Thursday, December 31, 2015

New Year's Resolution

It's the last day of 2015!!!!

And how swift the year went....

In another month I will have been blogging for two years. TWO YEARS!!! I know they say time flies, but that hardly seems to do the last two years justice. In that time, I've become a published author, graduated high school, almost completed my associates (just one more semester!), and had a rejuvenation of my faith, to name only a few of the highlights.

It's the end of the year now, when everyone makes those "new year's resolutions." I have never actually made a new year's resolution. Ever. So why not try something new, hey?

I think, for me, the biggest thing I want to focus on in the new year is continuing, daily, to pursue the Lord and to walk in the center of His will. So that's my new year's resolution: continuing to stay close to Jesus.

It might seem simple, or even rather obvious as a follower of Christ. But the truth is, I constantly struggle with this. I think every believer does or have at some point in their lives. So, just as a reminder of what I should be doing, I'm making it a personal goal this new year to be proactive about staying close to Jesus. :)

Monday, December 21, 2015

Isolated

The proof for Isolated came in the mail...and it is so beautiful!! I am way beyond excited about this book, people. I am also getting very impatient to get it out to the public. *sigh*





This is one of my favorite things in the world to see....people reading my books. :D 



Anyway, get excited people. Because I am!! :D



Friday, December 18, 2015

Choosing to Pursue God

Do you know how easy it is to slide back into the rut/routine that you started in?

August: I make a decision to pursue God. My whole life is turned upside down because of that decision, and it is glorious! :)

December: I'm back where I was before that decision was made. What happened? And WHEN did it happen?

What I've learned from this? It's not a one time deal. It's an every moment of the day thing. This isn't "We made the decision, now we don't have to think about it", it's making the decision over and over and over again. I have to be more proactive. I have to decide every single day when I wake up that this will be a day that I pursue God. And then every single moment that follows, throughout the day, with every decision I make, I have to decide. Am I pursuing God? Will I?

The answer to the first question is probably 'no.' At best it's a 'maybe.' The answer to the second question, YES!

So this is me, choosing to pursue God today. :)

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Catching Up

Wow, it's been a while since a blogged! That doesn't normally happen. I think I missed an entire month...oops.

Thanksgiving was wonderful, by the way. I love having my family around again.

And now the Christmas season is underway. I have at least three presents already bought, wrapped, and under the tree! Way to go me, not waiting til Christmas Eve. :) I'm loving all the Christmas music everywhere! Some of the best music EVER. :D

In the writing world, I've finished another round of editing on Isolated (Yay!). I've also begun to re-work Dusty-Robin Hood part 3. I wasn't liking the direction it had turned, and re-reading the beginning of the book didn't make me very happy either. So, for the first time in my life, I'm actually rewriting a book. I'm starting over at the beginning and changing it up and we'll see how this goes. The plan is to be done so I can have it out in 2016, but that is definitely NOT a promise. :P

I finished my first semester of my second year at college today. Last final finished, and hopefully I passed all my classes. *fingers crossed*

I don't really have a point to this entire blog post, except to catch up on the month I missed I guess....

Anyway, I'm going to be so much better about blogging consistently and substantially (ha, that usually doesn't happen...substantial....) in the New Year. :)

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Music and Writing

Have you ever spent hours listening to music simply to free your spirit and get your creativity flowing?

I could do this all day.

Listening to emotional, heart-breaking, inspiring, powerful songs sets my heart soaring and my imagination running. It's a beautiful feeling.

Today I'm writing in The Gullible Adventures, my new book of short stories that was born out of a writing contest. These stories amuse me greatly. I'm not sure the emotional music is really setting the right mood for this work...but I'm having fun! :)

Tuesday, October 6, 2015

Writing Contest

You're not going to believe this, but I'm writing something new! I'm always writing something new. That's no longer news, is it?

Here's the thing though, this story is different. It's for a very specific reason. It's not a dream that I've turned to a book, or a story that plays like a movie in my head that I've turned into a book....or any number of other things that usually happens.

I came across a writing contest the other day and thought, "I should totally enter that!" I was hesitant however, for various reasons. In the end, I decided to do it. But there's a page limit for fiction and non-fiction entries. 25 pages. Obviously, none of my novels qualify. I'm not sure an excerpt is acceptable either. I have two children's books, but they are super duper short. So...I started writing a "short story" for this contest. That's the new work that I am writing now. Being me, I've gotten so into it that it has become a series. But I'm only sending the first one in for the contest.

It's called Lesson Learned--The Gullible Adventures #1

I'll be sure to let you know if anything comes of this contest. :)


Friday, October 2, 2015

Accidental Amnesia

Today I started a new project....although it's not exactly new.

Let me explain. I have had an idea for a book floating around inside my head since I was around 13 years old. Unlike most stories in my head, I haven't thought up all the characters already or watched the story play out like a movie in my imagination. It has simply been an idea, a very vague idea, floating around for a long time.

Well today I started to put that idea into words.

The book is called Accidental Amnesia, and I'm hoping it will be an amusing read. :) Normally, when I write a book, I don't have a clue what it is called until I'm halfway done with the story. With this book, I don't have a clue what the story is, but I've known what the book was called for a good seven years now. Hopefully the idea in my head will actually pan out into something great, and not be a flop.

On the subjects of books, I'm also beginning to re-read and edit Isolated....you people need to be very excited about this one, because I am!! :)

Monday, September 21, 2015

Let the Writing Commence! (Also...I Want a Desk)

This is what a good night looks like for writing. A 'typical' night doesn't have cider. Just my computer and my imagination. But on a good night, I have cider...or hot cocoa. I've found that these drinks have a strange and beautiful way of opening up the doors to my creativity. Cider is one of those things, like chocolate, that satisfy your innermost self in a way that not just anything can. :)



Pacing also helps my creative juices start flowing. In fact, I am almost convinced that pacing is what turns the wheels, literally, inside my head. It's like....pacing is the gas for my engine. I don't think it works at all if I don't pace regularly. Maybe it's not gas...it's more like a battery charger. 

