Life, OYAN, ~ Wordcount Wednesday ~

OYAN Summer Workshop, Wordcount Wednesday, and Life

Hey again everyone.  It’s been quite an interesting week. I went to an LSU baseball game, and I’m going to another one tomorrow as a matter of fact. I’m insanely happy with this picture that I got. Can you believe that my cheap phone captured thus? Me neither. But I am in love.


I also passed my World Religions DSST test, which is a huge relief.

The OYAN Summer Workshop is coming up and I am so excited. I’m gearing up to actually pitch my novel to Steve Laube, which is exciting and nerve wracking. I need to stop procrastinating ad actually prepare for what I want to say.

Besides Steve Laube, there is, of course, Daniel Schwabauer,  Jeff Gerke, Robert Treskillard, Nadine Brandes, Mark Wilson, Stephanie Morrill, John Otte, and Jenn Bailey. Lots of awesome stuff happening.

But you want to know about my writing. So Beauty and the Beast. It hasn’t changed much since the last Writing Wednesday. I have been so confused about why a story I loved so much and that is near and dear to my heart could be so hard to edit. I so badly want to send it to friends, but it is definitely in no such shape to do so.



My answer came last week from author Anne Elisabeth Stengl in her fairy tale Facebook group. She mentioned that maybe we have trouble retelling dearly loved fairy tales just because of that— we love them. We want to do them justice, and that’s hard. And I want to do this story justice. It is the first story that really stuck with me. That time I saw the Beast dance with Belle and I knew I wanted something just like that one day.  To little me that movie was very much real. Little me could see the love the Beast had for Belle, and I didn’t know how to handle that feeling. I still don’t.  All I know is that I want this retelling to be the best it can be.  My dear friend Adrienne wrote a sweet article on how she felt, which I enjoyed reading. 



Retelling The Little Mermaid is at 38,188. Loving this more and more each day. My new map is drawn and I have some more character sheets to make. This retelling is much easier to write.  And I believe it is because I don’t like it as much. The Disney movie creeped me out as a child (cough, Ursula) and the original is depressing, so I wanted to have a happy retelling. Yes, it has its downs, and depressing times, but it is definitely different. *evil grin because I’m not sharing any details*

Want to see my inspiration board for The Little Mermaid? Click here.

How is your writing this week?

See you next Wednesday.


Book Sale Haul & An Update

Hey friends, I know it’s been a while since my last post.I fully intend most days to do a blog post and…..

It doesn’t happen.

But I do have good intentions. 🙂

This week got me like Cogsworth falling down the stairs.


Tuesday I cleaned out and straightened my mom’s curriculum closet. It took me six hours, but it was worth it. Everything has been organized and is easy to find. The rest of my week consisted of college, putting a new floor in one of our bathrooms, college, keeping up with laundry and dishes, and yet more college.

I haven’t been able to write any, so I’ve focused on making character sheets and organizing my writing binder. Taking notes of scenes I want to write is something else I’ve scribbled down on papers that are scattered I have no idea where.

Saturday I was able to go my cousin’s wedding shower and I loved getting to see and visit her. And then, what should happen that night but one of my best friends got engaged!


                                                                                 So, details. 



Amongst all the craziness, I was able to go to a book sale with two of my brothers. We had a lot of fun and laughed and spent too much money.

This is live footage taken of me in the building.



This was my brothers pretending not to notice. 🙂



Don’t you love seeing people’s books? I know I do, so here are some pictures of what I bought.




Life, Writing

Meraki Literary Subscription Box Review

Subscription boxes are fun. You pay a  little each month, and get a box of little goodies.So when my author friend, Alicia Willis, started her own literary subscription box, I knew I had to give it a try.


There are different options you can subscribe to– you can get chocolate, tea, or coffee with your box, but I choose the no food box option. Each box comes with pens, stationery, paper, or just about anything you writing heart desires.

~ What was inside ~




I totally forgot that I wasn’t going to open anything till I had more pictures taken–whoops. 🙂 



Can I just say that these came at the perfect time? I need labels for the tabs of my binder, and now I have some–and pretty ones that my girlish heart loves.










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Sorry for the glare, but who can resist a doughnut eraser?








