May Overview

May is almost over.

Yikes. How did that happen?

I’m getting over being sick, and despite the medicine doing its best to keep me up all odd hours of the night, I am persevering. 😊 This morning I gave up the battle at 4:30, got up, washed dishes, did laundry, then started studying for that dreaded Psychology test on Monday. Yes, I am tired. 😊

Life

Our garden is coming in. I helped Mom can potatoes this week and last week, and we have also frozen English peas and cranberry beans. I had all good intentions of posting a photo but I never got one.

I finished reading my first book with Illuminate and my evaluation has been sent. It wasn’t as hard as I thought it would be and it was kind of fun as well. I’m loving the experience that is coming with this and the connections that might be made.

The OYAN Summer Workshop is almost here. My excerpts are done and my Harry Potter costume is ready. And…that’s about it. Still a lot to do, but I think I’ve got it all. I’m so excited to return to the place we OYANer’s call Rivendell. Ready just to escape the fast pace life if only for a week and see old friends and make new. To hear the speakers talk of their writing journey, share their faith, and encourage us. Just like Frodo longed for Rivendell’s peace and safety, so do we. But we know like him that we can’t stay there forever, that we most go forth into the perilous realm, ready to slay our own dragons and destroy a ring.

I didn’t get a blog post written for last year’s SW (way too much emotion that I didn’t know how to handle) but I did write a post on the OYAN 2017 Winter Workshop which you can read here. I will try my best to write a post on SW – an overview and things I learned, though I make no promises.

I went to see the new Beauty and the Beast movie with my mom, and you can see my review here.

Speaking of movies, who is excited for the new Wonder Woman movie? I am. I probably won’t make it to the theaters to see it. We’ll see!

I went with my girls’ group from church on a long six-hour drive to hear Lauren Daigle sing. It was totally worth it. If you have never heard her music, you should check her out.

A group called Elevation Worship was also there, and they sang a couple of songs. This one in particular was just amazing. WARNING. The song is eight minutes, but I promise you, it’s totally worth it.

Books

I finished reading A Noble Servant, and I’m currently read An Ember in the Ashes and Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.

 

Writing

I’ve made some progress in my retelling of The Little Mermaid (about four thousand words written this month.) I started this project in January, and I have almost 50,000 words! Most of my free time has been spent polishing my writing for the OYAN conference, which is done now, so the goal is to break 50,000 before Summer Workshop. No sweat. Can totally do it.

 

What to Watch For

On June 1st, Rooglewood Press will be announcing the theme of their last fairy-tale retelling contest. *wipes away tears* I’ll be participating in the reveal, so be sure to watch for that.

I’ll let you know if I pass my Psychology test, and I’ll let you know if I fail.

 

Enough of me, what about you? What have you been up to? Comment! I love to hear from you.

 

Header image source not found. Link to Pinterest

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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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.

NADINE!!!!!!!

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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.

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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.

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

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

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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.

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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.

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I know what makes a story, a story.