So, a good warm Fall/Wintry drink. Plenty of room for walking in a straight line back and forth (Actually, circles work almost as well). These are the things that I need to be able to write. Quiet generally helps as well.

Why am I telling you this? Because, once again, I have no inspiration. This is starting to become a theme, which is almost disturbing. This cannot go on. Anyway, I have no inspiration so I am scraping the bottom of all my barrels to find something to write about. Tonight I thought, why not discuss what my ideal writing setting looks like?

Well...what I've really described to you is my bedroom. Lately I have spent more time writing on my bed than at my desk. But either work just as well. Depends on my mood really.

But for the ideal....

What I need is a desk in a corner of a room. A desk the spans both walls on either side of the corner. The floor would need to be a surface easily slid upon because I want one of those wheeled chairs to get from one end of my desk to the other. Now why do I wish I had a desk like that?

Because with every book I write I have a million things with me to help out. And I don't have enough space to lay out all my tools in a useful and convenient manner. 

  • Every single book I write has a timeline. Sometimes this is a spiral notebook. Sometimes this is so many loose-leaf sheets of paper I think I killed fifteen hundred trees. 
  • I have my computer, of course. This is a given.
  • I have a notebook full of helpful facts. This usually includes a description of what each character looks like, what their personality is, that sort of thing.
  • I have random papers with vital information. Sometimes, when I am doing my research I do not catalog things properly. Because of this, in my Robin Hood stack of helpful items I have a random piece of paper that has facts about Dusty's childhood, I have another random piece of paper that has locations of where gang members originate from, and I have a sticky note with things to remember about writing dialogue with a Scottish accent.
  • I have multiple books. This is especially true when writing any book in the Robin Hood series. I have every single book with me. Either open on my computer or a physical copy. As I write each scene I bounce back and forth between books to see what the scene looked like from Lucy's perspective, from Guy's perspective, from Much's perspective. This usually means that I have three or four books besides the one I am writing open at all times.
  • I often have a drink. Usually cider.
  • And snacks. Granola bars and gummy bears are sometimes a necessary when bunking down for a long writing spell. Popcorn can also serve a purpose, although it leaves my fingers a bit messy and has a nasty habit of getting stuck in my teeth.
That's a sample of what I use to write my stories. Because I don't have that ideal desk, my writing space usually looks like this: If I am at my desk, the computer is in front of me. Beside it, on the desk, will be the timeline. If there is cider it is on the desk as well. That takes up almost all the space. So, the stacks and stacks of paper that have vital and/or random helpful information are on the floor to the left or right of my chair and I have to bend over to dig through them when I want to look something up. Very inconvenient. If I have physical copies of the other books on hand, they are either on the floor on the other side of my chair opposite the random paper stack or they are open in my lap. 

It's actually rather a mess. :(

If I am on the bed, it's even worse. Because there is no order or designated place for anything. It is all scattered helter-skelter across my bed in every direction.

Hence the need for my ideal desk.

So, I guess the moral of tonight's story is......you all need to look into getting me a very special desk. :)



Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Poems, Books, and Blogging Just Because

I haven't blogged in what feels like forever. I realize this so I want to write something, anything...I hate not posting anything for more than a week. It's a pet peeve of mine. But I have nothing to say. No motivation or inspiration or anything that I want to share. I don't feel like it is worth my time or yours to write for the sake of writing. I don't want my blog to be boring, or forced.

But today I have decided to write for the sake of writing....because I really want to blog about something.

I once wrote a poem about my sister's cat....it's really dumb, because I am NOT a poetic person. But since I have nothing to write about that's what you're getting today. It's called Bandit the Cat.

Fuzzy, warm, soft, cozy
these are words to describe you.
beautiful, sleek, slender, homey
How can I live without you?

So there you go. My pathetic attempt at poetry. Do not laugh or judge. I am not a poet. I understand that I am not a poet. In future I shall stick to what I can do...writing books. :D

Speaking of...there's a new book in the works (isn't there always?). I haven't actually started writing it, because I want to save it for a time when I actually have time. I don't want to write it in spurts. It's a completely different route than my other books. It is not a fictional tale. It's called Created to be Obsessed. You might hear more about it in the future if I ever actually write it. :P

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Routines and Advice

School is back in full swing and I am super busy. Writing has been rather non-existent. That isn't to say I haven't written at all...but it's been few and far between for the last three weeks.

I hope things settle back into a routine where I'll have time and energy to write. That's how it worked out last year. So far it's a no-go, but I'll still remain hopeful.

In the meantime, I am learning new things, getting advice, and hopefully improving my writing skills. The advice department is sometimes hard to take. I like to think that I can handle constructive criticism and suggestions; take it with humility and grace and thankfulness. But it's turning out to be harder than I thought it would be. My defenses go up immediately and I have to tell myself that I'm not perfect and they're only trying to help. I think I am learning valuable lessons along with the writing advice. :) So as my writing improves, I guess I'm improving as a person too. :)


Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Always In Shadow Available

Guess what you can go buy now????

Always In Shadow!! :)

It will be a couple days before it is available on Amazon. I will put the Amazon link on my book page as soon as it is ready. :) However, you can already purchase it at CreateSpace. So do so! :)

Always In Shadow on CreateSpace

There's your link, folks! :)

I am super duper happy about this. :) I was getting very impatient. (Imagine that...me? Impatient?) I was also beginning to worry that I was not going to get it out in August, which was my self-set deadline.

But it is out and I'm super happy. :)

Friday, August 21, 2015

More Meaning

School is back in full swing! Consequently writing is on the back-burner. However, that does not mean I won't be writing....because you know me. I can't get away from it. :)

Writing is even more of a joy now than it ever was before (I didn't think that possible...but it is!). Pursuing Jesus has given everything else in life so much more meaning. Yet at the same time, it has made everything else matter not a whit. If everything was taken away from me, life would still be the best thing ever because I have Jesus. But while I am living among all these other blessings, they mean more because of Jesus. If that makes sense.