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Be still my beating heart. Glitter. Teal paper clips. Adorable push tacks. **fans self.**




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You can never have too many notebooks. 🙂 










We always have that one book that needs protection. I now have a cover to protect said book.




Like what you see? Want you own box? Sign up here to get yours today!



Fairy Tale, Life

Beauty & the Beast Trailer

The official Beauty and the Beast trailer is here! My favorite fairy tale (I have about six or so boards on Pinterest) with an amazing cast of favorite actors is hitting the big screens March 17th. I cannot contain my excitement (I may or may nor have watched the trailer three or four times) Are you excited?  What do you think? What’s your favorite fairy tale? 

Life, OYAN

Joy Makers

I was blessed to attend the OYAN 2017 Winter Workshop this year. This Southern girl didn’t freeze to death—though there was a walk I took in the dark where I came pretty close (just kidding). I got to see Nadine again (so cool). Got to see Mr. and Mrs. S. again (can’t forget them) and all in all had a really good time.

The theme was Joy Makers.  I was intrigued at the theme, but will admit that at the back of my mind was the thought how did you exactly do a workshop on joy?

I wanted to write a  good blog post about all I learned this week, but it’s impossible for two reasons:

  1. I’m sick.
  2. There are some things that cannot be put into words.


Here is a summary of what stuck out to me this week:


~ To write even when life happens, even if it’s bad, because that is what brings me joy.

~ God introduces Himself to us through creativity (that thought excited me) and to enter my writing with God.

~ The biggest joy maker is God and He is ALWAYS there. From Him I have a joy of writing and a huge passion for stories.

~ To write even when the writing is bad, because that is my joy maker.  When you think your writing isn’t good enough, you lose your passion and love for it—the joy of writing is sucked right out of writing.

Psalm 37:8 (ESV) 8 Refrain from anger, and forsake wrath! Fret not yourself; it tends only to evil.

~ My passion for writing should not become a burden—that doesn’t come from God.  My writing is something God gave me and  the more I enjoy it—the more I find God and get closer to Him.

Philippians 1:6 (ESV) And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.

~ God began a work in me, ideas that no one else will have. Out of all the billions of people on this earth, these ideas are in me. And not only will He bring it to completion, but He calls it good.

~ This workshop was wonderful in so many ways. I became closer to God, closer to friends made in the summer and even made some new friends.  This post seems so lame compared to all I learned this week and I wish I could beam it all to you, but that only happens in Star Trek.

Have some pictures.




I think one of my favorite things about the Winter Workshop is the tradition of putting notes into people’s stockings. I was overwhelmed by the notes I received and  made me so happy.

The stockings also had goodies in them.


There is some movie (and I can’t think of the title) where someone says, “razor sharp rocks and death at every turn?”

That is what goes through my mind in Missouri. This is not normal where I live.



I don’t remember the name of this or where it was taken, but it’s pretty.


Our van’s engine protested and groaned at the cold. 



The Time That is Given Us

Time is such a fleeting thing.  It just seems like last yesterday I was finishing high school.

Now here I am with a year behind me in college.

I thought the time for Summer Workshop would never come, and yet here I am halfway packed (I kid you not) and I’ve been to Wal-mart three times, and always forget I what I need.

It feels like a million years since I last posted, but it really has been a little over a month.

In that month my youngest brother has had  Little League games, I’ve had CLEP tests, and I’ve done very little writing.

Zip. Zero. Nada.

But I was thinking the other day, I have a spare ten minutes, what do I with that time? There have been some days I wrote but….

Other days? I was on Pinterest, Facebook, or email, or getting ready for my Kansas trip. All good things in their own time. I’m not slamming social media, but everything has a time. And I see now where my precious spare minutes go.  I want to use my time wisely, to skip Facebook and read my Bible, to skip Pinterest and write a paragraph in my novel, even if it stinks and tomorrow I erase it, to skip Instagram and help a sibling with a project.


In The Lord of the Rings, Frodo says:

“I wish the ring had never come to me. I wish none of this had happened.”

Gandalf: “So do all who live to see such times. But that is not for them to decide. All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.”

With the Time that is given us.

What a mouthful to chew.

This always has been, and I think always will be, my favorite passage in The Lord of the Rings. Gandalf with all his wisdom is speaking to me. And such simple, short words have meant a lot to me.

