’m pretty proud of my Stories to be Told board and my Writing Prompts board.) Seriously though, I’m trying to stop getting my inspiration from the Internet. Visiting new places, being out in nature, and people-watching inspire me. Also, I actually get a ton of story ideas from school–especially from history class, even though I don’t really write much historical fiction anymore!

What is your favorite historical era? The Holocaust/WWII, but all of history fascinates me.

Tea or coffee? Coffee, of course.

What is your favorite verse and why? This changes sometimes, but Isaiah 61:1-4 has always been one of my favorite passages (seriously–take a minute and read it down below. So beautiful and full of so much truth), and right now Psalm 119:45 (“I will walk in freedom”) also means a lot to me because I’ve been learning about freedom lately and what that looks/feels like in my life.

The Spirit of the Sovereign Lord is on me, because the Lord has anointed me to proclaim good news to the poor. He has sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim freedom for the captives and release from darkness for the prisoners. To proclaim the year of the Lord’s favor and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn, and provide for those who grieve in Zion–to bestow on them a crown of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, and a garment of praise instead of a spirit of despair. They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting on the Lord for the display of His splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated; they will renew the ruined cities that have been devastated for generations.

Isaiah 61:1-4

I tag:

Hanne @rockandminerals4him

Esther @An Indefatigable Little Scribbler

Jazzy @thriving hope

Sarah @Sisters Squared

Esther @the412project

Leah @Lead Me to Wisdom

Jess @The Artful Author

Angela @The Peculiar Messenger

Savannah Grace @Scattered Scribblings

Grace @True and Pure

Sara @my hearts revival

Full disclaimer: if you have zero time or tags aren’t your thing or you don’t like these questions, feel free to skip this tag! It’s not mandatory at all. If you DO do the tag, the rules are as follows: thank the person who tagged you and answer their 11 questions, then tag 11 more people and give them 11 questions to answer. (And if I didn’t tag you but you’d like to participate, please do! I had trouble narrowing it down to only 11 people.)

  1. Why did you start your blog?
  2. If you could have dinner with any one person who’s alive right now, who would you choose?
  3. Favorite book of the Bible and why?
  4. Favorite music genre to listen to?
  5. What’s your earliest memory?
  6. What job would you be great at, and what job would you be horrible at?
  7. Dream vacation spot?
  8. When writing, are you a plotter or a pantser? (fyi- plotters have a detailed outline beforehand, and pantsers [me] just make it up as they go along!)
  9. What makes you angry?
  10. What accomplishments in your life are you most proud of?
  11. What has God been teaching you lately?

Your job: whether or not I tagged you, choose three questions from anywhere in this post and answer them in the comment section!