I promise you will see Always in Shadow published before August has completely gone away....I am working hard to make sure it's perfect, or at least has less mistakes than Lucy's Legend did. So it will be a few days more at least.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Always In Shadow (is very nearly here)

Guess what came in the mail today??

That's right! Always In Shadow!!!! :)

I will put up a link as soon as it is available for purchase! :)



Friday, August 14, 2015

Dusty and Jesus

Well, we've set off on the adventure of finishing Robin Hood book 3!!! :)

Yes, I've been "writing" this book for a while. That is, I began it a long time ago and intermittently wrote in it since then. Now, however, it has become my sole object and aim. I will finish Dusty's story.

I now have more motivation to do so, and it's coming easier. But this is rather a long story, so let's start at the beginning, shall we?

First of all, I have always wanted to be a mother and have a family and all that good stuff. Recently I have become more interested in finding a husband and being a good wife. Then, randomly I thought at the time (although it turned out not so random later), I was reading an article a little over a week ago about things that Christian guys look for in women. The top one, and the one that happened to catch my eye and prick my heart, was a woman who pursues God.

I began to think about my own relationship with Jesus. I have, for a long time now, been a believer and follower of Christ. But it was passive, or it seemed so to me. I read my Bible, sure. I prayed too. And yes, I did want to follow Jesus and do His will. But somehow, it wasn't enough. What stood out to me most was the phrase "a woman who pursues God." Pursues. I had never in my life pursued God. I loved Him but I wasn't pursuing Him.

So, right then and there, I prayed for a change of heart. I wanted to pursue Him. I wanted to have a desire for Him, and hunger for His word.

Changes began to take place before I even realized it. I am now reading my Bible way more, and LOVING it. Oh I enjoyed my Bible before. But now I just can't get enough of it! :) And my prayer life, though nowhere near stagnant before, has exploded. :)

And then there are the little things. When I am asked to do things around the house I get up with a smile. I really do feel so willing and cheerful inside that it still takes me by surprise. I am more motivated to do chores and the like, I have a sudden passion for being healthy and fit (I do a little work out every day now with my sister) and I seriously cannot get enough of Jesus.

Now, what does all that have to do with Robin Hood book 3? Well, Dusty is the spiritual person among the gang. She knew and loved Jesus long before the others. Now that I have a true passion for God and unquenchable desire to know Him better, I relate to Dusty more. It has also become increasingly easier and more fun to write the "spiritual side" of this story.

For a long time I was stuck. I'd started Dusty's book, but I couldn't seem to get it moving along. It was caught in the mud it seemed like. But now it has taken off. Dusty has wings, and it's all because of Jesus. The closer I come to Him the easier everything else seems to be. And the more my relationship with God mirrors Dusty's, the easier it is to write her character and her life.

I am getting more excitement and fun out of life than I ever have before. It's strange too, that though I still love to write...it seems to have lessened and yet at the same time grown. Oh I LOVE writing still....but writing doesn't matter anymore. Not that it doesn't matter though, it just isn't everything. Because Jesus is everything. It's hard to explain. But if I never wrote another word I would still be so, so happy. It's like I don't care anymore, because I have Jesus in a way I never have before.

That's not to say I won't be writing, because I still love it. But more than that, I believe God has given me a gift that He wants to use for His purposes. So yes, I will still be writing and I will still love it.

On another note altogether...

Always In Shadow is getting closer and closer!! :) Be excited, people. :) You'll see it published before the month is out. :)

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Charlotte Bronte and Jane Eyre (Inspiration and Similarities)

I have recently commenced re-reading one of my favorite novels of all time: Jane Eyre. :)

I forget, every time there is a pause between reading the novel or watching one of the many film adaptions how much I adore this story. And then I pick it up to read once more, or sit down to watch a movie....and I am overwhelmed by the magnitude of my admiration and affection for this story. I LOVE it! I love the story itself, and the characters and all that. I cannot deny that Mr. Rochester rates about ten thousand times higher than Mr. Darcy to me (Although I do love Darcy too).

But it's more than just enjoying the story.

I love Charlotte Bronte and her work. It's brilliant. It also reaches deeper into human emotions than most novels I read and I am so drawn by that. She inspires me. If I could write a story that would evoke half the emotions in readers that she does with this masterpiece I should be very well pleased. :)

Seriously though, every time I read Jane Eyre, besides being wrapped up in the story I love so well, I feel a longing to write like that. It is a deeply rooted desire that I often forget about and it smolders quietly unnoticed until I come across something like Jane Eyre for the upteenth time and it awakens and bursts into full flame.

On another note....I have no idea why I never noticed this before, but Jane Eyre's imagination works like mine and her spirit mirrors my own (or perhaps mine mirrors hers). She's so similar! I was astonished and took great pleasure in discovering this fact this morning. :) I read a passage and thought...that's totally me. And then I went into some silly emotions that I like to dub "fan-girl reactions." But on a slightly more serious note, I really did feel it, deep inside me, that this particular passage spoke directly to me. I related, in more ways than one.

This was the passage that made me immediately think of myself:

"Who blames me? Many, no doubt; and I shall be called discontented. I could not help it; the restlessness was in my nature; it agitated me to pain sometimes. Then my sole relief was to walk along the corridor of the third story, backwards and forwards, safe in the silence and the solitude of the spot, and allow my mind's eye to dwell on whatever bright visions rose before it-and, certainly, they were many and glowing; to let my heart be heaved by the exultant movement, which, while it swelled it in trouble, expanded it with life; and, best of all, to open my inward ear to a tale that was never ended-a tale my imagination created, and narrated continuously; quickened with all of incident, life, fire, feeling, that I desired and had not in my actual existence."

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Robin Hood and Finding Hope

My computer is back! Yay! :)

So...back to serious writing, people. :) Always in Shadow is stuck in the process of editing...I promise you will see it before the month is out....