When J.R.R Tolkien was writing these words, it was WW2. Bombs were falling from the sky during the London blitz,  there were food rations and  gas masks, and no one knew what time they had left.

And much like today, some people might not have seen the point of carrying on, of living, of fulfilling their dreams.

And yes, I have felt this way.

But what if Tolkien gave up? One of the greatest works in literature would have never been written. A work of literature that has inspired and comforted millions would not exist. 

In The Two Towers Sam gives a speech: 

Frodo : “I can’t do this, Sam.”

Sam : “I know.
It’s all wrong
By rights we shouldn’t even be here.
But we are.
It’s like in the great stories Mr. Frodo.
The ones that really mattered.
Full of darkness and danger they were,
and sometimes you didn’t want to know the end.
Because how could the end be happy.
How could the world go back to the way it was when so much bad happened.
But in the end, it’s only a passing thing, this shadow.
Even darkness must pass.
A new day will come.
And when the sun shines it will shine out the clearer.
Those were the stories that stayed with you.
That meant something.
Even if you were too small to understand why.
But I think, Mr. Frodo, I do understand.
I know now.
Folk in those stories had lots of chances of turning back only they didn’t.
Because they were holding on to something.”

Frodo : “What are we holding on to, Sam?”

Sam : “That there’s some good in this world, Mr. Frodo. And it’s worth fighting for.”

I cry at this part all the time.

What to we do with that time? We can stay silent, or rise up. Because time doesn’t stay still, as much as we may want it to. It passes us by like a great rushing water.

I want to use my time better– I want to decide now, to write when I can and turn off social media– I want to decide to capture in the form of words Jesus’s love for us, and spill it out in books for all mankind. Because that is worth fighting for, sharing such a great love that can’t be comprehended.

That is what I want to do with my time.

That is what is worth fighting for.

And like Frodo, I question why I am here in these very dark days but, “so do all who live to see such times.” And it wasn’t up to me to decide, it was planned by God six thousand years ago when He created the world, because He had a plan for me–and still does! And that takes my breath away, because God has me here for a reason, and who am I to question Him?

And I want  to use the time that God has given me to write books that will honor and glorify Him. 

And like Mordecai told Esther in Esther 4:14  (KJV):

14 For if thou altogether holdest thy peace at this time, then shall there enlargement and deliverance arise to the Jews from another place; but thou and thy father’s house shall be destroyed: and who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?

Time is such a fleeting thing, used so lightly, but it needs to be taken so much more seriously.

What will you do with the time that is given you, for such a time as this?


Time Quote Source

LOTR Quote Source

Life, OYAN

One Year Adventure Novel

What makes a story a story?

Those opening lines greeted me for seventy-eight lessons of the One Year Adventure Novel writing course. Starting out, I didn’t know the answer, I just knew I didn’t know where to start with my novel. But I had a Compass and I had a Map–very important items when going on an adventure.

And I went on the adventure of a lifetime.

The One Year Adventure Novel opened doors to a community of young writers that I never knew existed, and one that I am so happy to be a part of. Mr. Daniel, my teacher, taught everything in such a fun way and I loved learning from him. I couldn’t ask for a better teacher, or a better mentor.

I had taken at least three writing curricula and each only left me more frustrated than the one before; I despaired of ever writing.  But he taught everything in a clear way that was easy to understand. I enjoyed, no loved, every lesson.

From July 27, 2015, to today, March 7, 2016, I went on the adventure of a lifetime. As the camera panned out on the desk of my last lesson today and the desk closed, I felt a small sense of loss; that it was over. But the adventure isn’t over, really, it has just began.

Like Bilbo, running out of his house crying, “I’m going on an adventure!” That is where I’m at. Ready to run and shout, because a Middle-Earth awaits me and my adventure. It’s going to start in Kansas this summer, my own unexpected journey. 

I had my own Smaug to conquer, my own Erebor to climb, and with this curriculum,  I did.


Mr. Daniel helped me see the story in me, and how to bring it out. And I can never thank him enough for that. 

My books are worn from use, but they were used with love and joy. Love that I could write the story filling my heart and soul.

Thank you to the Author of my story and for the story You have put in me.

And some thanks maybe should go to John Boy Walton, because he is the one who sparked an eight-year-old with the desire to write.

John-Boy W.


I know what makes a story, a story.