BUT...while that's going on, I'm diving back into another project...Isolated!!! :) I love this story. I am going to get Cassy Wilmark out of the mire if it kills me. I shouldn't say things like that when talking about this book though, because there's already too much death and dying going on.

Anyway, Isolated is slowly moving towards completion (Yay!) so you may get to see that one published come Spring. That's not a promise; don't hold me to that. Also, book two of the Finding Hope series is already in the works, so after Isolated there will be more! :)

So, this book begins with a poor girl that doesn't remember who she is...and it just goes downhill from there. I'm not sure where all this violence and intrigue and stuff came from. I'm beginning to believe that Isolated is my nightmares come to life on paper. Possibly. Maybe it's not quite that creepy.

Anyway, keep your eyes peeled for any updates. :) Always in Shadow should be coming along soon and hopefully Isolated won't be far behind. :)

Friday, July 24, 2015

Dead Computers

My computer has died.

This is a very tragic circumstance. That computer was my lifeline.

Now, when I want to write, I have to borrow someone else's computer. But that isn't the worst of it. I have to write in the open. In public. Where people can see me and possibly read over my shoulder.

Now what is so bad about that, you might ask? I post things all over the internet, I publish books...people will be reading what I write regardless. Yes, yes they will. But I get very nervous if people can read what I am WRITING. Don't ask me to explain the difference. But once it is finished I don't mind an audience. It's while it is still in progress that I freak out.

So, that is the miniscule trial I am dealing with days. (I say miniscule because it really shouldn't be a big deal. I'm very silly to be so bothered by all this)

Anyway, because my computer is sadly out of commission writing may be a little sporadic for a while. Books, blogs, anything.

What am I going to do with myself?

Go back to the old days when I use to read all the time, I suppose.

Monday, July 20, 2015

What Comes Next?

College will be starting up in about a month. I was rather enjoying my break. But I know I loved it when I was there, so I won't dread this year.

I'm actually excited about most of my classes. And I adore one of my professors, so that's a good start I think.

But the big question: What will I do when I finish at the community college?

I don't know.

I've been looking into some online options, so I can stay at home. One in particular, where I can get a BA in English and Creative Writing with an emphasis on Fiction seems very appealing to me. I guess we'll just wait and see.

The future is always so bleak to look at. Not that things don't look good, they just look...blank. It's like when I first start writing a book. It's just an empty screen, and it's almost scary how many possibilities lay before me. Yet at the same time, those possibilities are incredibly exciting and wonderful.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

A Post for the Sake of Posting

I've got nothing to say.

It's very rare of me to run out of words, but it's happened.

I think I'm just very tired.

I just spent an amazing week counseling at a church camp and having the time of my life. I'm sure I have a million stories to share but I can scarcely think of any of them. I think I'm brain dead.

I don't know why I'm blogging while in this state of mind but I was feeling a bit guilty that I haven't blogged for a bit.

I'm not sure, but maybe silence was actually better than this post. :P

Hopefully in a few days I'll be back to writing Cassy's story, and get to finish editing/rewriting Always in Shadow (next month, people! Are you excited?).

Monday, July 6, 2015

Emotional Comas

It's crazy how swiftly things move sometimes. The book I am in the middle of right now is jam packed with action; something is always happening. It seems so full. It feels like so much has happened, much time must have passed.

And then I look at my timeline, and only eleven days (11 days!) have passed since the beginning of the story. Eleven days.

A lot can happen in eleven days.

Cassy's world is destroyed in one afternoon....the other ten days have been spent trying to get out of the mess.

Will she ever really get there though?

I've never written anything so dreadful and depressing and intense. My sister says she goes into an emotional coma every time I give her an update to read and comment on. That almost frightens me.

But I get super excited writing this story. Emotional comas or not, I cannot wait for it to be finished and published. I have no idea what is happening next and it's killing me! I can't wait to find out. And then I can't wait to share my discoveries with all of you. :)

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Introducing: Me

So, we're going to be very vain and self-centered today.

I feel I haven't ever truly introduced myself to you, my amazing readers. I just talk about what I'm up to or how my books are coming along.

So, this is my official introduction, even if it is a bit late. :)

My name is Amanda and I love to write. Adore writing. Live and breathe writing. Eat on it. Sleep on it. Writing is my life.

Then there are children. LOVE them! :) I am quite happy to spend hours upon hours playing with/watching/being entertained by children. Children are my joy and delight.

Most important of all is Jesus. He's just my everything. End of story.

I enjoy reading immensely, which includes reading aloud to my sister or with friends. Some of my favorite books: Anything Jane Austen, Jane Eyre, The Chronicles of Narnia, North and South.

I'm also a huge fan of movies...movie marathons are quite possibly one of the best things ever invented. :)

There's not much else about me that's exciting (not that any of the above was exciting either). 

Random Facts:

I used to play softball. I was the pitcher and I thoroughly enjoyed it. :) I own two gold fish: Spot and Squishy the Second (unfortunately Squishy the First died). I am always very cold, for reason I cannot explain. My fingers and toes are made of ice.

So...that's all :)

Sunday, June 21, 2015

I'm a Young Author...My Writing Stinks

So...in an effort to find something interesting to blog about, I have been reading lots and lots of articles. Trying to find something, anything, that pertains to young authors. Tips. Success Stories. Anything.

There's a lot out there, by the way.

Unfortunately...

The stories did not motivate me and the tips made very little to absolutely no sense to this author. Yes, I know. I'm wacky. But I'm serious. I couldn't relate. And the tips that actually made sense I'm already doing, in various degrees.

And I now have a headache.

I want to complain and say I wasted my time. But I won't. Because I think I did learn some things reading all those articles. They were written by many different people. Reading a lot of different voices, especially on the same topic, really gets my mind going with what works and what doesn't. Because some of those articles I found interesting, and some (that happened to say exactly the same thing, just in different words) I hated.

One thing I ran into a lot in the advice department was this: you are a young author, your writing is horrendous.

Ow.

It is probably true. I mean, I look back even now at stuff I wrote a couple years ago and I cringe. So, in ten years I'll probably want to do a second edition of Lucy's Legend. Still, as a starry-eyed young author who loves her little pieces of brilliance it took some real effort not to be offended by all those articles saying the same thing.

You stink.

I realize, they're undoubtedly right.

As young authors, we don't have the experience and wisdom that older authors can draw from that gives their writing so much relevance. When you have experience your writing is grounded in reality. Relationships seem real because they ARE. When you're young, you have very limited resources to draw from, where self is concerned. Of course there's always mentors and so forth, but on the whole...limited experience leads to limited writing, in terms of talent.

Unless you're a freak of nature.

That's the other thing so many articles said. You are a young author so your writing can't get worse...unless you're a freak of nature in which case you are awesome, but who knows if it will last.

Gee, thanks.

I did find encouragement in a lot of the articles I read though. Keep writing, keep reading...your writing will improve. You have to keep doing it. No matter if it's good or bad now, just do it. Because you'll grow, your writing will grow...you'll mature together.

Someday, you may  be brilliant.

But whether you ever reach that point or not, keep writing. And always remember that even the best writers still have room for improvement. So never stop learning.

And that is what I am going to take away from my research today.

I may deeply inhale (haha) right now, but I'll keep writing anyway. Or I may be a freak of nature (I doubt it) but I'll keep writing anyway.

As long as something I write puts a smile on somebody's face, I will feel I have succeeded...even if my writing does stink. :)

Saturday, June 13, 2015

Writing Passion

I recently got my wisdom teeth out (recently as in yesterday) and I've been pretty out of it. But right at this moment...I am starting to feel very awake and alive.

And my arms itch. But that doesn't matter.

My brain is beginning to run a million miles an hour. I think it's trying to catch up. It's like it was paused yesterday, and now, right now, at 9:59pm someone pushed play and it's going nuts trying to make up for lost time.

It almost feels like the inside of my head is on fire.

I like this feeling. I feel inspired. And alive.

The whole house is quieting down, going to sleep. And I'm over here just beginning to wake up!

I feel a writing passion coming on. You know, those times when you start to write and then it's nine hours later and you realize you haven't eaten anything all day. Except that it's night right now, but you get the idea.

So, I'm leaving you with that thought. There may or may not be wonderful things about to happen in Sherwood and/or a brand new book called Isolated. You'll just have to wait and see. :)

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Wedding Week

Okay, I promised pictures, so here you go!

This first one is me getting to know my brother-in-law's dog, Jael.


Wedding Programs! :)



This one is one of the lovely flower girls, getting her nails done.



And of course the bride!


The next one is me and my two sisters. :)



...and getting hair done...



...and more hair doing...



Father-daughter dance!! :)



The Bride and Groom. :)



And a pic with my awesome cousin, just 'cause. :)



I had a great time at the wedding, and I'm super happy and excited for my sister and brother-in-law!!!

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Patience

My teeth are killing me.

My wisdom teeth have decided they are good and ready to make an appearance...and it's painful.

I have been learning patience this week.

Preparations for my sister's wedding are underway, along with moving all of her stuff from her apartment over to his...er, theirs. And I've slept through most of it. I don't know how much of that is exhaustion from the remnants of my illness, or from my teeth...or both...? I have been trying not to complain (which...I might be failing at) and trying not to cast  a pall on the festive mood. But I really just want to stomp my feet and scream and cry and hide under my bed. All at once. Because my teeth really hurt.

So, patience.

That is my motto this week.

Patience.

Always smiling. Not being cranky when I want to be. It's just pain, it will pass.

So...in the midst of teeth fun, wedding fun, and moving fun...there's been no writing going on. But I am going to be a good little author and keep my eyes wide open at the wedding this weekend. Be warned, people. I shall be stalking all of you. Yes, I am a people watcher. I need characters to draw from. I'm running low on new ideas. lol

Friday, May 29, 2015

Subject Change (Wedding)

So, as I feel I have only been sharing things that have to do with writing or my books lately, I am going to change the subject. (I heard that sigh of relief)

So, what's exciting right now? Well, to begin with, my elder sister is getting married! Just over a week to go and she will be a wonderful wife on top of being an amazing sister.

I am super excited. :)

My little sister and I will be standing up at her wedding, so that's fun. I've never been a bridesmaid before, so there's also a tiny bit of nervousness. Mostly I'm just happy for my sister. :)

We've been busy, making mints, buying jewelry, having dress fittings...all that jazz. I'm super excited!

So that's what new, folks. Stay tuned...there will likely be pictures to follow in a few weeks. :)

Friday, May 22, 2015

Medieval Dresses

Image result for medieval gowns and dresses


I am currently being inspired by dresses. I also happen to be an outrageously horrible artist, so I won't bother showing you some of my drawings that were inspired by dresses. But I will show you the dresses themselves.

Image result for medieval gowns and dresses          Image result for white medieval dresses

My mind has been an explosion of ideas lately, and I can't seem to slow down the fireworks. It's exhausting, really, having your mind running all all cylinders constantly.


Image result for medieval gowns and dresses


If you are wondering, my books are what have brought about this recent obsession with dresses. :)

Image result for pink medieval dresses



Tuesday, May 12, 2015

The Future Looks Grim...

Well, not really. But the story I am writing is pretty intense. 

Not once in my life did I ever think "let's write a dystopian society book"...'cause, that's fun. And then, once the crazy idea was planted I was thinking, "uh...everyone is writing this same story these days, why am I doing this again?"

Funny thing about stories though, once they find their way into your imagination they never let go. Ever. So, my futuristic dystopian society is coming to life....and destroying the world in the process...

Cassy Wilmark and a band bedraggled teenagers are taking on the world...and it's incredibly dramatic. I've never written anything with so much drama and nail-biting worthy sequences. It's rather scary, actually. It is as though all of my worst nightmares have come together and created a story.

Besides being terrifying to me....this story is so much fun! I love it, just as I love all of my stories. :)

Cassy is nothing like my other heroine's....at all. Not the gentle, sweet, all goodness wrapped into a charming lady type at all. She's frank and blunt, sometimes downright rude, fiercely loyal and brave, cares nothing for hygiene (YET. I will change her mind...I hope), and totally self-reliant. Cassy is just different. And I love her.


"What is it about you, Cassy Wilmark, that they find threatening?"

I flinch for the blow I know is coming. Sure enough, I find myself flying across the room and hitting the wall painfully.

Curiosity is definitely going to kill a few cats in this story. Don't ask questions, my lovely readers, because it could very well kill you. 

The problem for Cassy, is that she is really, really curious.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Cassy Wilmark

 I’m awake, though my eyes refuse to open or my limbs to move. I struggle to breathe. I don’t know where I am, or who I am. All I know is that I am in pain.

Another new work in progress, although not nearly as new as the Daisy Danielle Davis story. I started this book last Thanksgiving. It's a fun story to write, but I am so wrapped up in Sherwood most days that I haven't had the time to get very far. So, consequently, I have absolutely no idea what is going on in this story or what it's all about.

I suppose we shall have to discover these things together. :)

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Daisy Danielle Davis

I have started a new book. Don't freak out! The Robin Hood series is still in the works and things are moving along nicely. I hope to bless the world with one Robin Hood a year for several years to come.

Yet I did start a new project. And I am having a blast. :)

The book shall remain nameless...because it honestly doesn't have a title yet.

This book has so far been a great joy to write! I find myself laughing and smiling the whole way through. The book was born via Facebook (don't laugh) when my co-authoress  and I were discussing a car. Yes. We were talking about a car. And we ended up bringing to life the beginnings of a tragic love story.

Do not ask how a discussion about a car turned into a tragic love story...these things just happen.

I will, because I am feeling very generous, tell you that this story is about a girl named Daisy Danielle Davis.

"I was born twenty years ago in the beautiful, bustling town of Dublin. And no, I'm not Irish. My parents were on a holiday."

And that's all you get. :)

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

"Because, Reader, I was There"

Today I've been contemplative. I've come so far with Robin Hood...and it feels like it has all happened very recently. Which it has, actually. I began writing Lucy's Legend-A Robin Hood story in September of 2013! And oh how it has changed in the time since then.

I pulled out my very first manuscript of Lucy's Legend. Handwritten on notebook paper. Scribbles and notes in the margins...it's beautiful. :) I sometimes forget that the original version of the story was told so differently than the way the final product was. Did you know (no, probably not, but I'm going to tell you) that I originally wrote Lucy's Legend as one big long letter from Lucy to the reader. She was defending her claim to correct history books because, reader, she was there.

"It was many years ago, but my memory serves me well. Who could ever forget Robin?"

Whenever anyone doubts Lucy she feels the need to remind them she was there. And for the parts she wasn't there she was told the stories by many different people. Dusty, Will, Little John, Much, Allen, Ida, even Sir Guy of Gisbourne. And of course she has Robin's own word that she relies on.

It's amazing how different that first manuscript is. And yet, it also  amazes me how the same it is. Seriously! So many aspects...the phrases, the characters, the dialogue...it hasn't changed one bit! There are so many scenes that are precisely the same from the first manuscript to the last.

To borrow a phrase from C.S. Lewis, I believe I have been writing the Robin Hood series in a "white heat of inspiration."

Here's to the rest of the adventure!

Monday, April 13, 2015

Once Upon A Time

"Now then, what is that phrase you use? Ah, yes...once upon a time..."

That, my lovely readers, is a quote from a movie I love (Ever After) and it's a quote that always sends shivers down my spine. I can't quite put my finger on why. But something about those two sentences give me a shiver of excitement, anticipation, suspense, joy.

Once Upon A Time.

I've never actually started a story that way. Usually my books, whether my Robin Hood series or my African Grace series, start with an elderly grandma type telling someone her story. But that phrase is somehow still dear to me. It's almost like it's a part of my family.

Once Upon A Time.

So much potential in that phrase. It's nearly as good as Happily Ever After. (and yes, I have used that cheesy phrase in my books)

That simple phrase though, it ignites my imagination. I don't need any details. Just "once upon a time" and suddenly my imagination is running wild with dragons and princesses and quiet stay at home moms. The possibilities are endless! How can such four little words set a fire inside my head? But they do. Every single time.

The bottom line is, I love that phrase.

Once Upon A Time...

There was a simple young lady who loved to write and had more friends inside her head and worlds to escape to within her imagination than any one person ought to be allowed.

Once Upon A Time...that simple young lady was me.

Monday, April 6, 2015

Love Letters

Doing a Psychology assignment. Writing letters to loved ones as though I were going to be dead within the week. Saying all the things that need to be said...

That sounds incredibly dramatic. But honestly? I don't have horrible grudges I need to forgive or really any deep dark secrets that need to be confessed. So guess what I am saying?

I love you.

All of you. My amazing family, my incredible friends. The people who have been with me through everything and the people who have only shared a small part of my life.

I love you.

I don't think I really have the will power to sit down and write a love letter to everyone that I love. There are too many people on that list....I would be writing those letters for the rest of my life. Seriously.

But I do want everyone to know that I love them and appreciate them. Everyone I know has touched my life in some manner, great or small, and my dearest wish/hope is that I was a blessing to all of them.

There are too many of you to name, because you have all meant something to me. But just in case you haven't realized it yet, this is for you:

I love you!

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Shakespeare Readings

Hello, everyone! :) My little sister turned fifteen on Friday! She had a couple friends over, and one of the activities we participated in was reading Shakespeare aloud. This is not the first time we have done this sort of thing together...late at night (or perhaps I should say really early in the morning.) We always have a grand time! :)

This time, our choice of reading in the middle of the night was A Comedy of Errors. It's extremely amusing, and also confusing. Yet it ends happily, so I must say that I love this play. :)

For the record, these pictures are actually from reading The Merchant of Venice, which is (for the present) Rebekah's favorite. This reading happened much earlier in the evening.



I was a part of this fun, but there are no pictures of me

Rebekah can be incredibly dramatic when reading Shakespeare. The other "players" were too (though I may have been the most boring reader of the bunch) but Rebekah puts her whole heart and soul into it sometimes.

Sunday, March 22, 2015

The Missing Gobbler


I'm busy working on my latest project as an author, which is also a project for a class at school. My children's book, The Missing Gobbler! I'm having a blast. :)

I also happen to be collaborating with my amazing sister, critic, encourager, illustrator extraordinaire. :) 




This book is so much fun to work! And my illustrator is amazing, and amusing. She makes writing just that much more fun. :) Her running commentaries of her drawings are some of the funniest things you will ever hear.

I wrote this book years ago, when I was around fourteen years of age. The idea came to me one day while I was writing in my handwriting course. I was suppose to write a paragraph about a turkey who goes through a struggle. My "paragraph" ended up being pages long and that's how this story was born. :) 

For my college course I'm supposed to write a story, illustrate said story, and then the little story will be "published" and I'll have a hard copy to hold and admire. So, instead of spending precious hours writing a brand new story, I simply dug through my treasure box, found an old favorite to polish up, and here we are. And yes, I did do some polishing. Fourteen year old Amanda and nineteen year old Amanda do not always agree on how a sentence should be written.

As I've already mentioned, I'm having a blast reworking this story, and watching it "come to life" under Rebekah's skillful hands.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Always In Shadow Snippit


“You are so willing to follow me into battle?”

“Even unto death.”
August can certainly not get here soon enough for me! I can't wait to share Much's story with the world. I've had a great time editing so far (that process is unfolding a little differently than last time and I find it great fun!).

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Spirit Refreshed

It's barely started, but this has been one of those weeks. Just bad.

Me, stressing out about things that don't even matter. Stressing about school, grades, homework...I've been a wreck on the inside. Angry. Life is just too much right now.

But it isn't.

I just read some beautiful words written by an inspiring young lady, Katie Davis. (She's not Davis anymore because she got married, but at the moment I don't remember her last name) She's a missionary in Africa. She was writing about all the hurt and suffering she's witnessed recently and how she is struggling to see God in the midst of her mess. All the murder, rape, abuse, and everything else she has to witness. And I'm over here complaining about low grades in school.

Her words touched me, deeply. You can read them here at Katie's blog. I can't even begin to describe the effect her post had on me. But it was a beautiful feeling, I can tell you that.

"to those who by persistence in doing good seek glory, honor, and immortality, He will give eternal life."

Monday, March 2, 2015

Always in Shadow is Almost Here

Anyone ready for Always in Shadow? I am! Just five months to go and the sequel to Lucy's Legend will be published! Just five months, and you'll have another book for your shelves. :) (and I'll have one for mine!)

I love being an author. It's one of the greatest joys of my life!

Anyway, I've been thinking a lot about Always in Shadow lately, and am very eager to see it in print. :) In my impatience I feel the need to share a piece of it with the public! (Granted, this has technically been shared before, since it's the "coming soon" excerpt in the back of Lucy's Legend and I've shared a small part of it on my blog before...but I'm sharing it again anyway, because I can.)

Two days after they set sail, they were struck by a violent storm. The rain came down in torrents and great waves swept over the deck.
  “Robin!” Much yelled after his master. Robin was going up on deck and Much couldn’t understand why.
  “Much, stay below!”
  “Where are you going?”
  “Joan is near the bow of the ship. I must help her below.”
  Much followed his master on deck. The wind slapped his face and the rain pricked his skin like tiny needles. Through the haze of the storm he watched Robin running toward the bow of the ship. Joan was struggling through the rain to meet him.
  “Robin!”
  “I am here to take you below, my lady.”
  “Thank you!”
  They turned toward Much, but before they could go far a great wave swept over the edge of the boat. Much darted forward.
  The wave knocked Joan off her feet and Robin holding onto her arm went down after her. Much was able to grab hold of Robin’s other arm and held on for all he was worth.
  They were all three thrown right over the ship’s side. Robin grabbed the railing as they went over and held Joan tightly in his arms. Much’s grip slipped and he plunged into the icy water.

“Man overboard!”

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

A Glimpse of Dusty-Robin Hood part 3

While Always in Shadow is with my amazing editor I've been working on Dusty-Robin Hood part 3.

I've been longing to tell this story ever since I first wrote Lucy's Legend in 2013. How Dusty learned to heal, how she met Robin Hood, the life she led in Palestine...everything about her intrigued me and I wanted to know her history.

Along with Lucy and Friar Tuck, Dusty is among the wisest of the gang, and before Friar Tuck comes to Nottingham she's the spiritual head as well. So far I have greatly enjoyed watching Dusty grow and mature in her youth, because she certainly didn't start out all wonderful and wise!

Now, this excerpt I'm about to share does give something away from the story. Dusty was not the name given to this book's heroine when she was born. Her name was Andaleeb.

“Andaleeb, I need your help. We must prepare dinner for your father before he arrives.”
Andaleeb frowned and stood slowly. She did not want to make dinner. She wanted to build her sand house.
“Andaleeb, are you coming?”
In her frustration, Andaleeb stomped on her little sand house, crushing it.
“Andaleeb!”
“I am coming, mother.”
“In such a huff. Why did you stomp on your house?”

“I don’t like it.”

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Ethos, Logos, Pathos

We have begun writing our argument paper in English 2. That has been an interesting experience. I think I am definitely growing and being stretched in my writing which is a very good thing.

For the record, learning to keep Ethos, Logos, and Pathos in perfect symmetry is hard. I prefer to write all Pathos...just me and my emotions, guys. Take it or leave it.

Yet it's been very good, learning to stabilize the three elements and use them together to make a better and more complete whole.

For those of you who don't know, Ethos, Logos, and Pathos are the three pillars of persuasive writing. In order to write effectively, persuasively and credibly, you need a good balance of all three.

Ethos is your credibility as an author. Are you knowledgeable on your subject? Do you write with precise and correct grammar/spelling etc.? Are you thoughtful and fair when addressing those opinions opposite of your own?

Logos is the logic of your argument. Without Logos every argument will fall. Logos includes the reason and logic behind your argument, as well as how clear it is and the evidence you use to support your claim.

Pathos is the emotional side of things. The emotions, the values, the passion. This is the heart of your paper. Too much and it will be emotionally charged and scare people away or offend them easily.

Also, for the record, I am not an expert on Ethos, Logos and Pathos so if anyone has better definitions or more to add, I am all ears!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Two Month Mark

The two months mark has passed, my friends! We've been published for over two months. Craziness. :)

This is very random, but I found it amusing so I'm going to share...I sold the exact same amount of books in December and in January. The exact same number of copies sold! How weird is that? I'm now eagerly watching the February sales to see if it will happen a third time. Not likely, but it would be entertaining! :)

If you haven't bought your copy of Lucy's Legend- A Robin Hood story yet, you totally should. :) You can do that at Amazon or at CreateSpace

Happy reading!

Friday, February 6, 2015

Robin Hood Quiz :)

Hello, my lovely readers! I have gone over a week without blogging, and this is my first post this month...this is tragic! We shall have to fix this.

I have been insanely busy with college classes/homework, which is my only real excuse for not blogging, and trust me, it's a legitimate excuse.

Along the lines of college....for AEC (Academic Excellence Challenge) I am required once a week to write questions on either my strengths or my weaknesses. Last week I decided to write my questions over not only a strength, but something I know as well as my own name and is just as dear to my heart. I wrote questions about Robin Hood! And I've decided I want to share them with you, so that is what I am going to do. I'll post the answers soon enough. You should be able to figure these out, they aren't too hard. If you don't get the first one, I will either die of laughter or I will cry. If you think you know, be sure and comment with your answers! :)

1. This legendary figure is dear to both American and English hearts, though his actual existence is debatable. The first clear reference to this legend is in the late fourteenth century poem, Piers Plowman. Renowned with the bow, and in the modern day renowned as a hero of national scale, name this man who has recently become known for 'robbing from the rich to feed the poor'

2. Name this friend of Robin Hood and member of the 'merry men' who is known for beating Robin in a quarter staff fight on a bridge.

3. Although in the original ballads Robin Hood's lover was the shepherdess Clorinda, name Robin Hood's more well-known love interest.

4. Maid Marian and THIS MEMBER of the 'merry men' were two of the last characters to join the tale, entering the legend through the 16th century May Day Games.


Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Blog's Birthday

Happy birthday to my blog! It is one year old! :)

Today marks the one year anniversary of starting this blog! :) That's crazy. I don't feel like I've been blogging that long. I guess a year is not nearly as long as one thinks it is. In that year, I've graduated high school, survived my first semester of college, learned how to drive, got my first cell phone, facebook, I became a published author and I was baptized. This has been an interesting a full year. :)

I wonder what will transpire between now and my blog's anniversary of birth next year.


Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Susie's Yellow Circle

For those of you who don't know, I've written two children's books in the past (neither of them are published yet). Well today, I wrote a third one. And it was both frustrating and great fun! I had to make this book for my Children's Literature class at the community college.

This book was a new experience, in several different ways. The first being, I've never made a pop-up book before! That was interesting. Another new experience was the audience I wrote for. I've never written a book for so young an audience before, my favorite age of all time....preschoolers!! :)

My book is called Susie's Yellow Circle, and as you go through the book you (or the preschooler) have to help Susie find the yellow circle. Each page has a different colored shape that bounces up off the paper. On the very last page is Susie's yellow circle. :) It's very simple, and kind of cheesy when you read it. But it's cute, and it was fun to make....and I LOVE my book! :)


Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Two Bible Verses


"Commit your works to the Lord and your plans will be established"

"Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart"


I can't explain why, but right now those two verses mean a lot to me. Whenever I read them I'm just filled with a sense of peace and something like completeness...like I've come home.


Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Facebook Page

We have an official Facebook page, everyone! :) https://www.facebook.com/AmandaGraceBooks

I've been considering having a book launching party, although that is still in a heated debate (in my head). I'll let you know what the final decision there is.


Friday, January 9, 2015

Robin Hood Books in Progress

I have been published a whole month! :) Woohoo!! :)

If you haven't bought my book yet, here are the two links. One for Amazon and one for CreateSpace. The book is the same no matter where you buy it from. :) Lucy's Legend-A Robin Hood Story or Lucy's Legend-A Robin Hood Story

So...book 2 is well on its way to completion...although we have not begun the editing process yet. I'm currently having some technical difficulties with my computer/Word, so Always In Shadow is on hold. In the meantime, I've taken a look at Robin Hood part 3 and begun a rough draft...on my typewriter! It's the most beautiful book I've ever written. It's a full eight pages long and has a million mistakes because unfortunately my typewriter does not have "backspace"...but I love it!

 Also, I think I might type too fast for the typewriter, because by the time I got to the bottom of page eight it was starting to smell like a burned engine...

On another subject, school starts on Monday...so writing may be put on hold for a bit. Of course, that's what I said last semester, and it wasn't true in the end.


Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Always In Shadow Update

Well, folks, I haven't blogged in over a week...why is that? Oh, I don't know...I've just been lazy?

Actually, I was furiously working on Always In Shadow, the second installment in my Robin Hood series. That book is a bit ahead of schedule right now, but that's good. Hopefully that means I won't have a time crunch at the end! I'm projecting the release date for Always In Shadow to be in August. So stayed tuned!

I still get giddy thinking about being a published author. This is crazy, people. But it's a lot of fun!

The last few days I haven't done any writing in books...or even on the computer at all (that's why I haven't been blogging). I've been busy using my new typewriter. That is a very enjoyable thing to do, let me tell you. Every day I've been clacking away at my typewriter. It's glorious! I think I might type up a manuscript of one of my books with the typewriter. Wouldn't that be fun?